Something about B-sides???

What are B-sides?(I know that cassettes have b sides, I dunno if it figures in with them)
I hear about having ‘rare b sides’ on albums, the best of ‘having hits and b sides’ etc.
What makes them important?

I’m no expect on the subject, but back in ancient age of vinyl, if a song was released as a single they’d put a lesser song on the other side, the b-side, just to take up the space. I don’t know, I guess it just made more sense to put one good song and one crap song on a single, parcel them out to make more money. Or something. Like I said, I’m no expert.

Anyway, the b-sides were generally lesser songs, many of them forgotten and some lost to time, hence the term “rare b-sides”.

Of course, sometimes the “b-side” is more popular than the “a-side”. I believe that this was the case with the song, “Kung-Fu Fighting.” There are other examples of course, but none that immediately spring to mind.

Yup. Vinyl records had two sides. When a single was released, a song was put on the flip side. It was called the B-side. Sometimes it became more popular than the A side.

Often B sides were throwaways and not released on albums of the time. For instance, the Beatles’s “You Know My Name, Look Up the Number” was the B side of “Let it Be.” It was not put on the “Let it Be” album, though (for obvious reasons). In less obvious examples the B side version might be a slightly different mix than the album version.

It’s very rare that a B Side (other than those that already appeared on albums) was worth adding to a CD, but they get put there anyway just so they can advertise an extra.

We have a few commercial use 45’s (from “Win the Record” promotions years ago, I think), and they have the same song on both sides. A couple of them even have the DJ’s handwriting as far as intro length and a sticker marked “Hot”.

But Fibber pretty much answers it. There was the odd case of hits on both sides, Elvis Presley and the Beatles being the main recipiants of such happenings. And, many a hit was made over the years in the wondrous days before Clear Channel/Westwood One by a bored DJ simply turning the record over, in the case that his copy had a “B” side.

Rare b-sides are often cherished by hardcore fans of bands (god knows how many times I’ve heard people announce that certain b-sides were their favorite songs by a band), primarily because they’re lesser known than the album tracks. Since singles go out of print more often, they’re a little bonus that’s available only for a limited time that the “true fans” will all know, but few others will pay attention to.

That said, Depeche Mode has always had some pretty sweet b-sides :smiley:

And then there was “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haa” by “Napoleon XIV” which had as its b side the same song played backwards.

Springsteen was big on B-sides. His current release would almost always have a non-album track on the B-side. It was probably a marketing ploy because the record company knew the hardcore fans would buy both the album and the singles. IIRC, most of these were released on Tracks.

A-sides and B-sides were often determined by the bands label. An example: Elektra reported Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions’ as having WAtC as the A-side so it climbed the charts then swapped it out and made it a ‘Double-A’ side so it could get exposure for the other song.

Those 45s you sometimes see with the same song on both sides are the ones released to radio stations and frequently called ‘DJ singles’. The idea is too maximize the chance that the DJ plays the song the label thinks has the best chance.

And it’s not always true that a ‘crappy’ song is put on the B-side. Remember, regardless of which song is drawing the airplay or sales, the royalties are split 50-50 with both songs. It’s not like if you put Britney Spears on side A and podunk back on side B that Britney would get most of the revenue.

There were tremendous fights among the members of Queen (yes, I’m a queen-geek) over who got the B-sides of singles. This led to them quikly recording a new track ‘A Human Body’ for the B-Side of the ‘Play the Game’ single.

I cannot tell you how unbelievably old if makes me feel that MachineHead has apparently no concept of albums. I bet he’s never even heard of an 8-track!

Could someone pass me my cane?

Yellow Balloon did it earlier with “Noollab Wolley” on the B side.

Hey, I’ve still got several hundred singles.

And somewhere I’ve got the soundtrack to ‘Grease’ on 8-Track.

I got CHILLS! They’re multiplyin’!

Ditto here -

You’d think we were talking about Edison Cylinders!

(maybe not - Edison Cylinders couldn’t have had “B” sides :slight_smile: )

I have three copies of the “Let it Be” 45 that my mom gave me. Are they worth anything?

Cecil on A and B sides: In the record business, what do “b/w” and “c/w” mean?

I always heard that the “in the jungle” song was originally a b side but it became more popular then the a side. You know the song im talking about it goes"In the jungle the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight.".

That would be The Lion Sleeps Tonight, by the Tokens.

Another angle for the OP to consider: Some classic rock stations are pushing “B-sides” which are NOT true b-sides. These are just forgotten oldies sometimes deemed as “deep cuts” referring to where these songs appear in the sequence of things on LPs.

  • Jinx

According to this, the disc is worth $12 and the picture sleeve is worth nearly ten times as much.

An old friend has a boxful of Elvis sleeves. He’s in for quite a treat if he got those appraised.

We have the obligatory boxful of 45’s ourselves, but most of them are quite obscure 70’s pop artists, and worn out in the case of the odd good one. No sleeves to be had, either.

B-Sides still exiat on CD-singles, it’s just that there are now up to three B-sides to each A-side.

Have a look at this disc to see a number of really good songs that came out as the number two on the short disc.