Someone stole Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s 1991-93 collection of raw music stored on MiniDiscs, a largely antiquated 1990s digital storage system meant to replace the compact disc but ultimately itself replaced by recordable CDs.
The discs themselves weren’t taken, but the music stored on them — mostly demos and bits of music used for the album, “OK Computer” — was copied and held for ransom.
Pay $150,000, the thief warned, or the music would be released online.
Yorke thought about it — and decided to release all the raw music to Radiohead fans. Roughly 18 hours of music from 18 MiniDiscs, all for the price of $23.
The money would go to a climate advocacy group in England, Extinction Rebellion.
If you don’t want to buy the music, you can stream it for free.
In the end, it’s a win for Radiohead fanatics, a plus for an environmental advocacy group and a big loss for a blackmailer.
The thief wanted $150,000. Instead, he has copies of music now worth $23.
The music is for sale on the music website, Bandcamp.
You can buy and download the contents of all 18 MiniDiscs as a download — which is about 1.8 gigabytes of data for the mp3 version. A lossless flac version is also available, but is a much larger download.