This mournful ballad was originally written by Thom Yorke in the mid '90s and it was a regular part of the OK Computer tour. The song was originally introduced by the band as an untitled piece, and has been referred to on different occasions as "Big Ideas" (after its first line "Don't get any big ideas..."), "(Don't Get Any) Big Ideas" and "Failure to Receive Repayment Will Put Your House at Risk" (by Yorke jokingly in the tour film Meeting People Is Easy), before it finally came to be known as "Nude."
It became a fabled song among Radiohead fans but had never been onto disc by the band until In Rainbows in 2007. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood talked to New Musical Express December 8, 2007 about the recording of this song:
"Thom will come and play a song like 'Nude' to you and obviously its good. You want to record it. But it's been hanging around for 10 years and you find yourself thinking, 'Why haven't we recorded a good enough version of this song?' The relief now is that it's done and we didn't mess it up-it's worth it all."
Thom Yorke told Mojo magazine February 2008 how singing this song reflects a change in his attitude towards his vocal abilities: "Ten years ago, when we first had the song, I didn't enjoy singing it because it was too feminine, too high. It made me feel uncomfortable. Now I enjoy it exactly for that reason - because it is a bit uncomfortable, a bit out of my range, and it's really difficult to do. And it brings something out in me."
In Rainbows was famously released online and offered for whatever price the buyer chose to pay (in many cases, nothing). For the physical release of the album, Stanley Donwood did the artwork.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
This debuted at #37 in the Billboard Hot 100, making it highest debuting title of the band's career. It was the band's first appearance on this chart, since "High And Dry" peaked at #78 in 1996.
The track's chart position was due to the sale of downloads via Apple's iTunes Music Store. On sale was the original song plus 5 different "stems," (bass, voice, guitar, strings/FX and drums), which the band invited fans to download and use to create their own remixes. Finished remixes could then be uploaded to Radioheadremix.com, where they were available for voting by the public.
David Ransom from Cambridge, United Kingdom"Nude" is most definitely one of Radiohead's greatest songs (maybe even overtaking "There There" as their greatest!). It is certainly the song that best shows off Yorke's vocals! Don't really agree that Yorke's vocals have improved that much recently, or even since "The Bends". His vocals have ALWAYS been top-notch - just listen agian to "Street Spirit" from "The Bends", "Exit Music For A Film" from "OK Computer", or "How To Dissapear Completely" from "Kid A". At the time of "OK Computer, Yorke's vocals were decribed, by more than one critic, as "singing like an angel". That's not to say they haven't improved; they have - just not enormously. But what I think does greatly improve with each consecutive album are the song lyrics. Yes, Radiohead always had great lyrics: "Creep" is still just as amazing today as when it was first released. But the entire lyrics for each album have improved just that little bit more with each new release, peeking with "Hail To The Thief". The lyrics to "In Rainbows" are almost as good ("Hail To The Thief" would have been hard to beat) and the lyrics to "Nude" are some of the most inspired lyrics I have ever heard. Combine this with Yorke's heavenly vocals and the band's masterful playing, and you have a masterpiece!
Luke Taylor from Manchester, United KingdomWhen i heard this live, it gave me goosebumps. His voice has improved dramatically since the nineties.
Nelson from P-goula, MsI love this song. My friend always calls the last vocal part the Little Mermaid Theme.
Cris from Bucharest, RomaniaOn May 6, 2006, "Nude" was performed by Radiohead in Copenhagen at their first concert of the year. It is speculated that the band have recorded this song and it will be included in their next release.