nowhere is the frothy, subversive element in pop music more apparent than the hidden track – generally those moments at the end of the record when you think that the album’s over, you’re putting down the hookah pipe, getting up off the futon to put Xtina’s newest slutfest in the player but then—BOOM!—on comes another song. It’s pop music’s ultimate “Gotcha!” moment.


Or at least it was. Like all great moments of invention, the hidden track has been systematically degraded, taken down to the lowest common denominator over time, with a vast majority of them having no real purpose at all anymore other than to keep the decidedly overlong 78-minute experience of the compact disc alive. It’s become the take-home version of the encore, where it’s often so predictable, the audience is left just wanting to get it over with.


But throughout pop music’s modern history, there have been several genuinely inspired uses of the device. Sometimes they’re funny – see Green Day’s ode to masturbation on the otherwise execrable Dookie. Other times puzzling, such as the endlessly repeating bit at the end of The Liars’ They Threw Us All... described by Pitchfork’s Chris Dahlen as a sort of endurance test designed to challenge the listener to quit before the band does. And still other times revealing, such as the bitchy little girlfight on the Byrds’ Notorious Byrd Brothers reissue – no wonder poor, bloated Michael Clarke drank himself to death!


While the following does not pretend to be comprehensive, we here at Stylus have attempted to compile at least a few of pop’s historic and most interesting moments in subversive trickery – as well as a few best left in the CD longbox of history. We hope you enjoy them.


Cheers!
Stylus Staff


Origins and Early Vinyl Surprises



The Beatles— Abbey Road

Like just about everything else in contemporary pop music, the hidden track seems to have started with the Beatles. Though it can be argued that Sgt. Peppers’ lock groove constitutes a hidden track, really it begins with Paul McCartney’s “Her Majesty” on the Fabby’s swansong, Abbey Road (the song has since been indexed on CD pressings of the record). More than three decades later, what appears to be the first hidden track remains one of the most ingenious uses of the device, if only because it follows the historic and definitive “The End,” which the Beatles knew full-well would be the last track they’d put on record together. Ever. For good...ok, until this comes on. That it’s among the slightest of tunes in the group’s history (and for McCartney, that’s saying something), clocking in at an enjoyably brief 23 seconds, only enhances the degree of winkage. Masterful.
Matthew Weiner


Sly and the Family Stone— There’s a riot goin’ on

It’s been repeated tirelessly, though correctly, that Greil Marcus’s Favorite Negro virtually killed the sixties in one fell sweep with this, the finest depressant ever committed to vinyl. The sound quality is so fucking awful, it sounds as if the songs were recorded over old tracks. The funny part? They were! Sly often “auditioned” his hot new (and female) talents by having them sing on riot, before erasing their tuneless meanderings when he removed his PCP-fried head from the toilet the next morning. If not for Sly’s subsequent and embarrassing fall from amazing grace, this booty-shaking Boogie Man of a pop record might just be enough to convince us all that angel dust is the naked truth.

What does this have to do with the hidden track? Well, for one, it's listed on the label (it's the title track, in fact). For another, the song itself is exactly zero minutes, zero seconds long. You're reading it right, kids: that's meant to mean the riot never happened. Take it from the guy who inspired you to believe in the sixties: it was all a right load of bullshit. Particularly noteworthy for its reversal of the Unofficial Hidden Track Rules in that it’s on the label, there’s just no music here. Or soul, for that matter.
Matthew Weiner


King Crimson— Various

“Clever-clever” is something that afflicts most of the smarty-pants progressives, not the least of whom is the ever-solemn Robert Fripp. From Crimson’s first record, Fripp loved to “surprise” the listener with music long after he or she had thought the onslaught over. By Islands, their fourth, Fripp was tacking on tapes of himself rehearsing the orchestra minutes after the last song had ended, apparently to remind us just how cultured a lad he was. This is “Ahhht,” you see. But by Larks Tongues In Aspic a year later, which concluded after a long fade with a clip of one of the boys saying, “Could I do one more...immeeejutly,” the man was apparently using the device to remind himself not to take himself too seriously. It didn’t work.
Colin Wolfowitz


MAD Magazine— Super Spectacular Day

Issued in a 1979 MAD magazine annual that consisted almost entirely of reprinted strips. MAD had to come up with something to entice the buyer, so they included this flexi-disc – a record that had eight different grooves (all the same song), where each groove would have an alternate second verse to the novelty song. The first groove of “Super Spectacular Day” had only the first verse, all sunshine and roses, looking optimistically at the day to come. The subsequent seemed to hint that the day would not be quite so super spectacular after all, with aliens coming to take your brain and the like. Alfred E. Newman, though – he wasn’t worried. He persevered.
Fredrick Thomas


The Clash— London Calling

In the history of hidden tracks, The Clash’s “Train in Vain” from their 1979 epic London Calling is noteworthy for earning that label entirely by accident. According to engineer Bill Price, the sleeve work for the record had already been printed when the band finished working on the song and decided to include it on the album. Oh yeah, one other thing—it was by far the album’s biggest hit.

Regardless of whether or not the song was intended to be “hidden,” the effect on the listener is the same. After listening to one hour of what may be the greatest rock album of all time, stuffed chock full of political sloganeering, tales of urban mayhem and suburban supermarkets, and even a rumination on the Spanish Civil War, out of nowhere comes three minutes of ridiculously catchy power pop about nothing more basic than jilted love. And you know what? It fucking rocks. So it doesn’t really matter that the track wasn’t even supposed to be hidden—The Clash could get away with making a song like “Train in Vain” an unlisted bonus on the album of the decade. They were, after all, The Clash.
Jay Millikan


“Don’t Look Back” – The Backwards Index



James Brown – Star Time

While Star Time doesn’t exactly qualify as having “hidden tracks” per se, the box did play a key role in the hidden track evolution once it hit CD. One of the very first of the super-deluxe, multi-disc, career encompassing CD box sets (heretofore known as “last-minute holiday gifts for music lovers you have to buy a gift for but don’t know very well”), James Brown’s Star Time started the compact disc revolution in earnest, and even won a Grammy. Outside of that, however, certain tracks on the box were early examples of what has become known as “backwards indexing.”

Basically, the term refers to the bit of “hidden” music before certain tracks on the CD that start before the actual song. The timer on the CD player counts down from negative numbers during the back index tracks, and when the timer hit zero, the official song starts. So if you played the CD from start to finish, you would hear all of the extra pre-song stuff, but if you cued up the tracks to hear something specific, you only got the song. A nifty device, used later to great effect on the expanded version of the Who’s masterpiece The Who Sell Out to accommodate the little “ad jingles” that made the original LP so unique.

For the Godfather’s part, backwards indexing was used to incorporate such seemingly mundane games as count ins, false starts, or a few seconds of James muttering something in a quasi-foreign tongue into the mic. It was used to particularly great effect on the intro to “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved.” Because when you’re talking about Mr. Dynamite, even his cast offs could put you in a cold sweat.
Todd Hutlock


Various Artists—Songs In The Key Of X: Music From And Inspired By The X-Files

Five years after Star Time, a collection of X-Files-related tunes would be the premiere of the kind of hidden back indexing where you actually had to go looking for it. First off, the hidden track here is actually two hidden tracks, a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds tune called “Time Iesum Transeuntem et non Reverendem” followed by the X-Files theme as done by The Dirty Three. Fine tunes both, if hardly jaw-dropping. The device would be used elsewhere and to better effect later on (i.e. Super Furry Animals’ Guerilla and UNKLE’s Psyence Fiction among others – see below), but as much as we can tell, sticking the hidden songs before the disc begins started here.
Matthew Weiner


UNKLE - Psyence Fiction

The rotating personnel project of Mo-Wax mastermind, James Lavelle, shot for the stars and missed, but still left listeners with a beautiful, albeit scattered, mess. Fortunately, one of the most mediocre moments, scrapped for obvious licensing issues, was never found on the North American release, and is track zero on the German, Australian, Japanese and UK limited versions. Simply entitled "Intro" and credited to “Heroes & Villains”, this two minute pastiche incorporates a surprisingly large array of popular artists, (Air, the Stone Roses, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Nirvana, Radiohead, and more). With the popular emergence of the mash-up in the past year, it would seem that the production team was ahead of their time, right? Nah. The sum of the parts far exceeds the whole, as this optional introduction comes off as standard issue cut-and-paste for people of the caliber of DJ Shadow and Lavelle. Back to the lab again.
Fredrick Thomas


“Let’s Roll”© -- Great Hidden Tracks In No Particular Order



PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

In this fraudulent and criminal age of the illegal and immoral music downloader (bastards! bounders! cads! rapscallions!) there no longer exists anything as novel and �clever’ as the �hidden track’. Oh no; global-capitalism necessitated multi-territorial release dates have made an already shite phenomenon even more fucking flatulently redundant, because hidden tracks aren’t even allowed to be hidden anymore if you’re signed to a major label; oh no, they have become �UK bonus tracks’ and the like. Look! There’s a line space! And the last song’s got no number next to it! That must mean it’s �hidden’! Damn, marketing departments, damn you all to hell! As it happens, This Wicked Tongue is a fantastic furious finale to a spectacular record by Polly Jean, a wantonly vicious Seattle-slaying blues+scorn+sex number that’s wonderfully at odds with the beatific bliss of the album’s otherwise final two tracks, “Horses In My Dreams” and “We Float.” After “We Float” drifts slowly over the aural horizon, all insouciant metronomes and idyllic retributional pastures, silence rules for two minutes and then Polly KICKS ASS. So you thought she’d cheered up, did you? Suckers.
Nick Southall


AMM- AMMMusic

It’s ten seconds of silence, one separate track for it, to be programmed “wherever you wish”. It might be a more compelling listen if it was available on vinyl (the dust would ensure the sounds would be slightly different the more you played but not on CD), but that would defeat the purpose of allowing the listener the choice of programming it wherever he/she saw fit. Last time this was played I focused on the sizzling sound coming from my ears (courtesy of sludge metal bands). Never bothered to program it. I’m just too lazy for these sorts of things. I think this may be due to the fact that the record itself is so exhausting, the sounds coming from it so extraordinary that I just let it pass- out of some twisted sense of respect.
Julio Desouza


Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish

Things were nearly quite different for Blur. Modern Life Is Rubbish Mk. I was an exploration of mostly obtuse sounds; the record company balked, not recognizing any marketable singles. Many of the songs jettisoned from the first draft of the album were used as B-sides for its lead single, “For Tomorrow”. Two of the single’s b-sides—“Peach” and “When the Cows Come Home”—found their way onto the American version of the album. (As did non-LP single “Popscene”, which was inserted near the middle of the UK running order.)

The inclusion of the woozy “Peach” paid off: The delicate, ghostly balled was a surprise college radio hit. Featuring a harmonium, it works well and serves as a fitting coda.

More interesting in the band’s progression, however, is the knees-up music hall pastiche, “When the Cows Come Home”. The song features numerous soon-to-be familiar, parochial Blur trademarks including a rousing brass section, a character-sketch lyric, a flirtation with waltz time, and a vaudevillian spirit. A scornful portrait of a tight-fisted middle-management type, “Cows” was widely considered to be about Food Records’ boss Dave Balfe, which hastened its removal from MLIR. A triumph of timing more than its own success, had this been on The Great Escape it could have seemed cartoonish and grating, but sitting along Blur’s 1993 work, it is an odd charmer.
Scott Plagenhoef


Mercury Rev — Yerself Is Steam

Mercury Rev fans were rewarded with a genuine bonus at the far end of the American CD version of their debut album—the brilliant non-LP single, “Car Wash Hair.” It appeared on track 99, after 76 3-second pieces of “Very Sleepy Rivers,” the record’s last track proper and an additional 14 tracks of silence. The song was presumably buried because it was recorded with the assistance of Galaxie 500/Luna majordomo Dean Wareham, rather than regular Rev producer Dave Fridmann, who was temporarily banished for spending the band’s advance money to send his mom to Bermuda. Nice form, Dave.
Todd Hutlock


D12 – Devil's Night

The serviceable, but ultimately disappointing debut of Eminem’s group is accentuated with one of Em’s more humorous (and ridiculously conceived) diss tracks to date tucked away at the end of the album, “Girls”. If you allow yourself to disassociate the lyrics from having any real-world significance, i.e., open threats based on petty squabbling, some of Em’s best battle one-liners are delivered, including some unintentional homoeroticism: "Now see if you diss me and I respond, the beef is on /But if I help you sell one record and I see you at a show, I'll strip you naked." Targets this time around include Everlast, DJ Lethal, Fred Durst, and Dilated Peoples.
Fredrick Thomas


Oval – ovalprocess, ovalcommers

Give Markus Popp an interview in The Wire and he’ll drone on with pseudo-mystic glee about his unfixed-generative-spontaneous-open-ended-and-process-oriented software devices designed to tear down all those pesky preconceptions about composition. Give Markus Popp a compact disc and he’ll cram it to the last available second with the rigidly fixed sounds of recorded digital audio – both of these hidden tracks are placed a good twenty-some minutes past the final listed piece, filling each disc to capacity at exactly seventy-four minutes and two seconds. Which is not to say that there’s anything musically inappropriate about either of these elegant postscripts to the first two installations of the oval(blank) series. The former is a heat-distorted afterimage of fractal guitar distortions and organ sputters, the latter is an alternately spiky and shimmering two-part suite of hiccupping clicks and subterranean growling. But there’s more than a little whiff of conceptual duplicity lurking behind these addendums. Beautiful as they may be, they’re curious subliminal indications that there might not actually be too much room for us in Popp’s conceptual universe. After all, he’s already crowded it to the last available bit.
Joe Panzner


Pulp- His n’ Hers

In Britpop’s formative years, UK non-album singles were often hidden at the end of U.S. releases. The best of these is Pulp’s “Razzmatazz”— the last of the band’s three Gift singles (later compiled on Intro).

Beneath the song’s Casiotronics beats the heart of a low-rent scoundrel, as singer Jarvis Cocker coos and chortles his way through a cruel dissection of his ex. With the wisdom and comfort of hindsight he gets the knife out for his former lover: “You started getting fatter / Three weeks after I left ya”. When Jarvis insults her new boyfriend, he nearly chuckles. And when he asks if his ex is “going out” or “sitting at home eating boxes of Milk Tray”, he knows the answer to the question.Cocker’s theatrics, pregnant pauses, and scornful slashes at wounded pride seem like the work of a confident artist, but they aren’t so much triumphant as opportunistic, the sound of a longtime loser finally relishing the chance to be the victor. It could very well have been him feeling the pain and it probably had been in the past.

Fittingly, for a longtime musical outcast this was the first record to earn him widespread notice. Finally finding his voice, with the Gift singles Cocker built the foundation of one of the 1990s most fascinating characters and thrilling artists.
Scott Plagenhoef


T.Power – The Self-Evident Truth Of An Intuitive Mind

T.Power’s lost 1995 lysergic drum’n’bass masterpiece (and it really is lost – you try finding a copy anywhere but eBay) contains one of the most interesting uses of the hidden track idea. Divided into twin sides of �intellect’ and �emotion’ (the intellect tracks named after shapes, the emotions after colours), once track nine (“Amber”) concludes the record proper, a countdown to the unnamed track ten begins, -18:22 minutes on the CD player readout. Eight minutes of total silence drift by before a whisper of drums fades in and then dissipate a moment later. At –10:14 a strange posh bloke utters “bud out of bud... out of bud... out of bud... out of bud out of bud out of bud out of bud... out of bud... out of bud... bud out of bud out of bud...” and continues to do so for three minutes, an extraordinary, tedious, drugged citation of... something or other. At –7:20 sonic oddness ensues, drowning the odd posh blokes continuing utterances beneath a melange of filtersweeps and strange FX. Come –3:30 and sub-bass ambience joins with mysterious electronic blips in the mix, before the posh blokes voice speeds up, down, and is looped backwards and forwards for two minutes from –2:15. And then, at 00:00 a moment of silence again before track 10, all forest floor ambience and warm peels of bass pulse drifting through the cones. A strange, disconcerting finale to a revolutionary record.
Nick Southall


Wish You Weren’t Here – Less Than Stellar Examples



Radiohead—Kid A

Described by Stylus honcho Todd L. Burns as “a cleansing gesture, sort of like a mint after dinner at a nice restaurant.” Given that I wasn’t too impressed with the main course, I’m not inclined to agree; it’s perhaps the most pointless of pointless hidden tracks. Maybe someday I’ll think otherwise, but for now, so many aspects of this record are just tired and by- the-numbers (right down to the “hidden” artwork under the CD tray). Like some of us feel about the rest of Kid A, the orchestral swells at the end of the record are particularly meaningless and boring. And if that’s the point, it’s not worth the effort. Significant for being the definitively tired and pretentious example of the device.
Matthew Weiner


The Stone Roses – Second Coming

The Stone Roses spent five years dividing their time between court rooms, mountain biking and taking lots of drugs after the release of their seminal debut album, so its not surprising that they only had time to write eleven new songs for Second Coming. That wasn’t going to deter them from making it a mammoth 99-track monster though! So immediately after the monolithic black-female-Jesus swamp blues of “Love Spreads” passes away, we’re gifted with 78 consecutive 3-second passages of absolute, mind-numbing silence. Marvellous! Surely after the feat of endurance that is either listening to them or else wearing out your thumb pressing �skip’, we were in for some fantastic reward, the lost chord maybe, hidden away at the end of the burnt-out Mancs sophomore LP? But no, what we actually get is nigh-on six minutes of the band, pissed as farts, banging pianos and tambourines whilst one of them rapes a fiddle. There’s a tune of sorts emerging if you can stomach the atonal clatter for more than a few seconds, but seeing as none of the band are particularly versed in the piano or fiddle (or particularly sober either, by the sound of things) it’s hardly illuminating stuff. At the end you can clearly hear someone tearing a sheet of paper in two next to the mic before hawking up a fucking great big greenie. And then we get another nine 3-second snippets of nothingness (which, incidentally, mean that it takes your CD player ages to read the track information from the disc when you first put it in). Five years for this? Cheers, lads.
Nick Southall


Nine Inch Nails - Broken

I can sympathize with Nick here- my index finger and thumb became sore as I peered down at the digital display of the CD player- 58, 59, 60- “this better be worth it...” And, of course, it wasn’t. By the time I had gotten to 98 maybe I was in a bad mood. But, a slow and plodding cover version of Adam Ant’s “(You’re So) Physical” that transforms the original version into one of insular paranoia- the lyrics sound as if they’re being spit out in disgust was not exactly what I wanted to hear. As an impressionable teenager, it was my bitter introduction to the impatience of waiting for the surprise- either disappointing or glorious- of the hidden track. Oh- and there’s another track- but that one was even worse.
Todd Burns


The Verve — Urban Hymns

As if Urban Hymns wasn’t already enough of a fucking travesty of a record, the musical equivalent of shitting your own pants in public, �mad’ (in the sense that he’s a twat) Dickie Ashcroft had some piddling, widdly babies-in-space instrumental grafted onto the backside of this record like an anal wart on an already pile-ridden sphincter. After the transcendent space-rock ambience of “A Storm In Heaven” (no hidden track) and the hyper-charged emotionally-fraught death-fuck-rock of A Northern Soul (also no hidden track), Urban Hymns’ anaemic blend of plod-rock balladeering, widdly prog aesthetics and one moment of utter transcendence (“Bitter Sweet Symphony,” lest we forget) was utterly, catastrophically crap. To add this insipid, pretentiously impotent jangle (plus the sound of a baby crying! Oh, how spiritual) to an already shite album is just one insult too many. A fucking baby crying over some spacey jingle-jangle! I mean, COME ON!?
Nick Southall


Mercury Rev — Deserter’s Songs

Ah, how far they fall. Only seven years after the brilliance of Yerself Is Steam, the Rev conclude their critically overvalued breakthrough with what can best be described as a lousy plop of Synclavier-esque orchestral noodlings – painfully reminiscent of Frank Zappa’s “serious music” in the last decade of his life. If only this track had befallen a similar fate: the “composition” comes on the unnamed track 12, but is backwards indexed two-and-a-half-minutes. At the conclusion of the back-indexed music, the track begins and lasts zero seconds, thus ending the record – so, if you skip ahead to 12, you’ll miss it entirely. Me, I skip ahead to 12.
Matthew Weiner


“What the...???” -- The Notably Bizarre



Leftfield – Leftism

After the unnecessary portentous ambient twaddle of “21st Century Poem” takes far too long to finish, we are rewarded with 30 seconds of nothingness and 30 more seconds of the most ferociously deep and distant bass you have EVER heard. Keep the volume knob modestly to the left, otherwise dust will be shaken from your shelves. Pointless, aimless, sure, but viscerally awesome.
Nick Southall


God Lives Underwater - Life In The So-Called Space Age

Less a hidden track and more an extended ending to “Medicated to the One I Love”, this “song” features a simple bass tone, beat, and sonic detritus. After a tedious 25 minutes of this the static increases until it takes over the track along with the bass beat. Finally, it’s all extinguished in one fell swoop- and then comes an instrumental fragment of a potential song that should have been on the album (razor sharp guitars, spaced out Yoshimi-esque synths, the whole nine yards)- an instrumental fragment that ultimately sounds better than anything else that has occurred in the past 70 minutes. A voice comes in as the fragment cuts off, “That was awesome”... “Yeah, man.” Too bad it’s the best thing here.
Todd Burns


Nirvana - Nevermind

Born of a botched take for “Lithium” and Kurt Cobain’s love for the Beatles’ “Her Majesty,” “Endless, Nameless” has the dubious honor of introducing millions of newly-appointed Gen-X-ish “alternative rock” fans to the post-album hidden track. It’s a brilliantly mangled mess of strangulated guitar bleats and Cobain’s now-eerie torture chamber yelps captured in perversely shiny high-fidelity stereo by a compression-crazed Butch Vig – a weird confluence of Nirvana’s most consumer-unfriendly impulses and the high-gloss musical world in which they’d squirm. A production error in the first run of the CD left early versions of Nevermind without the track, which would appear on the subsequent pressings of the album snatched up by bandwagon jumpers such as my eighth-grade self. For the less adventurous among them, “Endless, Nameless” was little more than an oddball afterthought of screeched go-to-hells meant to jar those lulled to angst-y sleep by the depressed dirge of the preceding “Something In The Way.” For those willing to dig past the superficialities, Nirvana’s destructo-jam was something much more dangerous and intriguing – an invitation to explore a long line of likeminded underground guitar abusers from which Nirvana reluctantly emerged.
Joe Panzner


Kyuss – Welcome To Sky Valley

Welcome To Sky Valley is truly one of the heaviest, most intense albums ever made, a stoner-desert-rock affirmation of the power of maximal heaviosity guitar riffs and drums that sound like lead weights being dropped on mountains. And it’s all about shagging. Fantastic. But anyway, after 50-odd minutes of riffs that make Led Zep sound like The Carpenters, Kyuss are obviously bored of the tedium of the tectonic grooves at which they excel, and decide to have some fun. Mere seconds after the last buzz of Grand Canyon guitar fades out, someone cranks up a jaunty organ riff and the band unleash a minute of tongue-in-cheek easy-listening requests for oral sex – “you know that you can and will lick my doo-wah / you know that you can and will lick mybigfat doo-ooo...” backed by cheery tambourine slaps and doo-wap backing vox. Yes, quite.
Nick Southall


Justin Warfield - My Field Trip To Planet 9

One of the more oddball moments in ongoing bonus track history comes courtesy of Justin Warfield and Prince Paul. Warfield’s debut album, My Field Trip to Planet 9, featuring tracks produced by Prince Paul, serves as a nice addition to anyone clamoring for beatnik-drenched Native Tongue rap. However, the final track, a reprise of the album opener, “Tequila Flats”, is followed by what one can only assume is a discarded train wreck of an interlude, and one of the godfather of hip-hop skits’ more embarrassing moments outside of MC Paul Barman. After the requisite blank space, an answering machine message left by Prince Paul is heard, accusing Justin of biting his rhymes. A follow-up message is left by Justin, imitating Prince Paul.

Instead of leaving the half-baked skit well enough alone, they push further. The message tag is supplemented with the recorded operator message and incessant beeping that comes from leaving the phone off the hook. Naturally, this segues into a sitar and light percussion loop coupled with beach wave ambiance and a bubbling bong. Mercifully, the sound of a needle dragging across vinyl ends this around the 8th minute.

(Note: Justin’s follow-up album, The Justin Warfield Supernaut, while abandoning hip-hop in the name of classic rock, would have a hidden upbeat jam that would make any me-too artist ala Kravitz proud.)
Fredrick Thomas


“Me Too” – Various 90s British Indie Bands Who Couldn’t Get Enough



Indie bands in the mid-90s absolutely could not resist the lure of the secret track. After all, if it was enough for The Beatles and The Clash, it must be good enough for every two-bit guitar-chugger from Hounslow. Witness Dodgy tack a 30-second space-drone-pop reprise of the melody from “We Are Together” onto the end of the climactic gospel-rock blow-out of “Grassman” on their classy Homegrown LP, or The Boo Radleys sticking a minute of the ghost of Stephen King muttering instructions to turn off your radio and TV set before the start of their Kingsize album, and a ditty about food at the end of the beatific “Wilder” which closes Wake Up!. Then teenage wastrels Ash concluded their debut LP 1977 with the infamous “Sick Party,” 8-odd minutes of them necking vodka and emptying their guts onto the studio floor. The Bluetones even included a hidden track on a CD-single, attaching their hard-to-find debut track “Are You Blue Or Are You Blind” on the “Marblehead Johnson” single.

Super Furry Animals made the rather self-defeating decision to hide the best track on Guerrilla before the album had even started, and if that wasn’t enough they also finished the LP with 7 minutes of silence before a very loud and disturbing one-bar reprise of “Chewing Chewing Gum.” There’s not much to do in Wales but take drugs and make music, evidently.
Nick Southall


By: Stylus Staff
Published on: 2003-04-07
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