On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Radiohead – Creep (1992)
” Creep” is the debut single by English alternative rock band Radiohead, released on 21 September 1992. It appeared on their debut studio album, Pablo Honey (1993). Thom Yorke’s lyrics express an obsessive, self-destructive sexual attraction. When the song moves to the chorus, Jonny Greenwood produces blasts of guitar noise.
We’re staying in the UK, dear reader, but leaving Wales to return to England. Once across the border we are making our way to Abingdon in Oxfordshire. Formed in 1985 Radiohead would go on to become one of the most critically acclaimed British bands in modern history with albums such as OK Computer (1997) enhancing their reputation. We join the band back in 1992 though and while they work on their debut album, a single is released entitled Creep.
Written in the late 1980s when the band were at university, Creep is said to tell the tale of a drunk man who is infatuated with a girl and his approach is to follow her around. He doesn’t have the courage to express his feelings though and retreats with the knowledge that he is a “creep” and a “weirdo.” It has been suggested that singer, Thom Yorke, liked a particular girl at university and followed her around but nothing happened. He was later left uncomfortable when the same girl attended a Radiohead gig. It is a morose and sad piece, very relatable for the unpopular kids at school of which I was one too.
Creep would prove to be a big success upon release and climbed into the UK Top 10. Sadly, the song became a stone around the neck of the band who grew to resent it and stopped playing the song at their shows. It has popped up on their setlists infrequently over the years but the group, sadly, felt they were in danger of being typecast by Creep and they wanted to branch out and explore different approaches with their music. I can see the difference between Creep and songs on The Bends and OK Computer but do think it remains a terrific song despite the band’s dismissal.
Favourite songs so far: