5 Secret Messages on Songs and Albums

Artists like Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain, and Jack White have created experiences for fans and listeners that the music world had never seen before. Some of those creations take a little extra time and a little extra discovery.

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Below, we share five eyebrow-raising easter eggs from songs on famous albums.

1. Jack White

On Jack White’s 2014 solo album, Lazaretto, he left a trail of discoveries for fans to find. For instance, there are two hidden songs on either side of the popular vinyl album, concealed under the record’s label. Also, there is the use of “dual-groove technology” that offers listeners to choose between an acoustic or electric intro for the song, “Just One Drink.” You just have to decide where you want to put the record player’s needle.

But wait, there’s more! There are also different mixes offered on the CD than the vinyl version. Side A of the vinyl plays from the outside in and the vinyl offers three different playing speeds.

2. The Beatles

There was a time when people thought Sir Paul McCartney had died and was replaced by a body double. If you thought conspiracy theories were new to the 21st century, you’re wrong. They existed years ago, too.

The reason for this thought of McCartney’s demise largely stems from the popular Beatles song, “Strawberry Fields Forever,” in which someone can be heard during the song’s outro saying, “I buried Paul.” But no, the melodic songwriting Beatle did not die in a car crash in 1966, thankfully. Lennon, though, says he was saying, “Cranberry sauce,” and the band’s publicist said they were saying, “I’m very bored.” 

3. Nirvana

As fans and avid listeners of the band’s sophomore album Nevermind can attest, there is a secret song on the record that many might have missed. Before streaming music, secret songs were all the rage. On Nirvana’s record, the secret song comes really late into the LP, after about 10 minutes of silence. That’s when the song “Nameless, Endless” begins playing. While the song is not credited on the LP and is not even featured on every copy, it was certainly there, ready to punch a hole in your speakers.

4. Radiohead

The cerebral British-born rock band always seems to be up to something. On their LP Kid A, this was assuredly the case. On the 2000 LP, there were secret clues hidden inside the case of the album. For instance, another booklet was inserted behind the CD tray that showed fans strange lyrics and poetry.

At the time, no one knew what to make of it but later it all became clear. The notations were signaling the band’s next albums, the 2001 LP Amnesiac and the 2003 LP Hail to the Thief.

5. Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd is one of the most popular bands of all time and the most inventive. From the rumors that their LP Dark Side of the Moon matched up with the classic movie The Wizard of Oz to the reality that on their song “Empty Spaces” from the band’s 1979 LP The Wall had a message from Roger Waters, the band kept fans on their toes. On the latter, Waters can be heard saying, “Congratulations. You’ve just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont…” And yet another voice can be heard saying, “Roger! Carolyne is on the phone!”

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

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