Radiohead has engendered respect from artists and fans alike for following its own path and not being afraid to follow its muse. In fact, many consider the band to be the Pink Floyd of their time in many ways. “Creep” was the band’s first single and later appeared on its first album Pablo Honey. Not an initial success, it took a rerelease a couple of years later to actually catch on. The song was reported to have been recorded in a single take, and has been covered by everyone from Macy Gray to The Pretenders. Here’s what to listen for.
1. There’s a nice long delayed reverb on the vocal that’s fairly dark sounding. That’s the only effect used.
2. Thom Yorke gives a great vocal, but it sounds like it was done with one take (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It’s a bit pitchy in spots, especially at the end of phrases, something that probably no one has ever noticed in the context of the mix.
3. There are some lip smacks and breaths that are left in. They just add to the intimacy of the vocal.
4. There’s also some distortion during the bridge from an overload somewhere in the signal chain. It’s all about the performance though, so who cares?