Radiohead are releasing previously unheard music recorded during the making of their album ‘OK Computer’ after hackers gained access to the material and demanded a ransom.
The British rock band are putting out 18 hours of “not very interesting” music created when they were making their seminal 1997 LP on their Bandcamp page after frontman Thom Yorke’s MiniDisc archive was hacked and he was held to ransom for $150,000 (£118,000).
The group have given fans the chance to buy the music for $18 or £18 for the next 18 days to find out whether they “should have paid that ransom” and are giving all proceeds to climate change campaign group Extinction Rebellion.
In a statement, guitarist Jonny Greenwood said: “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.
“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.
“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.”
A message from Yorke on Radiohead’s Bandcamp page said: “We’ve been hacked. My archived mini discs from 1995-1998(?). It’s not v interesting, there’s a lot of it. If you want it, you can buy the whole lot here. 18 minidisks for £18. The proceeds will go to Extinction Rebellion. As it’s out there, it may as well be out there. Until we all get bored and move on.”
‘OK Computer’ contained the acclaimed singles ‘No Surprises’, ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Paranoid Android’ and went on to win the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy Award in 1998.