Radiohead responds to 'hackers,' release previously unheard 'OK Computer' material

After 18 hours of previously unheard material leaked online last week, Radiohead has decided to officially release the OK Computer sessions recorded between 1995 and 1998.

The experimental Brit-rock band fell victim to a hacker after frontman Thom Yorke‘s MiniDisc archive was stolen, according to Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.

The guitarist shared a statement to fans via Twitter detailing the attack, claiming that the suspect “demanded US$150,000 on threat of releasing it.”

In response to the supposed threat, Greenwood, 47, announced that the band decided to release all of the stolen material to Bandcamp as 18 different tracks.

Radiohead is now offering what they call the MiniDiscs collection for only £18 (approx. $30CAD), with all proceeds going to Extinction Rebellion — a U.K.-based climate change activism group.

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According to Greenwood, the MiniDisc tapes belonged to Yorke, 50, and were “never intended for public consumption.”

However “instead of complaining — much — or ignoring it,” as Greenwood said, the Creep rockers decided to release it in benefit of a cause important to them.

Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead performing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.

Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead performing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.

Chris Pizzello / (AP Photo

Although some of the songs in question made the cut for 2017’s massive OK Computer reissue, OKNOTOK, most cuts from the more than two-decades-old sessions were “never intended for public consumption,” which is why the group made them downloadable for only a limited time.

The files are available “just for the next 18 days,” revealed Greenwood in the note. “So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom,” he joked.

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“It’s not v interesting,” wrote Yorke, on Radiohead’s Bandcamp page. “There’s a lot of it.”

“As it’s out there,” he continued, “it may as well be out there, until we all get bored and move on.”

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While all tracks are now up for grabs, their lengths range widely and contain a variety of different songs within themselves. The shortest cut lasts 17 minutes, while the longest is a whopping 1 hour and 13 minutes.

Each track contains a number of demos, unfinished songs, band rehearsals or sounds — which for the most part — never made it to OK Computer (1997).

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The MiniDiscs collection is now available worldwide, however, only until Saturday, June 29.

Fans who are interested can temporarily listen to and purchase the files here.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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