Radiohead was breached but, instead of paying ransom, the English rock band decided to release a collection of 18 hours of unheard music on Bandcamp for charity, the band’s guitarist Jonny Greenwood announced on Twitter on Tuesday.
According to Greenwood, someone “stole Tom’s [York] minidisk archive from around the time of OK Computer” – an album from the late 90s – and wanted $150,000 to not release the recordings online. Radiohead did not give in to the blackmail and instead released the music online for 18 days. Fans can either buy it for £18 or listen to it for free through the streaming service, although most content was “never intended for public consumption,” Greenwood wrote.
The BBC writes the 18 mini disks include recordings of alternate versions to popular songs such as Paranoid Android, as well as demos, live recordings, unreleased records and unfinished music, alternative lyrics for certain songs and a recording of the lead singer beatboxing.
Radiohead says “it’s not [very] 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.”
The money will go to environmental organization Extinction Rebellion.
“From the bottom of our hearts and on behalf of the Extinction Rebellion movement – now in 59 countries from the US to India to China, with 348 groups across 248 cities and towns – we thank Radiohead for supporting us so that we can continue to build our already far reaching and powerful movement of non-violent civil disobedience,” Extinction Rebellion wrote on their website.