Nude (song)

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Nude (Front Cover).jpg
Single by Radiohead
from the album In Rainbows
  • "4 Minute Warning"
  • "Down is the New Up"
Released 31 March 2008
Length 4:15
  • Colin Greenwood
  • Jonny Greenwood
  • Ed O'Brien
  • Phil Selway
  • Thom Yorke
Radiohead singles chronology
"Jigsaw Falling into Place"
"House of Cards" / "Bodysnatchers"
"Jigsaw Falling into Place"
"House of Cards"/

"Nude" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the second single from their seventh studio album In Rainbows (2007) in March 2008. Radiohead first recorded the song during the sessions for their third album, OK Computer (1997), but were not satisfied with the results. They performed it several times over the following decade, making it one of their best-known unreleased songs, before settling on the final arrangement. "Nude" became Radiohead's most successful single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since their debut single "Creep" (1992).


Radiohead recorded a version of "Nude" during the first sessions for their third album, OK Computer (1997), with producer Nigel Godrich. This version of the song, inspired by Al Green, featured a Hammond organ, a "straighter" feel, and different lyrics. The band was initially pleased with the recording but, according to Godrich, "for some reason everyone went off it".[1]

"Nude" was first performed in the late 1990s by singer Thom Yorke in a solo performance in Japan.[2] Radiohead performed it several times over the following decade, and it became one of their best-known unreleased songs.[3] They and Godrich worked on the song again during the sessions for their albums Kid A (2000) and Hail to the Thief (2003), but were not satisfied with the results.[1] The song had various working titles, including "Failure to Receive Repayment Will Put Your House at Risk", "Big Ideas" and "(Don't Get Any) Big Ideas".[3] The title "Nude" derives from an early version of the chorus, which had the lyric "What do you look like when you’re nude?”[4]

During the early sessions for Radiohead's seventh album In Rainbows (2007), bassist Colin Greenwood wrote a new bassline for the song, which, according to Godrich, "transformed it from something very straight into something that had much more of a rhythmic flow."[1] The band also removed a chorus and added a new ending.[1] They performed the new arrangement, along with other new material, on their 2006 tour before recording it for In Rainbows.[5] Three takes were recorded; the final take was used on the album, with overdubs recorded in Covent Garden, London.[1]

Godrich said in 2008: "Songs have a kind of window where they are really most alive – and you have to capture it. 'Nude' missed its window, and it took a lot of reinvention to bring it back to the place where we could capture it again in a way that resonated for the people playing it. It was essentially the same song; nothing had really changed. What has changed are the people playing it."[1]


According to Pitchfork, the "Nude" lyrics address "suburban ennui, crushing boredom, unfulfilling go-nowhere lives - it's like a graceful and sorrowful version of those sometimes sneering, knees-up Kinks/Blur character songs, or the inverse of 'No Surprises'".[3] The chord progression is an example of a double-tonic complex, in which the keys of both E major and its relative minor C# are suggested.[6]


"Nude" was released as a single on 31 March 2008.[7] To promote it, Radiohead held a competition for fans to create their own remixes of the song from the individual tracks of guitar, drums, bass, vocals and strings. These were made available to download, via iTunes, on April 1, 2008, with all entries available to listen to on the Radiohead website.[8]

A music video, featuring the band members in slow motion, was made by comedian Adam Buxton and director Garth Jennings for Radiohead's "Scotch Mist" webcast.[9] An early version of "Nude" recorded in the OK Computer sessions, is included in the special edition of the 2017 OK Computer reissue, OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017.[4]

Chart performance[edit]

"Nude" outperformed Radiohead's previous single, "Jigsaw Falling into Place", reaching number 21 on the UK Singles Chart and as of 2018, remains their last single to reach the UK Top 40. It charted at number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Radiohead's second top 40 hit after "Creep" reached number 34 in 1993. It was also the first Radiohead song to make the Pop 100.[10] There is some controversy over the US chart placement, because many of the single's sales can be attributed to purchases of individual stems for the remix competition.[11]


Chart (2008) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[12] 52
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[13] 12
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[14] 16
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[15] 8
Denmark (Tracklisten)[16] 11
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[17] 30
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[18] 7
France (SNEP)[19] 76
Ireland (IRMA)[20] 18
Italy (FIMI)[21] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 8
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[23] 23
Norway (VG-lista)[24] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[25] 25
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[26] 21
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[27] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[28] 37

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Nude"
  2. "4 Minute Warning"[7]
  1. "Nude" – 4:17
  2. "Down Is the New Up"[7] – 5:00
  3. "4 Minute Warning" – 4:05


  • Thom Yorke – vocals
  • Colin Greenwood – bass
  • Jonny Greenwood – guitar, ondes Martenot, string arrangement
  • Ed O'Brien – guitar, backing vocals
  • Phil Selway – drums

Music video[edit]

The official music video for "Nude" was directed by Adam Buxton and Garth Jennings and originally released as a part of the band's Scotch Mist webcast on December 31, 2007, several months before the song's release as a single. Jennings and Buxton had also directed "Jigsaw Falling Into Place", the previous video, as part of a November 2007 webcast in which they first worked with Radiohead. The "Nude" video is one of the few Radiohead videos to contain footage of the entire band since 1995's "Street Spirit (Fade Out)". The video features a Radiohead performance in extreme slow motion, with white feathers filling the screen.

An award winning[29] film by artist James Houston was also used to promote the single. Houston used a collection of vintage computer hardware to recreate the song and posted it online on 4 June 2008.[30] Houston used the audio stems from the Radiohead Remix competition, although his version was never entered. It did gain praise from the band themselves: Colin Greenwood called it "brilliant" on the official Radiohead blog.[31]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Music Producers | Word Magazine". 3 July 2011. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (9 October 2007). "Pitchfork's Guide to Radiohead's In Rainbows | Pitchfork". Retrieved 19 November 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "Pitchfork's Guide to Radiohead's In Rainbows | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  4. ^ a b Atkins, Jamie (22 June 2017). "OK Computer – OKNOTOK 1997-2017 - Record Collector Magazine". Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  5. ^ Pareles, Jon (2006-07-02). "With Radiohead, and Alone, the Sweet Malaise of Thom Yorke". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  6. ^ Osborn, Brad (2016). Everything in its Right Place: Analyzing Radiohead. Oxford University Press. 
  7. ^ a b c "Radiohead announce new single details". NME. 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  8. ^ "Radiohead Launch 'Nude' Remix Contest". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-02-02. 
  9. ^ "Adam Buxton". Retrieved 2018-01-05. 
  10. ^ "Artist Chart History - Radiohead". Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  11. ^ "Countin' Down The Drum Stems! Remixable Single Gives Radiohead A Hit". Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  12. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  13. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  14. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Radiohead Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  16. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Tracklisten. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Radiohead – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Radiohead. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Radiohead: Nude" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  19. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Chart Track: Week 14, 2008". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  21. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  22. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  23. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  24. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". VG-lista. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  25. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Radiohead: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  27. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  28. ^ "Radiohead Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Radiohead remix film-maker scoops art school top awards". 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  30. ^ "OK! COMPUTER SYMPHONY FOR GSA STUDENT". 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  31. ^ Greenwood, Colin. "Nude Remix Fun". Retrieved 2009-04-28.