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Radiohead's 'Creep' Video Surpasses 1 Billion Views on YouTube

It's an impressive feat for a song that the band originally didn't even plan to record, only doing so at the suggestion of their producers.

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Source: MEGA

Radiohead's breakthrough single continues to resonate.

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After 15 years on YouTube, the video for Radiohead's debut single, "Creep," has just crossed a threshold that previous few videos ever reach: it's been viewed more than one billion times.

The video was filmed during a sold-out show at the Venue in Oxford, England...except it wasn't really a proper show. In fact, the whole point of the show was for the band to play "Creep" several times in order to get the necessary footage for a video. It was also supposed to be a free show, but instead the band charged fans for the privilege of being in attendance, after which they donated the accrued funds to Curfew, the local magazine that had helped Radiohead build a fanbase with their coverage of the band.

"Colin [Greenwood] and Ed [O'Brien, guitarist] brought the money to my house in a plastic pint glass," recalled Ronan Munro of Curfew. "It was probably a couple of hundred quid and paid for a computer."

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Source: XL Recordings

The cover art for Radiohead's 'Creep' single.

Although “Creep” was Radiohead’s debut single, the band originally hadn’t even planned to record the song and only did so at the suggestion of their producers, Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie. It was Kolderie who swayed EMI, the band’s label at the time, to issue it as a single in 1992, and although it didn’t take off immediately, it gradually became a hit on alt-rock radio in the US. This, in turn, led to the single being reissued the following year, at which point it became a hit internationally, climbing to No. 7 in the UK, No. 6 in Australia, and No. 8 in Belgium and going top-20 in five other countries.

“‘When I wrote it, I was in the middle of a really, really serious obsession that got completely out of hand,” lead singer Thom Yorke told NME in October 1992. “It lasted about eight months. And it was unsuccessful, which made it even worse. She knows who she is.’”

Four months later, in a follow-up NME interview, Yorke acknowledged that he regretted his previous admission. “I got into a lot of trouble over that,” he said. “I shouldn’t have admitted to her being a real person. I’m sure she didn’t give a s--t, really. She never gave a s--t. She wasn’t even that nice, anyway.”

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Funnily enough, Yorke has never really been a fan of the song's lyrics. Indeed, he said so outright to Rolling Stone in 1993 ("I wasn’t very happy with the lyrics; I thought they were pretty crap"), which might well have something to do with why the band spent a fair while going out of their way to avoid playing the song.

By 2016, however, they'd gotten back in the swing of playing it more regularly, with Ed O'Brien telling Rolling Stone in 2017, "It's a good song. It's nice to play for the right reasons. People like it and want to hear it. We do err towards not playing it because you don't want it to feel like showbusiness. But we started throwing it in last year."

Mind you, if Radiohead ever decide to just stop playing the song altogether, it's not as though there won't be others out there who'll be happy to do their own version of the song...and if you need proof (which we know you don't, but just go with on this), then all you need to do is check out the below playlist, which features the band's original version followed by 14 other takes on the track.

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