Radiohead - Creep - 1992


Radiohead's "Creep" from 1992: An Iconic Alternative Rock Anthem

Radiohead, a prominent English rock band, released "Creep" in 1992. This song, initially not a commercial success, later became a worldwide hit and is often considered one of the most influential tracks in alternative rock. The song's distinct sound, characterized by its dynamic shifts from quiet verses to loud choruses, exemplifies the 1990s grunge influence in music. Thom Yorke, the lead vocalist, has described "Creep" as a song about feeling out of place and socially awkward. Despite its initial reception, "Creep" played a crucial role in Radiohead's early career and remains a significant piece in the history of rock music.

Background and Release

"Creep" was released as the debut single of Radiohead, then known as "On a Friday," from their first album, "Pablo Honey." The song's candid lyrics and distinct guitar riff, created by Jonny Greenwood, were pivotal in defining Radiohead's early sound. Interestingly, Greenwood's aggressive guitar play was initially an attempt to sabotage a song he didn't like, but it became a signature element of "Creep."

Lyrics and Themes

The lyrics of "Creep" reflect themes of alienation and self-doubt, resonating deeply with listeners who felt marginalized or misunderstood. The chorus "I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo" became an anthem for those who felt out of sync with their surroundings.

Musical Style and Influence

"Creep" combines elements of grunge, alternative rock, and post-punk. Its influence can be seen in the subsequent works of various artists and bands across genres. The song's structure, transitioning from soft, introspective verses to explosive, distorted choruses, became a template for many alternative rock songs that followed.

Controversies and Legal Issues

"Creep" faced legal issues due to similarities with "The Air That I Breathe," a song performed by The Hollies. As a result, Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood were credited as co-writers.

Radiohead's Relationship with "Creep"

Although "Creep" is one of Radiohead's most famous songs, the band has had a complex relationship with it. They felt it overshadowed their other work and often refrained from playing it live in later years.

Legacy and Reception

Despite its initial mixed reception, "Creep" has grown in stature over the years. It is frequently included in lists of the greatest songs of all time and has been covered by numerous artists.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Creep" released by Radiohead? (1992) (!1989) (!1995) (!2001)

Which album features "Creep"? (Pablo Honey) (!OK Computer) (!The Bends) (!In Rainbows)

What is the unique feature of Jonny Greenwood's guitar play in "Creep"? (Aggressive guitar riff) (!Long guitar solos) (!Acoustic strumming) (!Electronic sound effects)

Which theme is most prominent in the lyrics of "Creep"? (Alienation and self-doubt) (!Romantic love) (!Political activism) (!Environmental issues)

What legal issue did "Creep" face? (Similarities with "The Air That I Breathe" by The Hollies) (!Plagiarism of a Radiohead song) (!Use of unauthorized samples) (!Lyric copyright issues)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

What is the name of Radiohead's lead vocalist? (Thom Yorke) (!Chris Martin) (!Bono) (!Damon Albarn)

In which country was Radiohead formed? (England) (!United States) (!Australia) (!Canada)

What was Radiohead's original band name? (On a Friday) (!The High and Dry) (!The Bends) (!Atoms for Peace)

Which Radiohead album is known for its experimental shift in music style? (Kid A) (!Pablo Honey) (!Amnesiac) (!The King of Limbs)

How did Jonny Greenwood initially feel about "Creep"? (He tried to sabotage it) (!He thought it would be a hit) (!It was his favorite song) (!He was indifferent to it)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What phrase is repeated in the chorus of "Creep"? (I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo) (!I'm lost, I'm alone) (!I'm broken, I'm shattered) (!I'm different, I'm strange)

What feeling does the protagonist of "Creep" express? (Feeling out of place) (!Feeling in love) (!Feeling angry) (!Feeling happy)

Which of these lines is NOT from "Creep"? (!She's running out the door) (She's running out again) (I don't belong here) (What the hell am I doing here?)

In "Creep," what does the protagonist wish to be? (Special) (!Normal) (!Rich) (!Famous)

Which line follows "But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo"? (What the hell am I doing here?) (!I wish I was special) (!You're so very special) (!I don't belong here)


1992 Year "Creep" was released
Thom Yorke Lead vocalist of Radiohead
Pablo Honey Album featuring "Creep"
Alienation and self-doubt Central themes in "Creep"
The Hollies Band related to "Creep" legal issue

Open Tasks


  1. Explore Radiohead's discography: Create a timeline of Radiohead's albums from their debut to their most recent release.
  2. Design a Cover Art: Design an alternative cover for the "Pablo Honey" album.
  3. Personal Reflection: Write a short essay on how "Creep" resonates with your personal experiences.


  1. Analyze "Creep" Lyrics: Conduct a detailed analysis of the lyrics of "Creep" and its themes.
  2. Radiohead's Musical Evolution: Research and describe how Radiohead's music style has evolved since "Creep."
  3. Compare and Contrast: Compare "Creep" with another Radiohead song from a different era in terms of lyrics and musical style.


  1. Create a Music Video: Conceptualize and create a music video for "Creep."
  2. Interview Project: Conduct interviews with different generations about their perception and interpretation of "Creep."
  3. Critical Review: Write a critical review of "Creep," discussing its impact on music and culture.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Irony: Explain the irony behind the initial reception of "Creep" and its eventual iconic status.
  2. Music and Emotion: Discuss how "Creep" uses musical elements to convey the feelings of alienation and self-doubt.
  3. Influence of Grunge: Explore how the grunge movement influenced "Creep" and its place in the history of alternative rock.
  4. Radiohead's Artistic Journey: Discuss how "Creep" shaped Radiohead's future musical direction and artistic choices.
  5. Cultural Impact: Analyze the cultural impact of "Creep" in the 1990s and its relevance in contemporary music.

OERs on the Topic


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