There may be no stranger experience than putting on an album, letting it play through, forgetting to hit stop and suddenly finding yourself face-to-face with a hidden track. Secret tracks can be unsettling, comedic or even terrifying. If a band comes up with something weird in the studio, you just might find it concealed within one of your favorite records.
Secret tracks are prevalent on hundreds of albums, but we’ve picked
out our personal favorites and compiled them into this list. For truly
fascinating and addictive pieces of classic releases, from bands such as
Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Tool + more, check out our picks for rock’s Best Hidden Tracks:
Nirvana, ‘Endless, Nameless’ – Best Hidden Tracks
Within one of the most celebrated albums in history, Nirvana hid the song ‘Endless, Nameless’ at the end of ‘Nevermind.’ On the original release of the album, listeners had to let the disc finish and wait about 10 minutes for ‘Endless, Nameless’ to kick in.
The experimental and chaotic track goes back to the noise influence
Nirvana incorporated on their early demos, and for fans who like their
music weird, ‘Endless, Nameless’ delivers in an uncomfortably
Tool, ‘Maynard’s D–k’ – Best Hidden Tracks
In 2000, Tool put out a limited-edition box set called ‘Salival.’ Along with a collection of music videos and live performances of both original songs and covers (including an awesome version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘No Quarter’) Tool hid a track at the end of the song ‘L.A.M.C.’
‘Maynard’s D–k’ is a partially acoustic track dedicated to the nether regions of frontman Maynard James Keenan. The track is a must-hear for Tool fans, and even utilizes burping and farting noises to close out the piece.
Alice in Chains, ‘Iron Gland’ – Best Hidden Tracks
Hidden in Alice in Chains‘ classic album ‘Dirt’ lies ‘Intro (Dream Sequence) / Iron Gland.’ The song went unlisted on the 1992 release of Alice in Chains’ sophomore album and was tucked between ‘God Smack’ and ‘Hate to Feel,’ which caused the track listing to become inaccurate.
The bizarre track pays homage to Black Sabbath‘s ‘Iron Man’ as well as the classic horror film ‘The Shining.’
Deftones, ‘Damone’ – Best Hidden Tracks
Likely an allusion to ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’ Deftones buried the hidden track ‘Damone’ 32 minutes into ‘MX,’ the final track on their 1997 full-length, ‘Around the Fur.’
Masterfully put together by the band and featuring the distorted clean and harsh vocal style of Chino Moreno, ‘Damone’ is simply a great Deftones song that rewards patient and inquisitive fans.
Misfits, ‘Hell Night’ – Best Hidden Tracks
Horror punk legends the Misfits hid a gem entitled ‘Hell Night’ at the end of the band’s 1997 album, ‘American Psycho.’ Greatly inspired by some of the horror world’s greatest and most beloved films, ‘Hell Night’ was named after a 1981 flick of the same name, which depicts four college students in a spooky mansion.
The ‘American Psycho’ album was the first to include new vocalist Michale Graves, who received mixed reviews after the record’s release.
Van Halen, ‘Growth’ – Best Hidden Tracks
A few seconds after the end of ‘In a Simple Rhyme,’ which is supposed to be the last song on Van Halen’s ‘Women and Children First’ album, Eddie Van Halen and company suddenly launch into another track. With a slow, stomping beat and a guitar riff that sounds like it should accompany Godzilla on his march to a boxing ring, it’s quite the attention grabber.
Sadly, before David Lee Roth
can even get a single word in, everything stops not even 30 second
later. Supposedly the plan was for the full-length version of ‘Growth’
to be the first song on their next album, ‘Fair Warning.’ However, that
never happened, leaving us all to wonder once again just exactly how we
can break into the vaults at Van Halen’s 5150 studio.
Green Day, ‘All By Myself’ – Best Hidden Tracks
Green Day‘s multi-platinum breakthrough disc, ‘Dookie,’ ends with a quirky, 80-second acoustic ditty that features frontman Billie Joe Armstrong singing lyrics penned by drummer Tre Cool about being “All by myself” — and nearly breaking down into hysterical fits of laughter in the process, possibly due to being really stoned. Not surprisingly, the lo-fi ‘All By Myself’ was left off the official ‘Dookie’ track listing, but it remains a favorite among Green Day’s biggest fans.