Radiohead have offered a Christmas surprise for their fans – a new song, initially intended for the latest James Bond film.
The British band, which has not released an album since 2011 amid persistent speculation about new recordings, said it had been asked to write the theme for Spectre, the latest instalment in the 007 movie series.
Sam Smith's Writing's On The Wall ended up as the movie's theme song instead, with Thom Yorke declaring: “It didn't work out, but became something of our own, which we love very much.”
Radiohead have now made their brooding, orchestral song, titled Spectre, available as a free download on Soundcloud.
Many fans expressed their approval on Twitter. Music critic Pete Paphides was among them, writing: "It sounds exquisite on first listen, sensational string arrangement."
Before Spectre came out in October, there had been speculation that Radiohead had been chosen for the coveted task of recording the theme tune.
In July, one bookmaker suspended betting on the identity of the act that had recorded the theme after one punter tried to bet £15,000 on Radiohead.
Bond actor Daniel Craig is known to be a fan of the band, having quizzed Yorke for Interview magazine in 2013.