Musings on the byways of popular culture
29/05/2019 by Uncle Wheaty 108 Comments
The Smiths Back to the Old House
Uncle Wheaty says
29/05/2019 at 20:47
It might even be the greatest!
bang em in bingham says
29/05/2019 at 21:15
Freddy Steady says
29/05/2019 at 21:50
Good call but it’s actually “Mars bars” by the Undertones. B side of Jimmy Jimmy.
Billybob Dylan says
29/05/2019 at 22:03
The correct answer is ‘Jail Guitar Doors’, the b side of ‘Clash City Rockers.’
Moose the Mooche says
29/05/2019 at 22:13
The song I like is definitely better than the song you like. This never gets old, does it?
30/05/2019 at 00:12
And we all already know the answer is The Butterfly Collector.
Fictional rock band The Little Ladies had a flop with their single OK, while in the real world it was a hit. The b-side was called B-Side and was all about how the character of Anna (played by Charlotte Cornwall, who is John Le Carré’s sister) resented her song being relegated to the b-side. (She shouldn’t have called it B-Side then, the silly eejit.)
Junior Wells says
30/05/2019 at 08:12
Run Through the Jungle b side to CCRs Up Around The Bend
30/05/2019 at 09:53
Definitely better than the A-side, IMHO.
30/05/2019 at 19:55
I’ll ask it and they will come!
29/05/2019 at 23:40
30/05/2019 at 02:29
Closely followed by…
Vulpes Vulpes says
30/05/2019 at 10:26
Correct answer. No contest.
Sewer Robot says
30/05/2019 at 12:36
The more times Rain gets posted on this site the more I become convinced that this specific track is the cut off point for The Cult Of The Beatles.
A healthy level of Beatles appreciation acknowledges that they were an ace band with a phenomenal body of work and unequalled influence (and I can hear that even the, quite honestly, unremarkable Rain can be heard in the work of a zillion acolytes – a consequence of that other detail – that no other band achieved anything like the same degree of fame), but, like any band chucking out that much material in such a short time, not everything they released was from the top drawer.
Play someone Rain, and, if they hear a sublime slice of transcendent genius rather than a mildly diverting knockoff written almost as though in response to a “b side required ASAP” memo, they are prime cult material..
31/05/2019 at 15:17
No, you have cloth ears, is all. Were you there when it came out? It sounded completely strange at the time, a proper weird one. The drugs were beginning to make themselves heard, man.
31/05/2019 at 21:19
How old are you?
Where you there when it came out?
01/06/2019 at 01:29
Yes, I’m too young to have been there when it came out and I am aware of the handicap that arriving at major artists after you hear those they have influenced presents to a proper appreciation, but I’ve somehow managed to hold a great chunk of the Fabs’ work in the highest esteem despite my cloth ears.
I may have overstated my case a tad (can’t resist a bit of embellishment) but the reverence for this one just leaves me scratching my head. All I can tell you is it’s an honest opinion which grows stronger rather than weaker with repeated listens..
30/05/2019 at 02:34
A quick look on Spotify shows that Maggie May is Rod Stewart’s most popular song. This of course was originally a B side. I can’t imagine there are any other acts whose most popular songs were originally B sides oh hold on The Stone Roses.
Rigid Digit says
30/05/2019 at 19:21
Started life as the B Side.
Them – Gloria
Booker T & The MGs – Green Onions
Primal Scream – Velocity Girl
31/05/2019 at 01:35
No Maggie May/Reason To Believe was a double A side.
Neither was ever the B side.
04/06/2019 at 20:45
Sorry Carl but i have an original UK copy and Maggie May is clearly labelled as the b-side…
30/05/2019 at 03:42
How Soon is Now? was a B side!
30/05/2019 at 06:16
My thoughts exactly.
30/05/2019 at 03:57
Panic In Detroit – not included on 1974’s ‘David Live’ but put on the B-side of Knock On Wood. The band are on fire, wicked bass and a classic Earl Slick guitar solo
View post on imgur.com
30/05/2019 at 05:58
David Bowie didn’t bother much about B sides. They were mainly album tracks or any old crap that had been lying about the studio for a few years. However, in 1979, he remade Space Oddity specifically as a B side. It’s a belter.
30/05/2019 at 16:52
Fantastic Voyage on the B side to Boys Keep Swinging is perfect. I tend to think album tracks should not really be considered though.
30/05/2019 at 04:57
The Slade single Skweeze me pleeze me had a wonderful B side Kill em at the Hot Club tonite where they went all Stephane Grappelli on our ass and showed they could play a bit.
30/05/2019 at 05:39
Slade’s singles from 71-73 all had decent songs on the flip-side – Candidate, My Life Is Natural among the best. And while we’re talking about glam rock hod-carriers, The Sweet also did some of their best work on B-sides – things like New York Connection and Rock n Roll Disgrace
The Model, B-side of Computer Love:
Lonesome Tonight, B-side of Thieves Like Us:
Seconds, B-side of Don’t You Want Me
1963, B-side of True Faith:
I was going to post Jasper Carrott’s ‘Funky Moped’ but that was the A-side.
30/05/2019 at 09:18
Some excellent choices there.
30/05/2019 at 09:23
I forgot one (it was early!). B-side of Suburbia:
30/05/2019 at 14:47
You beat me to it with 1963 Steve… your other choices aren’t too shabby either
30/05/2019 at 15:09
One day I’ll do a whole pub DJ set of B-sides and see if anyone notices.
That assumes they’re actually listening, of course.
Black Type says
30/05/2019 at 15:31
Pet Shop Boys have a plethora of stellar b-sides – two officially released double-albums’ worth, as of seven years ago. Probably many more by now.
30/05/2019 at 06:37
I can’t confirm this, but I always recall people saying Sweet singles all had decent b-sides. Or was it Dave Dee, Beaky, Mick and Tich?
Paul Wad says
30/05/2019 at 08:20
Me and the wife, both blessed with great big noses, used to tell people we’d been asked to replace a couple of members from a 60s band, who had now renamed themselves Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Beaky and Beaky.
30/05/2019 at 09:54
I saw Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch recently. Beaky is the only original left, but presumably they couldn’t find anyone called Dave Dee to replace the late lead singer! They were surprisingly good – Beaky is a bit of a hoot and very self-deprecating. They did some great pop songs.
John Walters says
30/05/2019 at 10:33
Beaky used to own a club on the Costa Del Sol and I saw him many, many times. He always put on a terrific show.
31/05/2019 at 01:38
Sweet always wrote the B sides because the A sides were Chinnichap productions.
They tended to display their heavy rock credentials on said B sides (which also meant they got a decent share of the royalties).
15/06/2019 at 15:52
Burn on the Flame
Man from Mecca
New York Connection
Own Up (Take a look at yourself)
Someone else will
You’re Not Wrong For Loving Me
Need a lot of lovin’
(and who can forget) Spotlight.
30/05/2019 at 06:43
Here’s a few more suggestions:
Perfect Day – Lou Reed (b-side of Walk On The Wild Side)
Hey Hey What Can I Do (b-side of US-only single Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin)
Thinking of You – Sister Sledge (b-side of Lost In Music)
30/05/2019 at 16:30
Thinking of You – not only the best Sister Sledge track, but the best of Rodgers and Edwards. [IMHO]
30/05/2019 at 06:44
Samba de Orpheus was a 1962 single by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, released by the record company to cash in on the fleeting bossa nova vogue. On the verge of sinking like a lead balloon, DJs flipped over the disc, played the B side, and rest is history…
30/05/2019 at 08:35
B side to Running Up That Hill……
31/05/2019 at 02:26
When the Kate Bush fanzine Homeground did a poll of her best songs this was just outside the top 10 I think. Great song. Just about of her B sides in the first half of the 80s are really good, but they got a bit dull after that. Though I do like I’m Still Waiting.
31/05/2019 at 09:16
Ah, and remember that Ken is the leader of the GLC.
Stan Deely says
30/05/2019 at 08:43
Oh Shit – Buzzcocks. Greatest B-side to the greatest A-side of all time.
30/05/2019 at 16:46
The A side is glorious, but the B side is a bit er…. shit.
eddie g says
30/05/2019 at 09:02
I think it’s this isn’t it?
30/05/2019 at 11:08
Satellite on the flip of Holidays is also an absolute belter
30/05/2019 at 17:52
30/05/2019 at 15:06
I love ‘Did You No Wrong’ – one of the all time monster riffs!
I think it’s a toss up though between DYNR & ‘I Wanna Be Me’, which just fizzes along & has that pre- ‘beefed up’ rock sound that later became a bit of a trademark.
30/05/2019 at 16:57
‘Did You No Wrong’ was the very first Sex Pistols song I heard. Tuning in to Peelie one night he was spinning it and I caught it from roughly halfway through. I’d read about the Pistols and had already decided to hate them without hearing a note (having just got into Yes) but when Peel back announced it I was in shock. It was the greatest slab of rock and roll I’d ever experienced. I don’t think they ever bettered it. This must have been what ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ sounded like on the radio back in 1957.
30/05/2019 at 21:32
It’s not often said, but the Pists were a bloody good b-sides band.
31/05/2019 at 10:53
Very true. Some of their A-sides sound dated now by comparison.
30/05/2019 at 09:07
B-side of Poor Moon. No I can’t remember it either but I do remember this.
30/05/2019 at 10:34
The only correct answer to this thread is “I’m Down” by The Beatles.
30/05/2019 at 11:24
See also Rain mentioned above, plus This Boy, I’m the Walrus, Old Brown Shoe, Don’t Let Me Down, Yes it is, Revolution etc. I do agree The Smiths had some crackers, as did The Jam.
30/05/2019 at 13:12
Thank You, Girl? No? Sorry.
30/05/2019 at 13:17
Probably not, but there’s a storming live version of it on Anthology.
30/05/2019 at 17:51
I used to love “Rarities,” and its CD equivalent “Past Masters.”
They’d be hammered for it, but I for one would not complain if a Beatles’ As and Bs compilation was released.
My favourite Kinks’ song is not only a b-side, it’s a mainland Europe only b-side!
“This Is Where I Belong.”
And “Berkeley Mews” wipes the floor with “Lola.”
30/05/2019 at 19:34
I´m Not Like Everybody Else was Sunny Afternoon´s B-side. I prefer Sunny Afternoon, but I´m Not is a great great song.
04/06/2019 at 20:48
Berkeley Mews is superb
Also liked Rats b-side to Apeman….
hubert rawlinson says
30/05/2019 at 12:51
Don’t know if this is the greatest but I loved to put this on the jukebox when on holiday one summer.
B side of Man of the World.
30/05/2019 at 14:53
A fondly-remembered B-side from my mis-spent youth.
“Hello Hello”, B-side of Caravan’s 1970 single “If I could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You”
Another is this one “N.S.U.”, on the flipside of Cream’s “I Feel Free”.
30/05/2019 at 15:02
An obscure one now.
B-side of Planet Gong’s “Opium For The People”
(Poet For Sale)
31/05/2019 at 01:41
As I have pointed out previously (to no response at all) the excellent Hello Hello is probably the only example of a pair of hedge clippers being used as a percussive instrument.
30/05/2019 at 15:16
A strong contender, featuring John Peel’s favourite guitar solo.
30/05/2019 at 17:48
Oasis did some topper B Sides (some better than the A Sides)
The Masterplan and Acquiesce to name bu two.
Tow of their best though:
Fade Away (B Side of Cigarettes and Alcohol)
Stay Young (B Side of D’You Know What I Mean – and left off Be Here Now in favour of Magic Pie (not one of Noel’s finest decisions)
30/05/2019 at 19:37
See also Talk Tonight and Round Are Way (sic). One could argue B-side collection The Masterplan is their second or third best album.
30/05/2019 at 20:04
Stay Young is probably their best track.
31/05/2019 at 13:34
I’d also add Rockin Chair (Liams best ever vocal performance) & Half The World Away to that list. Each of them better than anything from Be Here Now
05/06/2019 at 11:15
Half the World Away might be my favourite song of theirs full stop.
Between 2 for me.
Beach Boys – Don’t Worry Baby – B side of I Get Around
You Can’t Always Get What You Want – back of Honky Tonk Woman
30/05/2019 at 17:57
The Butterfly Collector is oft cited as the Jam B-Side, and it probably is.
Although it is a close call for Smithers-Jones and Tales From The Riverbank.
I do like the B-Side to All Around The World – Carnaby Street.
Is it their best? Probably not, but it’s still a fine toon
31/05/2019 at 10:44
I like The Butterfly Collector, but am I the only one who thinks it’s a melodic rip-off of The Crying Game? I think I am, y’know.
30/05/2019 at 19:04
And another “left of the album in favour of a lesser track” B-Side
Iron Maiden – Total Eclipse
30/05/2019 at 19:39
Left off to fit in Gangland, which is a laugh. Something to do with having to meet a deadline, I think. Reinstated for the CD-version though.
30/05/2019 at 19:30
The Cure – 10.15 Saturday Night
B Side to Killing An Arab
30/05/2019 at 20:02
That was excellent and with better haircuts!
Diddley Farquar says
30/05/2019 at 19:53
Top notch from Hooky and the boys.
30/05/2019 at 19:56
Aneurysm by Nirvana. One of their finest efforts.
Black Celebration says
30/05/2019 at 20:41
Best b-side of all is a bit of a stretch – but I particularly like:
Soft Cell – Where did our Love Go?, Martin, So, Facility Girls
Depeche Mode – Dangerous, In Your Memory, Sea of Sin
OMD – The Romance of the Telescope, Sacred Heart
31/05/2019 at 21:58
I think the way Tainted Love turned into Where Did Our Love Go? on the 12″ was something I heard at a quite an impressionable age. It was on Radio 1 (perhaps Annie Nightingale) and it transformed a song I quite liked into an absolute humdinger of a thing that needed to be on my record player immediately. I think I assumed she was just playing the single but then….it just keeps going,..and it’s brilliant. The way the beat carries on and then the keyboards start to get a bit creepy as we move into the next section is something I still get shivers about. It got me looking for remixes and extended versions that sound exceptional when played loud.
Dave Amitri says
30/05/2019 at 20:42
I try and restrict my Del Amitri mentions but whenever B Sides come up i have to recommend “Lousy With Love” their B side collection. Much of their best music lies here….
30/05/2019 at 20:58
But this from their last ever single beats them all.
30/05/2019 at 21:03
I find the first half dozen Suede B sides more interesting than most of their other work:
My Insatiable One
My Dark Star
Killing Of A Flash Boy
30/05/2019 at 21:06
The double album of their B sides is an excellent album.
30/05/2019 at 21:35
Yep – Sci-Fi Lullabies. The b-sides from the Coming Up era were better than the album.
Some good ones later too – notably Since You Went Away and Waterloo.
30/05/2019 at 21:43
Ocean Colour Scene – Another Girl’s Name.
From their pre-TFI era, subsequently disowned. I loved them then.
30/05/2019 at 21:53
Prince’s B sides aren’t too shabby:
How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore
Another Lonely Christmas
She’s Always In My Hair
Alexa De Paris
Feel U Up
I Love U In Me
31/05/2019 at 05:47
Radiohead are masters of the B side:
Million Dollar Question
How Can You Be Sure?
Talk Show Host
Polyethylene Parts 1&2
Trans Atlantic Drawl
After that, they reinvent the B side for the download era with tracks released as ‘bonuses’:
Up On The Ladder
4 Minute Warning
31/05/2019 at 08:11
I don’t know if everyone could call this one their best song, anyhow this b-side still feel like an oddity in Madness’s catalogue . I discovered it when, out of boredom, I decided to listen to all the b-sides of all of my singles collection (nobody did that in France at the time and I guess, where I lived, it haven’t changed a bit, people sticks to the popular stuff). The track was where Madness turned to Sadness, I liked this Grey Day and I still do.
31/05/2019 at 21:45
Are you talking about Grey Day ? It was an A side in the UK and I love it too. Very much like Help! it’s actually a desperately sad song but the persona of the band at the time meant that people jumped around to it regardless.
31/05/2019 at 22:26
Madness to Sadness?
The Elvis Costello vocal version of Tomorrows Just Another Day ups the melancholy quotient
01/06/2019 at 20:09
@Black Celebration I remember clearly of it as a B-Side in France, but my brain cells might be messed-up.
@Rigid Digit, whent it is about sad songs, Madness can’t compete with Abbot’s colleague, but with themselves, it works well.
Ron Cucumber says
05/06/2019 at 13:39
Grey Day was an A-side in the UK for sure. On the theme of Sad-not-Mad, Shadow On My House is another corker. B-side to It Must Be Love.
31/05/2019 at 13:37
For me it’s this belter from I Am Kloot. Possibly one of my favourite songs ever & it was a b-side
I Am Kloot – The Great Escape
31/05/2019 at 19:43
If I remember correctly Freddie and the Dreamers’ ‘Send a Letter to Me’ tops ‘You Were Made for Me’.
Fact, not opinion. And also not important….
31/05/2019 at 22:46
Best The Clash track is Armagideon Time, the B side to London Calling. It’s even better, extended, on the 12″ single:
chilli ray virus says
01/06/2019 at 23:19
I’m astonished. All this way down the thread and no mention of “Dear God” by XTC – b-side of “Grass”. Frankly too much of a polemic for me but is a regular in “best b-side” lists.
04/06/2019 at 22:01
The entire Pet Shop Boys Alternative album. But certainly this –
05/06/2019 at 15:16
So good we included it twice!
Another quality if not classic b-side…..Im Not Your Steppin Stone…original flip side to Im A Believer The Monkees chart topper
04/06/2019 at 22:17
I could be wrong, but wasn’t ‘Warm Leatherette’ originally the b side of ‘TVOD’?
05/06/2019 at 11:06
– Has anyone said The Beatles “The Inner Light” yet? No? Well I’ll say it, then:
The Beatles “The Inner Light”
– The Kinks: “Mindless Child of Motherhood” (the B-side of “Drivin'”)
An absolute STORMER. One of the greatest tracks the band ever recorded.
– The Clash [see Tiggerlion above]. The Justice Tonight/Kick it Over dub versions of “Armagideon Time”. Colossal.
– Stevie Wonder:
The b-side of the 12″ single of “Happy Birthday” consisted of 25 minutes of excerpts from recordings of four of Martin Luther King’s speeches. The only one I knew at the time was – predictably – “I Have A Dream”. The other 3 speeches blew my mind, too.
05/06/2019 at 11:23
The Style Council managed to release virtually their best-ever song as a B-side…
12/06/2019 at 20:53
Well worth checking out the CD “Heres Some That Got Away” a fine collection of Style Council b-sides and rarities….
05/06/2019 at 12:18
Loads of good ones here.
My favourite is I Don’t Care If You Live or Die by James King and the Lone Wolves
my fave Clash is City of the Dead
You must be logged in to post a comment.