1980s Radiohead demo cassette sells for £6,000

The cassette features unheard tracks and a handwritten note from Thom Yorke.

A demo cassette recorded by Radiohead, from either 1987 or 1988, when the band was still known as On A Friday, has sold at auction for £6,000.

The cassette demo, named Gripe, comes with an inlay card drawn by frontman Thom Yorke. On its reverse are liner notes, that read “before the ones overleaf are the following (most recent recordings 1989) Promise Me (Thom), Body(?) in a box (Colin/Thom), These are the Chains (Thom).”

These three tracks are previously unheard and undocumented. Alongside these, the cassette features Happy Song, To Be A Brilliant Light and Sinking Ship, all also detailed on the inlay card.

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The tape was recorded while Radiohead were still at Abingdon School, and was recorded at Woodworm Studios, Oxfordshire. Its credits list Thom Yorke and Ed O’Brien on vocals and guitar, Phil Selway on drums, Jon Greenwood on keys, viola and harmonica, with Colin Greenwood on bass, Raz Petersen on lead alto sax, with Liz and Charlotte cotton on alto sax.

The sale was hosted by Omega Auctions, which calls it, quite correctly, “an incredible piece of Radiohead early recording history!” You can see the full listing here.

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