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Appreciation For The B-Side

Discussion in 'Music' started by Willie Oleson, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    What is a B-side? The B-side is on the other side of the A-side of a vinyl single.
    On the A-side you'll find the "selling point" title i.e. the song that got played on the radio and also the title that would chart (unless it wasn't popular enough, then the single didn't chart at all).
    In case the single comes with artwork sleeve (as opposed to a nondescript company sleeve) then the title of the B-side will be shown in a less obvious way.
    upload_2018-8-1_22-23-31.png
    "Number One" (the title, not the side!) is obviously the additional, extra, B-side song.

    There are many instances of singles charting with both the A-side and B-side song, and it's also possible that these were double A-side singles i.e. A and AA. In that case the AA side would still be regarded as the B-side.

    Sometimes the A and B sides are listed as (side) 1 and (side) 2

    example:
    upload_2018-8-1_21-56-45.png upload_2018-8-1_21-57-18.png

    In this case Side 2 is the B-side, and as you may have guessed, A.I.E. A Mwana is the lead single, the song that everybody wanted to have and also the song that would be covered by Bananarama, 6 years later.

    There are also more creative examples e.g. 1 flower representing the A-side and 2 flowers representing the B-side.

    But what to do if there's no mention of A/B/Side 1/Side 2 at all?
    In that case the A and B sides will be determined by the catalogue number, usually printed on the label and/OR etched in the non-playable runout groove.

    example:
    upload_2018-8-1_22-18-3.png upload_2018-8-1_22-18-22.png
    In this case the highest number (50955) is the B-side, because "B" comes after "A".

    Warning! Don't be fooled by songs with "B-side" in the title.
    upload_2018-8-1_22-38-24.png
    This is still very much the A-side of the single.

    Here's an example of a (imo) great B-side song:

    (it also features on a CD re-release of the Space Oddity LP, hence the image used for this video)
     
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  2. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    That's quite an introduction to the b side Willie, I would have just posted Tracey's explanation and done a runner


     
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  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    The first record I bought (or got my parents to buy me, to be more accurate) was specifically for the B-side.

    Back when I was in my earliest days of primary school, one of my friends did some kind of patty cake thing with me while reciting a lyrical chant about a girl who looked like a sugar in a plum, which I loved. I'm not sure how soon after that I discovered it was a record, but I do remember that the idea of my friend's chant magically being on a record seemed astounding and I knew I had to have it.

    It's all a bit vague, but I can actually remember being in this little independent record shop trying to find it with my Mum and being close to tears because it wasn't where she thought it would be. That's when an assistant stepped in and explained that it was actually the B-side to another song. They produced it, and it got many plays for quite some years after that.

    So my earliest music buying experience has taught me never to underestimate the B.

    Here's the B-side in question:


    [​IMG]



    As it turns out, the A-side wasn't too bad either (but that's getting off topic for this thread)

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

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  5. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    That's the biggest 7" B-side I've ever seen. I'm glad the assistant was so kind to help you find this record.
    "no-one takes me seriously"
    Guilty as charged, I often never bothered with the B-side. I just kept playing the A-side radio hit over and over again especially those songs my brother didn't like.
    And one time he smashed it to pieces!
     
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  6. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    Oh...

    The B-side was a really important part of my record buying. Obviously, in most cases I bought a single for the A-side, but I'd already become very familiar with that one and so I was always pretty excited to learn what the B-side was going to be. I would be well upset if it was just a simple instrumental of the A-side and that may have been the deciding factor if I was faced with wanting a couple of singles, but only had the money for one. It was also important to me if they remixed the B-side on a 12" single.
     
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  7. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Weren't most remix editions released seperately?
     
  8. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    I'm not sure what you mean.

    A 7" single with a good B-side was always a double whammy, and I was a big collector of 12", but they were a little more money, so if the 12" had a remix of the B-side from the 7" I would try and buy that too.
     
  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    I misunderstood, I thought you meant the B-side as a remix of the A-side.

    I like Blondie's B-side to "The Tide Is High" (Suzy And Jeffrey)

    (although I can't make head nor tail of the lyrics)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  10. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Winner EXP: 7 Years

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    What about when the B-side is so much better than the A-side (or at least, just as good) -- or when the B-side became a much bigger hit than the A-side! There are a number of times when you have to check twice to realize a song was actually the B-side track because it's so unbelivable.


    Nancy Sinatra's Summer Wine
    (
    B-side to Sugar Town).





    Herman's Hermits' The End of the World
    (
    B-side to I'm Henry VIII, I Am)





    The Four Seasons' Silence is Golden
    (B-side to Rag Doll)

     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  11. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    The Beatles had a number of double-sided hits.

    Somewhat improbably, "Eleanor Rigby" was the B-side to "Yellow Submarine"; among others there were "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields", "Something"/"Come Together" and "Hey Jude"/"Revolution".
     
  12. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    Talking of B-sides and a great one at that is Heartbeat by the Psychedelic Furs. It was the B-side to the single Heaven. I didn't know at the time it was another album track.




    Then there was one hell of a mix on the 12" B-side to Heaven


     
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  13. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Addict EXP: 1 Year

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    The thread about songs with a clothes related word in the title reminded me of a b-side single from my beloved 80's: Black Pumps and Pink Lipstick. The a -side was a big hit for her, "Miracles." It got me thinking about some great 80's b-sides, or songs by artists that were awesome, but unnoticed.
    1. I Could Give You(a mirror) - The Eurythmics
    2. Think of Me- Madonna
    3. Play Guitar- John Mellencamp
    4. Mystery Achievement- The Pretenders
    5. Romancing the Stone- Eddy Grant. This may have been released as a single. but there was some legal stuff with the movie or something. Grant is known for "Electric Avenue," but this is a great song.
    5. I Do Believe(I Fell In Love) - Donna Summer
    6. Murder by Numbers- Sting
    7. Big Girls are Best- U2
    8. Just Call Me Joe- Sinead O'Connor
    9. Rock 'n Roll Widow- Tina Turner
    10. Diana- Bryan Adams
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019

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