By Benjamin Leatherman
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Troy Farah
By Roger Calamaio
By Mark Deming
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Brian Palmer
8. The Clash--"Train in Vain (Stand By Me)" (1980) Also referred to as "The Hidden Cut!" on shrink-wrap stickers plastered across London Calling. Only true punks would bury their most commercial song to date at the end of a double album and neglect to list it. "Train in Vain" couldn't be ignored and was eventually released as a single, turned into a jeans commercial jingle, sampled by Big Audio Dynamite and covered by Annie Lennox--yet it's still not listed on the London Calling CD. "Train" came together in the studio at the 11th hour of recording the band's third album and would have been listed if the covers and labels had not already been printed. Soon thereafter, the Clash's inability to surmise when to stop working on an album resulted in a sprawling, three-record mess known as Sandinista!, a collection with several hidden tracks. Hidden, that is, because few ever bothered wading through the muck to find them.
Hidden Tracks Come of Age, Digitally
9. Soul Asylum--"Put the Bone In" (1988) Stickers on Hang Time hinted that this album includes a "bone-us track." Haw haw!
10. R.E.M.--"11" (1989) R.E.M. performed "So. Central Rain" on national television before it had a title, so the next logical step was to release a track and never bother naming it. Although no track 11 is listed on the cover of Green, it is noted on the actual disc itself. "This song is here to make you strong," warbles Michael Stipe. He could be referring to the album itself, since this up-tempo, untitled tune follows two of the group's weakest-ever offerings: "Hairshirt" and "I Remember California."
11. Freedy Johnston--The Trouble Tree (1990)
His first CD on Bar None contains a hidden last track, followed by a 13-minute gap and finally a strange, hallucinogenic cover of that same unlisted final cut. Spooky, eh, kids?
12 and 13. Nirvana--"Endless, Nameless" (1992) and "Verse Chorus Verse" (1993)
Years ago as a lad in Aberdeen, Kurt Cobain used to scare his roommate Jessie Reed by recording "Jessie, Jessie, I'm coming to get yooo!" in ghostly tones at the end of 45-minute cassettes. Cobain would then rewind the tape and pop it into the stereo before both men retired for the night.
People who left Nevermind sitting in their CD player were treated to a similar fright. Ten minutes and three seconds after "Something in the Way" signed off, what starts off like the "Theme From Jaws" turns into a six-minute, full-bore feedback assault. Nirvana repeated its trick on the No Alternative AIDS benefit album, issuing "Verse Chorus Verse," a song left off In Utero that boasted the album's original title. Smells like teen mischief!
14. Chorus of Empire--Initiation (1992) Perhaps one of the most creative ways of hiding a hidden cut--to get to it, you have to skip back from track one.
15. Guns 'n Roses--"Look at Your Game, Girl" (1993) The only known hidden track penned by a mass murderer. Axl Rose tried to further his bad-boy image by wearing Charles Manson tee shirts and tacking one of Badtime Charlie's compositions on the end of The Spaghetti Incident?. At least Rose had the good manners to say "Thanks, Chas" at the end of it.
16. Nine Inch Nails--"Physical (You're So)" (1994) If you covered an Adam and the Ants song, how eager would you be for people to know about it? It's track 98 on Broken. Track 99 is a cover of Pigface's "Suck."
17. Stone Temple Pilots--"The Second Album" (1994) If you're one of those people who can't stand STP, think of the band's sophomore album Purple as a 40-minute setup for a fabulous hidden track. The album's back cover depicts a cake that promises "12 Gracious Melodies" in red icing, yet only 11 cuts are listed. Wait about 20 seconds after "Kitchenware & Candybars" and you'll hear some crazed lounge singer crooning "The Second Album, 12 Gracious Melodies!" It's not Scott Weiland at all, but a developmentally challenged Seattle musician named Richard Peterson who wrote the ditty for his second album, which also contained 12 gracious melodies and was titled (what else?) The Second Album. STP cut him a fat royalty check and Peterson continues to make money off the band's generosity. Hey, they're not so bad, after all.
18. Cracker (1994)
Tracks 69 and 84 on this self-titled debut are hidden gems, the latter being the ever-popular "Euro Trash Girl."
19. Supersuckers--La Mano Cornuto (1994) This Supersuckers opus would've clocked in at a paltry 26 minutes and 32 seconds if not for its hidden cut. Track 14 is the entire album played over again.
20. Mudhoney--My Brother the Cow (1995)
Not to be outdone by someone from their former Sub Pop label, these generation spokesmodels included their entire album backward as a hidden bonus cut--a whopping 40 minutes and 19 seconds! Yoo-hoo, Mr. Guinness, are you paying close attention?
21. Hootie and the Blowfish--Cracked Rear View (1995) Track 34 is a hidden cut titled, hoo, boy, "Track 34."
22. Butt Trumpet (1995)
This eponymous debut includes an unlistenable 17-minute hidden cut that culminates with the boys in the band heaving into the porcelain throne.
23. The Ramones--"The Spiderman Theme" (1995) The official ode to Spidey is an irreverent end to the band's could-be farewell album, Adios Amigos. Why shouldn't Johnny and Joey identify with the web slinger? Like Spiderman, they haven't changed their wardrobe in more than 20 years.