The 90s were characterized above all by their authenticity, carried to the last consequences. This authenticity was the hallmark of this generation that exploded in that society that was gradually turning gray. Suede, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Blur, The Verve, Oasis, The Smashing Pumpkins … I can’t imagine any of the members of these formations copying anyone. Another thing is influences. I do not know if rock is dead, since the social and environmental circumstances surrounding these musicians were unique. Perhaps they were the last blows of the most genuine rock, the last spasms of rigor mortis.
And all this comes up with Radiohead’s alleged plagiarism of The Hollies, specifically the song Creep.
Also by way of introduction, I would say that in art, good art, the circumstances that arise before giving birth to a good work are similar, similar. Creep is Radiohead’s masterpiece, which means absence, dissatisfaction, being on the fringes of life, despair, hyperconsciousness of oneself and that’s when the jewels like Creep come out. The best songs come out in the worst mood conditions …. and I don’t think Thom Yorke copied anything while he was living what his song Creep would entail.
Thom Yorke is characterized by getting into any area to experiment, without even knowing where he gets into. He is not a comfortable artist. His music is totally experimental. Something that still makes me doubt more that it does not even occur to him to plagiarize someone because it is a constant in his life. It does not go with your identity. He seems to start the song as a painting, a sketch that you don’t know where it takes you, until in the middle of the song, the central melody gets in the way. This is how I see Thom Yorke’s art.
In addition, even they were not clear, as happens to all artists, the success that this song could bring. You don’t think about money under those circumstances. Copying requires a cold mind, insensitive to oneself and to other coworkers.
The first reaction I had, instinctively and my basics, but firm insights into the core of what creating a good work of art entails, was discomfort. I heard the song from The Hollies, and at first one hears an approximation to the Radiohead song. Something that can be perfectly given in music. But that approach does not suppose something identical in its composition. The Hollies song clearly zooms in and out of Creep, but they are not the same. If it were plagiarism, we would be facing the same thing. IMHO, we are not facing the same thing. A plagiarism in the nineties? I do not believe it or the other way around.