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The Indie Top Ten Hidden Album Tracks

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In this regular feature we ask the Everything Indie Over 40 social media community to help us compile a top ten list of a chosen topic. Our resident curator John Hartley (@JohnyNocash) then ponders, disects and finally presents.

In this edition:-

The Indie Top Ten Hidden Album Tracks

For a brief, short-lived period sometime back in the mid 1990s probably, it seemed that an album wasn’t a proper album if it didn’t have a secret track hidden away. As a concept, the hidden track doesn’t work too well on vinyl, because generally it is possible to count the number of tracks or see if there is a disproportionate amount of time still left for the record to play during the last song. Not that that stopped The Beatles sticking ‘Her Majesty’ on the end of ‘Abbey Road’. Cassettes made it easier, but really nobody could be bothered.

But with the CD, oh what mirth, what merriment could be had by hiding a track. Leave ten minutes of silence at the end of the final track then add a song: most people will have left the room by then. Or use technology to hide a track at the start of the album; in fact, before it has even begun! Nobody will ever know! Which sort of renders the whole thing pointless anyway, if you ask me.

The cleverest, most hilarious, most knowingly-ironic use of the hidden track however has to lie with little-known London-based indie band Echolalia, whose ‘Secret Hidden Bonus Track’ was never recorded, just played live – mid-set- with the line “I bet it doesn’t even sound rehearsed”. It wasn’t. It was my band, and my, how we loved to watch the tumbleweed blow across the no-man’s land between stage and audience when we performed the track.

Anyway, enough rambling. Somewhere, amongst this jumble of letters, numbers and punctuation marks that masquerades as music writing, you might find hidden the answer to all of your musical prayers ever. It’s probably on Disc Three of a Four Disc set, accessed by pressing pause twice at 3:21 of track 4, then holding down the FF button for ten seconds straight. So in no particular order…

1. The Stone Roses – “Foz” 

If you’re going to hide a track for your fans, you might as well make it worthwhile finding. Some fans of The Stone Roses were less than impressed with the six and a half minutes of ‘Foz’ secreted at the end of The Second Coming; others will view it as the sound of a band taking time out to actually enjoy themselves mucking about during the protracted sessions that eventually produced the much awaited follow up to their eponymous debut. Ok, ‘She Bangs The Drums’ it is not, but one for the diehards? Apparently it is Track 90 on the CD, and has been recommended by @JohnnyDee_UK.


 2. Catatonia – “Gyda Gwen”

I think Catatonia sort of had the right idea, providing the lilting vocals and gentle melody of ‘Gyda Gwen’ at the end of their debut album ‘Way Beyond Blue’. Nominated by @tfdefence, the track fades into its beautiful existence after about eight minutes of silence at the end of the final listed track on the album.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon which side of the line you stand) the track is sung in Welsh, which is fair enough given that the band are Welsh, but at the same time it is a language that only 19% of the Welsh population speak. Consequently most listeners have to make do with enjoying the beautiful sounds emanating from Cerys’ vocal chords and hope they’re not in any way offensive to ourselves or others.


 3. Babybird – The Xmas God Of New York” 

Another band to sort of have the right idea was Babybird. By the time they released their third album ‘Bugged’ the band were carrying the much-misunderstood hit ‘You’re Gorgeous’ around their necks like a millstone. Their popularity in the media was beginning to wane as quickly as the realisation that they were not a novelty band but one with proper songs about proper things. The perfect time then, to release ‘The Xmas God Of New York’; so why then would you choose to put not only one of the best songs on an album but one of the best songs in your entire catalogue, as a hidden track? Also the best Christmas song in the world ever (narrowly beating St. Etienne and Tim Burgess’ effort) this track was discovered by @unclejel, whom I urge you to thank.


 4. Mansun – “An Open Letter To The Lyrical Trainspotter” 

And staying with the theme of bands sort of having the right idea, let’s head straight over to Mansun. It’s often said that if you’ve got something to say then it’s best to say it, and that is exactly what they do by writing an ‘Open Letter To The Lyrical Trainspotter’. Unfortunately, by hiding the track on their album ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ it is unclear as to how many lyrical trainspotters they expected to find and then duly digest the content of this open letter. Perhaps either @soxanpance or @Charlie_Clown could tell them.


 5. Belle & Sebastian – “Songs For Children”

The more we delve into this shady, mysterious ‘hidden track’ malarkey, the more it becomes apparent that indeed many indie artists sort of got the right idea without properly getting it. Take Belle & Sebastian as yet another example. By my reckoning they got pretty much everything right when they hid a bonus track on their album until they realised that, actually, it wasn’t an album but their ‘3…6…9…Seconds of Light’ EP. ‘Songs For Children’ might instead have been titled ‘Song for @BeardedSteven given that he is possibly the only person in the world ever to have looked for a hidden track on an EP.

6. Ash – “Jack Names The Planets/Don’t Know

Perhaps we could blame Ash’s misunderstanding of the principle of the hidden bonus track on youthful naivety or an exuberant way, given that the perennial youngsters were probably still in short trousers when they released their full length debut album 1977. For here is a band for whom one bonus track hidden in the pre-gap at the start of the CD was not enough. Oh no: they provided both ‘Jack Names The Planets’ and its b-side ‘Don’t Know’ on the first 50,000 pressings of the CD, as noted by @dustyinhere, @bringitonskippy and @simon_shell. And if that wasn’t enough the band added ‘Sick Party’, apparently a recording of them vomiting, at the end of their album. Kids, eh?


 7. Super Furry Animals – “Citizen Band/Chewing Chewing Gum”

Those japesters Super Furry Animals can have no such excuse as youth for committing the same act of secrecy; they’d been going for donkey’s years (although a donkey is admittedly more of a super, hairy animal) by the time they’d released ‘Guerrilla’ into the world. One track, ‘Citizen Band’, was hidden in the pre-gap and found by @Clive_Stringer, whilst at the back end of the album a reprise of ‘Chewing Chewing Gum’ was to be found, as noted by @country_mile. Maybe the Welshman had home advantage.


 8. The Wondermints – Various from “Bali” 

But not even these two bands can compete with The Wondermints when it comes to getting such a simple concept so wrong. Or right, depending upon how you look at it. @WallyTBM reckons there are ‘about a hundred’ secret hidden bonus tracks at the end of their ‘Bali’ album. The ‘Comes With A Smile’ blog suggests a figure closer to eighty six, many of which are instrumental but still a phenomenal amount. Maybe they just couldn’t be bothered typing out the full tracklisting.

9. The Afghan Whigs – “Miles Iz Ded” 

Sometimes however the hidden track at the end of an album has every right to be there: a postscript, an addendum, perhaps a moment of inspiration that came too late for the actual album recordings. Take the tale behind ‘Miles Iz Ded’, to be found at the end of Congregation by The Afghan Whigs and nominated by @_SandyWishart. For here is a track inspired by an answerphone message left on Greg Dulli’s phone just as the recording sessions ended, informing him that Miles Davies was dead, and to not forget the alcohol.


 10. Courtney Barnett – “Stair Androids & Valley Um…?”

And let’s not think that the hidden track is a relic from the past. Oh no. Well, not unless Australian artist Courtney Barnett wants her 2015 debut ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’ to be tagged retro. Unlikely, I am sure. In addition to including my favourite song title of the year so far in ‘Pedestrian At Best’, the album also includes the hidden track and similarly well-titled ‘Stair Androids & Valley Um…?’ Thanks to @mjgelder for pointing us all in the way of this track.



Secret, hidden bonus tracks then: seems like nearly everyone has been at it judging by the number of nominations. It appears that those hidden in the pre-gap can be found by starting your CD, then holding down ‘Rewind’ to rewind into the darkness before light or something. Only on selected CD players too. Alternatively, you can try to import the album onto your computer and it might appear as part of the first track. And apparently, secretly hidden amongst the text above, is the title of another hidden track nominated by one of you. If you find it, there might be a prize…

John Hartley

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After spending the best part of twenty five years trying to write the perfect pop song John Hartley has turned his attention to writing about those who have done a much better job at it. He tweets as @JohnyNocash and gives away his music, generally for free. He is currently raising money to support men’s mental health charity CALM (@theCALMzone) at http://brokendownrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-broken-heed

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The Indie Top Ten Songs With Profanities In The Title

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In this regular feature we ask the Everything Indie Over 40 social media community to help us compile a top ten list of a chosen topic. Our resident curator John Hartley (@JohnyNocash) then ponders, disects and finally presents.

In this edition:-

The Indie Top Ten Songs With Profanities In The Title

“Truth is, I used to think it mattered. I thought that music mattered. But does it bollocks. Not compared to how people matter”.

So speaks the legendary British actor Pete Postlethwaite in the film ‘Brassed Off’. And he is right, of course. But sometimes we need the music to help us make the people matter, or to take our minds off the fact that sometimes it would appear that people do not matter. More importantly, however, the above quote demonstrates possibly the finest use of my favourite swear word ever. It’s even better than that album title by The Sex Pistols.

You, dear contributors, of course have different preferences; for swear words, for song titles, for bands. A quite impressive 51 different suggestions, no less, which makes compiling this Top 10 even trickier. You buggers.

1. Flux Of Pink Indians – “Mind Fuckers Fucking Minds”

The prize for the most profanities included in the title is awarded to the @mixless – nominated Flux of Pink Indians. If you were that way inclined you could even afford yourself a childish snigger at the fact that the band name itself includes a word that sounds like it might be rude. However, ‘The Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks’ is a remarkable title that surely everybody can relate to in some shape or form. Unfortunately, the title is not a song in itself so cannot count. Fortunately, ‘Mind Fuckers Fucking Minds’ is a song, and it can be found on that album, here:


2. Julian Cope “All The Blowing Themselves-Up Motherfuckers (Will Realise The Minute They Die They Were Suckers)”

In the current climate of religion-induced violence (and yes, I know it’s been going on for centuries, but at the moment it doesn’t look like it’s about to vanish) it seems appropriate that Julian Cope’s ‘All The Blowing Themselves-Up Motherfuckers (Will Realise The Minute They Die They Were Suckers)’ should be included. Nominated by @051Omski this particular track wins the award for longest title amongst the contenders.


3. Future Of The Left “Robocop 4: Fuck Off Robocop”

The most-nominated song in the list is a seven-way tie, so I am going to take the casting votes and go with the suggestion made by both @lucyandamysdad and @charlie_clown. Future of the Left released a track entitled ‘Robocop 4: Fuck Off Robocop’; quite a brave title, as personally I would have named it Robocop 2, so credit for making it through three films before being reduced to swearing, folks.


4. The Sugarcubes “Fucking In Rhythm And Sorrow”

It often appears to be the case that the use of profanity within a song is for shock purposes. Many of our modern day profanities derive from old English terminology for functional activities. Only two of the suggestions actually used the language within this context. Only one of these makes it into the Top 10, however: step forward @Billychief for the nomination of The Sugarcubes. True enough, many of Einaar’s vocal contributions were sufficient to reduce many a listener to swearing but Bjork’s voice generally wins over. Such is the case with ‘Fucking In Rhythm And Sorrow’ from their debut album.


5. Belle and Sebastian  ‘Fuck This Shit’

However, sometimes the joy of the profanity is the simplicity and ease with which it shocks. When the chosen word is used by a band normally viewed as soft, gentle, twee even, that shock can only be magnified. Take Belle and Sebastian, for example: a band often associated with daydreaming, picking flowers in the park, going for a nice walk in the countryside and so on. I was quite shocked when hearing them complain about the referee giving them “fuck all” in ‘Another Sunny Day’, so you can imagine how far my jaw dropped when they named a song ‘Fuck This Shit’. Thanks @Wimon for reminding us:


6. Stereolab “You Little Shits”

The swear word can be used to create offence, to insult, to provoke. However, I reckon it works best when there simply are no other words left in the dictionary to express the unfolding situation. Just picture the scene, as I am sure that – like myself – @BeardedSteven has pictured it: it’s bin night, a grimy, grey London towerblock estate, and the air is heavy with drizzle. Stereolab’s Tim Gane has just sent his singer down four flights of stairs (the lift is broken) to put the last few lettuce leaves into the organic waste bin. As she approaches, Laeitita Sadier sees a gaggle of youths scarper from the bins, and on arriving finds that one of them has only gone and put a plastic bottle into the organic waste bin. Exasperation is an understatement, and ‘You Little Shits’ are the only words she can muster…


7. Nirvana “Territorial Pissings”

The joy of the EIO40 community is that everyone has very different tastes which sometimes overlap, like a massive Venn Diagram. However, those of you with gentler dispositions might choose to approach @mkip_68 with caution, given the number of suggestions offered by this particular member of our community (ie more than anyone else). The best-titled of these nominations is ‘Territorial Pissings’ by little known Seattle band Nirvana. They were tipped for big things at one stage, you know. Maybe their mums took offence at their song titling?


8. Blammo! “Wanky Wayne”

So many vulgarities, so many songs, yet some words are clearly more popular than others. Credit must go to @rojoyblancowizs for finding a song with a profanity in the title that nobody else used. (Or at least chose; what you do in your spare time is none of my business… ). This particular term must have been the bane of folk named similarly to the song’s subject; it has certainly been the bane of supporters of my football team (a Wanderers) and my county (Lancashire). Credit must be also due to finding the most obscure song within those suggested. So obscure in fact that intensive research on the internet failed to locate any record of it.

Notwithstanding that I’m taking @rojoyblancowizs word for it’s existence, because that’s the sort of trusting person I am. However, if anyone out there can enlighten us to Blammo!’s ‘Wanky Wayne’ please point us in the right direction so we can share this with you all.

9. Half Man Half Biscuit “The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman”

I had the pleasure of attending a Babybird gig in the early part of this decade. Not averse to the odd rant or two, Stephen Jones on this occasion decided to rail against radio networks. Taking umbrage at their complete ignorance of his featuring-Johnny-Depp single ‘Unloveable’, Jones bemoaned the lack of radio play his music was getting because “without radio, you’re fucked”. He then proceeded to announce the next song of the evening, the band’s next single: ‘Bastard’. Nobody suggested that particular song, but another of my favourite bands Half Man Half Biscuit were nominated twice, including ‘The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman’ as offered by @timh0bbs


10. Pixies “Oh My Golly!”

Sometimes, however, not even the most vulgar of words suffice to capture the very essence of anger, frustration, exasperation, rage, rebellion and so on. It is at times like these we must scour deep into our souls, flick the pages of our Oxford English Dictionary and pull out the only words left to capture the rawest of emotion. Step forward @Dalliance68, a community member who must have done this several times before, for that surely can be the only reason behind his Pixies nomination ‘Oh My Golly’


So there ends the Everything Indie Over 40 Top 10 songs with profanities in their titles. Thanks to the many, many other community members who offered suggestions for which there was insufficient space. Now go and wash your collective mouths out with soap and water.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After spending the best part of twenty five years trying to write the perfect pop song John Hartley has turned his attention to writing about those who have done a much better job at it. He tweets as @JohnyNocash and gives away his music, generally for free, at brokendownrecords.bandcamp.com

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Meet The Community – Tracy Kidner

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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Those of you on Twitter will be more familiar with Tracy as @Perlalaloca and will therefore know she is a regular fixture in our world. She has refereed The IndieOver40 Cup and was also a guest judge for the 30 Years Of Indie Albums feature exercising her duties in both with due diligence and humour (and all whilst looking after a young family). Our HR file on Tracy is marked “reliable”.

If you didn’t know (we do because it’s our job to know) Tracy’s Twitter moniker comes from the Jaime Hernandez Love & Rockets alternative comic book series. We also know that Tracy is a teacher in that real world that exists outside of indie.

We really wanted to get inside the indie-ness of Tracy so without further ado let’s meet Tracy Kidner

1) Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Tamworth. I didn’t fit in. Once I got threatened for being a tattooed girl who drank pints. Julian Cope ran away as soon as he could. Good advice.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

Truthfully, my first love, who leant me his vinyl copies of the Smiths, The Cure, Pixies, The Mission, the Darling Buds and did me mixtapes of The Clash, the Jam, Buzzcocks & The Wonder Stuff, who were new local heroes.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

Do we include Depeche Mode as indie? I loved Depeche Mode, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Yazoo. I think the first genuinely indie record would have been The Sundays Can’t Be Sure, after catching a bit on The Chart Show’s indie chart and hunted it down for WEEKS after, scouring Birmingham and Tamworth. I don’t think I can describe how that felt, getting my paws on it finally, and playing it over and over and over and over…

4) What was your favourite record shop?

Andy’s Records in Aberystwyth. I went to university there in 1989 and remember buying one vinyl LP every couple of months, The Wonder Stuff’s Hup, Carter USM’s 101 Damnations, Kristin Hersh’s Hips & Makers, Belly’s Star. So many important records. My ex got one of the original pressings of Tigermilk by Belle & Sebastian there. Dammit.

5) What music magazines did you read?

Smash Hits! I was a bit in love with Neil Tennant even before he joined the Pet Shop Boys. I still have the clipping where he left and they mocked him, saying he’d soon be back after going “down the dumper”! Then NME and Melody maker (always both. always) and then Select, which I LOVED. All those brilliant massive posters. I once put a personal ad in the back of Select. Crikey, the replies were…interesting…

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

The early 90s are a bit of a blur *cough-cidernblack-cough* My first gigs were both Erasure, but after that it’s a blur of Carter USM, The Wonder Stuff and Voice of the Beehive, who dedicated a song to me for slapping a bloke who kept heckling them to “Get your t*ts out for the lads”.
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7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

Two stand out. I “met” my now-husband online after posting a music lyrics quiz. He got the most right and then corrected me on a Carter lyric! When we met in person we realised we’d spent the 90s criss-crossing the midlands at the same indie gigs. We got chatting about a Carter gig at the Hummingbird and he said he’d not had a great time because he’d had a broken leg. I remember vividly SMILING at some poor soul at the bar that night because I felt sorry for anyone not able to mosh at a Carter gig! So I smiled at my future husband 10 years before actually meeting him.

The other was my 33rd birthday, Belle & Sebastian at Tokyo’s Shibuya AX, where we got to dance onstage with the band during Dirty Dream #2. Pretty memorable!

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

ONLY THREE! Evil.
Belly – Star
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
Pixies – Doolittle

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

P J Harvey. She’s unique.

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

I know someone who’d say Echobelly’s Great Things, but I’d like to say Kenickie’s Punka. If punkas ever do grow up…


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A huge thank you to Tracy for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into the indie-ness of Tracy.

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