Not least because ‘Creep’ was written – not by Radiohead – but by two Seventies’ songwriters, Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood.
Or parts of it, at least – specifically the parts that led Hammond and Hazlewood to themselves successfully sue Thom Yorke and Co. in the Nineties, alleging similarity to their soft-rock classic ‘The Air That I Breathe’. (The pair later secured themselves a spot on the song’s credits.)
Just as there’s little new under the sun in music, so there appears to be little new in music litigation – with Radiohead now adopting the Hammond/Hazlewood playbook to pursue Del Rey, claiming her ‘Get Free’ uses “musical elements” found in ‘Creep’.
For their part, the Oxford outfit – or their publishers at least – have refuted reports of a lawsuit per se, but have confirmed that they have been in “discussions” with Del Rey’s representatives since last August. Read: we’re seeking a few bucks.
If Del Rey feels like coughing up in this regard, perhaps she should skip the alt-rock middlemen altogether and throw a few dollars the way of the two original songwriters? Just a thought.
That’s unlikely though, as the singer says her people will deal with the matter in court. And how much does it cost to ‘Get Free’? Given that similar settlements have run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars it could be an expensive outing.
Accentuate the positive, though. If nothing else, this minor side-alley music spat has brought me back to The Hollies’ version of ‘The Air That I Breathe’ – a perfect AOR start to 2018. And, thanks to YouTube, effectively free – but that’s another conversation.