Radiohead Release 18 Hours of ‘OK Computer’ Material After Leak
Band will donate proceeds from sales to climate change activists Extinction Rebellion
The release comprises 18 minidiscs that feature both full band material and music frontman Thom Yorke recorded by himself. The entire set — which has not been broken into individual tracks — is available to purchase for £18, or about $23, for the next 18 days with all proceeds benefitting the climate change advocacy group Extinction Rebellion.
In a note on the band’s Instagram, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood confirmed that the band had been hacked, writing “someone stole Thom’s minidisk archive from around the time of OK Computer, and reportedly demanded $150,000 on threat of releasing it. So instead of complaining — much — or ignoring it, we’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion… So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom.” (The title of Greenwood’s note, “Walter Sobchack vs Bunny’s toe,” is a cheeky reference to the ransom plot in The Big Lebowski.)
According to Spin, the minidiscs do contain a trove of previously unreleased material, including snippets of unfinished songs, ambient noises, full band rehearsals and demos (following the initial leak, Radiohead fans compiled a comprehensive track list complete with descriptions, annotations and made-up song titles when necessary). The collection also includes some non-album songs, such as “Lift” and “I Promise,” that were included on the 20th anniversary edition of OK Computer, released in 2017.
Greenwood closed his note by writing the material on the minidiscs was “Never intended for public consumption (though some clips did reach the cassette in the OK Computer reissue) it’s only tangentially interesting. And very, very long. Not a phone download. Rainy out, isn’t it though?”