Radiohead Release ‘Minidiscs [Hacked]’ in Response to Online Leak
Radiohead responded to the online leak of a series of rough recordings from their OK Computer era by making the full collection available on Bandcamp.
The minidisc tracks were recorded by frontman Thom Yorke, with a total of 18 tracks running to just less than 17 hours. The shortest is 17 minutes 52 seconds and the longest is one hour, 13 minutes and 13 seconds; they’re titled from “MD111” to “MD128.”
The collection is called Minidiscs [Hacked]. They’re on sale for £18 ($22.86) for the next 18 days, but the band warned that, with the total size reaching 1.8GB, fans should be prepared to deal with a large download.
You can listen to the collection below.
“We’ve been hacked," a statement on the page reads. "My archived mini discs from 1995-1998(?) … it’s not v interesting … there’s a lot of it … if you want it, you can buy the whole lot here …18 minidiscs for £18 … the proceeds will go to Extinction Rebellion. ... As it’s out there, it may as well be out there until we all get bored and move on.”
Last week, a discussion between Radiohead fans on Reddit centered on a bootlegger who claimed to have acquired Yorke’s collection of 18 recordings and was trying to sell it for “upwards of $150,000 for the entire set” or “$800 per studio track and $50 per live track.”
Guitarist Jonny Greenwood responded by saying that "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. … So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom."
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. And very, very long. Not a phone download. Rainy out, isn’t it, though?”