So we’ve finally got that new Radiohead album. The wait for A Moon Shaped Pool from Thom Yorke’s consistently envelope-pushing crew dragged on a bit didn’t it? What seems certain – as with every Radiohead album – is it will inspire its fair share of cover versions from fans. Will any of them reach the depths of weirdness that this lot below do, though? They’ll take some beating…
Robbie Williams – ‘Creep’
Want to see something truly awful? Like, never-quite-recover awful? Then click below. Click below, and witness Robbie Williams butchering ‘Creep’. In fact, the word ‘butchering’ barely covers it. He’s sliced it from throat to groin and skinned it. He’s pretty much Ramsey Bolton up in this track. All under the horrendous guise of swing – that most insidious of cover genres. Unforgivable.
Rockabye Baby – ‘Paranoid Android’
Radiohead for babies. Baby-ohead, if you will. Rockabye Baby do lullaby versions of ‘No Surprises’ and ‘Karma Police’, but it’s their ‘Paranoid Android’ that stands out. Exposing kids to classical music is said to make them smarter, right? Well, this will make them fitter, happier, more productive…
Jim Carrey – ‘Creep’
Jim Carrey has played the odd creep from time to time – The Mask, for one. Which is maybe why he takes to this cover so well, goofing out onstage, playing the insecurity of the lyrics for laughs. Weird, but still not as weird as his ‘I Am The Walrus’ cover.
The Arrogant Sons of Bitches – ‘My Iron Lung’
What do you get if you cross ‘The Bends’ with overgrown men in baggy shorts who love Less Than Jake? That’s right, Ska-diohead. This lot have also done skanking-friendly versions of ‘Just’, ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Paranoid Android’ but this is maybe the oddest of the bunch.
Noordpool Orchestra – ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’
Nordpool Orchestra created an entire tribute album, ‘Radiohead: A Jazz Symphony’, back in 2012. It seems obvious, but it’s genuinely surprising how well jazz suits Radiohead’s complex time signatures and harmonies, from ’15 Step’ to ‘No Surprises’. But it’s their version of ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’ that stands out – a brilliant, lightly jazzy arrangement of the propulsive, pensive ‘In Rainbows’ cut.
Diego Luna – ‘Extraño (Creep)’
Performed as part of the Spanish soundtrack for Mexico-set animated film The Book of Life, this version uses extraño for ‘creep’, but that word can also be translated as ‘foreign’, which seems very fitting. The hilarious thing about this minute-long clip, though, is the melodramatic, husky spoken word they’ve decided to add to the beginning of the alienation anthem. It’s like, so deep.
Peace – ‘All I Want For Christmas’/’Creep’
This effort from Peace, recorded live, really pushes the limits of Radiohead mashups – which now include ‘Creep’ and Carly Rae Jepsen, terrifyingly. If Tim Burton made another animated Christmas movie, this is probably how he’d soundtrack the big, emotional montagey moment. It’s equal parts touching and creepy. Anyone else feel one step closer to that Thom Yorke x Mariah Carey collab we’ve all been waiting on?
Scala and Kolacny Brothers – ‘Everything In Its Right Place’
The reason there are so many bad covers of ‘Creep’ is that it’s got such potential as a crossover mainstream hit. That’s not at all the case with the curveball of ‘Everything In Its Right Place’ – any cover of this song is going to come from an actual Radiohead fan. Or 30 of them, as in this case. This arrangement by Belgian women’s choir Scala adds a new level of ethereal eeriness to the song, with vocal blips and glitches distorting their flat, robotic harmonies.
The Darkness – ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’
Prepare your eardrums: if they were expecting the soft melancholy of ‘Street Spirit’, they’re in for a shock. This is a manic, metallic, glam rollercoaster through the Radiohead track, recorded for The Darkness’ 2012 album ‘Hot Cakes’. Musically, it’s on point – it includes some impressive fretboard gymnastics – but is it pleasant? Couldn’t tell you.