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Hidden Tracks

Music | By The Top 13 on March 16, 2010

The hidden track dates all the way back to The Beatles' Abbey Road, which includes "Her Majesty," a 23-second unlisted song at the end of the album's second side. Since then, many bands have surprised their fans with secret songs, though many of them are merely discordant noise or otherwise eminently forgettable. Sometimes, though, these tracks are hidden gems that deserve to be heard. For that reason, we decided to put together a list of the very best hidden tracks, and listened to dozens of them to find the standouts. So without further ado, here are the Top 13 Hidden Tracks.

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The Clash - Train in Vain


The Clash - Train in Vain

London Calling

Though it's easily the best hidden track of them all, this song wasn't really supposed to be hidden. The Clash originally intended for "Train in Vain" to be a promotional giveaway for NME, but when that fell through it was added to the fantastic London Calling after the album cover and sleeve were already printed. Nevertheless, it became The Clash's first big hit on this side of the pond and signaled that the band was more than just another British punk group.

Beck - Diamond Bollocks


Beck - Diamond Bollocks


To find this fantastic track, wait more than a full minute after the end of "Static," the wonderfully melancholy eleventh and, at least according to the track listing, final song on Beck's critically acclaimed masterpiece Mutations. "Diamond Bollocks" is an upbeat, off-the-wall track that might fit better on Beck's previous album Odelay than on the low-key Mutations. Still, this six-minute jam is one of our very favorite songs Beck has ever released.

Lauryn Hill - Can't Take My Eyes off You


Lauryn Hill - Can't Take My Eyes off You

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Though the title track to Lauryn Hill's enormously successful debut appears as the final song on the album's track listing, there are actually two additional tracks on The Miseducation. One of those two songs is Hill's soulful cover of the Frankie Valli hit "Can't Take My Eyes off You," which though not physically released as a single, reached number 35 on the Billboard singles chart and was even nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Nirvana - Endless, Nameless


Nirvana - Endless, Nameless


The album that popularized grunge also gave us one of the very best hidden tracks. "Endless, Nameless" can be heard ten minutes after Nevermind's final track, "Something in the Way" ends. This nearly seven-minute track is full of searing distortion and sounds far more raw than the rest of Nirvana's breakthrough album. The band initially wanted it to immediately follow "Something in the Way," but it was accidentally left off initial pressings. After Cobain complained, the song was added, but only after the lengthy silence.

Jay-Z - Jigga My Nigga


Jay-Z - Jigga My Nigga

Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter

An oddity for a hidden track in that it was the first single released off its album, "Jigga My Nigga" also appears as a listed track on the Ruff Ryders label compilation Ryde or Die Vol. 1, which was released eight months before Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter. One of two unlisted tracks embedded after a minute of silence at the end of album closer "Hova Song (Outro)," this classic Jay-Z track was actually the biggest hit on the album, topping the rap singles chart and reaching number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Wilco - Candyfloss


Wilco - Candyfloss


After a mere 23 seconds of silence following the last listed track on Wilco's critically acclaimed but commercially underappreciated Summerteeth come two hidden songs. The first - "Candyfloss" - is perhaps the catchiest tune on an album full of sing-alongs (the other hidden track is an excellent alternate version of Wilco favorite "A Shot in the Arm"). "Candyfloss" is one of the album's shortest songs, but it's also one of our favorite upbeat tracks in Wilco's extensive catalog.

Nick Cave - Time Jesum Transeuntum Et Non Riverentum


Nick Cave - Time Jesum Transeuntum Et Non Riverentum

Songs in the Key of X: Music from & Inspired by the X-Files

As the mysterious Fox hit The X-Files was full of surprises, it seems fitting that the show's soundtrack would include hidden tracks. But unlike the rest of the songs on this Top 13, which typically appear as unlisted tracks at the end of the album or are embedded in the last listed song, Nick Cave and the Dirty Three's eerie remake of the Dirty Three's "Better Go Home Now" is only accessible by manually rewinding the soundtrack's first song about twelve minutes. The six-minute track, featuring a nifty religion-themed spoken word performance by Cave and Warren Ellis' phenomenal work on the violin, is worth the effort.

Queens of the Stone Age - Mosquito Song


Queens of the Stone Age - Mosquito Song

Songs for the Deaf

Queens of the Stone Age actually included three hidden tracks on Songs for the Deaf, which is generally regarded as the finest of the stoner rockers' five studio albums. For our money, "Mosquito Song," which is actually listed as "secret song" on the album's track listing, is the best of the three. Featuring strings, horns, an accordion, several pianos, and flamenco guitar in addition to Queens' standard instrumentation, this is an epic, yet understated, orchestral tune.

Cracker - Euro-Trash Girl


Cracker - Euro-Trash Girl

Kerosene Hat

Though this song first appeared on Cracker's 1992 EP Tucson, it wasn't released as a single until after it appeared as one of three hidden tracks on the band's platinum-selling sophomore full-length effort Kerosene Hat. "Euro-Trash Girl" is a jangly eight-minute country-rock epic that deservingly reached the top 25 on the U.S. Modern Rock charts. It appears as track number 69 on the album; the two other hidden songs are tracks 88 and 99, respectively.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Poor Song


Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Poor Song

Fever to Tell

Though certain early pressings of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's ferocious art rock debut Fever to Tell included only ten songs, later pressings added an eleventh listed track. On those pressings, "Modern Romance" is the album's new final listed song. But it's not the only addition; after a little more than a minute of silence, the unlisted "Poor Song" kicks in. Over the years, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs often have played this moody hidden track in concert as part of their encores.

Sparklehorse - Morning Hollow


Sparklehorse - Morning Hollow

It's a Wonderful Life

A haunting, nearly seven and a half minute song, "Morning Hollow" follows the thirteenth and final listed track on the beautiful It's a Wonderful Life after approximately three minutes of silence. Featuring vocals from Sol Seppy and pianos by Tom Waits, this song is a stunning, melancholy finale on the first Sparklehorse album that Mark Linkous (who tragically committed suicide earlier this month) recorded with a full band.

Dr. Dre - Bitches Ain't Shit


Dr. Dre - Bitches Ain't Shit

The Chronic

Though this song doesn't appear on the track listing of Dr. Dre's g-funk classic The Chronic, "Bitches Ain't Shit" is actually among the album's better known songs. In large part, that's because of the many remakes and covers of the song, most notably Ben Folds' 2005 version, which actually reached number 71 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dre's version - which closes the album - features verses from Snoop Dogg, Daz, Kurupt, and Jewell, and includes some of his harshest words for former N.W.A. band-mate Eazy-E.

Pearl Jam - 4/20/02


Pearl Jam - 4/20/02

Lost Dogs

When it comes to hidden tracks, Pearl Jam is probably best known for "Master/Slave," which appears as an unlisted track on the band's mega-debut Ten. But we prefer "4/20/02," which was an outtake from Pearl Jam's sessions for Riot Act, the band's seventh studio album, and ultimately appeared about four minutes after the last track on the two-disc b-sides compilation Lost Dogs. Eddie Vedder's haunting ode to Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley, this song was written the day Vedder heard about Staley's overdose and death.

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Comments Leave a comment

PulpAffliction ★★

Great list, but it's definitely missing the untitled, lo-fi sketch that starts at 5:25 in "Heart and Lungs" on Beach House's self-titled, 2004 debut.

7:22 AM   Mar 16, 2010

jason ★★

Cool list idea. I would have included Talib Kweli's/Reflection Eternal's "Four Women" from Train of Thought. Also love the end of "Motion Picture Soundtrack" from Kid A, though it's not really a song.

8:56 AM   Mar 16, 2010


One of my faves is on nine inch nails' broken EP where the two tracks, cover Physical (You're So), and Suck appear on tracks 98 and 99.

8:58 AM   Mar 16, 2010


Great list, one of my favorites you didn't mention is the hidden track on Ol' Dirty Bastard's second album, iTunes has it titled as "Cracker Jack."

9:08 AM   Mar 16, 2010


Mosquito Song is awwwwesome.

9:34 AM   Mar 16, 2010


"Eurotrash Girl" is great for this list, and a surprisingly good song from Cracker.

Mr. Bungle was also good for a hidden track.

1:58 PM   Mar 16, 2010


Embryo by The Tea Party on the Transmission album is hidden in the pregap between tracks 8 and 9. It shows and negative counter on you CD player display.

6:13 AM   Mar 17, 2010


Nice idea. I'd have included "Car Wash Hair" from Mercury Rev's "Yerself Is Steam" - and probably left off "Endless Nameless" as it ought to be about three minutes shorter. But as with all lists, it's all subjective.

10:51 AM   Mar 17, 2010


Nice list, "Candyfloss" has always been a big favorite of mine.

9:31 AM   Mar 18, 2010


These are definitely all great, but there are some great hidden tracks that are missing...
There is a hidden track 1 min & 40 sec BEFORE the first song on 311's Transistor.
There is a long crazy hidden bunch of samples and randomness at the end of Incubus' S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album.
If you forward 30 minutes after the last track on Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Ska Core the Devil and More EP, there is a hidden live track that is fantastic.

5:58 PM   Mar 18, 2010


hummmmmmm - I fail to see the song on the German side of Ninas 99 Luftballons - "Das Land der Elefanten" ("The Land of the Elephants")

10:46 AM   Mar 22, 2010


Hmmm. What about the crazy lounge song at the end of Purple from STP? Or that ridiculous "I was all by myself" song at the end of Dookie from Greenday. #34 from DMB is good hidden track.

8:52 PM   Mar 22, 2010


May not qualify, but I'm surprised Disgustipated from Tool/Undertow didn't make this list. Possibly because it's not 'hidden' exactly, just track 69 after a bunch of skipping. Anyhoo - as you were.

3:15 PM   Apr 13, 2010


I think that Slipknot's Eeyore should be there. Three minutes of them watching some sick porno, then a crazy 2 minute metal song.

2:15 PM   Dec 18, 2010

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