I wrote about how to delete songs once before. That was for iTunes 11.x. Maybe Apple read it and decided they’d made it too easy to delete a song? In iTunes 12 it’s different! “They’re always changing things; and they do it just to confuse you.”
The trick is to find the song in Songs, then delete it. Delete it from anywhere else, such as a playlist, and it will lurk forever, orphaned in your music collection and uselessly taking up space. That’s because a playlist is a bunch of pointers to songs, not a bunch of songs.
I just downloaded Simon and Garfunkel’s “Pleasure Machine.” But I didn’t notice that I’d bought a truncated version of the song until I listened to the whole thing. So I downloaded the full song. Now I have to delete the truncated song.
1. Using the search field in the top right corner, search for the song. (Even if you’re looking right at it in a playlist, that’s no good.) In the search results, find it under Songs. In this example, there are two versions of “Pleasure Machine” so I’ll have to be careful not to delete the wrong one.
If Delete isn’t in the floating menu, then you’re looking at the song in a playlist, not in Songs; and you won’t be able to really delete it. Go back to Step 1.