Following the theft of Radiohead’s entire OK Computer sessions last week, the band has released all 18 hours on Bandcamp, with proceeds going to climate activist group Extinction Rebellion.
Posting to Twitter, Jonny Greenwood explained: “We got hacked last week – someone stole Thom’s minidisk archive from around the time of OK Computer, and reportedly demanded $150,000 on thread of releasing it. So instead of complaining – much – or ignoring it, we’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion. Just for the next 18 days. So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom.”
News of the leak was made public by a Reddit user in the Radiohead subreddit, where fans then collaborated on a Google doc collating info about the sessions. In the document, the group states: “We were one of the first people to receive the leak. Because of this, we went to work right away to timestamp and organise everything.” The statement goes on to explain that they “are not the leakers”, and addresses a rumour that an XL Recordings intern was responsible for stealing the tracks, suggesting it’s “most likely untrue”.
The band’s iconic third album celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017, and was reissued as OKNOTOK featuring three unreleased songs. Though judging by the minidisk released today – all recorded between 1995 and 1998 – there was much more material behind closed doors, including demos, alternate tacks, and early live recordings.
Available for the next 18 days, you can buy MINIDISCS [HACKED] for £18 here, with earnings going to Extinction Rebellion – the climate activist group who recently shut down central London for a week through peaceful acts of civil disobedience.