Is An "OK Computer" Box Set Imminent? (Update: CONFIRMED!)
Every year music fans speculate over which albums are going to get an elaborate anniversary treatment, whether it’s their 5th or 50th. Over at the Radiohead Subreddit, there is a burgeoning theory that OK Computer is about to receive the special edition release it deserves. It is, without question, one of the best and most influential albums of the last 20 years. When it dropped in 1997, the record marked a permanent shift in the band’s sound and is as relevant today as it was back in the late 90s. Surprisingly, there really isn’t a definitive vinyl version yet, so a proper box set would fill that giant void.
It seems more often than not that an album’s anniversary comes and goes without any formal acknowledgment, so why should we think OK Computer will be any different? Radiohead has never been about looking back and cashing in on past success - I don’t think the word ‘nostalgia’ is even in Thom’s vocabulary. But there have been a few clues that are turning me into a believer.
For starters, “More Fear” posters have been popping up in major cities across the globe with wording reminiscent of “Fitter Happier” lyrics. They are curiously in the same style as OK Computer-era promotional material, and one even features the same words as the 1997 version. And making matters even more intriguing, two meaningful years, ‘1997’ and ‘2017’, are printed at the bottom. Now, this could obviously all be a coincidence and have nothing to do with Radiohead - I mean, a lot happened in 1997, but there are plenty more breadcrumbs to follow, so try to stick with me here.
On top of the mysterious posters, the group is rumored to have just interviewed with a music site (sadly, not Waxy) for two hours discussing OK Computer and strongly hinting that a box set announcement is coming on Tuesday. Granted, all of this intel stems from one confident Redditor, u/bunker_underground, who claims to have the inside scoop but is “gonna protect names and sources and stuff, but, get excited.”
I know, I know… I can feel your eyes rolling, but hear me out on these last few conspiracy theories:
- Thom last year: "I’m tired of releasing music in non-traditional ways.” Posters everywhere before a big interview promoting a release is very traditional.
- The locations of the posters are near offices affiliated with Radiohead’s label, XL Recordings.
- The W.A.S.T.E. website sent all subscribers an email saying they’re “conducting a tidy-up” on their mailing list and users must confirm they still want to receive messages from Radiohead. In the past, when tweaking is done with their online system, it almost always precedes a major announcement.
- Longtime Radiohead album artist Stanley Donwood has been posting Radiohead artwork on his Instagram.
- Nigel Godrich, OKC producer, tweeted a page from his notebook of that era’s recording sessions, so why not look wayyy too far into this?
- Radiohead's calendar is wide open in May, which may be to play some secret shows promoting said box set… Denver, PLEASE!
Our efforts to reach out to Thom Yorke for answers via carrier pigeon have fallen on deaf ears, so I guess we’ll just have to wait ‘til Tuesday. At the very least, I hope we get some unreleased material or even just an email from W.A.S.T.E. with interesting facts about the recording and significance of OK Computer. Now, I’m well aware this may all be fool’s gold, but I, for one, am on the hype train. ALL ABOARD!!!