Main Index Pablo Honey The Bends OK Computer Kid A Amnesiac Hail to the Thief In Rainbows The King of Limbs A Moon Shaped Pool Thom Yorke Jonny Greenwood Ed O'Brien Colin Greenwood Philip Selway
In early 1996, during the initial OK Computer demo sessions, 'Nude' made its first appearance. This version was released in 2017 on the cassette that was part of the OKNOTOK 20th anniversary release of OK Computer:
An early link to the lyrics of the song can be seen in a page, that appeared in the first version of in 1996. The line 'don't go, you'll only want to come back again' was part of a verse that would be added circa late 1997/1998, but ultimately taken out:
advice for robots

if you feel that/low again.
please try. remain
friends./see next instruction

all in its right being

it willpass
onlypart/not last

saltwater good for cleaning

sentient beings/cold(soothing)


will only want to come back.

not just circle
not just being
(our radiance/andmeaning.)
sorry that didnt write(be there)
when you wanted(be there)
now writing
now saying

please remember all the good things

File/Print.../Print(on my wall stuck for remembering)message ends
As a sidenote, the above piece of text is related to the artwork for an anorak sold by w.a.s.t.e., as the description to this item, which apparently was written by Stanley Donwood, included this: "Featuring the growth of a scary bear and a message written for suicidal robots". The text from posted above is headlined 'advice for robots', and the anorak features the words "don't go", which are part of a line included in both the 'advice for robots' and early versions of 'Nude' (in the verse that was later omitted).
What makes the connection to this song even stronger, is that the artwork features the line "Your home is at risk if you do not keep up with everyone else", which is highly similar to the original working title Thom mentioned in an april 1998 for MTV's 120 Minutes: 'Your Home Is At Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Repayments":

In late 1996/early 1997, during the recording of OK Computer, this page, titled 'stuck in a frozen lake', appeared in It features a text by Thom with notes about songs that were around then. It confirms that 'Nude' was the song's initial title when recording OK Computer, and that doubts about the title only arose subsequently. (The relevant section was not highlighted in red letters in the original page.)
an airbag saved my life* in an interstella burst i am back to save the universe computer drums bass wrong lift* is hard work you been stuck in a lift we been trying to reach you thom the belly of the whale (thanks Rei xxxx) paranoid android* get busy with the shakers while im fast asleep could you stop the noise im trying ta get some rest this the place it wont hurt ever again karma police* girl with hitler hairdo everybodys friend life in a glasshouse phew for a minute there i lost myself i lost myself sit down your safe now polyethelene*will never break down swirly self announcements. stuck in a frozen lake. the penultimate place in dante's hell. last flowers till the hospital*is a sign discovered in oxford -my unhealthy obsession with these institutions. analysts may get the connection. ambulances scream past my house at all hours of the day and night like the confessionals of Larkin's "Ambulan s." let down*in the midst of monster tour the momentum getting drunk to talk bombarded by dangerously high levels of radiation from xray machines. one day, one day... climbing up the walls*both managers and record company are nervous about such a nasty sound coming out of the speakers. this is a good sign. dogwander* bring on another take better than another cake. nude* it is a mans world. and this one is very confused and will have sex with anything woman who comes within a mile radius. but feels bad about it. so doesnt. exit song (for a film)* cannot be listened to more than once in a row. which made recording it easy. or not. but what film? big boots* it was a long time ago and i cant remember. a whole orchestra watching the film and playing along. real life is dull. i am i the white lotus flying off the quay with barbara bach.
(information incomplete)
....>>>>i like the idea of you listening to our recordings with your head resting gently in emptiness. or before going out. or when you've come back. i dont like the scientists breaking down its molecular structure and teaching it in O level chemistry i ont want to have expain it but it worries me stupid. there is a lot of crying goes into making things.<<<<.... the masters tell us that there is an aspect of our minds that is its fundamental basis, a state called "the ground of the ordinary mind." It functions like a storehouse, in which the imprints of past actions caused by our negative emotions are all store like seeds. when the right conditions arise, they germinate and manifest as circumstances and situations in our lives. if we have a habit of thinking in a particular pattern, positive or negative, then these tendencies will be triggered and provoked very easily and recurr and go on recurring. With constant repetition our inclinations and habits become steadily more entr ched and continue, increasing and gathering power even when we sleep. This is how they come to determine our life, our death our rebirth.
The band continued working on the song during the following tour. On september 7th 1997, 'Nude' was soundchecked in Blackpool. This clip shows that Thom is still using the early "thin stewardess" lyrics from the intial studio demo, but the chorus already has progressed to "just when you found it/it's gone/just when you feel it/you don't". This full band arrangement closely resembles both the 1996 studio demo and the later 1998 performances:
On january 23rd 1998, Thom premiered the song live at the Akasaka Blitz in Tokyo as a solo acoustic renditon. At this point it still features another chorus after the "you'll go to hell..." line and an additional verse, that will be taken out later and probably explains the title 'Nude', a connection which is not apparent anymore in the following incarnations of the song, which miss these lines:
don't get any big ideas
they're not gonna happen

you paint your house white and fill it with noise
but there'll be something missing

and now that you've found it, it's gone
and now that you feel it, you don't
you've gone off the rails

she stands stark naked and she beckons you to bed
don't go, you'll only want to come back again

so don't get any big ideas
they're not gonna happen

you'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking

and now that you've found it, it's gone
and now that you feel it, you don't
you've gone off the rails
In april 1998, the song was played four times with the full band at the end of touring for OK Computer. This arrangement featured Thom on Fender Rhodes and Jonny on Organ and Glockenspiel.
On april 2nd 1998, the song was performed in San Francisco. For the presentation here the audio of the original video was substituted by a better recording:
Among other minor differences, the first line of the verse, that would later be taken out, has been rewritten since the acoustic premiere in january. There's also still a second chorus at the end.
don't get any big ideas
they're not gonna happen

you paint your house white and fill it with noise
but there'll be something missing

and just when you've found it, it's gone
just when you feel it, you don't
you've gone off the rails

she kisses you with tongues and pulls you to the bed
don't go, you'll only want to come back again

so don't get any big ideas
they're not gonna happen

you'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking

and now that you've found it, it's gone
now that you feel it, you don't
you've gone off the rails
On april 17th 1998, the song was soundchecked at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. Footage which shows the band fine-tuning the arrangement appeared in Meeting People Is Easy:

The soundcheck clip seemlessly segues into footage from that night's performance of the song:

  Unreleased january 1998 february 1998 03/98 april 1998 06+12/98
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found [4] 01 12 18 13
Motion Picture Soundtrack [1] 02
Nude [5] 23 29 02 13 17
It's unlikely that the band attempted the song during the Kid A sessions. After the OK Computer tour, Thom was turned off completely by the way he used to sing it, which lead to it being put on the shelf for the next few years.

Nonetheless, in early February 2000, it was copyrighted as 'Big Ideas (Don't Get Any)' at Warner/Chappell publishing, so it seems like - for the time being - the band went along with the title they were being confronted with by fans and the media again and again. Since the song was "on the pile" anyway it didn't matter what it was called.
In the seven years between the end of the OK Computer tour and initial sessions for In Rainbows, the song was performed eight times, either as an off-the-cuff acoustic rendition by Thom or as a very under-rehearsed full band performance. On July 4th 2000, for example, it was performed in Berlin as an intro to '(Nice Dream)'.
  Unreleased june 2000 july 2000 september 2000 october 2000
Follow Me Around [2] 30 17
Nude [1] 04
True Love Waits [1] 08
  Unreleased may 2001 june 2001 07/'01 august 2001 september 2001 10/2001
True Love Waits [7] 30 01 16 20 09 14 02
Reckoner [1] 23
Nude [2] 24 03
Follow Me Around [2] 29 07
This piece of artwork, which can't be attributed to a certain period, appeared in the Dead Children Playing book that accompanied the exhibition of artwork that Stanley held at Iguapop Gallery in Barcelona in 2006 (click image for full size):

On August 7th 2002, one of these rare live appearances occurred in Salamanca, when Radiohead took requests from the audience for the first and only time in their career. The song had gained legendary status among fans, and many people shouted "Big ideas!"... At this point the "she stands stark naked/she kisses you with tongues" verse has already been omitted, but the structure still includes the second chorus at the end:
  2002 Iberian tour july 2002 august 2002
Follow Me Around [1] 01
Nude [1] 07
True Love Waits [1] 01
  Unreleased may 2003 june 2003 july 2003 august 2003
True Love Waits [3] 25 05 16
Nude [2] 15 26
Follow Me Around [1] 31
  Unreleased sept. 2003 october 2003 november 2003 dec. 2003 april/may 2004
True Love Waits [2] 09 17
Nude [2] 26 04
Follow Me Around [1] 27
In February 2005, rehearsals for what was to become In Rainbows began. What brought the song back into serious consideration was a new bassline Colin had found, and also a new approach for Thom how to sing it. If it hadn't been for these two changes, 'Nude' probably would have remained unreleased.
On April 16th 2005, Thom performed the song at the Trade Justic vigil in London, which was the first sign that it might be considered for the seventh studio album. It is the first live rendition that substitutes the second chorus after the "you'll go to hell..." line with a beautiful wordless tune based on what Jonny had played in the arrangement from the OK Computer tour. Also for the first time, Thom sings "you paint yourself white" instead of "you paint your house white":

don't get any big ideas
they're not gonna happen

you paint yourself white and fill up with noise
but there'll be something missing

now that you've found it, it's gone
now that you feel it, you don't
you've gone off the rails

so don't get any big ideas
they're not gonna happen

you'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking
'Nude' was one of the titles that appeared on the blackboard the band used during two weeks of rehearsals from september 19th to 30th 2005. At the end of that session, Colin posted a picture of this board on Dead Air Space on september 30th, unfortunately (and probably intentionally) in rather low resolution, so that some of it can't be deciphered:
In december 2005, Ed said in an interview to BBC that 'Nude' would the one song the band got right in the sessions in late 2005. He also mentioned a sparse arrangement and a stunning vocal performance by Thom.
On february 20th 2006, a post on Dead Air Space mentioned overdubs by a string quartet:
However similar these descriptions may sound to the released version, it seems like the song would be recorded again from scratch with Nigel Godrich later.
On march 8th 2006, shortly after sessions with Mark Stent had come to an unfruitful end, another photo of a blackboard (and a perhaps slightly worried Ed) was posted on Dead Air Space. A tour had been scheduled for may and june to escape the frustration of the recent sessions and to breathe new life into the project. Rehearsals for the upcoming dates had begun recently, and this board shows which new songs were at this point considered for inclusion in the setlists. 'Nude' was one of these, and would indeed be played (click image for full size):
Q: "'Big Ideas' has become the great lost Radiohead classic, hasn't it? You've played it live a number of times, as long as four years ago, but it has yet to surface on record. Why is that?"

Thom: "Well, there are a number of bands we could give it to- for them to play it. I mean. Like, I would literally get down on my hands and knees and beg Elvis Costello & the Attractions to do it. Because I know they'd play it much better than us. But I don't have the guts to ask them."
Thom: "We've developed this cool version of 'Nude', which is another song that's been around for ages. 'Don't Get Any Big Ideas' it used to be called. There is an actual recording of that - but whether it's finished or not is something we're going to have to argue amongst ourselves about (laughs). It's fucking tortuous being us - nobody else on the planet would operate like this."
On March 23rd 2007, a short videoclip appeared in the Hodiau Direkton section of The clip featured a line from 'Nude' rolling across the screen. Here are a few screen captures from that clip and also the accompanying "noise", which might be related to a studio recording of the song somehow:

On March 31st 2008, 'Nude' was released as the second single from In Rainbows. It entered the UK Singles Charts at #21 and had left the Top 40 the following week.

The 7" vinyl single was backed by '4 Minute Warning', while the CD single featured 'Down Is the New Up' and '4 Minute Warning' as b-sides.
On April 1st 2008, the band made five "stems" of 'Nude' available on iTunes to coincide with the song's release as the second single from In Rainbows. Each of them contained isolated tracks of the studio version, some of them bundling several tracks. Each "stem" cost 79p and had to be downloaded individually. At the iTunes store this message by Thom could be seen:
Nude Remix

Later the same day Thom also posted about the remix competition on Dead Air Space:
In July 2008, following the European Tour for In Rainbows, the band held a survey among fans to gather data regarding the carbon footprint of the tour. While some participants received a link to the download of a soundboard recording of 'Bangers And Mash' from the first gig in Dublin on june 6th 2008 or a recording of 'The National Anthem' from august 9th 2008, some received a recording of 'Nude' from the second show in Milano on june 18th 2008:
Lyrics from the song were used in the official 2009 tour merchandise:

Live performance #116 during the making of The King of Limbs:
116. january 24th 2010 The Music Box Theatre at The Fonda Los Angeles, CA USA Link
Live performances #117 to #137 during the touring for The King of Limbs:
  The King of Limbs tour (1st half) 09/'11 02/'12 march 2012 april 2012 05/'12 june 2012
Bodysnatchers [20] 28 29 27 29 01 05 07 13 15 14 21 29 31 01 03 05 08 10 11 13
Nude [21] 28 29 27 29 01 03 07 11 13 09 12 17 18 21 31 03 05 08 11 13 15
Reckoner [31] 28 29 27 29 01 03 05 06 07 09 11 13 15 09 11 12 14 17 18 21 29 31 01 03 05 06 08 10 11 13 15
House of Cards [5] 18 21 06 08 13
Live performances #138 to #165 during the touring for The King of Limbs:
  The King of Limbs tour (2nd half) july 2012 september 2012 october 2012 november 2012
Bodysnatchers [20] 11 13 15 29 23 29 30 09 11 12 14 15 16 18 06 09 12 13 16 17
Nude [28] 10 11 13 15 25 27 29 20 22 23 26 29 30 06 08 09 11 12 14 15 16 18 06 09 12 13 16 17
Reckoner [29] 10 11 13 15 25 27 29 20 22 23 25 26 29 30 06 08 09 11 12 14 15 16 18 06 09 12 13 16 17
House of Cards [5] 11 25 22 25 16
  2016 A Moon Shaped Pool tour may 2016 06/2016 july 2016 august 2016 sept./oct. 2016
Bodysnatchers [23] 20 21 23 24 27 28 01 03 17 02 08 26 29 31 06 08 20 21 11 30 03 04 07
Nude [19] 21 24 26 28 03 17 02 08 26 29 31 04 06 21 11 30 03 04 07
Reckoner [14] 20 24 26 17 08 27 31 08 20 21 11 30 03 07
  2017 A Moon Shaped Pool tour march/april 2017 june 2017 july 2017
Bodysnatchers [22] 30 01 03 08 11 14 17 21 06 09 11 14 16 18 20 23 28 30 02 04 07 19
Nude [17] 30 03 05 09 11 14 18 06 16 18 23 28 30 02 04 07 19
Reckoner [14] 30 05 08 09 17 21 06 16 18 28 30 02 07 19
House of Cards [2] 01 18