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
Writer(s) Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway and Thom Yorke
Radiohead singles chronology
"Jigsaw Falling into Place"
"House of Cards"/
In Rainbows track listing

"Nude" is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the second single from their seventh studio album In Rainbows (2007) on 31 March 2008.[1] Radiohead first recorded the song under the working title "Big Ideas (Don't Get Any)" during recording sessions for their third studio album OK Computer (1997), but were not satisfied with the results. They performed it several times live over the following decade, and it became one of their most famous unreleased songs, before settling on the arrangement that would appear on In Rainbows.

"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".[2]

"Nude" was first performed live by singer Thom Yorke in a solo performance in Japan in the late 1990s.[3] Radiohead performed it several times over the following decade, and it became one of the band's most famous 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.[2] The song had various working titles, including "Failure to Receive Repayment Will Put Your House at Risk" (as stated by Yorke in the documentary film Meeting People is Easy), "Big Ideas" and "(Don't Get Any) Big Ideas".[3]

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."[2] The band also removed a chorus and added a new ending.[2] They performed the new arrangement, along with other new material, on their 2006 tour before recording it for In Rainbows.[4] Three takes were recorded; the final take was used on the album, with overdubs recorded in Covent Garden, London.[2]

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."[2]


Pitchfork described the lyrics as addressing "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 song's 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.[5]


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.

Chart performance[edit]

"Nude" outperformed Radiohead's previous single, "Jigsaw Falling into Place", reaching number 21 on the UK Singles Chart. 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.[6] 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.[7]


Chart (2008) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 52
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 12
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[10] 16
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[11] 8
Denmark (Tracklisten)[12] 11
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[13] 30
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[14] 7
France (SNEP)[15] 76
Ireland (IRMA)[16] 18
Italy (FIMI)[17] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[18] 8
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[19] 23
Norway (VG-lista)[20] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[21] 25
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[22] 21
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[23] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[24] 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[25] 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.[26] 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.[27]


  1. ^ a b c "Radiohead announce new single details". NME. 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The Music Producers | Word Magazine". 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Pitchfork's Guide to Radiohead's In Rainbows | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Osborn, Brad (2016). Everything in its Right Place: Analyzing Radiohead. Oxford University Press. 
  6. ^ "Artist Chart History - Radiohead". Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  7. ^ "Countin' Down The Drum Stems! Remixable Single Gives Radiohead A Hit". Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  8. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  9. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  10. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Radiohead – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Radiohead. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  12. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Tracklisten. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Radiohead – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Radiohead. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Radiohead: Nude" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  15. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Chart Track: Week 14, 2008". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  17. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  18. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  19. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  20. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". VG-lista. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  21. ^ " – Radiohead – Nude". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Radiohead: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Archive Chart: 2008-04-13" UK Indie Chart. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  24. ^ "Radiohead – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Radiohead. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  25. ^ "Radiohead remix film-maker scoops art school top awards". 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  26. ^ "OK! COMPUTER SYMPHONY FOR GSA STUDENT". 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  27. ^ Greenwood, Colin. "Nude Remix Fun". Retrieved 2009-04-28.