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OKNOTOK: RADIOHEAD'S RETRO-TIMELY REISSUE

The dystopian future powerfully envisioned by Radiohead on the band’s 1997 landmark OK Computer seems all too soberingly real on the 20th anniversary of the album’s release. The big reveal on the band’s newly retrofitted website that the remastered album will be reissued in several configurations, starting with a download on 6/23, all purchasable through their frequent label partner XL Recordings, contains now-interactive epigrams associated with that unsettling album, like this one:

LESS CONTACT BETWEEN RICH AND POOR
MORE HOSTILITY TOWARDS THE POOR
MORE INDUSTRIES THAT EXPLOIT FEAR

Clicking on the live phrases will eventually take you to the landing page for the album.

How’s this for creative copywriting? Don Draper would approve of the pitch:

Rescued from defunct formats, prised from dark cupboards and brought to light after two decades in cold storage… OK COMPUTER: the original twelve track album, three unreleased tracks and eight B-sides, all newly remastered from the original analogue tapes*.

Inside a black box emblazoned with a dark image of a burned copy of OK COMPUTER are three heavyweight 180 gram black 12" vinyl records and a hardcover book containing more than 30 artworks, many of which have never been seen before except by us, and full lyrics to all the tracks except the ones that haven't really got any lyrics.

Under this weighty tome are yet more surprises: a notebook containing 104 pages from Thom Yorke's library of scrawled notes of the time, a sketchbook containing 48 pages of Donwood and Tchock's 'preparatory work' and a C90 cassette mix tape compiled by us, taken from OK COMPUTER session archives and demo tapes.

To avoid accusations of wilful obscurity, a 320k MP3, 16- or 24-bit WAV download of 23 tracks will be available to you on 23rd June and a download of the cassette will be inside the box. This edition is currently only available from this site and will ship to you from July.

* But why? The original analogue tapes are the highest definition version of the record, and nothing will ever beat them. However, in the 20 years since the original release mastering technology has improved a lot, and with new equipment and techniques we can make a digital version that's an improvement of the original transfer.

With this band and its management triumvirate of Chris Hufford, Bryce Edge and Brian Message, everything they do gohn be cerebral, including the setup. Not a peep about streaming, unsurprisingly. This one's all about ownership and the album as a canvas for expression.

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