I distinctly remember finishing albums on my CD walkman, and being greeted with silence. Then after holding the skip forward button for a mysterious amount of time, I would land on another ‘hidden’ track. They were an annoying and weird trend for 90s and 00s for indie rock bands. But there were some gems that made it worth the inconvenience.
‘Life Is for Living’ – Parachutes by Coldplay
I know we’re all supposed to hate Coldplay because they make weird generic music to play in pharmacies. But their first two albums are classics. And tucked away at the end of their debut, is a little acoustic number which is just a wonderful send off from the Parachutes.
‘Mosquito Song’ – Songs For The Deaf by Queens Of The Stone Age
There are a series of hidden songs to cap off this album, though to be fair one of them is just the band doing some ominous melodic laughing. The twangy and quiet Mosquito is not just an afterthought though, as it builds into this Western epic, with strings, trumpets and marching drums. It does almost feel like cheating though, as this was actually listed on my CD copy as a hidden track. Is that hidden anymore?
‘Wherever You Go’ – Bloom by Beach House
This track is one of the worse offenders for annoying gap in the album. Beach House’s fantastic album Bloom ends in this soaring epic Irene that is nearly 7 minutes long. Then there is another whole 7 minutes of just silence, before ‘Wherever You Go’ kicks in. I love this album and it is a great track. But why?
‘Every Time Is the Last Time’ – Silent Alarm by Bloc Party
This instrumental that was placed as the Track 0 on Bloc Party’s debut is so chill and atmospheric. It’s such a good counterweight to the frenetic energy bursting from this album. The Spotify version of the album has dropped the track though, which sucks. Maybe it’s just. a US thing, but listening to Silent Alarm does not feel complete without this secret gem.
‘Mr. Grieves’ – Young Liars EP by TV on the Radio
This EP was very much the start of an obsession as it featured the song ‘Staring at the Sun’. At the end was there is a cover version of the Pixies song Mr. Grieves. Normally covers are not my jam, and it is A Capella to boot. But this actually adds this sinister edge to the song.
‘Poor Song’ – Fever To Tell by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Karen O brings in the a simple guitar and drum as she slowly speak sings a ballad to one she loves. It definitely keeps up the heartfelt narrative that ends their seminal album Fever To Tell.
‘Late’ – Late Registration by Kanye West
Well we know Kanye West is a hot mess of a human being. But he has made some cracking albums. The track ‘Late’ caps off one of his finest, echoing the sentiment of the album, and everything good about early Kanye.
‘Me, White Noise’ – Think Tank by Blur
Think Tank was where things changed for Blur as Graham Coxon’s grungey guitar-driven influence was absent. This track was maybe the most symptomatic of Damon Albarn’s ambition beyond the indie Brit rock world that Blur lived occupied.
‘Damone’ – Around The Fur by Deftones
This tracks comes in a a full 30 minutes after the last track ends! It does go pretty hard, but that is just silly. I guess they’re making full use of the CD format.
‘Fuck a Dog’ – Take Off Your Pants and Jacket by Blink-182
Bear with me. I was 11 when this came out. But really I’m including this as it’s an excuse to tell an anecdote, in which I was at a bar with a friend. We were on vacation and no one else spoke English. But they did play a lot of English music all mixed in with Reggaeton. Most of it was things like The Pixies or The Smiths. So we were pretty taken aback when this came on, while everyone else was just chilling. We laughed for the entire song, and pretty much couldn’t stop laughing the rest of the evening. And me remembering that most surreal experience is why we have this list. So it gets a spot. Enjoy!
Words by Matt Paul