Great hidden album tracks you need to hear

The Ramones, Janet Jackson, Nirvana, The Beatles and more have some superb secret songs for you.
The Ramones cover the Spider-Man theme on a hidden album track
The Ramones cover Spider-Man on a hidden track © Roberta Bayley/Getty Images
By Glen Ferris

Now that we’re all about streaming our music, the simple joy of discovering a hidden album track is often overlooked. Remember those days when you couldn’t be bothered to stick on a new CD or flip the vinyl and sometime later happened upon a secret song? Those times don’t have to be gone forever.

In an attempt to kickstart your own aural archaeological dig, we’ve trawled through some of our favourite unlisted pieces and stuck them in the playlist below (warning, it contains language some may find offensive). Now go out there and start searching for your own hidden tracks...

The Ramones – Spider-Man Theme
The leather-and-denim-loving New York punks paid homage to that most swinging of superheroes on their final album Adios Amigos. Featured after the final listed track, Born To Die in Berlin, their cover of the Saturday morning cartoon theme was later used as a TV commercial for Spider-Man toys in Australia.

Beach House – Wherever You Go
Starting at 13 minutes 16 seconds after the final track, Irene, Beach House’s sublime and ethereal Wherever You Go is an unexpected bonus on the band's 2012 album Bloom.

The Beatles – Her Majesty
Appearing at the tail end of Abbey Road, the 23-second version of Her Majesty was originally set to be dumped after Paul McCartney decided he didn’t like the track. Album engineer John Kurlander didn’t do as he was told, however, and one of the first-ever hidden tracks made its way onto the album.

The Beatles play on a Savile Row rooftop in London.
The Beatles play on a Savile Row rooftop © Getty

Janet Jackson – Whoops Now
Pop royalty Janet Jackson hid Whoops Now on her 1995 studio album Janet after the interlude Sweet Dreams. Later released as a single, it charted inside the Top 10 in Austria, France, and the UK, as well as reaching Number One in New Zealand for one week.

Jarvis Cocker – Running The World
The erstwhile Pulp frontman dedicated his remarkably sweary (and somewhat prescient) hidden track to the folk who dictate how we live our lives. Buried on the solo Jarvis album 30 minutes on from the end of the track Quantum Theory, Running The World has taken on a life of its own being performed by Cocker numerous times live, featured over the closing credits of the film Children Of Men and posted on your Facebook feed every time a politician does something dodgy.

Pearl Jam – Hummus
Eddie Vedder and co apparently love chickpea-based snacks but don’t like to shout about it. Hence the track Hummus was hidden on the 1998 album after listed closing song All Those Yesterdays.

Pearl Jam at Music Midtown Festival
Pearl Jam at Music Midtown Festival © Robert Snow/Red Bull Content Pool

Deftones – Damone
The US nu-metallers included not one but two hidden tracks on their second studio album Around The Fur. The first, Bong Hit, comes in after a near 20-minute wait and the second (and arguably best) doesn't rock up until around 30 minutes after official final track MX fades out.

Nirvana – Endless, Nameless
The first copies of Nirvana’s second album Nevermind didn’t include it and later copies removed it. But for the lucky fans who got the right pressings, the six minutes 48 seconds of dirgy, mumbling, raging Seattle rock that is Endless, Nameless is Nirvana at their wigged-out best.

Nirvana © Charles Peterson

Nine Inch Nails – Physical
Originally written and performed by Adam And The Ants on their 1980 album Kings Of The Wild Frontier, this rather more industrial and throbbing cover of Physical features as a hidden track on NIN's 1992 Broken EP.

EELS – Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues
For someone who has seen as much tragedy as Mark Everett (aka E from EELS), the (faux) irony of the lyric "God damn right it’s a beautiful day" isn’t lost on us. Neither is the fact that this hidden track – buried away on Daisies Of The Galaxy – went on to be the first single released from the album and one of the band's most recognisable tunes.

Bonus hidden track
Lauryn Hill – Cant Take My Eyes Off Of You
Lauryn Hill’s hip-hop cover of the song made famous by Frankie Valli in the '60s was hidden on her solo album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. This apostrophe-less version was released as a single in 1998 and hit the charts globally before being nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1999.

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