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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the field of recorded music, a hidden track (sometimes called a secret track) is a piece of music that has been placed on a CD, audio cassette, LP record or other recorded medium in such a way as to avoid detection by the casual listener. In some cases, the piece of music may simply have been left off the track listing, while in other cases more elaborate methods are used. In rare cases a "hidden track" is actually the result of an error that occurred during the mastering stage of the record's production.[citation needed]

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A vinyl record may be double-grooved, with the second groove containing the hidden tracks. Examples of double-grooving include Monty Python's "three-sided" Matching Tie and Handkerchief, Tool's Opiate EP[1] and Mr. Bungle's Disco Volante.

On indexed media such as compact discs, double-grooving cannot be used, but there are additional methods of hiding tracks, such as:

  • Similar to the above example, having the song as a separate unlisted track with its own index point.
  • Placing the song after another track (usually, but not necessarily, the last track on the album), following a long period of silence. For example, Nirvana's song "Endless, Nameless" was included as a hidden track in this way on their 1991 CD Nevermind, after 10 minutes of complete silence.[2][3] Although it was not the first hidden track to use this technique, this hidden song gained significant attention.[4]
  • Placing the song in the pregap of the first track, so that the CD must first be cued to the track, and then manually back-scanned; these are often referred to as Track 0[5] or Hidden Track One Audio (HTOA).[6] A CD player will not play these tracks without manual intervention, and some models (including computers) are unable to read such content. On Super Furry Animals third album, Guerrilla, "The Citizens Band" is found in the pre-gap approximately 5 minutes before the beginning of track 1. The song's lyrics are printed on the interior of the cardboard outer sleeve of the CD - essentially rendering them inaccessible without taking the sleeve apart. See List of albums with tracks hidden in the pregap.
  • Placing the song in pregaps on other tracks on the album.
  • Using many short tracks of silence before the hidden track.[5] On Lazlo Bane's debut album 11 Transistor the eleventh song "Miday Train" is followed by 57 silent tracks 4 seconds each, with "Prada Wallet" (sometimes referred to as "The Birthday Song") being the 69th track on the album. The total length of silence between two songs is 3:48.[7]
  • Making the track playable only through a computer, such as the "15th" track on Marilyn Manson's Mechanical Animals album, which can only be accessed through an Enhanced CD executable.
  • Hide the song in a mixed or distorted way which must be undone to play it. For example, on a DVD included with the deluxe and "ultra-deluxe" editions of Nine Inch Nails's Ghosts I–IV, two hidden bonus tracks ("37 Ghosts" and "38 Ghosts") are included as digital multitrack files, from which the songs may be reconstructed.

It is occasionally unclear whether a piece of music is "hidden." For example, "Her Majesty", which is preceded by fourteen seconds of silence, was originally unlisted on The Beatles' Abbey Road but is listed on current versions of the album.[8] This is one of the first instances of a hidden track. The song snippet at the end of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is considered by some to be a hidden track, by others to be noise not worthy of such a designation, and by others to be part of "A Day in the Life".[9]


  • Aaliyah's self-titled album Aaliyah features the hidden song "Messed Up" on track 15. During the stages of the album creation Aaliyah had no desire to put this song on the album but after numerous inquiries from different labels and colleagues she decided on making it a hidden track.[10]
  • In some rare cases, it is used to avoid legal issues. An example is Ramones' Loco Live American version, which has the song "Carbona Not Glue" hidden after "Pet Sematary" on track 17. It was originally recorded on their album Leave Home, but the makers of the spot remover Carbona, a registered trademark, objected. Therefore, reference to the song was removed from the album and cover.[11]
  • "Freedom" by Paul McCartney was a hidden track on the original release of Driving Rain. It was later added as a track on the re-release. The track was not meant to be hidden; it was a tribute to 9/11 victims and McCartney wanted it on the album. The artwork was already done, so it was a hidden track.[12]
  • "Train in Vain" by The Clash, which appears at the end of London Calling, was left out of the vinyl's track listing simply because it was a last-minute addition to the album, when the sleeves were already printed. It is thus not a real hidden track. It was originally intended as a promotional giveaway for NME. The later CD versions list the track on the sleeve.[13]
  • Green Day's "All By Myself" (by drummer Tré Cool) was added as a secret song to Dookie due to the low sound quality of the original live recording.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Bite Me" from the album Off the Deep End was put on after ten minutes of silence to scare listeners who had forgotten to turn off the CD player.[14] It was also a loose parody of "Endless, Nameless" by Nirvana. The cover of Off the Deep End is also a parody of the album containing that track, Nevermind, and its first track is a parody of that album's first track, "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
  • The X-Files: The Album, features a hidden track at 10 minutes and 13 seconds into the final track. The track consists of series creator Chris Carter explaining the series mythology and meaning behind the alien conspiracy. The hidden track even includes spoilers and minute details in the show's overall plot that had not yet been resolved on the show itself when the album was released. This track was included as both a surprise to devoted fans who would seek out answers in cross-promotional merchandise and as a mystery to new fans who would need to watch the show more closely to better understand the track.[15]
  • Eugene Mirman's album The Absurd Night Club Comedy of Eugene Mirman includes a hidden track making fun of hidden tracks and telling the listener that he or she has a very bizarre mission.[16]
  • The Jam's All Mod Cons does not list the song "English Rose" and its lyrics on original vinyl copies because Paul Weller believed the title and song lose meaning without accompanying music. They have been added to re-releases of the album.
  • Skip Spence's "Land of the Sun" was included as a hidden track by producer Bill Bentley to specifically close a tribute album to Spence, More Oar: A Tribute to the Skip Spence Album.[17]
  • Oasis' compilation album, Time Flies, features the single "Sunday Morning Call" as a hidden track. The album was an anthology of all of the band's singles, but principal songwriter Noel Gallagher openly detests the song[18] and decided to hide the song.

Notable hidden tracks

Sometimes hidden tracks have become well known and received radio airplay, and occasionally climbed the charts.

See also


  1. ^ "The Tool FAQ". Archived from the original on 2007-03-04. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  2. ^ Cross, Charles R.; Jim Berkenstadt (2004). Nevermind. Music Sales Group. p. 103. ISBN 0-8256-7286-4.
  3. ^ "Endless, Nameless". Archived from the original on 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2007-03-08.
  4. ^ Thompson, Dave (2002). The Music Lover's Guide to Record Collecting. Backbeat Books. pp. 50–51. ISBN 0-87930-713-7.
  5. ^ a b Katz, Bob; Robert A. Katz (2002). Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science. Focal Press. p. 93. ISBN 0-240-80545-3.
  6. ^ ""HTOA - Hidden Track One Audio"". Archived from the original on 2009-09-05.
  7. ^ "11 Transistor - Lazlo Bane - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2015-09-26.
  8. ^ "Hidden Songs: The Beatles, Her Majesty". Archived from the original on 2007-04-22. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  9. ^ "Hidden Songs: The Beatles, Untitled". Archived from the original on 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  10. ^ "Rare Gem: Aaliyah "Messed Up" (Early Version) -". You Know I Got Soul. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  11. ^ "LOCO LIVE (AMERICAN-VERSION)". Archived from the original on 2008-12-22.
  12. ^ Wawzenek, Bryan. "How Paul McCartney Began Building His Next Era on 'Driving Rain'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  13. ^ "The Greatest Songs Ever! "Train in Vain (Stand by Me)"". Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  14. ^ Midnight Star "Ask Al" Q&As for January/February 1998 Archived 2001-06-26 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ staff. "X-Files knowledge". Archived from the original on 2012-10-05.
  16. ^ Mirman, Eugene. "Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman: Eugene Mirman: Music". Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  17. ^ Margaret Moser, "Back Door Man: The Man Behind More Oar, Bill Bentley" Archived 2007-04-12 at the Wayback Machine. The Austin Chronicle, December 17, 1999;
  18. ^ ac2006 (30 January 2014). "Noel Gallagher's Oasis DVD commentary highlights". Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018 – via YouTube.
  19. ^ Hampp, Andrew. "Janet Jackson, 'janet.': Classic Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  20. ^ peter naldrett (March 2000). "The Most Beautiful of Freaks". music critic. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  21. ^ ""Kerosene Hat" is hot". Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  22. ^ "Piano Sheet Music - Rascal Flatts - Skin". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  23. ^ Kot, Greg. "10 NOMINATIONS PUT LAURYN HILL ATOP GRAMMY HEAP". Retrieved 19 December 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 April 2019, at 12:49
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