On Sunday, Jan. 7, Lana Del Rey confirmed on Twitter what websites like The Sun and NME had reported: The singer is apparently going to court with the band Radiohead over a case of copyright infringement. The band is taking legal action over the similarities between Rey’s Lust for Life track “Get Free” and Radiohead’s “Creep.” Earlier this weekend, a spokesperson for Radiohead told The Sun, “It’s understood that Radiohead’s team are hoping for the band to either receive compensation or be credited on the list of songwriters to receive royalties.”
This is not the first time Radiohead have gone to court over their first major radio hit. After the song’s release in 1992, Radiohead themselves were successfully sued by songwriting duo Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood for the similarities between “Creep” and The Hollies’ hit “The Air That I Breathe.” It seems the situation has come full circle.
On Twitter, Rey spoke about the situation, saying: “Although I know my song wasn’t inspired by Creep, Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing — I offered up to 40 over the last few months but they will only accept 100. Their lawyers have been relentless, so we will deal with it in court.”
It looks like the 32-year-old singer has a lot on her plate. While it doesn’t take much to hear the similarities between these two songs, Rey claims that her song was not inspired by “Creep.” In fact, the chord she uses (known as a minor fourth), which gives both songs that anxious and depressive feeling, can be heard across many different styles of music. Proving copyright infringement might be a bit more challenging for Radiohead than one would think. In the end, we hope everyone can resolve this issue quickly and go back to making music.
Compare Del Rey’s “Get Free” and Radiohead’s “Creep” for yourself below, then listen to a 1995 performance of the latter track from the Paste Cloud. Last week, Del Rey released a new song with BØRNS—listen to that here.