Hidden track

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For the film of the same name, see Hidden Track (film).

In the field of recorded music, a hidden track (sometimes called a 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 mastering stage of the record's production.


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" Matching Tie and Handkerchief, Tool's Opiate EP[1] and Mr. Bungle's Disco Volante.

On indexed media such as compact discs, double-grooving cannot be used, but there are additional methods of hiding tracks, such as:

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.[10] This is allegedly the first instance of a hidden track (except that The 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 Life".[11]


Most bands that decide to include a hidden track presumably do so simply to surprise fans that find it, or for humorous effect in the case of joke tracks. Sometimes, the tracks are hidden for specific reasons:

Notable hidden tracks[edit]

Sometimes hidden tracks have become quite popular and received heavy radio airplay, and occasionally climbed the charts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Tool FAQ". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  2. ^ Cross, Charles R.; Jim Berkenstadt (2004). Nevermind. Music Sales Group. p. 103. ISBN 0-8256-7286-4. 
  3. ^ "Endless, Nameless". Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Dave (2002). The Music Lover's Guide to Record Collecting. Backbeat Books. pp. 50–51. ISBN 0-87930-713-7. 
  5. ^ a b Katz, Bob; Robert A. Katz (2002). Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science. Focal Press. p. 93. ISBN 0-240-80545-3. 
  6. ^ "HTOA - Hidden Track One Audio"
  7. ^ 11 Transistor on Allmusic
  8. ^ "Hidden Songs: Danzig, Invocation". 
  9. ^ "Hidden Songs: Bowling for Soup, Belgium (Acoustic)". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  10. ^ "Hidden Songs: The Beatles, Her Majesty". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  11. ^ "Hidden Songs: The Beatles, Untitled". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  13. ^ "The Greatest Songs Ever! "Train in Vain (Stand by Me)"". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  14. ^ Midnight Star "Ask Al" Q&As for January/February 1998
  15. ^ X-Files knowledge -- Ain't It Cool News, Tuesday, June 2, 1998
  16. ^ Mirman, Eugene. "Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman: Eugene Mirman: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  17. ^ Margaret Moser, "Back Door Man: The Man Behind More Oar, Bill Bentley". The Austin Chronicle, December 17, 1999; www.austinchronicle.com.
  18. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1589032/20080609/coldplay.jhtml
  19. ^ peter naldrett (March 2000). "The Most Beautiful of Freaks". music critic. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  20. ^ Bliesener, Mark; Steve Knopper (2004). CIG to Starting a Band. Alpha Books. p. 107. ISBN 1-59257-181-6. 
  21. ^ ""Kerosene Hat" is hot". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  22. ^ "Piano Sheet Music - Rascal Flatts - Skin". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 

External links[edit]