Nude (song)

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Single by Radiohead
from the album In Rainbows
  • "4 Minute Warning"
  • "Down is the New Up"
Released 31 March 2008
Genre Experimental rock
Length 4:15
Label XL
Radiohead singles chronology
"Jigsaw Falling into Place"
"House of Cards"/
In Rainbows track listing

"Nude" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, appearing as the third track on their 2007 album In Rainbows. The song was released as the second single from In Rainbows on 31 March 2008.[1] "Nude" was written in 1997, and the band began to perform it live soon after. However, a recording was not included on any Radiohead album until 10 years later. In April 2008 "Nude" became their most successful single on the Billboard Hot 100 since "Creep" in 1993.


It is not known exactly when Thom Yorke penned "Nude", but a version of the song was recorded during sessions with producer Nigel Godrich that would eventually produce OK Computer, Radiohead's third LP. Though this recording was originally hailed as a "great success" by members of the band, they eventually soured on it. A few more attempts were made to record "Nude" for inclusion on OK Computer, but the album did not feature the song.[2] The earliest known recordings of the song are sound checks from the OK Computer tour, recorded during September 1997. They feature a slightly different chord progression in the chorus and a different vocal melody, along with some different lyrics.[3] The first time fans were treated to a live performance of the song was during the OK Computer tour on January 23, 1998 in Tokyo, Japan, when Thom Yorke delivered a solo acoustic rendition as an encore. On March 29, 1998, at Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas, Texas, Radiohead debuted a full-band arrangement of "Nude" that featured Thom Yorke on Fender Rhodes and guitarist Jonny Greenwood on Hammond organ (or, more precisely, the Hammond XB-2, a Hammond synth, which can also be heard on early live versions of "Paranoid Android" and "Let Down").[4] It became known as "Big Ideas", with the parenthetical "(Don't Get Any)" often added. Apparently this title was at the suggestion of fans, as the song officially had no title yet, but appeared on some setlists as "Nude" or "Neut". In the 1998 documentary Meeting People is Easy, singer Thom Yorke joked to journalist Matt Pinfield that the full title was actually supposed to be "Your Home Is At Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Repayments". A typical version of the song from this period is heard near the close of that film, in a live performance (from April 17, 1998, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City) and sound check. Bootlegs of performances of "Nude" from 1998 are highly valued by Radiohead fans. The extant recordings from this period are:

Date Location Notes
Jan. 23, 1998 Tokyo, Japan Acoustic; Thom announces "an unreleased song."
Mar. 29, 1998 Dallas, Texas Jonny's organ breaks down before the final chorus...someone in the audience shouts "Free Bird!" while Thom announces that the song is "fairly new" and "doesn't really have a title."
April 2, 1998 San Francisco, California Thom: "We're gonna do a new song that doesn't have a title. We might get it wrong." Colin makes some noticeable bass errors during the first and second choruses, but gets it right in the third one.
April 13, 1998 Montreal, Canada Thom: "This is kind of a new song without a title. This is one for the tape recorder. Don't worry about the record company, just get the tape recorder out..."
April 17, 1998 New York, New York Thom: "This next one is kind of a new song. I haven't really got a title for it. This is about...believing you're actually wonderful when you know it's not true."

After 1998, the band initially planned the track for their next album Kid A (2000), but scrapped efforts to record it; the song did not appear on the band's next two albums, either. During this period, it was performed only rarely, notably on request at a 2002 concert in Salamanca, but usually by Yorke in solo acoustic versions. Band members professed admiration for the song but said they had not figured out the best way to approach it in the studio.

In 2005, the band began new recording sessions with Mark Stent and posted a list of songs they were working on, including the now-officially titled "Nude", on their blog, Dead Air Space. This was confirmed in early 2006, when the band revealed that they had been recording "Nude" with a string quartet, and that a new string arrangement had been written by Jonny Greenwood. In June 2006, Yorke and Greenwood said in interviews that the song was effectively finished and on tape in a version they were very satisfied with, barring minor adjustments. After their tour, the band returned to the studio in autumn 2006 to continue recording sessions, this time without Stent, but with their longtime producer Nigel Godrich. On the band's summer 2006 tour to introduce their new material, the new version of "Nude" was played at nearly every concert. Yet the finished version of the song on In Rainbows differs from any previous version, as although it retains most of its lyrics, it replaces its organ or keyboard-driven state with a dub-influenced bass line and rhythm. The chorus is now picked on electric guitar, and the song features Yorke's vocal of the original Hammond organ melody at the end of the song.

To promote the release of the single, the band began 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 at the remix website. A music video for the song, featuring all band members in slow motion, was made by comedian Adam Buxton and director Garth Jennings for their "Scotch Mist" webcast.

The main strings section and vocal accompaniment is a musical palindrome.

The song was used in Skins as the menu music on the second series DVD. And it was also used in the trailer for Skins series 2.

Chart performance[edit]

Upon its release, "Nude" outperformed its predecessor "Jigsaw Falling into Place" by reaching number 21 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also charted at number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the band's second-ever top 40 hit after the number 34 placement of "Creep" in 1993. "Nude" was the first-ever Radiohead song to make the Pop 100.[5] 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.[6]


Chart (2008) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7] 52
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[8] 12
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[9] 16
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[10] 8
Denmark (Tracklisten)[11] 11
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[12] 30
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[13] 7
France (SNEP)[14] 76
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 18
Italy (FIMI)[16] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[17] 8
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 23
Norway (VG-lista)[19] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 25
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 21
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[22] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 37

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Nude"
  2. "4 Minute Warning"[1]
  1. "Nude" – 4:17
  2. "Down Is the New Up"[1] – 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[24] 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.[25] 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.[26]


  1. ^ a b c "Radiohead announce new single details". NME. 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Nude". Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ "Jonny Greenwood Keyboard Synthesizers". The King of Gear. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Artist Chart History - Radiohead". Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  6. ^ "Countin’ Down The Drum Stems! Remixable Single Gives Radiohead A Hit". Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  7. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  8. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  9. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Radiohead – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Radiohead. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  11. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Tracklisten. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Radiohead – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Radiohead. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Radiohead: Nude" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  14. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Chart Track: Week 14, 2008". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  16. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  17. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  18. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  19. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". VG-lista. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  20. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Radiohead: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Archive Chart: 2008-04-13" UK Indie Chart. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Radiohead – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Radiohead. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  24. ^ "Radiohead remix film-maker scoops art school top awards". 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  25. ^ "OK! COMPUTER SYMPHONY FOR GSA STUDENT". 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  26. ^ Greenwood, Colin. "Nude Remix Fun". Retrieved 2009-04-28.