Britpop icons and self confessed ‘creeps’ Radiohead have today made an incredible statement and act of collective rebellion. After having their storage hacked the back recieved a blackmail ransom of $150,000 dollars from cyber hackers or else they would have all their session demos and edits from their seminal Ok Computer album released. The band however “instead of complaining or ignoring this” have made the extraordinary decision to release the music themselves online, with all proceeds going to The Extinction Rebellion.
Discussing the incident in The Guardian guitarist Johnny Greenwood confirmed the news saying “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”
Got to love @Radiohead. Thom Yorke gets hacked and 18 minidisc files of OK Computer sessions are stolen (lasting 15 hours). Thieves demand $150k ransom. What does band do? Releases all 18 themselves for £18 for 18 days with profits going to Extinction Rebellion. Class response. pic.twitter.com/6NkemhTRfT
— James Hall (@JamesFHall) June 11, 2019
When discussing the music stolen and then subsequently released lead singer Tom Yorke said “It’s not v interesting. There’s a lot of it … as it’s out there it may as well be out there until we all get bored and move on.” The tracks have however received more praise online with fans praising the alternative versions of both “True Love Waits” and “Lift”
Discussing the tracks online one Reddit user said “When the band said they didn’t release it because they though they had another Creep-success level song, I wouldn’t believe them off the OKNOTOK version. But this version I could definitely see being a big radio tune. Reminds me a lot of Bitter Sweet Symphony or a thick layered Oasis song from around the period. It seems they played around with the song heaps before finally just leaving it off the record. Same for TLW and MPS, which unlike Lift were probably best left unreleased in those forms”
A spokesperson for the Extinction Rebellion was understandably delighted at the news saying “The climate and ecological emergency demands courage, truth-telling and generosity like never before. We are so grateful to Radiohead for showing us how that’s done, both now and in the lead-up to the April rebellion. Words are inadequate but actions do change the world.“
Hackers steal Radiohead demos circa OK Computer and threaten to release them unless they’re paid off.
The band responds by announcing to fans, in an email referencing the Big Lebowski, that the demos are now on sale and will benefit a group working to protect endangered species. https://t.co/psBySjQO2d
— Corbin Hiar (@CorbinHiar) June 11, 2019
The band first discussed the hack on the website Reddit, saying that “We originally considered pooling our money together, as our enthusiasm over the rare opportunity to share material of such high historical interest for a band we love peaked, but were concerned about the ethics of the situation. According to the leaker, they got the whole 18 hours of material by trading some other rare/unreleased material for it.” The full hacked tracks can be listened to now, with full funds going towards the incredibly worthwhile and significant Extinction Rebellion.