Music

Radiohead Leaks 18 Hours Of ‘OK Computer’ Demo Tapes In A Massive Fuck You To Blackmailers

Rather than pay a ransom, they released the tapes themselves, and are donating the proceeds to charity.

Radiohead

Radiohead have released 18 hours of previously unheard recordings from the making of their iconic album OK Computer in a giant fuck you to thieves who were attempting to hold the material to ransom.

A mini-disk archive belonging to frontman Thom Yorke was allegedly stolen last week, with the culprits demanding $150,000 for its return. Rather than pay up, the band decided to sell the recordings directly to their fans and donate all the proceeds to charity.

“Instead of complaining — much — or ignoring it, we’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion,” wrote guitarist Jonny Greenwood on the band’s Facebook page. “Just for the next 18 days. So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom.”

Greenwood warned that the material was “never intended for public consumption”, calling it “only tangentially interesting” and “very, very long”.

Included on the tapes are an alternate recording of the song ‘Lift’ which first appeared on the OK Computer 20th anniversary reissue, a 12-minute version of the album’s lead single ‘Paranoid Android’, and audio of Yorke beatboxing.

Extinction Rebellion, an environmental group that organised a series of protests against climate change in the UK earlier this year, thanked the band for their “unprecedented support”.

“The climate and ecological emergency demands courage, truth-telling and generosity like never before,” said the group. “We are so grateful to Radiohead for showing us how that’s done.”

You can find the recordings on Bandcamp until June 28.


Feature image via Radiohead/Facebook