Radiohead snubs OK Computer ransom demand

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. Photo: Getty Images
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. Photo: Getty Images

British rock band Radiohead will sell 18 hours of unpublished music and give the proceeds to climate activists after hackers stole the recordings and demanded money.

A tape of previously unheard music recorded during the making of their third studio album, OK Computer, released in 1997, was reportedly stolen by hackers last week who demanded $US150,000 (NZ$227,000) to return the recordings.

But the band said rather than pay a ransom, it was releasing the music in full for sale with profits going to British climate crisis activists Extinction Rebellion.

"We're releasing all 18 hours ... in aid of Extinction Rebellion," said the band in a Twitter statement signed by its lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.

The band could not be reached for further comment.

Extinction Rebellion, a campaign group seeking rapid action to curb global warming, rose to prominence after it mobilised thousands of people in a peaceful civil disobedience campaign that brought parts of central London to a standstill in April.

Radiohead said its 18 tracks will sell for £18 ($NZ34)  for the next 18 days on Bandcamp, a US website that allows artists to sell their music to fans at their own price.

The sessions titled "MINIDISCS" date from between 1995 to 1998.

- Thomson Reuters Foundation

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