Radiohead Releases OK Computer Archive on Bandcamp After Refusing to Pay a Hacker’s Ransom

Photo Credit: Ralph_PH / CC BY 2.0

Radiohead has released 18 hours of new material from the OK Computer era after hackers leaked the material online.

The release features 18 minidiscs with band material and music from Thom Yorke recorded by himself.  The entire set is not broken into individual tracks and is available for $23 on Bandcamp. For the next 18 days, all proceeds from sales of the material will be donated to climate advocacy group Extinction Rebellion.

Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood confirmed the band suffered a hack in a post on Instagram. He says someone stole Tom’s minidisc archive and demanded $150,000 or the material would be released. Instead of complaining about the hack or ignoring it, the band decided to release the content themselves.

“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 stolen minidiscs contain lots of previously unreleased material and snippets of unfinished songs, ambient noises, and full band rehearsals.

Some Radiohead fans have compiled a track list and annotations since the leak went public. Some non-album songs included in the download are ‘Lift’ and ‘I Promise,” two tracks included on the 20th-anniversary edition of OK Computer.

The Instagram update notes that the material was never intended to be heard by the public.  The download is also huge since the file is not split up into individual tracks. The fan annotated guide is a pretty comprehensive look at this release for any die-hard Radiohead fans. You can find the full MiniDisc Hacked material right here and check out the fan annotated guide right here.

It’s nice to see Radiohead not caving to threats and making the material available to anyone who wants to pay for it. It takes the wind out of the leaker’s sails and gives fans an inside look at a full session.