I’ve bought one or two CDs where there were “bonus tracks” that were worth having. I put “bonus” because very often they are not really, in the sense that there was no earlier release that did not have them. I am not sure in what sense an album like Coldplay’s “X&Y”, recorded and released in the 21st century, can be said to have “extra” or “bonus” tracks. Having said that, the “bonus track” at the end of that album is probably a better song than many of the non-bonus songs on the album.
When it’s a case of extra tracks on a CD that were not on the earlier CD or vinyl release, I guess “bonus” is correct. Often I admit that I groan when finding they are there. Very often there is a reason they were left off the original, and it’s not to do with disc space, but rather that it simply wasn’t considered good enough for the release at the time. Now that CD capacity is greater, there is an expectation from the customers that a reissue will contain something extra, therefore the band or their label finds something in the vault, even if it’s a live recording in a railway station men’s room of a song where the studio version is already on the album. It’s especially annoying when you have a concept album or themed album with what feels like closure at the end, only to then get something that totally destroys the mood.
I appreciate the short period of silence before bonus tracks as it gives you plenty of time to hit the Stop button or lift the needle or whatever. I’d prefer, though, for any bonus tracks to be at the beginning, making it easy to skip if you wished. Alternatively, if there is bonus material that does not really go with the rest of the album, but you really think the fans should hear it, include a separate EP-style disc.