From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the field of recorded music, a
hidden track (sometimes secret
track or ghost track) is a piece of music
that has been placed on a CD, audio cassette, vinyl
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 some rare cases a "hidden
track" is actually the result of an error that occurred during the
stage of the record's production.
On unindexed media such as vinyl records, hidden tracks are
generally additional tracks omitted from the liner notes. "Train in Vain" on
The Clash's London
Calling is technically a hidden track because it does not
appear on the track listing, although it was not intended to be
such (see also Reasoning).
Alternately, a vinyl record may be double-grooved, with the second
groove containing the hidden tracks. Notable examples of
double-grooving are Monty Python's infamous "three-sided"
and Handkerchief, Tool's Opiate EP and Mr. Bungle's Disco
On indexed media such as compact discs, double-grooving cannot
be used, but there are additional methods of hiding tracks, such
- 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
Although it was not the first hidden track to use this technique,
this hidden song gained significant attention.
This is the most common method used of placing a hidden track on a
CD. However, sometimes a hidden track will feature as part of
another track in the middle of an album, as is the case with the
song "Affliction" from AFI's album DECEMBERUNDERGROUND. Another
example is "Better
Man" by British rock band Oasis. The song lasts for roughly 5
minutes, followed by 30 minutes of complete silence, then a hidden
instrumental called "The Cage."
- Placing the song in the pregap of the first indexed track, so that the
CD must first be cued to the track, and then manually back-scanned;
these are usually referred to as "Track 0."(known
as Hidden Track One Audio, HTOA) The "downside" of this method is
that the CD player will not play these tracks without manual
intervention and some models (including computers) are unable to
read this content. See Albums
with songs hidden in the pregap.
- Using many short tracks of silence. On
4, after the twelfth song, there are numerous blank
tracks, until reaching the 66th track, the monotone chant,
"Invocation," or on
Soup's Drunk Enough to Dance, Track
28, "Belgium." This
technique is also used in Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar with
track 99 playing a hidden song. HIM's debut album Greatest Love Songs Vol.
666 takes Danzig's technique one step further; not only is
track 66 a hidden track, the total time of the entire album is 66
minutes and 6 seconds (66:06). Tool's album Undertow
has a hidden song on track 69. Overkill's album W.F.O. has a hidden song on track 98, which
is actually a medley between Black Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell"
and Judas Priest's
"The Ripper" played by Overkill in a rehearsal. Coheed and
Cambria's album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 uses this
method. After eleven blank tracks ("A Lot of Nothing" 1-11), the
hidden song "21:13" plays on track 23.
- Making the track playable only through a computer. An example
would be Marilyn
Manson's Mechanical Animals.
Often it is unclear whether a piece of music should be
considered a hidden track. 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. This
is allegedly the first instance of a hidden track (except that
Beatles has a hidden track after "Cry Baby Cry," referred to only as "Can
You Take Me Back" (see "Cry Baby Cry" for more). 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
Most bands that decide to include a hidden track do so simply to
surprise their fans. Sometimes, the tracks are hidden for specific
- In some rare cases, it is used to put forbidden (by law) songs
on live discs. 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
but the makers of the spot remover Carbona, a registered
trademark, objected. Therefore reference to the song was removed
from the album and cover.
- "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
- "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Bite Me" was put
on after ten minutes of silence to scare listeners who had
forgotten to turn off the CD player.
Sometimes hidden tracks have become quite popular and received
heavy radio airplay, and occasionally climbed the charts.
- The Beatles'
Majesty" off their 1969 album Abbey Road is considered the first
hidden track in recording history. The original pressings of Abbey
Road did not list "Her Majesty" on the back cover song title
listing, nor the record label; subsequent LP pressings and then CD
issues were issued revealing the track. However, two years prior,
in 1967, on the UK version of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band album, there was the now-famous "inner groove"
that appeared after "A Day in the Life" at the end of side 2. While
not ever being specified as a track or piece with any title, it is
an unexpected, untitled, and uncredited Beatles recording - so this
might be deemed a pre-cursor to the hidden track.
Jackson's track Whoops Now, a hidden track of her album janet., was released as a single
and reached #9 in UK Singles Charts
and #1 in New
Zealand Singles Chart.
Eels album Daisies of the Galaxy
contains a hidden track, "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues", which
was released as a single and not featured on the sleeve notes
though it was "radio-popular". The
song was, in fact, released as the first single from the album and
peaked at #11 on the UK Singles Chart.
Crows' hidden cover of "Big Yellow Taxi" on Hard Candy.
"Eurotrash Girl", an original, was one of their biggest radio hits
despite being a hidden track on Kerosene Hat.
(Sarabeth)" by Rascal Flatts, a hidden track from their
2004 album Feels Like Today, received enough
airplay to chart in the Top 40 on the country charts. By mid-2005,
the album was re-issued with the song officially listed as a track,
coinciding with the song's release as a single.
- Of the two hidden tracks on Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn
Hill, one of them, the cover of "Can't Take
My Eyes Off You" was nominated for a Grammy in 1999 in the
category of "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance". It was the first
time a hidden track was nominated for a Grammy.
- The LP of The Monty
Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief album had two grooves
on one side, making it a three-sided record. This more-or-less
randomly hid one half or the other of the content of side 2 when
played. (Both physical sides of the record were also identically
labeled as "Side 2", further pseudo-randomizing the playing
- KoЯn's 1998 album "Follow The Leader"
contains 25 tracks, the first 12 of which are hidden tracks
containing five seconds of silence each. This makes for a full
minute of silence before the first track plays. Singer Jonathan
Davis did not like the fact that the album would have ended on the
thirteenth track (due to superstition), so they preferred to start
that album on that track instead. The first track on the back of
the album is listed as "13. It's On!", which implies that the CD
begins at track 13.
- Muse's Starlight DVD
single features a hidden track. Although the song has not
officially been given a title, it is most commonly referred to as
"You Fucking Motherfucker", even by band members themselves. It is
a short track which contains a lot of swearing. The track can be
found on the DVD by going to title 4. The cowbell 'click-track' was
left in this song and is clearly audible throughout.
- On The Mamma Mia
Soundtrack, The song "Thank You For The Music" is not listed on the
cover but is played at the end after the final song.
- On the Leona Lewis album, Echo, 'Stone Hearts and Hand
Grenades' begins halfway (at 7.05 minutes) through the duet with
OneRepublic called 'Lost Then Found'.
"Hidden Songs: The Clash,
Train in Vain". http://www.hiddensongs.com/songs/londoncalling.html. Retrieved
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Thompson, Dave (2002). The Music
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"The Greatest Songs Ever!
"Train in Vain (Stand by Me)"". http://www.blender.com/guide/articles.aspx?id=299. Retrieved
"The Tool FAQ". http://toolshed.down.net/faq/faq.html. Retrieved
Cross, Charles R.; Jim Berkenstadt
(2004). Nevermind. Music Sales Group. pp. 103. ISBN
"Endless, Nameless". http://www.livenirvana.com/songguide/body0ff0.html?songid=31. Retrieved
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Katz, Bob; Robert A. Katz (2002).
Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science. Focal Press.
pp. 93. ISBN
"Hidden Songs: Danzig,
"Hidden Songs: Bowling for
Soup, Belgium (Acoustic)". http://www.hiddensongs.com/songs/drunkenough-belgium.html. Retrieved
"Hidden Songs: The Beatles,
Her Majesty". http://www.hiddensongs.com/songs/abbeyroad.html. Retrieved
"Hidden Songs: The Beatles,
Untitled". http://www.hiddensongs.com/songs/sgtpepper.html. Retrieved
Midnight Star "Ask Al"
Q&As for January/February, 1998
peter naldrett (March 2000). "The Most Beautiful of
Freaks". music critic. http://www.music-critic.com/rock/eels_daisiesofgalaxy.htm. Retrieved 8 January
Bliesener, Mark; Steve Knopper (2004).
CIG to Starting a Band. Alpha Books. p. 107. ISBN
- ^ ""Kerosene Hat" is
hot". http://www.epinions.com/content_32102190724. Retrieved
"Piano Sheet Music - Rascal
Flatts - Skin". http://www.encoremusic.com/piano/1704836.html. Retrieved
"Hidden track (song)". http://musewiki.org/Hidden_track_(song).
- Hidden Songs A user submitted database of hidden