Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Releases a Super Creepy Version of “Creep”

Like many bands with a killer, career-launch­ing debut sin­gle, Radio­head has had a long, love-hate rela­tion­ship with 1992’s “Creep”. There’s no way they would have become sta­di­um fillers with­out it, but they’re also under­stand­ably sick of it. Accord­ing to, they played it over 310 times between 1992 and 1998, and then they kind of dropped it from their gigs once they entered their Kid A phase. Only in 2016, dur­ing the Moon Shaped Pool tours did they add it back into the set.

But man, 2016 seems like a lonnnnnng time ago, doesn’t it? Everybody’s still fig­ur­ing out the future of live con­certs. Nobody is sure how far ahead is safe enough to announce tick­et sales. Will venues be open or shut again? Into the fray of uncer­tain­ty comes this odd­i­ty: a nine-plus minute ver­sion of “Creep” cred­it­ed to Thom Yorke. (“Thom Yorke should col­lab with Radio­head more often” says one wag in the YouTube com­ments). You want Creep, ya say? Well, here’s a LOT of it.

Thom Yorke takes his vocals, stretch­es them out until they’re cor­rupt­ed dig­i­tal­ly, and fills the airy gaps with acoustic gui­tar, adding twice as many bars as the orig­i­nal. As NPR said, Yorke’s vocals sound like a “rant from a man who’s lost his mind to old age and iso­la­tion.” (Hence the “Very 2021 Remix” title). It was about 30 years ago, we have to add, though we hate to admit it. Elec­tron­ic bur­bles and bass throbs enter halfway through and fur­ther dis­turb the already dis­turb­ing.

Yorke cre­at­ed the mix for fash­ion design­er Jun Taka­hashi, whose ani­mat­ed art­work runs in a loop for the video. The song accom­pa­nies Takahashi’s UNDERWORLD Fall 2021 col­lec­tion run­way show.

As Pitch­fork points out, Yorke has con­tributed music to fash­ion shows before:

n 2016, he con­tributed an orig­i­nal song called “Coloured Can­dy” to Rag & Bone’s 2017 Spring/Summer show­case. Years pri­or, he con­tributed the songs “Stuck Togeth­er” and “Twist” for anoth­er one of the fash­ion label’s shows.

Yorke, by the way, hasn’t been lay­ing low dur­ing the plague year. In May of this year he debuted a new side band called The Smile at Glas­ton­bury, called out the John­son gov­ern­ment as “spine­less” regard­ing their response to COVID and the live music scene, and shared a 30-minute mix of new music on BBC Radio 6. What comes next? Stay tuned.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Per­forms Songs from His New Sound­track for the Hor­ror Film, Sus­piria

Radio­head Bal­lets: Watch Bal­lets Chore­o­graphed Cre­ative­ly to the Music of Radio­head

Thom Yorke’s Iso­lat­ed Vocal Track on Radiohead’s 1992 Clas­sic, ‘Creep’

Intro­duc­ing The Radio­head Pub­lic Library: Radio­head Makes Their Full Cat­a­logue Avail­able via a Free Online Web Site

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

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