The Iconic English rock band Radiohead has been making headlines recently in light of a number of their songs and recordings being stolen. To be exact around eighteen minidisc files were stolen from Thom Yorke when his files were hacked into. The hacker asked the band for a 150,000 dollar ransom for the stolen music but Radiohead declined. Instead of paying the ransom the group decided to release the eighteen hours of music onto the platform Bandcamp.
Radiohead announced that they will be letting anyone listen to the songs for the next eighteen days on Bandcamp for free. Between now and then, listeners will have the chance to pay £18 to download all the music so fans can listen to the works after the eighteen day period. All money spent on downloading the works will be donated to the organization Extinction Rebellion, a group that works to fight against Climate Change, the loss of biodiversity, and the potential of human extinction and ecological collapse. The minidiscs contain a number of never released Radiohead works including outtakes, rehearsals, demos, live performances, and songs recorded around the time of their third album OK Computer. Listen to the minidiscs here.
Jonny Greenwood, the guitarist and keyboardist for Radiohead, in response to the events stated that, “We got hacked last week – someone stole Thom’s minidisc 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?”
Though Radiohead didn’t anticipate the minidiscs being released and were pushed into a corner by the hacker, hearing these works is exciting for fans and donating the proceeds to Extinction Rebellion is a generous action. So, in some ways, fans may have to “Hail to the Thief” on this one.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat