Just one week after some of their most sought-after demos and recording sessions were leaked, Radiohead have decided to beat the bootleggers, releasing their own hacked music to benefit charity.
Last week, folks over at the Radiohead Subreddit revealed that 18 hours worth of material had found its way into the hands of hackers.
The material in question was 18 minidiscs worth of live sessions, unmastered tracks, and demos from the group’s period recording their seminal 1997 album, OK Computer.
While a small quantity of this material had been unleashed on the album’s 20th anniversary reissue, fans were undoubtedly aware of how valuable such a leak was.
As it turned out, so did the hackers, who requested a total of $150,000 for all of the recordings that made up this cache of stolen material.
However, after it all leaked online last week, Radiohead have decided to beat the hackers at their own game, offering up the material for a charitable cause.
Taking to their newly-created Bandcamp page overnight, Radiohead publicly acknowledged the hack for the first time, before revealing they were giving fans the chance to get their hands on the material in a rather honourable way.
“We got hacked last week,” the post began. “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?”
Of course, if you’re wondering just what this charitable donation will net you, a group of dedicated fans have put together an exceptionally-detailed list of what these 18 minidiscs contain.
Highlights include a full band version of ‘True Love Waits’, the fabled 11-minute version of ‘Paranoid Android’, a full band recording of ‘Lift’, and a 30-second clip of Thom Yorke beatboxing. Worth it.