Stewart Smith


Radiohead mix-tape compilation of downloaded VQF audio files recorded to cassette during the late 1990's.

Years before Napster and the global popularity of MP3, Radiohead enjoyed a sizable early-Web fan base. Sites such as At Ease Web and Injektilo* (later merged into Green Plastic) traded rare tracks in VQF format. Downloading a single song over an old modem could take 40 minutes to an hour. At the time CD-ROM drives (never mind CD burners) were still a novelty. This created a tiny window in time where young music swappers were downloading digitally but recording in analog to cassette tapes for trading offline.

Hypoxia is a collection of Radiohead EP tracks, rarities, and live takes, originally compiled just prior to the release of OK Computer (1997) and updated in bits afterward. Some songs have since made it onto proper LP releases, in particular Motion Picture Soundtrack and Nude. (Still waiting on that old favorite Big Boots.) The track listing varied from copy to copy but the overall list follows:

Hypoxia Side A

  1. Banana Co.
  2. Big Boots Man-o-war
  3. Big Ideas (Don't Get Any) / aka. Nude
  4. Bishops Robes
  5. El President (Drugstore with Thom Yorke)
  6. India Rubber
  7. Killer Cars
  8. Lull
  9. Maquiladora
  10. Molasses
  11. Motion Picture Soundtrack
  12. Nobody Does It Better (Carly Simon cover)
  13. Permanent Daylight

    Hypoxia Side B
  14. Phillipa Chicken
  15. Pop is Dead
  16. Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong
  17. Rabbit in Your Headlights (Unkle with Thom Yorke)
  18. Talk Show Host
  19. The Trickster
  20. True Love
  21. Union City Blue (Blondie cover)
  22. Wish You Were Here
  23. Yes I Am
  24. You Never Wash Up After Yourself