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Who doesn't like stumbling on a bonus tune, hidden away at the end of an album? Often they're preceded by long stretches of silence, the musical fake-out equivalent of extra film footage that runs after the final credits. I remember 1994 being a particularly good year for hidden tracks. We got NIN's track 98 on Broken, AND that amazing 12th cut off the Stone Temple Pilots second album.

From The Clash to Alanis, from Dave Matthews to R.E.M, lots of artists have used the hidden track to their advantage. But where did the trend start? Who put the first down on vinyl? Here are a couple pioneering examples that might just well serve as the offcial beginning of it all:

Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.jpeg1. Just as 1994 was a good year for the hidden track, so was 1967. That's when The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Though not really a song, there was a hidden cut designed to surprise people who think the record is finished: "Inner Groove." After that really long piano chord at the end of "A Day in the Life," lucky owners of some early European pressings are treated to some very loud babbling as the record runs off the final groove.

stonesstan.jpg2. Also in 1967, The Rolling Stones put out Their Satanic Majesties Request, featuring a slowed down version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" buried at the end of side one. Topical, no?

"Cosmic Christmas"

For those who remember our piece on 5 Legendary Keyboards, that rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" was played on a Mellotron.

What are some of your favorite hidden tracks?

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