If you’re a tried and true Radiohead fan—the sort that subscribes to the band’s newsletter or at the very least follows the magnanimous Jonny Greenwood on Twitter—then you may have woken up on the morning of Tuesday, June 11 in the year 2019 to an exhilarating message. As it turns out, the band is opting to publicize 18 hours’ worth of never-before-released outtakes from their groundbreaking 1997 studio album OK Computer.
Now, you may find yourself with a few questions at this time. Such as…
What exactly are we getting here? Per Spin (via AV Club), the package will include familiar outtakes (i.e. “Lift” and “I Promise”) as well as never-before-released and live-only tracks, ditto songs that eventually landed on Moon-Shaped Pool. To reiterate, the whole ordeal amounts to approximately 18 hours of music.
When are we getting it? Right away, but only for a period of 18 days (until June 29).
Where can we get it? Bandcamp!
How much will it be? £18, which translates roughly to $23. We know this is a slight deviation from the band’s storied “pay what you wish” maxim, but there’s a fairly good reason here, as you’ll see below.
And why? Well, that’s perhaps the coolest part of all. It was just a week prior to this most exciting turn of events that the members of Radiohead found themselves the victim of a hacking. Someone swiped bandleader Thom Yorke’s “minidisk archive” containing aforesaid outtakes and attempted to wage blackmail upon the beloved musical coupling. If Radiohead did not supply this huckster with $150,000, he’d release this precious material to the wanting public.
So what did the band opt to do? Well, release it themselves, of course! Granted, as stated above, this is only a limited time offer, but it’s still a pretty cool—and vibe-appropriate—means of undercutting the nefarious ploy at hand. All the better, the proceeds from this release will benefit Extinction Rebellion, an activist movement that employs civil disobedience towards the end of environmentalism, particularly to counter the effects of climate change.
The final question: why not? And we don’t have an answer to that one.