It feels like it was just yesterday that we reported the unearthing of rare pre-Radiohead demos.
Now, another early Radiohead demo leaked to the web; a track that AtEaseWeb users suspect is from the early ’90s. It definitely sounds like it’s taken from that Pablo Honey/The Bends era, leading many sites like NME, SPIN, and STEREOGUM to post them as the real deal.
However, GAWKER is reporting that the songs are most likely fakes.
The leak originates to this thread, where a poster to the /mu/ music board going by “Anonymous” writes, “ask a guy who has an unreleased radiohead song anything.” Pressed by salivating /mu/ trawlers, he explains: “yeah, its pretty good, b side material kinda thing but yeah. ive had it for like 2 years or so now. was supposibly stolen by my friend who used to work for EMI and burned onto a cd-r.”
After teasing the board for a while, the song is uploaded in full, though the leaker says the track title is “Haven’t Got a Prayer/Haven’t Got a Hope.” So how did it go from that to “Putting Ketchup in the Fridge?” Somewhere between 4chan and the great internet wilds, it was renamed with a direct reference to a 4chan meme that involves a screengrab of Seinfeld‘s George Costanza making an incredulous face: “According to several accounts, Costanza’s reaction face was popularized through 4chan’s /sp/ (sports) board in 2011, posted in a discussion thread about whether ketchup should be kept refrigerated or at room temperature.”
So that explains where we get that dumb title people keep retweeting, like lost scripture from the Book of Thom. But what about the song? Might it still be legit?
Probably not. Have you ever heard of a band called Figures? A tipster told Gawker that’s probably the artist behind “Putting Ketchup in the Fridge.” Here’s another Figures track, called “Seeping Nest.” You might see how they could be confused for OK Computer-era Radiohead. Their own YouTube page acknowledges as much: “We are definitely not Radiohead, though big fans.”
After finding out about the Gawker piece Figures made some specific annotations to their video, “We did not write ‘Putting Ketchup in the Fridge?'”; so until the real Radiohead confirms or denies the demo, I guess you’ll have to be the judge: Real or Fake?
Stream the song, labeled “How Do You Sit Still/Putting Ketchup In The Fridge,” below: