Seven of the coolest Easter eggs in music

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Seven of the coolest Easter eggs in music

Axl Rose
Words by Benjamin Lamb

Masters of music with hidden facts, feat. Rush, Pink Floyd, and more.

As music fans, we’re always looking for cool new ways to experience our favourite tunes. With the rise of vinyl and lossless audio over the last few years, we’ve been able to enjoy music in a better format, but what about hearing new or secret things in our favourite music?

Easter eggs in music

That’s what we’re diving into today, some cool hidden things in your favourite albums and music. There’s no secret messages or backwards meanings, just a list of songs with a secret that the writer intended.

Read all the latest features, columns and more here.

Rush – ‘YYZ’

The Canadian rock trio dazzled fans across the world with their unique blend of rock and prog, each member as virtuosic as the last. They’ve always been known as a group that put a lot of attention and detail into their hundreds of amazing tracks, dropping a massive easter egg in their hit ‘YYZ’.

It’s an instrumental track which stands well on its own, but the listening experience is excelled after knowing the easter egg hidden in there – YYZ is the airport code for the Toronto International Airport, the group’s hometown, and there’s morse code used to identify the airport, which inspired a great deal of the song’s instrumentation, rhythm and time signature. These guys were truly some of the greatest musical minds.

Radiohead – Kid A

Radiohead and vocalist/frontman Thom Yorke have always been focused on more than the music, dedicated to artwork, an amazing live show, and giving fans a cool experience when listening to their music.

Their 2000 album Kid A was unlike anything fans ever heard from Radiohead, incorporating elements of electronica, moving away from the grunge rock stylings that had shot them into the mainstream years before.

Kid A featured a number of cool Easter eggs, but not musically, all focused on the album artwork. Kid A included a secret CD album booklet that was hidden under the CD tray. The booklet was jam packed with some borderline weird and bizarre words and stories, which secretly turned out to be lyrics and song titles from the band’s following two albums, Amnesiac and Hail To The Thief.

Pink Floyd – ‘Empty Spaces’

Even if you’ve never heard a Pink Floyd song before, you know that they’re extremely focused on the music, each intricate noise and detail is heavily intended for listener engagement and enjoyment.

Arguably, Pink Floyd’s most iconic album is 1979’s The Wall, and as a nod to the many apparent satanic messages that were hidden in music during that time, vocalist Roger Waters hid a message on ‘Empty Spaces,’ that can only be heard on the left channel.

He says, “congratulations, you have just discovered the secret message, please send your answer to Old Pink, care of Funny Farm, Chalfont”.

A funny tongue in cheek jab at other secret messages in music at the time. Chuck on your headphones and see if you can hear it below. 

Tool – 10,000 Days

Tool are one of the music world’s greatest genre-bending groups, mixing many different eras of rock and heavy metal into a number of hit albums.

The group’s 2006 album 10,000 Days had an easter egg that can be described as a music lovers delight. The album contained a hidden track, but fans needed to create it on their own.

If you joined ‘Wings For Marie’ with ‘Viginti Tres’ and then topped it off with ’10,000 Days’, the result would be an epic unlike anything you’d ever heard before. Check out a fan’s construction of the hidden track below.

Taylor Swift – ‘Me!’

She mightn’t be the most popular artist among Mixdown readers, but there’s no doubt Taylor Swift writes some great music and works hard on her craft. Unless you’re speaking to Damon Albarn.

In recent times, Swift has been re-recording her work so she can re-establish ownership over it, and fans have been inundated with cool little easter eggs and hidden messages about things in her re-recorded music.

In her recently new track ‘Me!’ which features Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco, the video is full of hidden messages about songs she’s releasing, and most notably, marked the name of her following single, ‘Lover’. Dive into all the other cool Easter eggs here.

Guns N’ Roses – ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’

They’ve had their ups and downs, but there’s no question that Guns N’ Roses are one of the most iconic groups, and have influenced the world of rock music forever.

The group have recently reunited after some years apart, bringing back Slash and Duff McKagan with vocalist Axl Rose.

It’s a song we’ve all sung at the top of our lungs at a party, but it’s got some pretty intriguing easter eggs behind it.

As anyone reading this would know, the song finishes with Axl singing ‘where do we go now?’ but that was actually him asking the question to the producer and bandmates in the studio, as they didn’t have lyrics for the end of the song. It’s now become a part of the fabric of the song, and couldn’t be fathomed without it

Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘If You Have to Ask’

Red Hot Chili Peppers have maintained their strong spot in the industry for a number of years, still releasing music to date, and getting as much praise as they did in the 90’s.

The group are often lauded for their amazing funk rock approach carried for so long by the talented guitarist in John Frusciante, their amazing bassist Flea, Chad Smith holding it down, and Anthony Kiedis being addicted to the shindig.

On their worldwide smash album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the album opened with a track called ‘If You Have to Ask’, which finishes off with a pretty cool easter egg. As you’ll hear below, Frusciante ends the song with a killer solo, and some cheering is heard. The solo was completely improvised by John, and the cheering was producers and others in the studio’s reaction to the killer solo.

For more on RHCP in the studio, check out Jake Brown’s book.