Radiohead’s One Masterpiece — And They Didn’t Even Draw It

The first time I heard “Creep” I thought — wow, intense performance; this group is not going to be the flapjack of the week. Now, garbage can be intense, too, so it was a judgement about tenor, not content. And all too soon enough I decided I had no use for Radiohead.

But. This was late in the era when I still encountered videos that became the definitive version of the song. For me, more its true nature than the version that was sound alone. This included works by Madonna and Bjork and others. Also, years after the original, this version of “Creep”:

[Oh well, I see the video has been blocked for copyright reasons, which is always more than fine with me. All I need is an objection. Just search for Radiohead, “Creep” animated.]

We don’t have Thom Yorke’s insufferable suffering, but the anguish of Nameless Office Nurd. (I love the plant wilting at the start.) Next, he isn’t moaning about being lovelorn, but letting out torment at his soulless job. (Notice the chairs are deformed to accommodate the all-head characters.) So now the song has a whole fresh cast. When he heaves himself out the window, the wails are a tad comic, which is perfect, and landing in the dumpster even more so. Then the fade-out of the drawing, inspired all the way (I love how the flies last longer than almost everything else). And I found myself nodding and smiling at “I don’t belong here” instead of the usual rolling my eyes.

So I don’t like the song “Creep” in the least. But I like the animation “Creep” a great deal. Maybe the last time I will feel a song so transformed this way.

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