7: Creep has Many Faces

Radiohead’s Creep is one of the most powerful songs I know. It has the perfect combination of lyrics, melody and arrangement. Happily, I have never been in such a self-loathing state as this song expresses and yet the song made it very real to me. It gave me a window into the heart (and should I say hurt) and mind of such a person. I suddenly can understand and sympathize with these people and their suffering.

The song has many versions, some of them by Radiohead itself. Here I will present a few widely different styles.

First, the original:

For a while, I only knew about this original version. Then, I was surprised to find Radiohead’s acoustic version:

Removing all the instruments and pyrotechnics and keeping only an acoustic guitar made the vocal and the lyrics stand out even more sharply. And still this stripped-down version has all the power of the original.

Next is Scala & Kolacny Brothers in a technical, dreamy, unemotional rendition. The psychological power of the song is gone and instead we have a sort of heavenly cathedral sound (well if only you ignore certain words…). It does not deliver the punch but it sounds beautiful still.


And just very recently, jazz! I’d never think anybody would ever feel like doing this song in jazz but here it is by the new jazz pussycat Haley Reinhart:

So there you are, an installment in the “This Reminds Me” series. And how about you? Which versions of Creep do you like? More generally, what does Creep remind you of?

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