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Radiohead have released 18 hours of previously unheard material from the making of their seminal 1997 album, OK Computer, after hackers got their hands on Thom Yorke’s private files and tried to hold the band to ransom.
Last week, hours of previously unreleased material from the sessions for OK Computer was controversially shared online.
It later emerged that a bootlegger who had acquired 18 minidiscs billed as ‘The Entire OK Computer Sessions’ was demanding “upwards of $150,000 for the entire set” or “$800 per studio track and $50 per live track.”
Now, the band have had the last laugh by self-releasing all of the material via Bandcamp for the benefit of climate campaigners Extinction Rebellion.
“We got hacked last week,” said guitarist Jonny Greenwood. “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.
He added: “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. Rainy out, isn’t it though?”