Can someone explain to me the concept of a "CD Bonus Track" on an album dated 2003? How's that work, exactly?

26 Responses:

  1. jorm says:

    It allows them to charge the consumer 18 clams instead of the 14 that would be fair because now you're getting three good songs and TEN shitty ones instead of three good songs and nine shitty ones.

    It's for you, the consumer!

    Hey! Rosen is quitting. I think she got tired of being the target of hate.

    • cirollo says:

      Plus you get 89 three-second long tracks of silence between the 9th and 10th songs!

      No more shuffle for you, you fucking pirate!

  2. aml says:

    microsoft's new DRM disables your track forward button, so to get to the bonus track (the best song on the album) you have to listen to several humorous mentos commercials, which are included to defray the costs of piracy in the digital millenium.

    • ciphergoth says:

      Don't even joke about this possibility.

      Though actually it's worse than that - the Mentos plugs will be part of the lyrics of the song.

      • jwz says:

        Hey, DVD players already obey the bit that says "disable the fast forward button while playing the FBI Warning and studio logos." Welcome to the future.

        • ciphergoth says:

          Oddly enough, that's why I don't own a DVD player - I refuse to buy something which is programmed to fuck me about.

          I keep promising I'll get LiViD installed, buy the right sort of video card and run cables to the TV, but I don't know of a way to drive it by remote control...

          • injector says:

            A lot of the region hack mods also remove the button disable. I originally got my player modded just to watch just one Japanese DVD. But found the ability to jump to the DVD menu right after I put in the disc so useful I'd have the mod done even if I wasn't planning on watching out of region discs.

          • scjody says:

            Me too. That, macrovision, and region coding are reasons I will never buy a DVD player.

            I watch DVDs using my PC. I don't need a special video card since I use a projector, which is happier when it gets a VGA signal anyway. For a remote, I just use a cordless keyboard. It works better than your average remote - why aren't ALL remotes RF instead of IR?

            BTW LiViD is pretty well useless. Ogle is the best, but I keep VLC and Xine installed for when Ogle doesn't work. All these are on a separate Debian install on its own partition which I NEVER upgrade, since I got sick of spending hours making it all work before I could watch a movie.

  3. waider says:

    I figure it works about the same way as any DVD that advertises "Scene Selection" as a bonus feature on the cover blurb.

  4. They're different things; don't mix them up.

    Bonus: a named song, usually at the end of the album, that doesn't appear on the cassette version. But almost no one buys tapes any more (I got my first CD in 1994 and, believe me, I was a late adopter). Originally, a marketing gimmick. Annoying now.

    Hidden: an unnamed song, at the end of the album. It usually comes after several minutes of silence and doesn't get its own track. So, not only do you not know what the song is called -- you also can't skip to it easily. This was probably amusing the first time someone tried it. Flat-out obnoxious now.

    • injector says:

      Telepopmusik (sorry I collect Mitsubishi commercial music) was less obnoxious with their hidden track, it does have a number, just the track before it has a lot of silence. Actually they listed the track on the CD case, so they were just being obnoxious.

      My Nirvana's Nevermind was one of the mispressings, it didn't have the hidden, Endless Nameless. But my brother sold it for crack or something.

      I had once theorized that one could hide a track in the lead-in before the first track. As CD players start playing where the TOC says track 1 starts, but most allow you to scan backward into the few seconds of lead-in. So the artist could make the lead-in a few minutes and instead of all bits 0, they could put audio. I believe it has been done, just not by anyone I listen to, Willy Nelson, perhaps.

      • ctudball says:

        This is already being done. There are hidden first tracks on one of my They Might be Giants albums, and also on the 'Songs in the key of X' CD.

    • reify says:

      The last clever one I heard was on Machines of Loving Grace's Concentration. At the end of the last track, there are a couple minutes of silence as though it's going to have a hidden track at the end of it, and then a reverbed voice comes on and says "Don't fool yourself". And that's it.

  5. cpratt says:

    It it's Japanese, the idea is to give the Japanese market a reason to buy the domestic version of the CD instead of the far cheaper import, right?

    • kingfox says:

      That's exactly why the Japanese and Australian versions of most CDs have bonus songs.

      • Other than the record label artificially jacking-up the price of the CD, why would the locally-pressed version be more expensive? Don't the import taxes and shipping costs add on to the price?

        FWIW, I was in Australia in 1996 and the CDs didn't have bonus songs (believe me, I looked). They were also like $30 in US dollars. There was a damn-near 100% luxury tax on many books too. Yuck.

        • injector says:

          I have a friend in Japan, she says she goes to CD shops at military bases and buys the US releases there for much less than the Japanese release. But she did point out that the Japanese releases sometimes have bonus tracks, and almost always have lyrics where the US releases just do sometimes. She'll buy the Japanese release if it has the lyrics and the US one doesn't. There are music magizines in Japan that will tell you which version to buy in the reviews.

      • reddragdiva says:

        The Australian record companies have a habit of releasing the album, then releasing a 'special edition' three to six months later to make the fans buy it again.

        With the Australian dollar being worthless, imports are no longer cheaper in Australia. In fact, a lot of the majors are doing their pressing in Australia and exporting.

  6. nosrialleon says:

    My guess is that it's a new way to screw the artist -
    Since it's not an "official" album track, it receives no royalties.
    Don't know that for sure, but it would not surprise me.

  7. this can mean one of several things.

    the most common is that it's a repressing of an older album or something, ie current prints of old TKK albums all have "bonus" remixes.

    what you're probably dealing with is a selection of songs that weren't recorded in the same set of sessions, or originally intended to be listened to in the same set. most albums (or at least good albums) are written with some sort of coherence in mind, so if tracks that weren't originally intended for the album wind up on a disc, the band or producer might want to nominally separate them from the rest of the CD so listeners can grasp whatever concept they had in mind for the initial unit.

    this tends to happen when you have one acoustic track on an electronic album, a whole album that's "about" one theme but then there's one song that isn't, one cover song that doesn't really fit, etc.

  8. reddragdiva says:

    What I like is when it's the vinyl version that has the bonus. Because the vinyl version is usually a double LP these days, so there's plenty of room.