This horde of material from the OK Computer era is an endlessly interesting chronicle of a band reinventing the mainstream by rejecting it
‘Not v interesting” is Thom Yorke’s assessment of the 16-odd hours of unheard Radiohead music, recorded between 1995 and 1998, that the band have just shared online. Jonny Greenwood was marginally more effusive: “Only tangentially interesting. And very very long.” You get the sense that their hand was forced by a hacker who was hoping to charge $150,000 for the recordings, which were subsequently leaked; the band are now selling them and giving the proceeds to environmental campaigners Extinction Rebellion.
Yorke and Greenwood are absolutely wrong though. This is the holy grail – or perhaps Ark of the Covenant – for hardcore Radiohead disciples, and even has merit for less nerdish fans. It reveals 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. Here are some of the songs to look out for.