Radiohead v Lana Del Rey: a comprehensive timeline of the most confusing music ‘lawsuit’ in recent music history

Is the lawsuit happening or not?

Last week, Lana Del Rey tweeted that she was being sued by Radiohead, but Radiohead’s publishers have said this isn’t the case. So what’s going on? Here’s a helpful timeline.

September 21, 1992

Radiohead release the single ‘Creep’. Comparisons are drawn between it and The Hollies’ 1972 song ‘Air That I Breathe’.

February 22, 1993

Radiohead release debut album ‘Pablo Honey’, on which ‘Creep’ is featured. In the liner notes, Radiohead credit Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood of The Hollies, providing them with a cut of the royalties for the song.

July 21, 2017

Lana Del Rey releases ‘Lust for Life’. Comparisons are soon made between the unusual chord progressions on its closing track, ‘Get Free’ and those on ‘Creep’ (and ‘Air That I Breathe’).

January 7, 2018

Del Rey says Radiohead are suing her over the ‘Creep’ similarities. “It’s true about the lawsuit,” she writes. “Although I know my song wasn’t inspired by ‘Creep’, Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing. I offered up to 40 over the last few months but they will only accept 100. Their lawyers have been relentless, so we will deal with it in court.”

The same day, she plays a show in Denver, where she reveals that the song might be removed from ‘Lust for Life’ as a result. She said: “I just want to let you know, regardless if it gets taken down off of everything, that those sentiments that I wrote… that I really am going to strive for them, even if that song is not on future physical releases of the record. I just wanted to let you know that for the kids and for the not-kids, who are the real fans, who are here. So that’s probably the last thing I’ll say about it.”

On Twitter, Blur guitarist Graham Coxon jokes: “I always thought the Hollies wrote it… hehe!!”, sharing a clip of The Hollies’ ‘Air That I Breathe’.

January 9, 2018

Radiohead’s publisher denies that any such lawsuit exists but explains that they are asking for Radiohead to be credited on the song. A statement from Warner/Chappell reads: “As Radiohead’s music publisher, it’s true that we’ve been in discussions since August of last year with Lana Del Rey’s representatives. It’s clear that the verses of ‘Get Free’ use musical elements found in the verses of ‘Creep’ and we’ve requested that this be acknowledged in favour of all writers of ‘Creep’. To set the record straight, no lawsuit has been issued and Radiohead have not said they “will only accept 100%” of the publishing of ‘Get Free’”.

We will continue to update this page as we receive further information.