Radiohead are turning a ransom attempt into a win for the environment.
In a statement posted on the band’s website and social media Tuesday, lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood said they “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.” However, the group did not acquiesce to the cyber attacker’s demands. “Instead of complaining — much — or ignoring it,” Greenwood continued, “we’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion.”
The MiniDisc recordings, titled “MD111” through “MD128,” were, according to Greenwood, “Never intended for public consumption… only tangentially interesting. And very, very long.” The 18 tracks total approximately 18 hours of unreleased songs, alternate versions of songs, and OK Computer demos. Fans have catalogued the contents of each track on a shared Google doc.
Among much more, the collection includes a version of “Exit Music (For a Film)” with alternate lyrics, a full-band arrangement of “True Love Waits,” and an 11-minute rendition of “Paranoid Android” (OK Computer’s lead single), per The Guardian.
The archive will only be available for download for the next 18 days, for $23 (£18), and proceeds will go to ecological activist group Extinction Rebellion. According to The Guardian, Extinction Rebellion thanked the band — which had previously authorized the use of their song “Idioteque” for an Extinction Rebellion promotional video — for their “unprecedented support.”