Following last week’s leaks, Radiohead have taken matters into their own hands. The band uploaded nearly 18 hours of recordings from the OK Computer sessions, now titled MINIDISCS [HACKED], onto their Bandcamp page, asking £18 (~$22). All proceeds from the sessions will go directly to Extinction Rebellion, described in a press release as “a socio-political movement which uses nonviolent resistance to protest against climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse.”
In the same press release, Jonny Greenwood made a statement on the situation:
We got hacked last week—someone stole Thom’s minidisc 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?
Greenwood is downplaying the interesting content here, but only to a degree. Any fan of the band is going to want to listen to mid-’90s versions of “True Love Waits,” “Lift” and “Nude.” But not every fan is going to want to sift through the hours of Greenwood’s noodling on the synth, the plentiful same-but-different editions of “Subterranean Homesick Alien” or even just the band hanging out to get to those tracks. (Luckily, there’s a helpful fan-made Google Doc that provides as close to a tracklist as we’ll get.)
That said, MINIDISCS [HACKED] is a fascinating document of the creative process behind one of the world’s most enigmatic bands.