Radiohead release stolen recordings

but these “something(s) completely different” is ultimately for me… why any particular music is so meaningful. apart from that i don’t think music has any content – nothing that is self-standing, at any rate.

Now, one can speak of this “completely different” as “social/historical/cultural context” – that points in the right direction, but has the wrong sense as it assumes these contexts pre-exist the music. Rather, the music participates in creating these contexts as well, especially if it is music of any significance.

the ultimate power of music and art, for me at least, lies in their roles in opening up whole new worlds of meaning. these worlds have implications far beyond just music.

It’s just that worlds close down as much as open up, and this leads to the dilemma of how to communicate. when they truly close down, when not even their absence is felt, these worlds enter the domain not of the has-been but of the never-was. How then do we recall something that “never was” — something for which the very disappearance of its language is the precondition for not being able to talk about it?

this is why I concede that true cross-generational(*) communication on the topic of the significance of Radiohead may not be possible… although it’s surely interesting to communicate about the inability to communicate.

(*) and I generally dislike focus on “generations” as it evokes this subject-of-history that doesn’t really apply to anyone, and worse is always a subject of a certain privilege, but it’s difficult to find another term in this case.


I’ve had a quasi-insider view into how things went down as they were happening, and yes, I can say that what really happened is more interesting and complex than the simple narrative of someone extorting the band. I’m just not sure how much I should talk about or in what way, but I hope the full story ends up coming out in a piece somewhere. I know Pitchfork was doing some deeper digging, at least.


Oh, just went to Pitchfork’s site and saw this was up: “Radiohead Fans vs. Black-Market Sellers: The Battle to Leak the OK Computer Tapes”. Haven’t read it yet, but looks like it has a more accurate story.


Interesting write-up, though not really much deeper than what was already written in the google doc.

I do think maybe @p1505 should consider editing the original post here, since the guy who leaked this wasn’t trying to get money from Radiohead and seems to be upset that people think he was. Not that it’s cool to try and sell a band’s personal cache of recordings to other people, but there’s no reason in letting false information linger.


a flippant thought: Radiohead aren’t The Beatles of Gen X. Radiohead are The Beatles of Millenials.


yea… i agree with @ypxkap on no one being the beatles of anything, but if the comparison is going to be made it seems like it’s gen-y aka millenials who are the primary target – people who were entering their teens in the late 90s early aughts. elder millenials and younger gen-x mostly probably, but still the emotional impact tends to be more on the younger people right? who “discover” something at that perfect moment in their life. I think that feeling is part of what people mean when they compare something with the beatles…

How many times can a sane person listen to I Promise?



So mommy’s should tell their preschoolers don’t yuck somebody’s yum unless they are a Taylor Swift (or radiohead) fan (fanatic) because that is not their prerogative? They are not free to make that choice?

“I’ll never be able to articulate just how much she has meant to me. I may only be seeing her public image, her brand, but it’s still given me a lens to see myself. I feel empowered by Swift and her feminism.”

Just read it - yes, quite interesting and the best account we’re likely to get for now. I was something of an unofficial legal advisor to the Radiohead fans in question as they were trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. Steered them away from some inadvisable ideas and towards some less-inadvisable ones. I think the end outcome was more or less positive given the situation, but it could’ve been messier/worse in a number of ways. Credit needs to be given to those fans for managing to deftly and strategically navigate some rough waters, IMO.


Good point, and done.

1 Like

I seem to have touched a nerve. Certainly didn’t mean to.

That stalker… doesn’t sound healthy though.

So yea, still making that distinction. Doesn’t mean anybody isn’t free to make a choice. Even toddlers have some freedom. That doesn’t mean they’ll always act in their own best interest, and it doesn’t mean nobody will have anything to say about it.

1 Like

Yeah, I’m definitely glad this stuff got released, so thank you for your part in getting that done cleanly! It’s so interesting to hear all the different things they were trying out at the time, you can hear ideas for different songs bleeding together all over the place.

Also cool to hear what I assume are some of Thom’s first experiments with more techno-ish stuff. I remember reading a while back that he had a Roland MC-202 or something that he was playing around with during the OK Computer days, so I bet some of those noodlings are what we’re listening to here. I would effing love to hear a collection of stuff Jonny was playing with at the time!

I wish this release had left in some of the idle studio chatter though. I get why they removed the samples of movie dialogue and stuff for copyright, but I would’ve liked to hear them just talking about stuff in the studio.

1 Like

So far well over 300k pounds to their chosen charity in a couple of days.

What happens next with the money is a separate question, but I think that’s pretty laudable.


I only wish someone would hack into my computer and threaten to release all my music–I’d send them liner notes and call them my label.


I was a latecomer to the radiohead thing (post In Rainbows). had many friends who were obsessed, struggled to get past Yorke’s singing voice, just didn’t click, whatever. I had a bad fever for a few days (regularly touched 103°F) and, for whatever reason, decided to dig into their discography. it clicked and I’ve been a fan ever since.

I’m happy to have more slightly looser and live recordings. radiohead’s stuff (especially the last few albums) can get a little…stark? I liked TKOL, but wasn’t blown away by it. the in the basement recordings of that album (using three drummers at times) totally changed my perspective for the better. (conversely, the live video they did of The Numbers, which swaps the live drums for a CR78, also feels more alive than the studio version)

so it’s great to have more stuff to listen to. I once didn’t like radiohead and I still think that was a perfectly fine opinion. so much of what music means to us has nothing to do at all with how good it is.


“Pyramid Song” is one of the most stunning piece of pop music I have ever heard.


yes!! when I think of radiohead, ‘pyramid song’ is one of the first things to come to mind. there is something very soothing about its rhythmic underpinnings - they suggest a form without simply becoming that form


Hey no harm no foul. I’ve read enough of your posts to understand that you are a caring person and I agree that worshiping an artist is not the choice I would make at this stage of my life.

But I can’t judge other folks negatively for making that choice.

People have different opinions and are free to voice that opinion, so it follows that one persons yum is another persons yuck. The trick is to not take offense if someone disagrees with your opinion and be open to change.

I don’t think that Starthief was trying to yuck radiohead fans yum, just offering up opinion subject to healthy debate. Which there is in this thread, as I don’t see the fighting as someone alluded to.

With that said, There is no doubt that fan behavior can be taken to the extreme, but so can a lot of human behavior including far to many humans breeding, and jet fuel addiction.


Amen to that! …


the older i get the more i couldn’t care less if someone doesn’t like something (a band, a piece of art, etc) because disliking things (usually) isn’t interesting. it only limits potential. a reason for someone to like something they might otherwise have avoided, on the other hand, is very interesting. finding new work to enjoy and ways to access art that i otherwise wouldn’t have been touched by is something i’m very grateful to the members of this forum for.

also radiohead is a band i like very much, and i’m glad to have an officially sanctioned way to listen to these recordings.