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“Nude” is a song by English rock band Radiohead and is the third track on their 2007 album In Rainbows. The song was released as the second single from In Rainbows on 31 March 2008. The song was written no later than 1997, when the band began to perform it live. However, a recording of “Nude” was not included on any Radiohead album until 10 years later.

The song has undergone numerous revisions since its origins in 1997. It was originally known as “Big Ideas”, with the parenthetical “(Don’t Get Any)” often added. Apparently this title was at the suggestion of fans, as the song officially had no title yet, but appeared on some setlists as “Nude” or “Neut”. In the 1998 documentary Meeting People is Easy, singer Thom Yorke joked to journalist Matt Pinfield that the full title was actually supposed to be “Your Home Is At Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Repayments”. A typical version of the song from this period is heard near the close of that film, in a live performance from Tokyo, with both Thom Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood on keyboards and organ. The song was often performed during the final 1998 leg of the band’s tour to promote OK Computer (1997), on which the track did not appear.

After 1998, the band initially planned the track for their next album Kid A (2000), but scrapped efforts to record it; the song did not appear on the band’s next two albums, either. During this period, it was performed only rarely, notably on request at a 2002 concert in Salamanca, but usually by Yorke in solo acoustic versions. Band members professed admiration for the song but said they had not figured out the best way to approach it in the studio.

In 2005, the band began new recording sessions with Mark Stent and posted a list of songs they were working on, including the now-officially titled “Nude”, on their blog, Dead Air Space. This was confirmed in early 2006, when the band revealed that they had been recording “Nude” with a string quartet, and that a new string arrangement had been written by Jonny Greenwood. In June 2006, Yorke and Greenwood said in interviews that the song was effectively finished and on tape in a version they were very satisfied with, barring minor adjustments. After their tour, the band returned to the studio in autumn 2006 to continue recording sessions, this time without Stent, but with their longtime producer Nigel Godrich. On the band’s summer 2006 tour to introduce their new material, the new version of “Nude” was played at nearly every concert. Yet the finished version of the song on In Rainbows differs from any previous version, as although it retains most of its lyrics, it replaces its organ or keyboard-driven state with a dub-influenced bass line and rhythm. The chorus is now picked on electric guitar, and the song features Yorke’s vocal of the original Hammond organ melody at the end of the song.

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.

Edited by eroock on 30 Nov 2009, 01:38

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