Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Radiohead release hacked minidisks after ransom threat

Radiohead release hacked minidisks after ransom threat

The content of the stolen discs is around 18 hours of unreleased recordings from the studio sessions that birthed the band's iconic 1997 album, OK Computer, and today Radiohead announced they are offering the entire collection after the hacker reportedly asked for $150,000 ransom to not share the recordings. According to guitarist Jonny Greenwood, the English rock band chose to release the outtakes as a way to thwart ransom-demanding hackers. All proceeds will go to environmental movement Extinction Rebellion.

Greenwood said Tuesday that instead of paying the $150,000 demanded by hackers, "we're releasing all 18 hours on (music-sharing site) Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion".

When you get hacked and held to ransom you can either cough up the cash or call the hackers' bluff, and Radiohead opted to do the latter. Just for the next 18 days.

There certainly is a lot of it, with the download comprising 18 unnamed tracks all about an hour long each. While Radiohead members insist in both the Bandcamp description and in Greenwood's post that they might bore listeners - "Never intended for public's only tangentially interesting", he wrote - fans seem to think otherwise.

"We've been hacked", a statement on the page reads.

A few selections from the set, which consists primarily of alternate versions of songs from the album, as well as tunes that were not issued until years later, were released on the 20th anniversary reissue of the album, "OKNOTOK". Not a phone download.

"It's not [very] interesting", Yorke himself adds. "As it's out there, it may as well be out there until we all get bored and move on".

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