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Top 10 Nightwish Bonus Tracks

Nightwish are perhaps the biggest band in symphonic metal, leaders in creating epic music. But that doesn't stop at their main songs - they have some truly brilliant bonus tracks that are must-listens.

For this article, I'm taking "bonus track" to mean any of Nightwish's songs that don't appear as a main track on a full studio album. So while some of these are bonuses, others are covers, or taken from EPs and singles. All these tracks should be available to buy digitally if you can't get hold of the original release.

Let's go!

10. Where Were You Last Night

Nightwish - Where Were You Last Night

Available on: Wish I Had An Angel single

This cover of a pop track by 80s Swedish singer Ankie Bagger was an odd choice for the band, but it actually works really well. Tarja Turunen sounds like she's having great fun on the vocals, and the track certainly seems to be a favourite of hers as she often still performs it in her live shows.

9. Sleepwalker

Nightwish - Sleepwalker

Available on: special editions of Wishmaster [normal version] + Deep Silent Complete single, Wishmastour 2000 compilation, special editions of the Bless The Child single, extended edition of the Highest Hopes compilation [heavy version]

Sleepwalker is famous for being the song that Nightwish tried to enter in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000. Although they won the public vote, the jury overruled them. The song comes in two versions - a "normal version" with more overtly operatic vocals from Tarja and more electronic elements, and a "heavy version" with the rest of the band's instruments more prominent. Personally, I like the strangeness and slightly ethereal sound of the normal version.

8. The Wayfarer

Nightwish - The Wayfarer

Available on: special editions of Century Child, Ever Dream single, extended edition of the Highest Hopes compilation, Tales from the Elvenpath compilation

This lovely bonus track is a popular one amongst fans, and is a notably more upbeat track when compared to the rest of the Century Child album. The keyboard line of this song is often included by Tuomas Holopainen as part of a keyboard solo medley that he inserts into Planet Hell.

7. Erämaan Viimeinen (ft. Jonsu)

Nightwish - Erämaan Viimeinen (ft. Jonsu)

Available on:
Finnish single, platinum edition of Dark Passion Play, free CD single from German Metal Hammer

Nightwish fans are well aware of Last of the Wilds, the folky instrumental track from Dark Passion Play. But there is also this version, with vocals in Finnish from Indica's Jonsu. It was released as the third single from the album, but only in Finland. I find both versions of the song enjoyable to listen to... and I admit to regularly attempting to sing the lyrics, despite not speaking any Finnish (oops).

6. The Hearts Asks Pleasure First

Nightwish - The Heart Asks Pleasure First

Available on:
The Crow, The Owl and The Dove single

Tuomas has professed his admiration for composer Michael Nyman in the past, in particular this song (fun fact: Neil Gaiman loves listening to Michael Nyman music when he writes). He wrote and recorded his own version of it with lyrics for the Dark Passion Play sessions, with Anette Olzon on vocals. Fans were excited to hear a snippet of this cover (part of the soundtrack from Oscar-winning movie The Piano) closing one of the band's concerts, but sadly there was a long wait for its release as Nyman originally would not give his permission. The track is powerful and heartfelt, and with its beautiful lyrics - "a kindest heart made me believe the world as I wished it to be" - it makes a great wedding song.

5. Sleeping Sun

Nightwish - Sleeping Sun

Available on: Sleeping Sun (Four Ballads of the Eclipse) single, special editions of Oceanborn, Tales from the Elvenpath compilation [original version] + Sleeping Sun 2005 version single, Highest Hopes compilation [2005 version]

This track began life when Nightwish's record company asked Tuomas to write a song that could be released as a single, and dedicated to the eclipse. As a result, Tuomas has said that the song isn't one of his favourites, but as one of the band's best loved ballads it got a re-release and a new video in 2005 (shown above).

4. While Your Lips Are Still Red

Nightwish - While Your Lips Are Still Red

Available on: Amaranth single, Made In Hong Kong live/compilation EP

While Your Lips Are Still Red is notable for not featuring all of the members of Nightwish. Instead it was a composition by Tuomas and Marco Hietala, with Marco on vocals and Jukka Nevalainen on drums. It's a ballad again, and a lovely one at that. The song was used as part of the soundtrack for the Finnish movie Lieksa! (also known as The Matriarch), which is what you can see clips of in the video. The band have been said to refer to it as "the Finnish homo stalking video" - probably the less said about that, the better.

3. Over the Hills and Far Away

Nightwish - Over The Hills and Far Away

Available on: Over the Hills and Far Away EP, Highest Hopes compilation, Tales from the Elvenpath compilation

This energetic Gary Moore cover is a perennial fan favourite, and one that warranted headlining its own EP (which features another song that made this list...).  It was released as a single with a full Viking-themed video. The song hit the Nightwish news once again in 2013 when Tarja chose it to perform as part of a special duet with new Nightwish singer Floor Jansen at Metal Female Voices Fest, uniting two of the band's eras.

2. 10th Man Down

Nightwish - 10th Man Down

Available on:
Over the Hills and Far Away EP

10th Man Down is surely one of Tarja's most epic vocal performances. This track portrays the horrors of war, with guest vocals from Tapio Wilska (ex-Finntroll). It's hard to ignore lyrics like "they wait for me far back home, they wait with eyes turned away, they were the first ones to see, they are the last ones to bleed..." Sadly, this brilliant track never got a single release or a video, but many fans have requested for it to return for a live appearance now that Floor has joined the band.

1. Escapist

Nightwish - Escapist

Available on: special editions of Dark Passion Play, Bye Bye Beautiful single, Made in Hong Kong live/compilation EP

For me, Escapist deserves the top spot as not only an iconic Nightwish song but one of the only songs I have ever fallen instantly in love with. The moment I heard it it was on repeat for the rest of the day. The orchestra is just intense and the song itself manages to feel full of positive energy - an aspect which is perhaps what made Tuomas feel that it didn't fit with the main songs picked for Dark Passion Play. The epic conclusion to the song features some of Anette's strongest vocals. It's no wonder that many fans choose this as one of their top tracks from the band.

Now the list is complete, let me know - what are your favourite Nightwish bonus tracks? And which other bands do you think have treated us with excellent extras?


No doubt it is "10th Man Down" for me. When I know songs by heart I just stop listening to them (I guess everyone does that), but that one? I can listen to it an extra thousand times, it won't matter. It's genius, epic, in a way disturbing but so, so beautiful. It should definitely appear in their setlist more often. I really hope they'll play it with Floor, and I'm sorry they never got to do it with Anette; I'm sure she would have done a terrific job on the verses and would have done good impros in order o own the chorus (which is perfect with Tarja on vocals).


It is a brilliant song! I agree, I would really love to hear Floor perform it.


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