MiniDiscs (Hacked)

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MiniDiscs [Hacked]
Cover of MD111, the first of the MiniDiscs
Compilation album by
Released11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)
LabelSelf-released; distributed via Bandcamp
Radiohead chronology
OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017
''MiniDiscs [Hacked]''

MiniDiscs [Hacked] is a compilation of demos, rehearsals, live performances and other material recorded by the English alternative rock band Radiohead while they were working on their 1997 album OK Computer. The recordings, taken from MiniDiscs belonging to singer Thom Yorke, were never intended for release; after they leaked online in June 2019, Radiohead released them through the music sharing site Bandcamp for 18 days, with all proceeds going to the environmentalist group Extinction Rebellion.


MiniDiscs [Hacked] contains over 16 hours of demos, rehearsals, outtakes, and live performances recorded while Radiohead were working on their third album, OK Computer (1997).[1] It includes unreleased songs, early versions of OK Computer songs (such as an extended version of "Paranoid Android") and versions of later songs "Lift", "True Love Waits", "Nude", "Last Flowers", "Motion Picture Soundtrack" and "Life in a Glasshouse".[1]


The recordings were taken from MiniDiscs (example pictured with battery for scale).

The recordings are taken from MiniDiscs belonging to Radiohead singer Thom Yorke.[1] They were never intended for release,[1] though some were previously released on the 2017 OK Computer reissue OKNOTOK 1997 2017.[2] The recordings may have been stolen while archived material was being prepared for the reissue.[3]

On 5 June 2019, the recordings were leaked online by a collector who claimed to have traded them for unreleased Beatles recordings.[3] According to conflicting reports, thieves demanded a $150,000 ransom from Radiohead not to release the recordings;[4] however, this figure was instead suggested by the collector, who hoped to sell them to others. The collector released them free after news broke on the discussion site Reddit.[3]

On 11 June, Radiohead made the recordings available to stream or purchase from the music distribution site Bandcamp for 18 days, with proceeds going to the environmentalist group Extinction Rebellion.[5] The official release removed a 12-minute field recording and non-Radiohead material, such as several minutes of a James Bond score.[6] Guitarist Jonny Greenwood wrote that the collection was "Only tangentially interesting. And very very long."[1] Yorke wrote on the Bandcamp page: "As it's out there it may as well be out there until we all get bored and move on."[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
The Guardian4/5 stars[7]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[8]

Pitchfork wrote that MiniDiscs [Hacked] did not "make for an ideal listening experience" and would be of interest to "only to the most diehard Radiohead fans". They observed a "few moments of brilliance (and strangeness)", including Yorke's acoustic songs, the extended "Paranoid Android", and an alternative version of "Lift" that "could have topped the charts".[1]

However, The Guardian felt it had merit "even for less nerdish fans", and wrote that was "an endlessly interesting chronicle of a band reinventing the mainstream by rejecting it ... [it shows] the inner workings of what is regarded by many as the greatest album of the 1990s, showing how they walked alongside and then turned away from the brash Britpop that surrounded them."[7]

New Statesman wrote that "starting, skipping and scrolling" through the lengthy tracks "makes for a surprisingly liberating experience, akin to wandering Radiohead’s subconscious memory palace and occasionally encountering the familiar in a different form".[9]

Track listing[edit]

External document
OK MiniDisc – a fan-made Google document cataloguing the recordings at the time of the leak

Each MiniDisc is included as a single track lasting approximately an hour; the contents are not broken into individual tracks.[9][10] Fans assembled a Google document to identify songs and timestamps.[10]

All tracks written by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Philip Selway, Ed O'Brien and Colin Greenwood.

Total length:16:18:52


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Larson, Jeremy D; Greene, Jayson (12 June 2019). "The best, weirdest, and most revealing moments on Radiohead's OK Computer sessions leak". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  2. ^ Gottsegen, Will (5 June 2019). "18 Hours of Unreleased Material From Radiohead's OK Computer Sessions Leaks Online". Spin. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Hogan, Mark (12 June 2019). "Radiohead Fans vs. Black-Market Sellers: The Battle to Leak the OK Computer Tapes". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  4. ^ Sisario, Ben (11 June 2019). "After 'OK Computer' Demo Leak, Radiohead Releases the Music". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  5. ^ Terry, Josh (11 June 2019). "Radiohead Officially Release 18 Hours of Leaked 'OK Computer' Sessions". Vice. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  6. ^ Kreps, Daniel; Kreps, Daniel (12 June 2019). "30 Must-Hear Minutes From Radiohead's 17-Hour 'OK Computer'-Era Minidiscs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (12 June 2019). "Radiohead: MiniDiscs (Hacked) review – blueprints for the best album of the 90s". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  8. ^ Power, Ed (12 June 2019). "Radiohead, Minidiscs [Hacked], review: an 18-hour Black Mirror episode set in Thom Yorke's head". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Radiohead's OK Computer sessions are a place of liberation". Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  10. ^ a b Blistein, Jon (11 June 2019). "Radiohead Release 18 Hours of 'OK Computer' Material After Leak". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 June 2019.

External links[edit]