Last week, a hacker broke into a MiniDisc archive owned by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and stole 18 hours of unreleased tracks recorded during the band’s 1997 OK Computer sessions. The hacker was holding these recordings ransom for $150,000, according to the band.
Then, as guitarist Jonny Greenwood said in a tweet:
“We got hacked last week – someone stole Thom’s minidisk archive from around the time of OK Computer, and reportedly demanded $150,000 on threat of releasing it.
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. 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.”
As Yorke wrote of the 1.8 gigabyte collection: “It’s not v interesting. There’s a lot of it … as it’s out there it may as well be out there until we all get bored and move on.”
All 18 hours are now available on Radiohead’s Bandcamp.
This is the kind of stuff Radiohead fans salivate over, and these sessions have been discussed in-depth on the Radiohead Reddit page, where news of the leak first appeared last week. The 18 hours include demo versions of OK Computer tracks, along with a full-band version of “True Love Waits,” along with a version of “Lift” that was later released on the OK Computer reissue.
All proceeds from the material goes to the Extinction Rebellion, which “is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse,” according to its website.
Fans have even gone as far as to note full tracklists of the 18 hours of material, you can look at the listing for disc one below, as posted on Reddit:
1:39 i promise (portland)
13:06 lift (toronto)
15:39 true love waits
22:13 ‘not for sale’
24:11 lift (san francisco)
28:14 electioneering (san francisco)
31:57 i promise (la)
38:03 airbag (acoustic)
43:14 airbag (toronto)
48:18 i promise (????)
53:11 i promise (toronto)
57:14 electioneering (toronto)
1:00:48 paranoid android