Gen X and Y just got their Beatles Anthology, basically – and it’s fantastic. Radiohead remind us why we love them with nearly two gigs of demos ripped from (seriously) MiniDiscs.
Maybe it’s taking Radiohead back to the “just a band” phase, but there’s something gorgeous about these stripped-down and earnest productions. And if you don’t want to burden yourself with the 1.8GB, you can stream them to get a rough impression of one of the biggest bands of their generation when … they were developing ideas and didn’t bother to tune their guitars.
Live sets in there, too, sketches, the lot…
All these hours should put you in a fantastic mood:
The amazing thing about this story is, they evidently are kidding about being “hacked” – it seems someone really did try to ransom all these all recordings. (Maybe. It’s certainly a believable possibility.)
— Jonny Greenwood (@JnnyG) June 11, 2019
Of course, unlike the previous generation’s demos, the 90s produced recordings that were pretty half-decent. You’ll hear some charming sounds as mics are moved about, but the quality is pretty crisp – and then you get an in-the-room quality missing in the umpteen times we’ve heard Radiohead’s albums and then various covers.
Heck, even though I run a site that celebrates technology, you might just say the band is even a bit better in this raw, punk format, without all the studio work. There’s just way too much to listen to all at once, but £18 GBP gets you what in the 90s we thought was a big file (two gigs is a lot of dialup download time).
Someone could say something about the value of music here, except Radiohead already have given away albums, so really, this is a slight increase of value? I guess?
Enjoy. And maybe dust off your MiniDisc recorder and go make something.
Oh and – this made late night US TV, so probably the best PR a ransom has ever gotten a band. Colbert!