The Story Behind: "Creep"
Today we are taking a look at Radiohead's most successful single – Creep. It was released as a debut single in 1992, and appeared on their debut album, Pablo Honey. The song wasn't an initial success, but later became a worldwide hit when it was rereleased in 1993.
The song was supposedly written by singer Thom Yorke while he was studying at Exeter University in second half of the 1980's. According to guitarist Jonny Greenwood, the song was inspired by a girl that Thom followed around whom also attended a Radiohead event.
When the band was rehearsing for their debut album, while the producers were watching, they performed Creep, which Yorke jokingly said was a Scott Walker (British singer-songwritter, frontman of trio The Walker Brothers) song. Even though the producer thought that Creep was acutally a Scott Walker song, he wanted them to perform it anyway. After they explained it was an original song by them, they recorded it in the studio as a single.
Fact: Radiohead was sued for copying the melody and chord progression of the song »The Air That I Breathe« by the Hollies. The band admitted they have taken it, and were sued for a piece of the profit from the song.
Also,the songs lines »So fucking special« were latter censored to »So very special«. The band did not agree with the censorship, but has later changed their mind.
The Meaning of the Song/Lyrics
The song talks about a intoxicated man that keeps following a woman around, whom he is attacted to. Towards the end, he is not enough self-confident to confront her.
After being asked about the song Yorke stated: "I have a real problem being a man in the '90s... Any man with any sensitivity or conscience toward the opposite sex would have a problem. To actually assert yourself in a masculine way without looking like you're in a hard-rock band is a very difficult thing to do... It comes back to the music we write, which is not effeminate, but it's not brutal in its arrogance. It is one of the things I'm always trying: To assert a sexual persona and on the other hand trying desperately to negate it." While Jonny Greenwood said the song was actually happy, and is about recognizing what you are.