What’s with blank tracks?

I don’t know if you guys remember this, but back in the 90s there was this ridiculous trend to insert all these blank tracks on CDs. Nine Inch Nails did it on the Broken EP, Marilyn Manson did it on the Antichrist Superstar album, Korn did it on Follow the Leader, and so on.

82 tracks of silent goodness

I get it that it’s to create hidden tracks at the end of your album, but it’s just incredibly annoying when you want to listen to your CD on shuffle. You end up getting all these pauses everywhere, and it’s just so irritating. At least on Broken they were just empty tracks and would skip past pretty quickly, but on some of albums the blank tracks actually had a few seconds of silence, just to really pad out the time and test your patience.

If you really want a hidden song, then make it properly hidden. I think another Marilyn Manson album had a hidden track that’s only unlockable if you pop it into your computer; that’s pretty cool. There was a Finnish metal band in the mid-90s that hid a small soul-stone somewhere in the digi-pak, and you have to stab it into your forehead at the 6:06min mark of the 6th track in order to summon a three-piece demon band to play a cover of Paint It Black.

Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol was a shit song

But mostly, I find hidden tracks just pretty annoying, you know? Like in Nirvana’s In Utero, where All Apologies was over half an hour long. Why? Because they decided to hide Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through the Strip about 20mins after All Apologies ended, on the same track. This meant ripping either song on its own pretty much impossible, and I like All Apologies. The other song on the other hand, I can honestly do without.

Note to bands: If you’re going to include a bonus track that makes the listening experience kinda annoying, you’d better make damn sure it’s a good bonus track.

For those of you who don’t have In Utero, click after the jump to see just how annoying its hidden track is.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Insert really shit song right about here.

And record companies wonder why people don’t buy albums anymore.

Advertisements

About Drew

I love videogames, movies, my wife and my dog (in no particular order). View all posts by Drew

4 responses to “What’s with blank tracks?

  • Lord Nikon

    I don’t know what’s more annoying, the crazy empty tracks or having super long pauses after the last song for the bonus track. If they want bonus tracks they should embed into their albums in a way where it doesn’t disrupt normal listening! Like in Nin’s Ghosts where you can only hear the bonus track by reconstructing them from multi-track files on the DVD.

  • Boss_Anjo

    I kinda like the end of Placebo’s Without You I’m Nothing album, you’re done with the album and you go about your own business then suddenly after 14 minutes of silence you hear this awesome creepy track. I like how it sneaks up on you, PLUS they sampled vocals from Aphex Twin’s Come To Daddy EP on it too. Sweet.

  • Drew

    That Ghosts thing sounds awesome. That’s how you insert a hidden track! But I can’t stand the 14 minutes of silence. That’s just plain dumb!

  • Boss_Anjo

    Imagine if the band really wanted you to appreciate their album in it’s entirety and had all their songs mixed into one long track… like how the Mulholland Drive dvd has no chapter tracks, THAT would be way more annoying than blank tracks or 14 minute pauses!

Drop a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: