clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Prince is finally cool with people watching his cover of Radiohead's 'Creep'

It's a musical journey spanning over two decades

Prince has what you could charitably deem an "up-and-down" relationship with the internet. When he's feeling chipper about our online world, he decides to grace Twitter with his presence and crack open Vevo accounts for new music videos. When he's feeling a little less optimistic, he might pull his music from major streaming servicestemporarily vanish from social media, or declare "the internet is completely over." His diligence when it comes to issuing takedown notices is unrivaled, and Prince fans have learned to treat glimpses of footage and archived music as fleeting pleasures. This must be one of his good days, because he's directing fans to a live performance clip that hasn't been allowed to see the light of day for almost a decade.

Prince's 2008 Coachella cover of Radiohead's "Creep" is worthwhile watching for fans of either artist for reasons that extend beyond its musical merit. Despite objections from none other than Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke — and a legal claim that's tenuous at best — Prince has worked to suppress the cover's availability since the night it was performed, meaning a vibrant performance of a classic song was being reserved for the people who managed to see it live. The timing of Prince's endorsement of the clip is curious because it doesn't seem to be tied to any recent public copyright developments; Yorke protested his behavior just a month after the original performance, meaning his complaint was made over seven years ago. With that strange pattern in mind, we mapped out the song's lifespan from its early '90s release to its new home on YouTube.