Jonny Greenwood’s Sabotage Plan That Gave Radiohead Their Biggest Hit

Radiohead has impacted the rock scene as a band that experimented with approaches to develop the sound of alternative rock since its appearance in the music industry in 1985. The band debuted with the ‘Pablo Honey’ in 1992 and initially announced its name in the music scene. The second album, ‘The Bends,’ brought them considerable popularity in the mid-’90s, and the following record, ‘OK Computer,’ earned the group international success in 1997.

The band has always impressed its audience by releasing works that will shape the rock world since the beginning of its career. However, among those successful songs, there was one that the lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood hated and even tried to sabotage. Greenwood’s attempt to sabotage it made ‘Creep’ their biggest hit when they first got into the rock scene.

Jonny Greenwood Unintentionally Made ‘Creep’ A Hit

Radiohead debuted with the song ‘Creep‘ on September 21, 1992, on its debut album ‘Pablo Honey.’ The single did not succeed immediately after its release, but it became popular on American alternative rock radio. Following its reissue in 1993, it became an international hit as it resembled Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Beck’s ‘Loser.’ Although the band gained much more achievements with the following records, the track remained the most successful single.

The group members often expressed hate towards this single during conversations, even if it brought them massive success. As The Guardian reported, the vocalist Thom Yorke called it ‘crap’ and mentioned they tired of playing it when the fans want it to hear during the shows. He also noted that he could not understand how people loved that song.

Moreover, the lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood stated in Chicago Sun-Times that he hated the song so much that he tried to sabotage it throughout the recording process. While playing in the recording session, Greenwood slammed the chorus’ opening chords and hit excessively hard on the strings to sabotage the single. However, the guitarist’s efforts so improved the song rather than hindering its release that it became the band’s biggest hit.

Jonny Greenwood told about his sabotage plans:

“I didn’t like it. It stayed quiet. I hit the guitar hard, really hard.”

You can listen to the song below.