Radiohead Respond to Leak by Releasing 18 Hours of ‘OK Computer’ Sessions

Ed O'Brien Thom Yorke Philip Selway Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead performs at Madison Square Garden

According to guitarist Jonny Greenwood, the English rock band made a decision to release the outtakes as a way to thwart ransom-demanding hackers.

Instead of allowing the hacker to release the material, Radiohead released the recordings itself on the music platform Bandcamp, allowing listeners to buy the songs for £18 ($23), with all proceeds going to the global grassroots organization Extinction Rebellion.

In a statement, Greenwood said: "We got hacked last week - someone stole Thom's minidisk archive from around the time of OK Computer, and reportedly demanded 150,000 USA dollars on threat of releasing it". "Instead of complaining - much - or ignoring it", Greenwood continued, "we're releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion".

When you get hacked and held to ransom you can either cough up the cash or call the hackers' bluff, and Radiohead opted to do the latter. According to the band, it happened last week, with Yorke suggesting that the files span roughly 1995 through to 1998.

He noted that the recordings were "never intended for public consumption (though some clips did reach the cassette in the OK Computer reissue), it's only tangentially interesting".

Hackers steal Radiohead demos circa OK Computer and threaten to release them unless they're paid off. The album is "very, very long".

The entire archive of tracks has a size of 1.8GB in size and, after purchase, Radiohead will get access to online streaming via the Bandcamp app and can also download them all in MP3, FLAC and more audio formats.

From left, Clive Deamer, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2017.

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