March 1995
Length: 4:12
Disc: The Bends | Street Spirit [Fade Out] single | Street Spirit [Fade Out] 2 Meter Session
Tablature: Guitar
Street Spirit [Fade Out] Video

Other Versions:
Acoustic @ Eve's Club - Fake Plastic Trees single CD2
2 Meter Session - Street Spirit [Fade Out] 2 Meter Session

This song was written in 1993, around the same time as My Iron Lung. As Creep is Radiohead's American hit, this is the British equivalent. Laced with Ed's absolutely perfect arpeggios, the track has a mesmerizing quality that links it to the work of Stereolab. With lyrics about feeling like a very small person in an intimidating world, this fan favourite is memorable and timeless.

Without doubt the most emotional track the band have ever created, the song simply does sound perfect. The lyrics detract from the actual meaning of the song, because Thom felt the meaning was conveyed far too strong in how the song sounds. It's about the end, about no hope. About everything you ever feared. To sum it up in a word: Hopelessness. The entire band excels themselves to add subtle touches to the perfect sound. Every single note couldn't have been placed in a better position, and couldn't have sounded better no matter what. This is the greatest fucking song in the world. Ever.

Rows of houses all bearing down on me
I can feel their blue hands touching me
Hold these things into position
All these things will want this world

And fade out again
And fade out

This machine will, will not communicate
These thoughts and the strain I am under
Be a world child form a circle
Before we all go under

And fade out again
And fade out again

Cracked eggs, dead birds
Scream as they fight for life
I can feel death, can see it's beady eyes
Hold these things into position
All these things we'll one day swallow whole

And fade out again
And fade out again

Immerse your soul in love
Immerse your soul in love
Thom Yorke "It was written around the time of My Iron Lung and was one of those songs that completely wrote itself. It was all coming out of this one riff. I love stuff like Stereolab where they repeat riffs over and over again." - Thom

"Really not sure where this came from. I would like it to be a Christmas single, because I like Christmas so much." - Thom

"'Street Spirit' is our purest song, but I didn't write it.... It wrote itself. We were just its messengers... Its biological catylysts. It's core is a complete mystery to me... and (pause) you know, I wouldn't ever try to write something that hopeless... All of our saddest songs have somewhere in them at least a glimmer of resolve... 'Street Spirit' has no resolve... It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end. It represents all tragic emotion that is so hurtful that the sound of that melody is its only definition. We all have a way of dealing with that song... It's called detachment... Especially me.. I detach my emotional radar from that song, or I couldn't play it... I'd crack. I'd break down on stage.. that's why its lyrics are just a bunch of mini-stories or visual images as opposed to a cohesive explanation of its meaning... I used images set to the music that I thought would convey the emotional entirety of the lyric and music working together... That's what's meant by 'all these things are one to swallow whole'.. I meant the emotional entirety, because I didn't have it in me to articulate the emotion... (pause) I'd crack.... Our fans are braver than I to let that song penetrate them, or maybe they don't realize what they're listening to.. They don't realize that 'Street Spirit' is about staring the fucking devil right in the eyes... and knowing, no matter what the hell you do, he'll get the last laugh...and it's real...and true. The devil really will get the last laugh in all cases without exception, and if I let myself think about that to long, I'd crack. I can't believe we have fans that can deal emotionally with that song... That's why I'm convinced that they don't know what it's about. It's why we play it towards the end of our sets. It drains me, and it shakes me, and hurts like hell everytime I play it, looking out at thousands of people cheering and smiling, oblivious to the tragedy of it's meaning, like when you're going to have your dog put down and it's wagging it's tail on the way there. That's what they all look like, and it breaks my heart.

I wish that song hadn't picked us as its catalysts, and so I don't claim it. It asks too much. (very long pause). I didn't write that song." - Thom Phil Selway

"Ed's guitar palying on this track is exceptional and without equal." - Phil
Ed O'Brien
"Jonny's favourite I think. No other way to finish the album but with this one." - Ed Jonny Greenwood

"Our madrigal as written by Dowland and arranged by Scott Walker. My favourite song like the last song on Pablo Honey was."
Colin Greenwood
"Personal fave on a record of 'faves'. What do you mean, there's no tower of feedback/distorted guitars etc.etc??!!." - Colin
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