Ten Great Hidden Tracks on Albums
An awfully clever bunch of rocket scientists are your average rock stars. Off they head and record an album, something for you to go and eventually spend your hard earned Euros / Yen / Dollars on. That might be all very fine but these crafty little devils decide once in a while to sneak in an extra track, one that (deep intake of breath) is not listed on the official track listing. Naughty. Yip, hidden tracks seem to flavour de jour out there. Here's a selection of ten such memorable 'hidden' album moments, as nominated by various visitors to CLUAS.
Placebo 'Evil Dildo'
Cracker 'I Ride My Bike'
|Ten whole minutes of silence at the end of Placebo's album "Without you I'm nothing" are eventually disturbed by a haunting sound - it's Molko's guitar fading in with a track looped over it. The instrumental starts off hard and pumping with excellent drums and bass and an odd guitar sound that - hauntingly - reminds you of someone moaning in pain. A single beeping noise that punctuates it all and is sometimes followed by a woman's voice saying "Message received". You're not quite sure what the point is as the song goes on. Then the climax of the song - the music fades and the 'message' is played. It was one left on Brian Molko's answering machine just after the release of "Nancy Boy". The immortal, haunting sound of a voice box singing..."I'm going to sneak into your room, and cut your c*ck off....!!!". Pure genius with a touch of insanity. (submitted by Herve Olivieri)
|Cracker's 2nd album "Kerosene Hat" contained a number of hidden tracks, including "Eurotrash Girl" which was in fact the band's 3rd single off the album. However, hidden on track #88 is frontman David Lowery's most powerful song since his old Camper Van Beethoven outfit covered "Pictures of Matchstick Men". Pouring with beads of sweat, you can almost feel the wind on your back as the song drives you through a nameless California highway. Titled "I Ride My Bike" on other compilations, Johnny Hickman's lead guitar is the chief force, loopy throughout the song and but maintaining the powerful hook until the song's thunderous climax. On an album filled with lighter country-tinged fare, "I Ride My Bike" is a stunning climax to one of the 90s better efforts. (submitted by Andrew Olds)
You Am I - untitled
Whipping Boy 'A Natural'
|It's late '96 in New York. Tim Rogers and Russell Hopkinson of Australian band 'You Am I' are throwing up one fine morning when the thought occurs to them - "Hell, let's make our 3rd album a beat record for the ages!". The resulting record - 'Hourly, Daily' - accordingly filters a range of 60s influences through the mix - from The Who to The Easybeats. Right at the end, after 'Who Takes Who Home?', is a direct ode to the Kinks' "Village Green Preservation Society" - "...been staring at you for days, is there a little corner of your heart that I can claim?". It's swinging, it's made to sing along to and - in the true spirit of the independent 60s Rock Man - an invitation to settle down is dismissed out of hand: "...forget it sister, I ain't movin' to the country". (submitted by Ian Stalvies)
|Whipping Boy and the great hidden confessional. Yip, a minute or so after 'Morning Rise', the final track on 'Heartworm', comes to an end your speakers lift to the sound of a bit of reverb and, pretty soon, a stark monologue from Mr. McKee has you shaken utterly from any reverie. 'Today was not a good day for me...' it begins. The raw honesty that follows forms a most appropriate and provoking bookend to what was - unquestionably - one of the most deserving and thought stirring Irish albums of the 90s. If its words don't capture you, the drums and guitar that wall-slam after 2 minutes will knock the required sense into you. (submitted by Eoghan O'Neill)
|This is a really nice track which takes you by surprise at first. It mixes the simple, yet effective, heavily overdriven Deftones guitar riffs with Chino Moreno's superb vocal range. This song puts that to best effect - high melancholic, tuneful and extremely musical singing, and low down dirty growls. This is not only a superb hidden track, but probably Deftones themselves at their very peak. (submitted by Phillip Dunlop)
|You know when a song puts you right there in the location it describes? 'White Bikini Sand' from the Muses' last album 'Limbo' does all that. And more. Close your eyes and listen to it and you're on a deserted beach; nothing but white sand and blue skies and complete quiet all around. Kristin sings "Hold me on the white bikini sand", and you can feel the sun on your skin. Perfect. Oh, and the rest of the album's not bad either... (submitted by Niamh Keogh)
Nirvana 'Endless, Nameless'
REM - Untitled
somebody out there thinks this hidden track (buried 17 or something minutes after the end of 'Nevermind') is perfect
testimony to the power of guitar based rock. Betcha somebody thinks it's a monument to the (ahem) genius of Kurt Cobain.
Betcha somebody thinks it's a musical miracle that succinctly conjures up the whole state of angst on the planet à la
1991. But the truth, if it were known, is that this is a load of indulgent codswallop that no CD player laser should be
exposed to. Just thought I'd let you know. (submitted by Fingers)
(Useless piece of trivia - the first 50,000 copies of 'Nevermind' didn't have the hidden track)
|So, there you are, darlings of the US College radio scene but you've just left your long-serving indie garage label (I.R.S.) for a major (Warner Bros). You're racked with existential doubt about the wisdom of it all. So what better way to deal with it than to slap in an extra unannounced track on your major label debut? Such may have been the motives for REM's unlisted inclusion of a rather memorable bundle of harmony and verse at the end of 1988's 'Green' album. It wasn't short on profound observations either ('This world is big / and so are we...'). Hmmmmm, indeed Mr. Stipe (or maybe he just had seen the future and on its landscape was a cash cow called 'Automatic for the People'...). (submitted by Eoghan O'Neill)
|They may be long gone now, but the Mexican Pets were quite a band in their day. Great guitars and amazing lyrics. Their album "Humbucker" had a great intensity about it. And after its final track ("Used, Getting Used") there's about 10 seconds of silence before the theme from the old Black Beauty TV show (!) comes out and hits you. Oddly enough it actually sounds good. It might only lasts 30 seconds or so, getting disturbingly disjointed as it continues. But very eerie and interesting stuff indeed. (submitted by Reece)
|The Pale were overlooked. It's as simple as that. 'Butterfly' is simple and full of strange phrases but still does the business in terms of emotion. Wry, witty unsung, but still a pop song. A strange if hard to follow slice of oddity that won its listener not on the merits of the normal pop tune but on the grounds of the unusual and twisted (submitted by Dave)
Also make sure you check out the other ten lists:
ten great film soundtracks
ten great one-hit wonders
ten great b-sides
ten great debut albums
ten great rock & pop instrumentals
ten great naff songs of the eighties
ten great cover versions
ten great album openers
ten great Irish singles that time forgot