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Radiohead release 18 hours of hacked material in aid of Extinction Rebellion

The material was reportedly held to $150,000 ransom.

File photo of Thom Yorke performing of Radiohead performing onstage.
File photo of Thom Yorke performing of Radiohead performing onstage.
Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/PA Images

BRITISH BAND RADIOHEAD have released 18 hours of previously unreleased tracks made during recording sessions for their 1997 album OK Computer.

The release comes after minidisk archives belonging to frontman Thom Yorke were hacked and reportedly held to ransom for a large sum. 

Radiohead has now released the tracks on Bandcamp for £18 (€20), with the proceeds all going to support the Extinction Rebellion climate change resistance campaign.

The band announced on Facebook that Yorke’s minidisk archive from the time of OK Computer had been hacked and that $150,000 (€132,500) had been reportedly demanded 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,” the band said. 

“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? 

Yorke said that the collection was “not v interesting”. 

There’s a lot of it … as it’s out there it may as well be out there until we all get bored and move on.

In a statement, the Extinction Rebellion campaign thanked the band for its “unprecedented support”.

Extinction Rebellion has become well-known in recent months for its protest and civil disobedience campaigns in London and elsewhere aimed at highlighting the inaction of world governments over climate change. 

Radiohead fans will welcome the new material, which contains demos and recordings of OK Computer tracks, as well as alternative versions with different lyrics. 

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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