Why do artist/studios do this?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by bob_b, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. bob_b

    bob_b Auditioning

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    I have several CD's which contain 'blank' tracks or LONG silent passages before the song plays. Does anyone have an idea why they do that???
     
  2. Andrew Chong

    Andrew Chong Supporting Actor

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    If they are unlisted and located at the end of the last listed track, it is likely a bonus (hidden) track, isn't it? The Gorillaz CD has a remix of the ever popular 'Clint Eastwood' after about a two-minute moment of silence after the end of the last listed track.
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Bob,

    As an engineer who has worked with countless acts who have done variations on the this theme- often it is done to distance the songs from the album proper. Although you might not have any attachment to it- many bands/producers obsess over the placement of songs on the record, the flow of track to track and presenting the collections of songs as an album.

    Often, for one reason or another, a certain song does not really fit into the feeling for the overall record, but for one reason or another is decided should be included. In these cases- the song is often treated as an "extra" and the band will play around a bit with how to distance it from the rest of the album. Often this will involve placing it on the album after a period of silence after the final song of a record (traditional "hidden track"). Sometimes bands play with the preroll or countdown period availble between tracks to hid material (making it difficult to locate when chapter skipping through a CD)-- some acts have even managed to place material in the preroll track are before track 1- creating a 0 track that you can only find by rewinding from track 1 (the X-files soundtrack has this type of hidden track).

    You may find it kind of silly- but I have seen many artists go to EXTREME measures to put together songs in a way in which they feel present the material as a cohesive whole- a completed album. For example:

    - In the editing stage of putting together an album, I once worked for over an hour on the placement of the dead space between two songs. The band had a very specific desire of how the next song should come in- how much time should lapse between the two (actually it turned out that one half of the band had one desire and the other half, another). After spending waaaaaay too long playing and experimenting with literally fractions of a second variations- we found a flow everyone was happy with and the proceeded to spend another 20 minutes figuring out exactly where the "track" mark would go for the finished CD!

    - I had a band go back into a studio and rerecord the intro to a song transposed in pitch in order to better match the preceding piece of music. They really treated the flow of the album as one entire entity and felt that the intro clashed too much with the preceding piece!

    - On one project, an argument came up over the inclusion of one specific song which was considered "old" in the band's catalog (something they had played live for years without ever recording it). We tracked a rather breathtaking version of the song-- so 4/5ths of the band wanted to include it- but the main songwriter (who, no coincidence was serving a background role in the song in question) drug his feet on it. We finally convinced him to allow that the song be included as a "hidden track" after the album had completed. In order to allow this to happen- he went back in and composed a full string arrangement for an outro jam on the final tune and made us put together a complex edit of the last song fading out on the jam, coming back 30 seconds later with this string section- continuing the jam, cutting to the "hidden song", fade for 30 seconds and then coming back to the jam again.

    As you can see- there are usually complex "artistic visions" involved in these decisions.

    -Vince
     
  4. Jeremy Illingworth

    Jeremy Illingworth Supporting Actor

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    Yeah but they're still a drag for multi disc changers set on random.

     
  5. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    Jeremy -- They Might Be Giants' "Factory Showroom", Lamb's "Fear of Fours", and Cheap Trick's eponymous release on Red Ant also do the negative time trick. I think Mono Puff's "It's Fun To Steal" does too, but it's been a while since I last dug that out.
     
  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Kylie Minogue's "Light Years" album has a 0 track, "Password." The only way to hear it is to start playing track 1, and scan backwards.
     
  7. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    If you want to hear PLASTIC SEAT SWEAT by Southern Culture On The Skids you have to sit and wait after the last marked track atleast a minut it seems. There's a little blooper bit tacked on to the end of NEW FAVORITE by Alisn Krauss. I've come accross a few more of these but my memory is being a refusnik....
     
  8. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    that's not so bad, Robbie Williams' Swing When You're Winning has a "hidden" track at the end with something like 25 minutes' silence before it plays. [​IMG]
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Nine Inch Nails Broken - two bonus tracks which are 98 and 99 (with blank corresponding tracks in between). Depending on the player you may actually have to fast forward through all of them...and when on random play...well [​IMG]
    Staind Dysfunction has a bonus track that is the last ~5 minutes of the 21 minute long last track (acoustic, sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom, cool song).
    Staind Break the Cycle has the unlisted track 14 which is just an acoustic version of It's Been a While
    No Doubt has a track at the end of the album Return of Saturn that is an orchestra version of one of the tracks on the album (I forget which).
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i've got a few, but the most recent one i can think of is john mayer's 'room for squares' cd. track 13 is a dead track...think the guy's superstitious? [​IMG]
    also, i think depeche mode's 'ultra' has a similar gimmick (hidden track) somewhere near the end.
     
  11. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Interesting post Vince. But some of them overdo it. As long as they don't credit Cage I suppose they won't get into trouble tho.

    BTW, Sounds like Easter Eggs on DVD, I've never bothered with them either. Hmm, I wonder if any of my books have pages printed in invisible ink?

    Seriously, do I hate it when cd producers include "studio chatter" snippets in the track on cd reissues of old R&R numbers.
     
  12. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    and of course Weird Al Yankovic did it on Off The Deep End, along with the whole album being in the same style as Nirvana's Nevermind (OTDE was the album with Smells like Nirvana)
     
  13. Brian Bunn

    Brian Bunn Second Unit

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    The Waxwings-Low To The Ground also has a "0" track...darn good song too...and darn great album.
     
  14. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    It's, like, artistic, man!
    Another example of this stuff is Tool's Unertow, which has the 50-some blank one-second tracks so that Disgustipated (a particularly boring track) is on track 69. [​IMG]
    "This is necessary. Life feeds on life... feeds on life."
    Ok, Maynard, whatever.
    I'm just glad that after that they directed all their artsy-fartsy pretention where it belongs, in the music.
    NP: Joe Satriani, Strange Beautiful Music, SACD
     
  15. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    I don't usually mind it if it's an actual song (or something close to it) but more often than not, it's just something there.

    Pearl Jam's Binaural had a long pause at the end, for some typing sounds (which was supposed to demonstrate the Binaural recording style or something). Not too long a pause, but still annoying

    Our Lady Peace's Spirtual machines has really long pause then it's just Ray Kurzwell talks with his machine. Fits the theme, but not something I want to wait for, or even listen to.

    One of the Tea Party Albums (I think it's Transmissions) has a long pause, then some noises and you hear Jeff Martin singing something, all so quiet you have to turn the volume up quite a bit to even hear it.
     
  16. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Most annoying one: Incubus - S.C.I.E.N.C.E. It feels like "Hey, we got some extra space on the CD. Let's put some nonsencical stuff that is highly annoying."

    Yes - Open Your Eyes and Queen - Made In Heaven, both have very long ambient tracks at the end, with bits and pieces of other songs being sung inserted every once in a while. For Queen, I kinda understood it. Yes is just wierd that way.

    It is another argument for us to be able to burn CDs of what we have, since overall, I find this annoying...

    Jason
     
  17. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Sounds startlingly similar to a pro-pan and scan argument to me. [​IMG]
    -Vince
     
  18. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Vince, we have argued about Tool before. It was fun, though. Suffice it to say, Lateralus is masterpiece, you're wrong, nyeh-nyeh-nyeh.

    I am the best debater, ever.

    Of course I was being extremely sarcastic about them being artsy and pretentious... they're totally not, I just like to play on the stigma.

    Thanks for the info about the murder. Man, that's creepy!

     
  19. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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  20. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I had the Star Wars Episode IV soundtrack playing the other day cause my son loves it. At the end my wife yells at me saying it's skipping. Turns out, at the end they have "out takes" of the main title theme where they play a segment over about 10 times and you can hear studio chatter in between.

    Probably cool to the full blown Star Wars geek, but, really, really annoying to the average listener.


    I didn't know about the "0" track trick.. I'll have to check that out on my "Factory Showroom". If artists want to hide tracks.. thats how they should be doing it. I find it really irritating when my CD changer comes across a hidden pause/song in its shuffle mode. The "0" track trick avoids this.
     

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