As MP3 files purportedly featuring tracks from Radiohead’s upcoming album “Hail to the Thief” continue to circulate online, guitarist Jonny Greenwood took to the band’s official Web site (http://www.radiohead.com) on Wednesday to decry the files as “a stolen copy of early, unmixed edits and roughs.”
When the cuts from “Hail to the Thief,” due June 10 from Capitol, leaked last weekend, Greenwood seemed bemused by the situation.
“We’re not angry really,” he said at the time. “Shame it’s not a package with the artwork and all, but there you go.”
But he now says it has become apparent that these versions constitute “work we’ve not finished, being released in this sloppy way, 10 weeks before the real version is even available. It doesn’t even exist as a record yet.”
“So yes, we’re annoyed – the songs are good on the recordings, which you can hear,” he continued. “But we worked on them after this point until we were happy with them. This is why we’re p–ed off – we didn’t give up on them in February (which is what you’re hearing) and it’s just a shame that, to your ears, we did.”
A source tells Billboard.com that album producer Nigel Godrich reviewed the files that are circulating and confirmed they may date from as far back as the first day of mixing.
In the past two days, Capitol parent EMI has sent cease-and-desist orders to a number of individuals who were hosting the files on their personal Web pages. A spokesperson says the company is “taking a variety of actions to make sure the works are protected as much as we can.”
“So of course people will still download them and hear them, I can understand the temptation,” Greenwood said. “It’s not you lot I’m p–ed off about, it’s just the situation I guess. It’s stolen work.”
Radiohead’s past two albums, “Kid A” and “Amnesiac,” were also were available online several weeks before street date, despite the fact that no advance copies were circulated and journalists were required to listen to them at the office of the band’s publicist. Nevertheless, the sets debuted at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on the Billboard 200, and have sold more than 1.7 million copies in the U.S. combined, according to Nielsen SoundScan.