Last week, 18 hours of unfinished songs, demos, alternate takes, and more from Radiohead‘s Ok Computer sessions were leaked online. The leaked sessions also included versions of songs like “Lift”, “Nude”, and “True Love Waits” that did not come out until the band’s 20th-anniversary OKNOTOK box set was released in 2017.
Various rumors regarding the circumstances of the leak have floated around since the recordings hit the web. One of the prevailing rumors was that a hacker obtained the recordings and attempted to hold the band ransom for $150,000 on the threat of releasing it to the public.
Today, in a post on the Radiohead Instagram account, multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood cleared the air and explained that the band was responding by officially releasing the leaked material and donating proceeds from the downloads. As Greenwood explains,
We got hacked last week – someone stole Thom [Yorke]’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?
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A GoogleDoc compiled by fans on the Radiohead subreddit explains and breaks down the various elements of the massive leak, though the guide’s creators maintain that they had nothing to do with the leak itself. In a statement on the GoogleDoc’s front page, they explain,
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.
You can listen to all 18 hours of the leaked Radiohead OK Computer sessions below via Radiohead’s Bandcamp page for the next 18 days, or download it for £18 here:
Radiohead – OK Computer Sessions (Leaked) – Full Audio