So I wrap my brain around the fact that TLC’s classic video for their ‘94 smash “Creep” was actually a do-over, and then I learn mere minutes later that the alternate version below is actually the second of three(!) attempts to get the visuals right.
The official released video for “Creep” is iconic—- so much that Keri Hilson paid homage to it in “Pretty Girl Rock”—- so I already knew that I wasn’t gonna be having any “alternate version” that didn’t involve T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli in silk pajamas before I even hit “play”. While I’m not sure why this surfacing now, the unreleased version is indeed an inferior treatment that was best left in whatever vault from which it escaped.
While the look of their debut album Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip was a huge hit, TLC’s creative team smartly ditched the condoms and technicolor overalls in favor of a sexed up tomboy image for the group’s CrazySexyCool era and thus, avoided having the girls pigeonholed as a gimmicky, one hit album cartoon. There was a lot riding on this “make or break” moment considering it was the first single off of their all-important sophomore release. This unreleased version fails mainly because the styling and concept of the video is an uninspired, more of the same re-hash of what we saw from them during the first album.
“Creep” worked because the song took the group’s sound in a more mature direction and the video mirrored that much needed evolution. Thank goodness fate stepped in because the early versions, had they been released, would have sabotaged the success CrazySexyCool, which wound up being TLC’s Thriller—- bullet dodged.
Check out clips of all three versions of “Creep” below…
And of course, the version that we all know and love in its entirety…
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