Hackers Demand Ransom from Radiohead for Stolen Music, Band Releases It Instead

All the proceeds will go toward an environmental activist group

Radiohead
(Photo by Daniele Dalledonne / Flickr Creative Commons)
By Kirk Miller / June 11, 2019 11:54 am

More like not-so-OK Computer, amiright?

Radiohead puns aside, the iconic U.K. band just fought back against hackers who stole 18 hours of previously unheard material from the OK Computer era by releasing the songs officially … and donating the proceeds toward an activist group.

According to the British music mag NME, the previously unreleased material was stored on 18 Minidiscs billed as “The Entire OK Computer Sessions” and featured an array of demos, alternate takes and early live recordings. Highlights included a 12-minute version of “Paranoid Android” and early studio takes of “Exit Music,” “I Promise,” “True Love Waits” and “Lift.”

Radiohead

But this is no Hail to the Thief. Bootleggers had initially demanded a ransom of $150,000. The band responded by releasing the material via Bandcamp, now available for a limited time for around $23. “We’ve been hacked,” frontman Thom Yorke wrote. “My archived mini discs from 1995-1998(?) it’s 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.” Or until we forget about it … Amnesiac joke here.

All the proceeds from these Radiohead sessions will go to Extinction Rebellion, an activist group targeting climate change that’s made some serious waves in England via its non-violent protests.

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