Radiohead release leaked ‘OK Computer’ sessions after hacker demanded ransom
Last week, 18 hours of Radiohead‘s OK Computer sessions leaked online, including versions of songs that didn’t come out until much later like “Lift,” “Nude,” and “True Love Waits,” as well as unfinished rare songs, demos, alternate takes, live recordings, and more.
Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood now says that the hacker who leaked the recordings is demanding $150,000 ransom, so “instead of complaining – much – or ignoring it,” the band decided to release all 18 hours of the leaked music themselves on Bandcamp. Proceeds go to Extinction Rebellion, “an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse.” Greenwood’s full statement reads:
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. Rainy out, isn’t it though?
You can listen to the sessions below and download them for £18 at Bandcamp.
For way more information on what’s within these 18 hours of music, a bunch of superfans did their research and created a Google doc that breaks down the whole thing in great detail. It includes this statement:
We were one of the first people to receive the leak. Because of this, we went to work right away to timestamp and organize everything. We hope our hard work brings you convenience.
Many of the theories online regarding this leak are incorrect. No, we are not the leakers. No money was spent. No, we did not hold Radiohead themselves for ransom. No, this is not the entirety of the OKC sessions. No, hoserama did not supply the files. The rumor about the XL Recordings intern stealing the tracks right in front of Colin Greenwood as he sat there doing nothing is unconfirmed, but most likely untrue.
We hope this statement answers some questions and misinformation in the community.