Radiohead defies hackers, releases trove of stolen music

Radiohead uploaded the 1.8-gigabyte collection of recording session outtakes and rare live performances on their radiohead.bandcamp.com website.

Radiohead uploaded the 1.8-gigabyte collection of recording session outtakes and rare live performances on their radiohead.bandcamp.com website.

AFP/Jack Guez

LONDON - Alternative rock legends Radiohead released an 18-hour trove of private recordings from their 1997 album "OK Computer" after getting hacked by someone seeking a ransom of $150,000 for the music.

The genre-banding English musicians uploaded the 1.8-gigabyte collection of recording session outtakes and rare live performances on their radiohead.bandcamp.com website.

The songs can be accessed online for free.

The group is also selling downloads of an album of the 18 hacked MiniDiscs for £18 ($22.90, 20.20 euros) and donating the proceeds to the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group.

"We've been hacked," frontman Thom Yorke's wrote on the website.

"It’s not v interesting," he added. "As it’s out there it may as well be out there, until we all get bored and move on."

Guitarist Jonny Greenwood later tweeted a statement saying the hack occurred last week.

"Someone stole Thom's minidisk archive from around the time of OK Computer, and reportedly demanded $150,000 on threat of releasing it," Greenwood wrote.

"So instead of complaining -- much -- or ignoring it, we're releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion," he wrote.

News of the hack first emerged on a Radiohead discussion page of the Reddit website last week.

"This is a bit of a doozy," a user identified only as u/santicol wrote.

The user described how someone claiming to have the archive came in contact with a "well-known leaker" and offered them previews of the tracks.

"They were asking upwards of $150,000 for the entire set, at $800 per studio track and $50 per live track," the Reddit user wrote.

The collection includes demo versions of "OK Computer" music and a few songs that never made the cut.

Source
AFP