Zia Hassan

The Secret Song

Back when CDs were how people listened to music, there was a trend to include secret song at the end of the album (sometimes more).

The track wouldn’t be listed on the back of the album’s case, so there was no way to really know if it was there. But sure enough, you’d pop in your CD and your CD player would tell you that there are 14 tracks instead of 13.

The secret song always felt like a little post script. It wasn’t the final song on the album, it was the after thought. It was the song that the band would sometimes play at a show, and only a few people would really get it.

There’s no room for secret songs on a digital platform. If the file/song is there, it’s visible in the folder.

If that little piece of mystique was removed by our migration to digital streaming, then it’s safe to say that there are some other pieces that were removed as well. Like the importance of cover art to sell a record, in the same way that wine labels sell wine. We say that we don’t like to judge books by their covers, but if we’re trying a wine we’ve never tried before, that’s our only option.

I was just confessing to someone the other day that I haven’t connected to an album the way I used to, in quite a while. It makes sense.