Friday, September 14, 2007

ME, WHITE NOISE

ME, WHITE NOISE by Blur.

ME, WHITE NOISE (ALTERNATE VERSION) by Blur.

Today is a special treat whether you know it or not. During the 90s when CDs were the primary mode of delivering music, there were periodic fads for "hidden tracks" on the discs. The first kind of these hidden tracks would simply be extra songs tagged on at the end but not listed on the label. Pretty soon they would add a period of silence between the last song and the hidden track (kind of like an extra movie scene after the credits have rolled, you have to stay around until the end). I think they did this on both Pearl Jam's first album and on "Nevermind," to name just two. Occasionally the hidden track would be given its own track number (often track 69, how clever).

The cleverest (not to say lamest) innovation was the use of pre-track gaps to hide tracks before the first listed song on the album. Meaning, if you put the CD in and played it, the music would start with track one, but if you put it in, played it, then immediately rewound backwards, you could scroll all the way back to the beginning of a hidden track and listen from there. Extremely annoying, even more so because iTunes doesn't recognize these tracks, making them more or less inaccessible to people that listen to music with iPods.

Blur's most recent CD, "Think Tank," has one of these hidden tracks on it called Me, White Noise. It features Phil Daniels talk-singing, a little like he famously did on Parklife. It's also pretty good. But I hadn't heard it in years (see above). A year or two ago, I came across an alternate version of the song with Damon doing the vocals. Worth hearing. But last night I decided I'd try again to free the original version. It turns out that with a couple of simple programs and a little elbow grease, you can record digital copies of the CD, including hidden tracks, and then convert to mp3. Which is exactly what I've done here. So without further ado, here are two versions of a rare Blur song. Have a nice weekend, be well.

LISTEN to ME, WHITE NOISE.

LISTEN to ME, WHITE NOISE (ALTERNATE VERSION).

Photo: World Cup Final (3).

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4 comments:

john said...

hey thanks for these! up till now, i've written the hidden tracks off as unaccessible to the itunes era, mostly because i'm lazy....

Bill said...

me too. there are some more now that i'm going to rip now

corbett said...

Please do. Don't forget that good one on "Guerrilla" about CB's. What was the mania for these things all about?

Bill said...

yeah that's the main one. the disc is at amy's school at the moment though