25 Best Hidden Tracks
They’ve been around for ages, through the vinyl and CD age, but hidden tracks are probably going to all but disappear in the digital age of single track downloads and streaming services. With that in mind it’s worth taking a look at the best hidden tracks of the rock age. I remember the first time I came across a hidden track without prior knowledge – I’m pretty sure it was either Kuwait City or Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues. Both are great tracks that were made even better by the surprise factor!
1. Kuwait City by World Party (on Bang!)
Perhaps my all-time favourite hidden track – partly because you have to wait more than 20 minutes after the album “finishes” to get to it, and partly because it’s just a fantastic song.
2. Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues by Todd Snider (on Songs for the Daily Planet)
Right up there with the best of the hidden tracks – nuf said! (Make sure you listen to all the lyrics on this one.)
3. Let it All Hang Out by John Mellencamp (on Big Daddy)
Who made the call to leave this cover of the Hombres‘ late ’60s song off the tracklist isn’t known, but it was later released as a single. I really like this one!
4. Her Majesty by The Beatles (on Abbey Road)
Paul McCartney recorded the 23-second ‘Her Majesty’ for the album’s closing multi-song medley. However he decided he didn’t like the track and ordered John Kurlander, the engineer, to throw it away. Luckily, he didn’t and when the band heard it the next day, they decided to keep it in.
5. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Lauryn Hill (on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill)
Not one but two hidden tracks on this album, the cover of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” was nominated for a Grammy in 1999.
6. As Time Goes By by ZZ Top (on Mescalero)
A hidden track should be unusual – maybe funny, maybe an out of character cover? Well this is the perfect way to do a cover.
7. One Chord Song by Keith Urban (on Golden Road)
This is a cracker, with the title saying everything you need to know about it. I’m a big fan of the clever/humorous hidden track.
8. Spiderman by the Ramones (on Adios Amigos)
It plays at the end of Born To Die in Berlin and was used in a television commercial for Spider-Man toys in Australia!
9. Train in Vain by The Clash (on London Calling)
Not intended to be hidden, but added to the album at the last moment after the cover art had already been printed. It was meant to be a separate giveaway with a music mag, but when that deal fell apart they decided to add it.
10. All By Myself by Green Day (on Dookie)
A quick acoustic track with Billie Joe Armstrong singing lyrics written by drummer Tre Cool about being “all by myself” — the low sound quality of the original live recording led to it being hidden rather than featured.
11. Jugband Blues by Pink Floyd (on A Saucerful of Secrets)
A weird track from Syd Barrett on his final Pink Floyd album – ah, the sound of late ‘60s prog rock!
12. 11 by R.E.M. (on Green)
The band whacked this one in simply because at the time lots of bands were doing the hidden track thing and thought they’d give it a crack!
13. Cosmic Christmas by The Rolling Stones (on Their Satanic Majesties Request)
Whacked at the end of side one of the album that is often seen as the Stones trying to do a Sgt. Peppers – more crazy tripped-out stuff!
14. Life Is for Living by Coldplay (on Parachutes)
A nice little gem tucked away on this mega album.
15. Endless, Nameless by Nirvana (on Nevermind)
10 minutes after the album ends you get to this one – a track that sounds a lot like their early demos.
16. 4/20/02 by Pearl Jam (Lost Dogs)
This track was an outtake from Riot Act and is an ode the former Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley. Pretty heavy but haunting.
17. Iron Gland on Alice in Chains (on Dirt)
Paying tribute to Black Sabbath‘s ‘Iron Man’ as well as the horror film ‘The Shining, this track was wedged in between other songs rather than coming at the end.
18. Mosquito Song by Queens Of The Stone Age (on Songs For The Deaf)
This album has three secret tracks: The Real Song For The Deaf appears when you rewind track one until -1:35. At the end there’s the second hidden track, Feel Good Haha Of The Summer, which starts at 5:45. This is followed by the 14th track titled Mosquito Song.
19. Diamond Bollocks by Beck (on Mutations)
Originally a hidden track when the album was released, but on some reprints it has now got its own slot – a great experimental track.
20. Classy Plastic Lumber by Modest Mouse (on Sad Sappy Sucker)
While most hidden tracks are at the end of an album, this one is the fourth track and therefore makes all of the songs after it out of order.
21. Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues by The Eels (on Daisies of the Galaxy)
Another charting single that emerged from the being a hidden track – on fact the first single released from the album!
22. I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts (on LP)
Recorded as a single, it became a hit through becoming the theme for Friends and was added to the album at the last minute – although stickers were added to the packing to let people know it was there!
23. Blow On A Jug by Black Sabbath (on Sabotage)
Apparently Ozzy Osbourne was surprised at a 1970 festival when Mungo Jerry, a band that featured a jug player, outdid Free, Traffic and Sabbath. In classic Osbourne style, his reaction was to get a jug on their next album!
24. Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows (on Hard Candy)
After starting out as a hidden track, it was featured in the film Two Weeks Notice with Vanessa Carlton added – and has become the most successful version of the Joni Mitchell track
25. Growth by Van Halen (on Women and Children First)
The band launches into Growth but only get 15 seconds in before it all stops. The plan, so the story goes, was for the full version of Growth to be on their next album, nut it never happened…