OKNOTOK, Radiohead’s expanded 20th anniversary reissue of their 1997 landmark OK Computer, came with the usual assortment of B-sides and rarities. At the time the big news was the inclusion of “Lift,” “I Promise,” and “Man Of War,” songs from the era that had previously only existed as live bootlegs. But it turns out there were many, many more OK Computer outtakes and scraps the band could have included. We know this because a treasure trove of that music has made its way into the world at large.
As a user on the Radiohead subreddit points out, 18 Minidiscs billed as the entire OK Computer sessions have leaked online. Fans in that Reddit community created a Google Doc indexing what’s included on each of the discs.
A lot of fans who’ve heard the leak seem ecstatic about a previously unreleased version of “Lift,” presumably the one the band shelved because they were afraid it would be another “Creep”-level hit. And that’s only the beginning. The archive supposedly includes nearly 18 hours of demos, alternate takes, and early live recordings. There are in-progress versions of tunes every Radiohead fan knows and loves, and there are sketches no Radiohead fan even knew about before now. There are unfinished recordings of rarities like “Last Flowers” and songs that eventually came out in wildly different formats, like “Nude” and “True Love Waits.” It’s a lot to consume. It’s a lot to think about. For those of us who once spent long nights digging around Napster for every last bit of unheard Radiohead music, it’s pretty damn exciting.
If you have no ethical qualms about obtaining this music, I wish you the best of luck in finding it. And if you’ve already heard it, let us know what you think. It’s gonna be a glorious day.