Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ – Has There Ever Been A Good Cover Version?

Shhh. What’s that sound? It’s someone somewhere in the world busting out a version of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ in a guitar shop on a black and white replica Fender.

Oh, scratch that. It’s actually Jim Carrey.

Yes comedy’s own gurning rubberface has done a version of the US college radio staple. And, sadly, like an airborne disease, it’s gone viral.

The song has been covered by Prince, The Pretenders, Beck, some of The Guardian’s editorial team and, with crushing inevitability, Damien Rice.

But what makes people want to cover the track? Is it the simplicity of the music? The straightforward message of disenfranchisement? Or the “fucking special- I wish I was special” line?

Who knows, but there have been many attempts at doing this track. And they have all, without exception, been unutterably terrible.

Moby’s version almost collapses under the weight of its own earnestness. His voice cracks, his face contorts, but then, dagnabbit, the spell is broken by the DJs rather inappropriate scratching noises – clearly thinking that the songs disenfranchisment just needs a bit of a bit of a re-re-re-remix.

Would it be wrong if whilst casually flicking on Ceefax at 5am on Sunday morning we didn’t notice that The Edmund Weiss Bass Clarinet Quartet were actually covering Radiohead and not just doing a noodling a soundtrack our regular run through of the Bamboozle quiz?

At no point in this song does the music stop and Korn’s Jonathan Davies scream ”GETTHEFUCUPPPPPPPPPPPPPP” in a phlegmy devil voice before the music car crashes into a metal badplace. Instead, people clap politely (this is MTV Unplugged remember where people drink herbal tea and wear floral prints) as we meander gently into the middle before someone can gently nudge you and whisper “Oi, it’s time to wake up now!”

Look! It’s about a million Men Of A Certain Age is board shorts and questionable facial hair strumming along to a Weezer-led cover of ‘Creep’. Its like some real-life documentary about members of a religious cult who are forced to forge through rather fey versions of indie rock hits until the day their leader convinces them that mass harikari is the right thing to do.

Very odd. Tears For Fears (or by this point just Roland Orzabal and his silly barnet) do a version of the track which sounds like they’re slowly melting whilst playing it. It goes on endlessly to point where he can almost hear members of the crowd look at their watches and think “oh I wish they’d hurry up and play ‘Mad World’ now.”