Street Spirit (Fade Out)

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"Street Spirit (Fade Out)"
Single by Radiohead
from the album The Bends
Released22 January 1996 (1996-01-22)
GenreAlternative rock
Producer(s)John Leckie
Radiohead singles chronology
"Street Spirit (Fade Out)"
"Paranoid Android"
Music video
"Street Spirit (Fade Out)" on YouTube

"Street Spirit (Fade Out)" is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. It is the final track on their second album, The Bends, released in 1995. It was released as a single and reached number five on the UK Singles Chart, Radiohead's highest chart position up to that point. It has been covered by Peter Gabriel and the Darkness. In 2008, the song was featured on Radiohead: The Best Of.


Songwriter Thom Yorke said "Street Spirit" was inspired by the American band R.E.M. and the 1991 novel The Famished Road by Ben Okri.[1] The song is in A minor with an arpeggiated guitar part. It is one of the first Radiohead songs to feature keyboards prominently, which became a staple of their later music.[2] It had the working title "Three-Headed Street Spirit".[3]

Music video[edit]

The black-and-white music video for "Street Spirit" was filmed during two nights in a desert outside Los Angeles. It was directed by Jonathan Glazer, who said: "That was definitely a turning point in my own work. I knew when I finished that, because they found their own voices as an artist, at that point, I felt like I got close to whatever mine was, and I felt confident that I could do things that emoted, that had some kind of poetic as well as prosaic value. That for me was a key moment."[4]


Peter Gabriel recorded a cover of "Street Spirit" for his Scratch My Back project in 2010.[5] Gabriel recorded the song with the hope that Radiohead would return the compliment by recording a version of his 1982 song "Wallflower" for his And I'll Scratch Yours album.[6] Gabriel alleges that Radiohead ceased communication with him and backed out of the project after he sent the recording.[7] Gabriel said his rendition was "pretty extreme" and had "heard since that the band didn't like what I did with it". Radiohead's record company declined to comment.[8] In 2012, the Darkness released a cover of "Street Spirit" their album Hot Cakes.[9]

Track listing[edit]

CD 1[edit]

  1. "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" – 4:13
  2. "Talk Show Host" – 4:41
  3. "Bishop's Robes" – 3:25

CD 2[edit]

  1. "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" – 4:13
  2. "Banana Co." – 2:20
  3. "Molasses" – 2:27


Weekly positions[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 25
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 5


  1. ^ Thom Yorke "Chipping Away - Brian Draper talks to Thom Yorke", Third Way Magazine', October 11, 2004.
  2. ^ Osborn, Brad (2016). Everything in its Right Place: Analyzing Radiohead. Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Kaufman, Anthony (2001-06-12). "Shooting the "Beast"; Jonathan Glazer Tames the Gangster Genre". indieWIRE. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  5. ^ "Peter Gabriel - Scratch My Back (CD, Album) at Discogs",, Portland, OR. Retrieved on 25 January 2015.
  6. ^ Bassett, Jordan (12 February 2010). "Peter Gabriel: 'Thom Yorke won't respond to my cover of 'Street Spirit'". NME. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  7. ^ Young, Alex."Radiohead’s Thom Yorke “disses” Peter Gabriel, preps “something” in April",, Chicago, IL, 15 February 2010. Retrieved on 25 January 2015.
  8. ^ Rogers, Jude (2 June 2010). "Peter Gabriel: 'It doesn't have anything to do with witchcraft!'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  9. ^ Nelson, Michael."The Darkness - 'Street Spirit' (Radiohead Cover)",, New York, 9 August 2012. Retrieved on 25 January 2015.
  10. ^ "placement". Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. Note: Radiohead must be searched manually.
  11. ^ " – Radiohead – Street Spirit (Fade Out)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.

External links[edit]