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Creep by Radiohead

Album: Pablo HoneyReleased: 1993Charted:
34
7
  • In the album version, lead singer Thom Yorke sings, "You're so f--king special." For radio, he recut it as, "You're so very special." Yorke regrets changing the line for the radio version, saying it disturbed the "sentiment of the song." According to him, the song lost its anger as a result.
  • Yorke says this is about being in love with someone, but not feeling good enough. He describes the feeling as, "There's the beautiful people and then there's the rest of us."
  • Yorke wrote this in 1987 while he was a student at Exeter University in England. He first recorded it acoustic.
  • This was written before the band formed. Yorke gave his demo version to Colin Greenwood, who joined him and helped put the band together.
  • This wasn't released in the US until Radiohead's debut album in 1993. The band finished college and signed their record deal in 1991.
  • Yorke based this on a song called "The Air That I Breathe," which was written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood in 1972. After "Creep" was released, Radiohead agreed to share the songwriting royalties, so this is credited to Yorke, Hammond and Hazlewood.
  • This did well in the US, but not in their native England. When they released their third album, O.K. Computer, it was huge in England but not in the US.
  • When this was first released in England in 1992, the song flopped. It did well when it was re-released a year later, after Radiohead grew a fan base.
  • According to Q magazine April 2008, the recording of this song came about as a result of producers Sean Slade and Paul Q Kolderie struggling with "Inside My Head" and "Lurgee." They remembered a track that that the band had played in rehearsal, introduced by Yorke as "our Scott Walker song." This portrait of an outsider was then recorded in one take.
  • The video was recorded at a club in Oxford called The Zodiac. (thanks, Ned - Oxford, England)
  • This is nicknamed "Crap" by the band due its slacker-anthem ubiquity.
  • The first country this charted in was Israel.
  • The three blasts of guitar noise that precede the chorus was the result of Jonny Greenwood trying to sabotage a tune he considered too "wimpy."
  • Yorke claims he received fan mail from "murderers" saying how much they could relate to this song.
  • Prince performed this at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2008. He also played Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" and The Beatles' "Come Together." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • The song returned to the UK singles chart in August 2010 after X-Factor auditionee Hollie Burns performed it on the show.
  • According to the book Radiohead: Hysterical and Useless, this song was inspired by Thom's obsession with a stranger. He was infatuated with a woman who was out of his league, who he'd never met but frequently saw in bars, and he found himself following her around. When he finally got himself drunk enough to build up the courage to confess his obsession, she freaked out. (thanks, Melissa - Istanbul, Turkey)
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Comments: 93

This is a song about Thom Yorke not belonging on earth.Aaron - Los Angeles, Ca
I love this song! One of my faces. Until I read the lyrics...I apologize here for my mistake... I thought he was saying I'm a creep, but I'm a winner! Which actually still makes sense with the lyrics. As far as suicidal, if someone feels that way they could listen to Frosty the Snowman and still be suicidal. This song is great!Georgine - Cleveland, Oh
I love when the guitar comes in right before the chorus. It acts as a musical stutter that would represent the actual stutter a "loser" like the character singing might actually have. This song is a masterpiece that musically supports the angst of the lyrics.Laura - El Paso, Tx
Despite unprecedented adulation from the local teenies, Thom remains a wracked and tortured soul, as here he discusses the inner meaning of 'Creep'; "It's about (pause)... It's about sympathy (longer pause)... This is all very hard (very long pause)... As soon as I say this everyone will take the piss. It's just, I think part of me is always looking for someone to turn around, buy me a drink, give me a hug and say it's all right. Because I just go off on one. For days I'm unbearable, I can't talk to people. And it shocks me because I'm still doing it. I want to be alone and I want people to notice me both at the same time. I can't help it." [Melody Maker, October 23, 1993 -'British Creeps Storm America' Article]Deethewriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation
reminds me of NirvanaDusty - St. Louis, Mo
i listen to the scala version of this song quite alot after hearing out of a biopic the social network. i relate to it. 7th to 9th grade i was madly in love and lusted over a beautifull girl whose name Luisa Smith only thing was is we were friends and she didnt like me that kind of way. now she attracts attention of all sorts of guys on facebook and shes pretty popu.lar . im not in her life anymore but the song -the scientist by coldplay- places these memories of my youth back in my head and she has everything to do with itWilliam - Jacksonville, Nc
Did the Pretenders write this, or did they just do a cover of it?Lily - Los Angeles, Ca
Not a bad song, but not enough to make me care what else they've put out... especially after some of the comments from stuck-up "true fans" in here. Get a grip, will ya?Ben - P.c., Fl
Thank you for saying that, person below me. It's true...Jen - Nv
Wow, why are you getting so upset because some people like this one song from Radiohead?? It's not like they think they're Radiohead's greatest fans, they just like the song. Good for you if you can name all the songs and sing all the lyrics, I'll tell Radiohead to send you a medal.Brigitte - Ottawa, On
I saw the video just the other day.the song just sounds depressing kind of like someone who is seriously misunderstood.I like radiohead.Erica - Nairobi, Kenya
this was mine and my ex's song, i could relate to much i guess.Kala - Eugene, Or
I love radiohead to death they are amazing and my favorite band for life, and it upsets me when a crap song like this is what they are known for by a bunch of posers who think they like them. i agree with you person who commented below me.Grace - Seattle, Wa
I can't stand the fact that Radiohead is known for just this song. They have so many great songs out there that are way better. Oh and just because you like or even love this song, does NOT make you a true fan...Cryssie - El Paso, Tx
sad song, but it's easy to relate toVictoria - Chicago, Il
I first noticed this song in the early 90's in Honolulu Hi. , actually , in a strip club called Saigon Passion - I was downin a few chilly ones on ice (that's how they do it in Hi) and it was kinda empty because it was the middle of the day !...and well, I do remember a most beautiful asian girl on the stage and she was wearing a blonde wig while dancing to this song nudie like...wow ! she did float around the stage like a feather too...I'd never heard this song before...she's floating around there , kinda ladedah like, and I'm royally and insanely content at life all the sudden, and then again, all the sudden, out of nowhere that big cranking guitar chord shatters the whole atmosphere and seems to shake the building along with it..whew!!!. After that I gave her a 5 dollar tip whereas, it's usually a single.

So after a month or so I come back to the mainland and hear the song on the radio (censored version)...oh man, what a vision I just had !...but it wasn't the same ya know.
Anyway, being boring for a life now back home and no longer content with life... all I could think was it some Hollies or ELO remake?
I never really got an answer from anybody since ya hardly ever heard it on the east coast. I do thank the above comments for clearing that up - it is based on "The Air that I Breathe" hmmm...But what ELO song am I thinking of ? it's that same bridge , ya know ?

wva bygod
Zingo Z I N G O - Harper's Ferry Wva, Wv
Nice bit of contrast on this one, starting off with wistful lyrics and pretty instrumentation, then crashing directly into blazing cacophony.
Good lyrics, and it very well expresses frustration at oneself and others.
Oldpink - New Castle, In
This song was featured in the video game Rock Band.And yes I did like this song before the game came out.Austin - Smallsville,new England, --
You don't have to be depressed to relate to this song, everyone has felt this way whether it was a romantic or platonic feeling. Anyway, the song is basically about Thom (or whoever this song is about, though I think it is at least a partly personal experience) thinking he has no chance with this girl who he is crazy about and even though he's bitter about her not liking him, he can't bring himself to stop liking her and hates himself for it. I think that the girl might be someone who just belongs to a different crowd. There are a ton of songs about this same type of experience and even though his affection for this girl seems to be just attraction, obsession, and curiosity it's sad and raw and angsty and awesome and beats all the others because it's so real.Antimony C. Mccoy - N/a, Ct
I love this song but it makes me so depressed.Morgan - Hanover, Md
This is my most favourite song ever. I remember hearing it for the first time in 1993 while I was on a study trip in London, on the tube. Some 'indie' looking youngsters were playing it on their portable radio. I asked them what song this was and who played it, got off the tube and went straight to a HMV store to buy the record.
And I've remained a Radiohead fan since that moment.
Jan - Antwerp, --
This Is The Best Song Ever. Im Not Like A Depressing Guy Or Anything But I Connect With This Song So Much. Theres So Much Life In This Song. Its Just Simply Beautiful.Amanda - Bartlett, Tn
I absolutely LOVE this song! I first heard it on the radio and then was able to hear it again on the game Rockband. My sister has it on her i-pod...im so jealous...Michelle - Brook Park, Mn
I've heard this song on the radio quite a few times, and yeah it's kinda creepy, but it really is about the teenage angst and lack of confidence young guys get around women. Been there in high school and college, many years ago.Pat - Albuquerque, Nm
I can relate to this song too, which is depressing :(Louise - Newcastle, United Kingdom
I can totally relate to this song, as can almost everyone. This song is a true underdog anthem.Jordan - Toronto, On
korn covered it in their unpluggedMirna - Portoviejo, Ecuador
The first live performance on American Television for this song was on the Arsenio Hall talk show. They were unknown to most at the time and their performance on Arsenio put them on the map - what a truthful song - I really get sick and tired of everyone's typical bull sh*tSusan - Tampa, Fl
I've played this song in Rock Band over a hundred times.

I, myself, love it, but don't believe it is their best hit. I like Fake Plastic Trees and Karma Police.
Vince - Orlando, Fl
I think everyone can relate to this song at some point in their lives. I did all through high school. I still feel this way sometimes. Beautiful, haunting, disturbing song. I can't believe it was #31 on VH1's list of top 90s songs! The Backstreet Boys are No. 3! What's up with that?Sally - South Orange, Nj
i hate hearing the "you're so very special" radio cut. it really does degrade the meaning of the song, the anger. It's funny how one word changes everything, but it really does. This song helps me out alot of times. I love "I don't care if it hurts, I just want to have control." This to me means staying off of drugs, fitting in with everyone else, and several things in my day to day life. Ive heard some anorexic girls relate it to more physical aspects..My favorite version is a live in Tokyo on youtube where he improvs "I want a perfect body...so i can look good next to you" very cheeky.Leah - Pittsfield, Ma
Good song. Depressing as hell, though.Michael - Morris County, Nj
one of the best songs of the 90's in my opinion...even top ten to dateMadalyn - Greensburg, Pa
I do agree with Thom Yorke. This song is so good, but whenever I hear "So very special" when its played on the radio, I just cringe. This song is so simple, but it means so much.Aimee - Ughville, Ma
ok..if you can connect then it does it for you..but this is not the best radiohead song (climbing up the walls and piramid song pop up in my mind really fast on that category)

BTW, the myth that "they don't play this song on concerts" began in a concert in england when , by half of the show, they haven't play the song and the crowd start chanting it, the band start following but tom only cross his arms and extended the microphone to the people...
Garoud - Arica, Chile
I love this tune, its really a song for the underdog and I think a lot of people can connect and take comfort in the lyrics.Diane - Winnipeg, Canada
Love this song. I always looked at it as a sarcastic mockeryMike - Hueytown , Al
actually i read in a interview with tom Yorke that it was about a really bad experience he had with a period of unrequited love, well more like he was obsessed with a girl and basically she didnt want to know. And also he doesnt like to sing it any more because it brings back memories of a bad time.Kelly - Liverpool, England
One violent night, after a stormy session, Jonny got particularly violent. He grabbed Ed by the throat and slammed him against the wall. We had to jump Jonny to calm him down. As a punishment, we sent him to the corner of the room, on a stool with the dunce cap for a time out. After an hour or so, we returned from the local bar and found Jonny scribbling the lyrics of Creep on the wall.

Nowadays, whenever we get in a creative rut, we send Jonny to the wall, that bonny lad of ours. He's getting tired of it, though. Poor chap.
Thom Yorke - Northhamptonshire, England, England
This certainly is radiohead's best song and it was a time when they were still concentrating on grunge rock but their later albums were more about experiments..so this is the pure radiohead song to meJames - Washington, Dc
When I hear this song it reminds me of all the places that I felt different.Noe - Los Angeles, Ca
This song is nothin compared to any song in ok computer. Its good but not too much.Melquiades - Cali
As for Yorke changing the words for the radio edit, I heard a cover band play this song last night and while the band was spot on and did a great job they used the "very special" edit and it totally killed the vibe for me.Joe - Fort Meade, Md
I could see Jonny doing that. Kind of backfired on him though. Wonder what his opinion of the song is now.Joe - Fort Meade, Md
HANDS DOWN, BEST SONG FROM RADIOHEAD. IT'S ALL ABOUT BEING AN OUTSIDER.
I DON'T GET THE SUICIDE VIBE LIKE HALF THIS GROUP, BUT THEN...
Instantmagic - San Antone, Tx
i can relate to this song as well.....it reminds me of my ex girlfriend but it reminds me of more important things as well.Joe - Chicago, Ar
I hummed this song for what maybe the worst days of my life when I was so freakin down & I loved this song because it portrayed the exact sentiment .May be not all the lyrics but the tune and the 2nd & 3rd stanzas.
This was the only RADIOHEAD song i ever liked and the people who like this song better check out THE VERVE'S"DRUGS WONT WORK " or some thin like that.
It was another favourite alongwith this one
Rizzee - Darjeeling, India
The only RadioHead song I like. While listening I picture the narrator sitting on a bench with a gun in his hand, contemplating suicide.Cole - San Jose, Ca
I really, really love and understand this song because I've felt that way before.Mara - Coruscant, England
the first time i heard radiohead when i was younger i was scared of them but when i heard creep when i was older it just amazed me. i thought he wrote the song about me because thats my day to day thinking. can relate ot thioms eyes problems asd well and its the best song ever written!!!! the outsiders anthem!!Adam - Southampton, England
If you never were related in a way to this song in high school or middle school you are not human.Sam - Portsmouth, Va
This song is actually a grunge-parody, and that's why it became a huge hit in US. irony is maybe too hard theme for americans :DLauri - Lahti, Finland
Heh, I can relate to every word, and every sentiment of this song so much...Lucius - Gaston, In
I love this song...it's like I can just relate to it SO much, it puts into words exactly how I felt.Emily - Wirral, England
I really like this song but I can't stand Radiohead at all. They really annoy the hell out of me. This is the only song I like by them. Otherwise, I don't care about'em at all.Leon - Waterbury, Ct
This song kicks ass. It really captures some of my high school expiriences with all of the anger and the feeling of insecurity that your not good enough for popular or "Special" people.Chris - Derwood, Md
I think this is one of the great songs. It so describes that feeling of not just being good enough. That feeling of being in the corner at a party lookiing at that person that seems so perfect and you just feel like a such a loser (creep), because you know that you don't have a chance with them. And you wish you had a perfect body, whish you were "special" like them. But your not, so you just sit there from afar and all you can do is watch.Laura - Eden Prairie, Mn
I never thoguth he was acually singing about how he thinks he's a Creep. I always thoguth it was sarcastic and angry. He likes someone but she's to stuck up orpopular to be interested in him. So he's a "creep" and a wierdo.Trenton - Minneapolis , Mn
has anyone seen this flash video of the song?

http://www.koreus.com/files/200408/radiohead_creep.html

really brings out lots of things that i thought were in the song, suicidal tendancies, feelings of unworth etc. etc... and it's a nice bit of flash at any rate.
Sean - Glasgow, Scotland
acoustic version is awesomeDan - Sydney, Australia
I wouldn't say it's their best song but the Creep live at Kroq, acoustic version is something else. Thom's voice is so amazing.Christine - Sunderland, England
I think with songs like these you never really no the truth.. would would ahve to go into a more deep mode of thinking. But in the back of my head i kinda feel that this song is about numerious things such as the feeling of being alone or sad and unwanted.. then self destruvtion comes into play and so forth from there on Thom feels liek a'creep' and his emotions are almost unexplainble . thats my theoryBrittany - Springfield, Ma
I agree with Michelle to a certain extent, I think it is quite a simple and straightforward. Its that the person he see's is in a different world and you know damn well you can't touch her. So much so that even if you look at her you can generally feel deep down that you are a proper creep who's intention is primarilly to look at her. Its sad that someone can be so down on themselves and openly admit they are not good enoughRob - Birmingham, England
Not only is this a great song it got me listening to Radiohead in the first place, maybe thier are a few people in the world who like radiohead because thier poular but they arent really that kind of band most radiohead fans loved radiohead when they first heard them and wether the first song they heard was Creep, Paranoid Android or any song before since and inbetween is immaterial, you find with alot of bands fans like to say they were there first and they knew about them before anyone else and want to persuade people they are therefore bigger fans, people that really like the music though should recognise that the bigest fans are the ones who love the music most and who the band and the music mean the most too, they should also be pleased that others are getting the same enjoyment from perticular music as themselves these people are true fans, not people who want to be the biggest fans purly to boost thier egos, anyways great song.Dave - Eastbourne, England
yeah ok this song can yes, be related to teenage feelings about low self esteem and how theyre not good enough and whatnot. You can listen to this song and compare yourself to a popular person or something. But the real meaning of the song and why it was written has to do with being in love with someone who you think is absolutely perfect and then feeling as if you're not good enough for them. Every time I listened to this song I felt as if that was the meaning, and recently Ive actually been having that problem. So I looked up the meaning of the song and sure enough, it was true. This is my absolute favorite song because of what Im going through right now and how completely true it is.Ana - Louisville, Ky
Great song. Can totally relate.Darksoul - Toronto, Canada
the dullest most over rated band ever, gimme guns n roses any dayRobert - Leeds, England
"But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here"
yeh,i think its about suicide
the person singing is so sad and doesn't see the point in life anymore
Kate - San Diego, United States
Apparently Jonny Greenwood recorded those cool guitar crunches in the lead-up to the chorus so he could ruin a song he didn't like.Tim - Kilkenny, Ireland
This song is definately top 25 of all time. The feeling that it gives the listener is something I think every teenager has felt - sitting in their bedroom on a Saturday night - when they are all sure there's something way better going on - but in a adult situation - not feeling worthy of this person whos so f'n special - i wish i was special but i'm a creep , i'm a weirdo what the hell am i am doing here - i dont belong here...........
vincentthomas_1999@yahoo.com
T - Youngstown, Oh
Amanda from East Grand Forks - I get what you mean about all the mindless people in the world who only seem to go with the flow when it comes to their taste in music but to say that all post 1993Radiohead fans are not 'real' fans is a bit harsh! I was only 10 when Creep came out and never even knew they existed. I have a passion for music and I love Radiohead. I'd never heard of the band until 1997 when they released Paranoid Android in the UK and I loved it. Ever since then I've been an avid listener of their music and I'm not a kick in the arse off owning all of their albums. Does this make me a good or a bad Radiohead fan in your opinion? frimla@hotmail.comLeona - Edinburgh, Scotland
Rumour has it that it was written in the toilets of the Lemon Grove, A club I live 30 seconds away from.

That club is the main university club, and all the jocks and chavs go there, and Thom Yorke would NOT have fitted in there. Maybe the song's about that.
James - Exeter, England
I read somewhere that the song is about a stalker????Andy - Kent, England
I'm not sure Amanda is talking about, since Creep was on one of their earliest commercial releases. People who liked Radiohead after that aren't automatically just fans because the band got popular. I wasn't ten years old yet when this song came out--excuse me for being a young Radiohead fan. Anyhow, the acoustic version of this song is absolutely heart-wrenching, even moreso than the studio album track, perhaps because it feels even more rough and unprocessed, and that much more poignant.Nader - Durham, Nc
Good point about this song being like Smells Like Teen Spirit. They even sound the same. Oh and to Hassan of my native NY; don't lose hope when it comes to this kind of stuff. Thom is saying that he was a creep but that doesn't mean that he was. So if you think that your a creep just remember that Thom York thought the same way and now look where he is.Ian - New York, Ny
radiohead was never recognized by the masses until "creep" came out... and it doesn't make any sense to me, because this isn't even their best. it's actually alot like "smells like teen spirit" by nirvana. both bands got a whole new flock of fans when those two songs were released - fans who call themselves real fans, when really they only cared when the bands got popular.Amanda - East Grand Forks, Mn
one of my all-time favorite songs. it really fits and feels good if you listen to it when you're sad or angry. when i listen to it in these times, it makes me break down. it's so touchingBilly Ross - Hagerstown, Md
If you dont like this song its only because you cant relate to it. To anyone thats ever felt like that its like an anthem.Marian - Minnetonka, Mn
I heard (but I dought this is true) that this was one of Thom'd friends suicide note and Thom just added The line's Im a Creep Im a Weirdo as a choursSean - Calabasas, Ca
First Radiohead song I ever heard. I could really relate, it's pretty good.Meg - Worcester, Ma
About them playing it at shows - I saw them last October and they definitely played it...it made me happy even though it's nowhere near my favourite song...it also got me twenty bucks b/c a guy I know bet me they wouldn't play it...just thought I'd share that.Duane - Bowling Green, Ky
I read that before Creep came out, Yorke was embarassed by how whiny it sounded and didn't want to release it but the band talked him into it and it became a big hit. Now of course, they've moved on and are pretty sick of it.Ty - Niagara Falls, Canada
I read that this song was about this woman that Thom saw in lots of cafes and things that were very trendy, and therefore not his scene, but he kinda stalked her for a while...if you want the full story, go read "Hysterical and Useless" , which is the best Radiohead book I have ever read.Brian - Mayfield Heights, Oh
props to Mel from England. this song definately does not suck and who cares if its not their best! ITS A GREAT SONG!Katharine - Burnsville, Mn
I've read before that Creep is actually a song about self-destruction.Hillary - Seattle, Wa
This song, while I love it, sucks compared to their other works and I don't blame them if they hated it.Kristi - Ivor, Va
The band basically got tired of playing the same song and not getting recognition for their other works. I went to concert in 2001 and they didn't play it, but it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. Personally, I feel Creep is definetly not one of their greatest hits, but it at least got the attention this band deserves.Jenny - Everett, Wa
The song has been analyzed by many people, and theories of what it's about range from Thom's terrifying childhood to Thom's deceasd wife. Thom, however, was not an abused child, and he's never had a wife. At certain shows, Thom offers a partial explanation of the song. Written while he was at Exeter, he says, it tells the tale of a drunken student who tries to get attention of a woman he's attracted to; in the end, he lacks the self-confidence to pull it off.Michelle - Shingle Springs, Ca
This song is the best song ive ever heard it means a lot to meMel - Norwich, England
I didnt mean never since the creation because they played it in their first tours, i meaned in the recently. They played creep once in the whole year of 2001 and it was in Oxford (where it all started) and it is better this way.Max - Montreal, Canada
I've been to two Radiohead concerts and they played Creep both times.
-Julie, Toronto
Julie - Toronto, Canada
The band never plays this song in show. in fact they totally hate this song because it is the only song that was recognize on pablo honey in america. The song My Iron Lung on the Bends is about how they hate the public who only loved this song and did not recognize their work on other songs.Max - Montreal, Canada
Also, at least on my US version of the album, Pablo Honey, that this song is on, the band actually included the radio edit as a hidden, unlisted track at the end of the album.
~Stefano - NJ, USA
Stefano - Old Bridge, Nj