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Radiohead sells recordings to public after hacker threatens to leak them (scmagazine.com)
359 points by LinuxBender 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 175 comments

It's strange. There's two version of this story going around. Kind of the mainstream media version, and the version from the "hackers" themselves.

Pitchfork does a good job of following up on the second version, which may be the more accurate of the two:



It's probably because they announced it like this.


I am disappointed to learn that Radiohead has an Instagram account.

Most active bands do. It doesn’t say much other than “we’d like to reach our audience.”

Radiohead were pioneers in social media announcements, between the sudden pay-what-you-want digital release of In Rainbows to, as far as I know, inventing social media blackout / cryptic profile picture shenanigans.

My point is only this: If in 1997 you'd told me that the people who wrote OK Computer would later be unashamedly using a world-dominating platform built by fitter happier people whose ambition, I was told, makes them look pretty ugly, I would not have believed you.

Remember you're talking about a very popular band that was making full use of 90s world-dominating mainstream media platforms that were run by douchebags then too.

But now we're in Tool territory instead of Radiohead territory https://genius.com/Tool-hooker-with-a-penis-lyrics

Is your point that I shouldn't be surprised because they've always been hypocrites in this regard?

I’m fully in agreement with you dude. Hypocrisy among artists who take a stand is hella annoying. It’s like the White Stripes swearing they’d never get a bass player, only to get a bass player.

They literally made an album describing in detail how technology was bad for humans and now they are beholden to the same technology they once critiqued.

> a world-dominating platform built by fitter happier people

... I guess I need an Instagram account.

Is that sarcasm or have you just never listened to Fitter Happier?

Angsty young artists either become better adjusted to their environment as they get older, or they die.

It happens all the time as bands age. The inner turmoil makes for great art, but it isn't sustainable.

It doesn't make the art any less real.

Not everyone has Fugazi-esque morals.

Radiohead did when they released hail to the thief.

Fun story: I purchased In Rainbows in order to support this general idea. I think I paid $10.

I never ended up actually listening to it.

I wonder how many other people did the same.

I was a big fan at the time and paid $0, I read later that most people did the same but that a good amount of people did pay money, and the album was more profitable than their previous album. I felt a little bad and later bought the physical copy when it was released. It's either the best, or second best Radiohead album. It's definitely worth listening too.

But it's the best Radiohead album!

I respectfully disagree, OK Computer is the best album!

Ok computer is amazing but I still like kid a the best.

Some people, like GP, or me, might pay for something just to reward a step in the right direction.

Band I don't listen to releasing music I don't listen to in a way I prefer might be a step in the direction towards band-I-listen-to releasing music in a way I prefer.

Basic psychology. Works on pigeons and what not, as proven by B.F. Skinner.

But I am unconvinced when it comes to the content industry, I'm not sure we can repeat the success from the pigeons on them ;-)

They did a garage take/video project called Scotch Mist which is somewhat better.


This version makes a lot more sense than the "blackmail" story I keep hearing on the news. Thanks for the links.

It seems like hacking and then demanding payment or someone releases the data isn't that uncommon / unlikely.

Is there some reason not to buy into that?

Yes this also fits the note on Basecamp: "as it’s out there it may as well be out there".

I don't think they would say this if a hacker was holding it back for ransom.

So the hacker tried to sell it for $150000 but now everyone can buy it for $18.

In that doc there is a "hidden" (white text on white background) msg about the versions being different still.


I'm confused, did the band release the material or did the fake Hoserama?

1. The band had a 3rd party digitize some old tapes.

2. Someone at that 3rd party copied and leaked the data.

3. One of the recipients (or the leaker) posed as Hoserama and tried to extort/sell/release them for $$$.

4. The band chose to release them for $, undercutting the fake.

3. is incorrect. the leaker wasn't trying to extort, he was trying to sell individual tracks. He then just released the whole thing online, posing as Hoserama, to try and save face. So we have had the leaks for over a week now.

> Someone at that 3rd party copied and leaked the data.

Or someone broke into the 3rd party infrastructure and made out with the data. Music-related businesses are not exactly renowned for their cybersecurity standards. We'll probably never know.

Number 2 is pure speculation and you should mention that instead of passing it off as fact.

Sorry, too late to edit. You're right, much of this (all three points?) are speculation/hearsay/guesses. I'm just summarizing what's been reported, I don't have any special inside information.

That clarifies it, thanks. I missed a lot, I must have not read the article entirely.

It's wrong to even refer to them as 'hackers'. There's one 'leaker' and the group of people that first found out about this.

How about we refer to them as "thieves"?

Worth mentioning they are donating all the proceeds to Extinction Rebellion https://rebellion.earth/


Most people would agree that peaceful demonstration to push the government to take (meaningful and immediate) action on climate change is worth a lot more than your commute.

They were blocking commuters from taking public trains though...

They actually backed down from their original - misjudged - planned action of blocking the London Underground.

I agree it seems a silly target, people doing the right thing, but I think their point was we cannot continue business as usual and just hope for the best.

They blocked the London DLR trains instead:


Blocking commuters gets people talking.

Most people? Not so sure. The ones who would agree are probably in that protest. Also in this day and age, these things accomplish very little, and certainly not any government action other than spending taxpayer funds on increased peacekeeping.

If a demonstration is actively blocking people from commuting then it's just harming innocent civilians and only hurting the cause. There are better ways to create change then causing chaos in the lives of people who can't do anything about it.

>Also in this day and age, these things accomplish very little

The thing about this day and age, is that it is generally different than it was yesterday.

The Extinction Rebellion protests have so far been some of the most successful in recent memory, they had politicians scrambling to be the first to declare a 'climate emergency'. Whether the talk converts to any action is another thing, but they have been very successful in raising the political visibility of the issue.

What exactly does declaring a "climate emergency" do? Especially when this is a global situation that requires the most cooperation and changes in countries like China, India, and elsewhere?

Declaring an emergency is a standard method employed by humans to let other humans know that they think there is an emergency that everybody should be acting on.

If I see a fire in the house I am in, it might be in the grate, or it might be on the sofa. If I declare some sort of 'fire emergency', it can help to point out to other humans which of the two situations I think I am encountering and how they might therefore choose to react.

I hope this helps.

As someone who's constantly learning how to be human, I found this helpful.

I'm glad you found it helpful, though if I'm the best guide you can find, you are probably doomed.

I’ve also thought this in the past, and I know basically nil about British politics, but in the States at least, these declarations can control what pool of money you can use to work against the problem.

For example, Trump declared immigration a national emergency in an attempt to use funds to build the wall that he would not have otherwise been able to do so. See the second paragraph of https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Emergency_Concernin...

It's unfortunate when people are blocked from going about their daily activities, but when you are attempting to raise awareness, I think it's a reasonable approach.

Now, while there is no protest without any use of force (whether force of gravity by peacefully taking over an area, requiring force to be removed, or "force of language"), we generally categorise protest as peaceful if force is only used in defiance (you have to use the force to remove me).

Peaceful protest does not equate to inconvenient to everybody (actually, they are usually designed to be inconvenient to get their message across). Civilians are not "innocent" in the sense that they have elected the government a protest is aimed at. How much sympathy protesters will get is a topic of discussion for themselves, and I am sure they carefully weigh that before staging a protest.

If you can't distance your inconvenience from whether the protest has merits, you probably don't intrinsically trust the democratic process ("I know better what they need").

>but when you are attempting to raise awareness, I think it's a reasonable approach.

Seems like "raising awareness" is a convenient blanket excuse for people to do whatever the fuck they want, and blame everyone else if the actions breed resentment that's counterproductive to the original goal.

Where did you come up with "blame everyone else"?

I've also already mentioned it should be a calculated risk on protesters' side: aim to win more people than you lose those who can't empathise with protesters.

I am not saying that all protests succeed, or that I agree with all of their goals, but I stand by their right to inconvenience me in order to get heard (and yes, there were cases were my personal circumstances would have made me furious at that moment, but that would not affect my general opinion of the approach).

Corporations do "whatever the fuck they want" as well, at the expense of our environment and to make themselves a few percent richer. It's a successful tactic and I support the use of it against them.

Do commute through central London? I'm pretty sure i know the answer but its nice to be polite and ask.

If you watch this video[0] where they interview people actually stuck in the traffic, the "victims" seem to be quite supportive of the movement. It's perhaps a biased view from The Guardian, I'm sure some people think like you do, but it's at least evidence of the opposite being also true to some extent.

Regarding what it actually accomplishes, here[1] is an older rundown (from April) of their main requests and the results so far.

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6xT62MZrRM

[1]: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/25/extincti...

Who asked them?

Not to mention, people only agree when they're not the ones in the commute.

Peaceful demonstration is pretty much always worth nothing though.

it'll get worse when you're trying to commute through an extra 20ft of risen sea tbf

Cittion? That sounds like fear mongering bs, and is my biggest problem with the group.

This isn't part of mainstream scenarios, but there are credible studies projecting such a sealevel rise, see e.g this study: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/349/6244/aaa4019

Here's an article on it: https://www.salon.com/2015/07/10/this_is_what_its_going_to_l...

Some predictions are even more extreme: https://phys.org/news/2015-09-fossil-fuel-meter-sea.html

It's probably not the most likely outcome, but it's also definitely not "fear mongering bs", it's part of what science is discussing as possibilities.

You want a citation that sea levels are rising? Or that this will have negative impacts on society?

Here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758961/

How about a citation for what was actually asked to be verified?

I.e. about the "extra 20ft of risen sea"

I interpreted "20ft" as humorous hyperbole here (a serious prediction wouldn't omit a date, naturally).

The recent studies I've explored predict around 50-130cm by 2100. However, I have seen discussions of ~20ft by 2200 and 26ft by 2300 (https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/sea-leve...), alongside more alarming figures (https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-environ-10...).

On the other hand, in the 70s all the studies predicted the "coming Ice Age", which not only didn't come out to be, but turned to the opposite (the global warming).

“By the 1970s, scientists were becoming increasingly aware that estimates of global temperatures showed cooling since 1945, as well as the possibility of large scale warming due to emissions of greenhouse gases. In the scientific papers which considered climate trends of the 21st century, less than 10% inclined towards future cooling, while most papers predicted future warming.”


This is false.

You might be interested to read The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/11584/1/2008bams2370%252E1....

Excerpt: "There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated the peer-reviewed literature even then."

Damn hippies. But rest assured you have not yet seen "the worst part".

Just waiting for them to fly a drone over an airport, then the army can show them "the worst part"

Their methods make he message unclear at best, and combative at worst. A good cause does not excuse acting like an idiot for attention.

If anyone is interested, here's a full breakdown of all the minidisks - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kA8u6UhjbutZ-b7TXzmX4qkO...

The (very good) version of 'Lift' that most articles are mentioning is on https://radiohead.bandcamp.com/track/md125 and starts at 10:13.

This is the version that I was used to, so I was surprised when I saw the video and it was a slowed down, more melancholic version.

It was my favorite song from the band throughout my adolescence, and the only way to hear it was through a live bootleg or otherwise. So I thought that this version of it was just forgotten. Glad to see it is still alive (and makes me feel like I'm 15 again.)

> The (very good) version of 'Lift' that most articles are mentioning is on https://radiohead.bandcamp.com/track/md125 and starts at 10:13.

"Hackers"-way: never listen music online!

    $ youtube-dl -F https://radiohead.bandcamp.com/track/md125

BandCamp has been my primary source for indie music of all genres. It's great to see Radiohead using this platform to share their work.

One example of a label I would have never known about is Daptone Records, from NYC. The Budos Band, Sharon Jones, the Frightnrs and many more great artists have produced really great albums with this label. Sharon died in 2016 but will live on through her work as an artist and through the label she made as long as platforms such as BandCamp support it.

> Sharon Jones

Amazing woman, I was lucky enough to meet her a few years ago. Charles Bradley is gone too, they both made some awesome music up to the very end. I didnt know they were on bandcamp, thanks for that.

Yeah, budos band and sharon jones, etc. are really awesome!

Radiohead was quite prolific around this period. The release of OKNOTOK (and the bootlegs before it) show the band had a bunch of good material that didn’t make it to OK Computer. And now here we are 20+ years later releasing (or hacking) more material.

you speak in past tense. they are still one of the greatest and most influential artists today.

How Radiohead Writes A Chord Progression: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alt9sQepob4

Radiohead and the Rhythmic Illusion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBNvPb331SQ

How Radiohead use Modes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEi9ecBRR_4

How Radiohead use Time Signatures https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76q5wv7kMEg

On a side note, I miss MiniDisk — It was somewhat of the pinnacle of mixtapes with best of all worlds. Tangible, digital, compact, non-destructive and joyfully tedious to create.

That was lossy audio compression.

Hi-MD (optionally) wasn't, but it showed up too late.

2004... late indeed.

Like op said, it compared to a 'mixTAPE'.

Tapes weren't exactly lossless either and pretty lo-fi. With the MiniDisk at least you reached the 44100hz sampling rate which is adequate to store the crispness of most tracks.

I just wanted to emphasize the lossy compression since op stated minidisc was "the pinnacle of mixtapes with best of all worlds". Best of all worlds, excluding transparent audio quality. Big minus imo. I thought it was worth mentionning, for people reading this thread that are less versed in audio.

44100Hz is sufficient to store any audio signal audible to every human studied to date (not dogs).

Exactly, 44100hz is pretty good and minidisk, while lossy, was way way better than tapes... hell, even Chrome tapes couldn't properly store frequencies higher than 16khz.

Anything above 44100hz is just headroom for mixing.

And listening to stuff at 96khz or anything like that is the audiophile version of buying gold plated hdmi cables.

> Anything above 44100hz is just headroom for mixing.

No it's not, you're confusing it with how many bits are used.

Once you are above the Nyquist frequency you can perfectly represent the sample. Any more frequency does absolutely nothing.

But the number of bits of resolution that's what actually determines how perfectly the digital wave form matches the original.

ah, thank you! yes. every bit adds about 6db of headroom right?

Yes, that's correct.

Wikipedia claims that more than 21 bits is pointless for actual playback since there are no circuits that can be that accurate (quiet).

But more bit depth can help with mixing headroom - but you don't need a lot. "24 bits is enough for anyone." © :)

Yes, for playback. For some people there's a lot of confusion about bit depth since it can represent a range of integers (like how the data is stored in a wav file or what dacs process) or a range of floats.

Internally, audio apps typically represent signals as sequences of 32bit floats between -1 and +1.

Headroom has nothing to do with sampling frequency (bit depth do). But it has been explained here already.

While you're absolutely right that listening to stuff at 96khz is pointless, it's worth noting that these high sampling frequencies are useful for other audio applications that are not on the consumer side (like recording, mixing, instruments sampling, and more).

Yeah but playing a disc didn't destroy it in the process.

While they are certainly in a rare position to do this, and public story from their side sounds a bit worse on the leaker, I still have to commend their approach to it.

Just like I had to get their first album they sold online for pay-as-much-you-want to show music labels the finger (even though I am not a huge fan of their music, I am a huge fan of showing the finger to conglomerates that seem to forget their founding roles).

Sure, that was a move out of privilege too, but not many in that position have done it anyway, so kudos to them.

That was revolutionary for me. I was a poor kid at the time, but a huge fan—so I was able to pay very little at the time to hear it. I was able to buy it again later at a fair price.

I still feel bad for choosing to pay nothing for In Rainbows while paying a few bucks for the NIN Ghosts album released around the same time. You can probably guess which one grew on me the most (that isn't even taking into account the musical conspiracy theory of the whole 1 by 1 thing/remixing their own really big album released years before)

You know— it seems that’s exactly why they made it PYYC. I grew up on local music shows like that. Punk and indie and folk stuff.

You’re the target listener in that case. I felt guilty at the time, too. Now that I’m older I understand.

Don’t feel bad. It was intentional.

Fascinating way of gaining the upper hand on your opponents (the "hackers" in this case). Best of all, the proceeds go to charity. Thank you, blackmailers. Reminds me of what Bezos did when some dickheads at National Enquirer decided to blackmail him with disclosing personal data [1]

1: https://medium.com/@jeffreypbezos/no-thank-you-mr-pecker-146...

Right? This is the best way to make the story a non-issue.

A true power move. Not something everyone could do if they were threatened with the same, though.

Seeing as they were never intending to make profit from them any artist in the same situation could easily do this.

It's pure profit, what is nice to see is that they are giving the profit to charity. Now that's really not something everyone would do.

TLDR: This dump proves the Radiohead purposely scrapped a song (Lift) that was going to be a hit single because they wanted to change direction with OK computer.

As a huge radiohead fan, the interesting thing about this dump is that the version of Lift (disk 15 starting at 9:30, but can also be found in other places in the dump) is totally mastered and ready to go on the album.

Fans heard this live a long time ago, but when they released the first recorded version on Lift the b-sides of the Ok Computer 2017, it sounds much slower.

The band stated that they recorded and mastered Lift in 1997, but they knew it would be a huge hit single and they didnt want that for OK computer so they scrapped the whole thing. No one understood this until now.

Other highlights discovered in the dump:

- Karma Police with different lyrics

- Longer version of paranoid android

- Exit Music and True Love Waits used to be the SAME song

If you're referring to the first song on the first disc, it's a combination of Exit Music and Life in a Glasshouse.

yep you are right, it was a typo. thanks

My wife and I were fascinated by a version of Nude from 10 years before In Rainbows.

me too!

Seems like instead of pursuing legal action they're just waiting for the karma police to arrest that man.

Nah, they'll leave him High and Dry. No Surprises, it was top story in The Daily Mail[1] today. Seriously what a Creep. He must feel really Idioteqe now, wondering How to Disappear Completely. It'll be a Reckoner, Full Stop.

[1] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7129011/Radiohead-r...

I don't care if nobody else appreciates it, I like what you did there.

looks like /r/radiohead has arrived

Wow, this will spark a lot of "amateur" remixes and bootlegs. Nowadays music technology is very accessible to anyone who's willing to put in some time.

One would think so, but if you look at the amount of available multitracks vs actual fan remixes made with those multitracks... it doesn't seem like people are very interested in making new mixes of old material.

After reading this I couldn't help but remember an interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono (on the BBC world service in 1980) where John was talking about Phil Spector calling him up after a recording session saying:

whispering over the phone "John....I've got the tapes...I've got the tapes, but there are helicopters flying around my house"

It took them a while to get them back from the guy.

How does a minidisc archive gets "hacked"?

Nothing appears to have been hacked. Radiohead sent a bunch of their old minidisc off to be digitized and someone at the company doing the digitizing appears to just have made a copy of the files for themselves. What we don't know is if that was the person that also released the files or if they handed them off to someone else who then released them.

I don't really get it. How can a "leaker" have any leverage at all? The type of person that will stumble on a leak wasn't a customer in the first place.

If this "hacker" really wanted something lucrative (or possibly fame), they would find a way to procure Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin" - the double album they released a single copy of that was bought by Martin Shkreli. According to Wikipedia, it's the most valuable album of all time.


I won't lie, I'd be quite interested to hear it.

Great marketing campaign. Definitely not staged...

Assuming you're ironic - do you really think Radiohead needs elaborate ruse to release their junk tapes? I had the feeling they're doing fine in their own trippy world. (RH fan, btw)

Interesting they're not DAT's but Minidisc (given the quality difference)

For price and versatility though a minidisc recorder/player wins out

Cool factor, too. I still miss using mine, even though my phone is way more convenient.

My understanding is the Magneto-Optical properties of mini-disc are quite archival. Having retired my box of minidiscs last year, the ones I tried all still played.

The quality was very good, (Could not tell the difference from the CD, Sony optimized compression for quality, thinking people cared about it..then 128kbps mp3s showed up). And discs always beat tapes for convenience...

I found my minidisc player after about a decade in a box. Not only did the discs still play, the single AA battery still had enough juice to power it!

Music people here in Europe liked minidiscs a lot. If the internet had not happened, that’s probably what we’d be using now.

Oh sure, I'm British and have a minidisc in a box somewhere with my old mixes recorded at home. Just that, well, they're Radiohead and DATs were better for audio quality.

I don't think the internet killed the minidisc (internet connected devices only came long after minidiscs were gone). CD-R and flash memory probably did.

> internet connected devices only came long after minidiscs were gone

The CD-R was already there, but more importantly Internet formats had happened. The advent of the internet made people switch to the MP3 as the primary medium for popular music consumption, because it was easy to move on a still-pretty-slow network.

At that point the market went about finding the fastest way to deliver MP3s "from modem to ears". Minidiscs were better than CD-Rs in that regard (they were R/W, compact, and didn't skip; whereas RW formats for CDs were bad, fragile, expensive, and prone to failure), but still nowhere as good as an actual hard drive in your pocket (an mp3 player) with its high transfer speeds and ever-increasing capacity.

In the timeline without the internet, people probably don't care for MP3s and have gone for "something like the CD but smaller and RW", i.e. the minidisc.

I'm not sure, once you had cheap storage, I think many would just start ripping their originals to disk and trading over sneakernet. And MP3 made sense as a way to squeeze more tracks into the player.

Minidiscs came well after CD-R. They were smaller (as was the portable player), held more data (lossless songs), and didn’t skip. The MP3 player that was basically a hard drive with a wheel, and then a phone, killed minidiscs...

The original Minidisc only held 60 or 74 Minutes with lossy ATRAC compression (292kbit/s), so about 125-150 Megabytes per disc.

Media stunt to promote the album? Is there any third party confirmation of this extortion plot?

Doubtful. They are giving all the proceeds to Extinction Rebellion, only selling it for 18 days, and in the past they've sold albums as "pay what you want". This is typical Radiohead.

I mean, a media stunt can be done for charity rather than personal gain, but I'll trust your judge of their character.

But why only for 18 days? Artificial scarcity? Would there be any drawbacks to sell them without a deadline?

After those 18 days the music will probably be available through other means anyway..

18 minidiscs were leaked.

The total MP3 is 1.8gbs. The selling price is £18. It’s on sale for 18 days.

To me it seems clear that they just took the 18 number, decided to own it, and went from there on in everything else.

Prices and window were clearly set on purpose, starting from the number of minidiscs. The size of the originally-leaked material was actually different, so the final one might be coincidental or they might have “targeted” it with strategic padding to be cute.

You don’t have to be a cynic, this is Radiohead - they literally gave away what could have been their biggest-ever album, and don’t really need any publicity to sell out venues.

That’s the bit that makes it smell a little like a stunt. It’s too cute.

Quite. They could have released it for free, and chose to gave a big donation to extinction rebellion themselves. It's not like they're short of cash.


But they don’t make any money on the sales. They are donating all the income to charity.

Why fake a charity? That’s not how Radiohead does things.

When’s the last time Radiohead was in the news like this?

No band makeshifts substantial money from album sales anymore anyway. It’s about concert sales.

Guess who has a tour starting in three weeks?

Every time Radiohead release a new album it makes the news. They don't need to pull fake stunts to get noticed

Not Radiohead. A band who sell out the tours anyway.

Yorke skipped the band’s rock and roll hall of fame induction. That was the most recent thing.

Their tours sell out instantly, they don’t need marketing scams to promote them

Thom's tour sold out in seconds, they don't need any extra publicity.

The only real coincidence here is the MP3 size equaling the number of discs, but I think it’s possible to target a total size with MP3 encoders so that could even be set on purpose.

Additionally, only the .zip of VBR encoded MP3s from Bandcamp totals up to 1.8 gb [0]. The original leak was 1.38 gb.

[0] Screenshot of available formats on Bandcamp: https://i.imgur.com/5Ra1VmS.png

Plus they're granting us the right to download this music, and Ulysses S Grant is the 18th President. It all fits!

Because it's a charity drive. It creates a sense of urgency and people are more likely to donate

This material is only really interesting to hardcore fans, who will jump at the chance very quickly. I bet most sales will happen in the first week, if not the first two days, so there is little to gain from keeping it up longer. By setting an end-date, they also add a bit of urgency for the less-hardcore fans who might be sitting on the fence, using FOMO anxiety.

I can confidently believe that this album was never meant for ‘real’ release and therefore that this is not a stunt.

While the archive has some gems and recordings that many in the Radiohead fan community have heard whisper of but certainly never thought they would hear - it also contains some very rough recordings, some poor playing and singing and some pieces that I’m sure the band find embarrassing and would never choose to release themselves unless forced into a corner like this.

> I can confidently believe that this album

It’s not an album in any sense. These are 18 hours of demos and unfinished takes.

To promote their album from last century? Seems a bit far fetched to me.

Not to mention it's Radiohead. Some of the cynicism in this thread is so mindless.

Radiohead needs "media stunt" to promote themselves?

Not unprecedented. I think Thom himself was in the street handing out promo material for Moon Shaped Pool.

Obviously in this case it's extremely unlikely.

I think this is a fair question, how did a hacker steal data off a minidisk like they claim?

From the pitchfork link in comments:

> Unsurprisingly, Nicholas has a theory about this as well. “The situation that makes the most sense to me is that these minidiscs were digitized by a third party so the band could choose material from them for the OKNOTOK box set, and that someone involved at the third party stole the files and traded them,”

Digitized is an odd word choice. I’m pretty sure minidisc was already a digital format.

Yeah. I guess “digital transfer” might be more accurate.

The hackers leaked a minidisc archive.

Everyone has backups, and some of these minidiscs were probably used in the 20th anniversary OK Computer re-master and re-release (OKNOTOK).

The BBC reported that they had previously been digitised and placed in private online storage. Make of that what you will.

I assumed they somehow came into possession (stole) the actual minidisks.

They were using mind reading techniques to remember what was on the minidisc archive....... Ok, I'll show myself out.

So someone who still a MD now is a hacker instead of a thief?

They probably already had access to the files through their work in a studio or whatnot. Still a thief, but not by literally stealing a physical minidisk (most likely).

The article literally says

"last week stole lead vocalist Thom Yorke’s minidisk archive"

He stole the minidisks.

Wouldn't be surprised if they made the whole thing up. Perhaps they can get more for the content this way. Nice hype boost.

Did you miss the part where they are donating all the proceeds to charity?

No, that's part of my point. They are potentially extracting more value out of something than they otherwise could have.

Also, surely they love being strewn across the news over this. Good publicity!

"For just 18 days, the band is making the sessions available via the online music service Bandcamp for a price tag of £18. “So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom,” joked Greenwood."

So instead of them paying the hacker 150k, they'll make a few million. Brilliant.

A few million they are donating to Extinction Rebellion.

Seems like it was a 'leaker' not a 'hacker' and they didn't even demand anything. Radiohead must be playing this up.

Then why did we hear about it from the band first?

We didn't. Have you read the google doc posted by the people involved?

See here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kA8u6UhjbutZ-b7TXzmX4qkO...

We didn't, the files were originally leaked last Wednesday

Radiohead are hardly strapped for cash...

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