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18 hours of music from Radiohead’s OK Computer sessions have leaked online

on June 05, 2019, 2:38pm

Christmas has come early for Radiohead fans, and Santa’s been very generous. Almost 18 hours (!) of OK Computer studio sessions have leaked online.

Spread across 18 mini discs, the music files include countless previously unreleased demos, outtakes, live recordings, and unfinished versions of tracks from the band’s OK Computer era. Reddit users have meticulously indexed each disc in a Google Doc, and there are enough highlights to keep Radiohead diehards busy for days.

Update – June 11th: Radiohead have officially released the leaked material through Bandcamp and are donating the proceeds to the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion.

(Read: Ranking: Every Radiohead Song from Worst to Best)

The leaked material features early iterations of “I Promise”, “Airbag”, “Paranoid Android”, “Let Down”, “Palo Alto”, and “The Tourist”. Demos and live radio session renditions of “Motion Picture Soundtrack” are included, as are soundcheck versions of “No Surprises”.

Redditors appear especially thrilled by a previously unheard form of “Lift”. Described as “f*cking nuts” by one fan, it’s thought to be the version Radiohead ultimately scrapped, fearing it would become another “Creep”-level smash hit.

“This version I could definitely see being a big radio tune,” one reddit user said of this “Lift” version. “Reminds me a lot of ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ or a thick layered Oasis song from around the period. It seems they played around with the song heaps before finally just leaving it off the record.”

(Read: Ranking: Every Radiohead Album From Worst to Best)

According to the detailed Google Doc, there are multiple untitled Thom Yorke solo moments and even some beatboxing (!) from the frontman. Additionally, a “bedroom recording” of “Life in a Glasshouse” featuring just Yorke appears on Disc 9.

Interestingly, Disc 14 is said to be sprinkled with snippets of various James Bond soundtracks. The English rockers clearly were thinking of the Bond films well before penning their 2015 rejected theme song “Spectre”.

We won’t link to the leaked OK Computer files, but you can find the Google Doc here and the corresponding reddit thread here.

(Read: Radiohead’s Oral History of OK Computer)

In 2017, Radiohead released OKNOTOK, a 20th anniversary reissue of OK Computer. The collection boasted the three previously unreleased songs, “Man of War”, “Lift”, and “I Promise”. Revisit it below.

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