All hail Prince's epic cover of "Creep"
In 2008, Prince headlined Coachella and delighted the crowd with a now legendary cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.” In true Prince fashion, you had to be there to see it: Over the years, multiple fans have attempted to upload videos of the performance online — only to be met with a cease and desist from the Purple One himself. As a result, Prince’s version of “Creep” has become, perhaps, one of his most mythologized and sought after tracks — until now.
Ultimately, the cover sparked a greater conversation about copyright in the digital age; and many questioned whether it was legal for Prince to be pulling the fan-made videos in the first place. The cover was so well-scrubbed from the Internet, in fact, that even Radiohead wasn’t able to hear it. When asked about it in an interview with Billboard in 2008, frontman Thom Yorke responded, “Really? He’s blocked it? … Well, tell him to unblock it. It’s our … song.”
Seven years later, it looks like the music legend has finally taken Yorke’s words to heart. Citing the same quote, YouTube user Miles Hartl recently uploaded a video of the much-mythologized 2008 performance — and, somewhat mysteriously, Prince actually tweeted the link.
“Copyright reserved to RADIOHEAD, the original authors of this song, who have granted me permission to upload this video through the above remarks,” Hartl wrote in the caption. “Needless to say, no copyright infringement intended.”
The video is well worth the wait. Prince is one of the greatest performers of all time, and the song takes on a whole new quality with him at the reigns. The guitar solos are longer, the wailing loses some of its angst, and everything is doused in Prince’s sex appeal. He makes the song his own, but remains respectful to the original — and it’s well worth a listen (or a thousand).
Of course, Prince is notoriously elusive on the web: The music legend frequently cites copyright infringement, only streams his music on Tidal, and once even sued YouTube. This is in stark comparison with Radiohead, who, at the time, had recently released their album “In Rainbows” with pay-what-you-want pricing. That Prince would not only let this cover slide, but actively promote it on social media, is a rare treat for us web dwellers.
So take comfort knowing that you’re listening to this truly epic cover with Prince’s blessing — and here’s hoping it’s a sign he’ll unleash more of his music on the Internet soon.
(Image via Shutterstock.)