The Radiohead Hit Song That the Band Refused To Play Live Again: “We’re Tired of It!”

Radiohead is one of those bands that deliver incredible albums that should be listened to in their entirety. However, they’ve also put out quite a few singles worth admiring on their own, from “Nude” to “High And Dry”. But nothing quite compares to the hit 1993 song “Creep” from Pablo Honey. It’s been covered by everyone from Weezer to Prince to The Pretenders. It’s a deeply unique alt-rock song with lyrics that most could relate to. And eventually, every member of Radiohead was fed up with it. So much so that they booted it from their setlists entirely for a while.

Videos by American Songwriter

Pressure And Tension Ruined Radiohead’s Love Of “Creep”

Radiohead’s label at the time was pushing the band to release something as successful as Pablo Honey. While recording the 1995 album The Bends, the band members dealt with quite a bit of tension in order to deliver something that would make the label happy. It wasn’t the song’s fault, but “Creep” was pretty quickly associated with the stresses of success.

Eventually, Radiohead as a whole changed their sound as a band. By the time The Bends was released, the vibe of “Creep” didn’t fit the vibe of “new” Radiohead. The band had also grown sick of the song because of how much they had to play it live, and how often it is still requested by audiences today.

“We seemed to be living out the same four and a half minutes of our lives over and over again,” said guitarist Jonny Greenwood in an interview. “It was incredibly stultifying.”

The band felt as if the song had shortened the scope of what people would expect from their music, so they avoided performing it for several years. Today, they rarely ever play it live, though Thom Yorke did release a remix of the song in 2021.

We can’t fault them for it. The song definitely launched them into stardom and is still their most successful song to date, but the general obsession with “Creep” was taking away from their potential as a band. 

Allegedly, fans would request the song, Radiohead would perform it, and then fans would leave their concerts in droves. Eventually, Yorke had enough of it. At one Montreal concert, he allegedly shouted back at the audience: “Fuck off, we’re tired of it!”

They’ve occasionally played “Creep” since, but not nearly as often as they did when Radiohead first blew up.

Photo by Theo Wargo

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Leave a Reply

On the Road Again Soon: Willie Nelson Is Scheduled to Rejoin the 2024 Outlaw Music Festival Next Week

On the Road Again Soon: Willie Nelson Is Scheduled to Rejoin Outlaw Music Festival

Bruce Springsteen singing circa 1970s

Why ‘Born to Run’ Is Bruce Springsteen’s Best Album of All Time