8/20/12

B-sides

I released my first ever single last tuesday. A dream come true. Always wanted to release music in this format. Not only because it's a nice way to split things up a bit while being an obvious warm up for the full album, but also because I'm simply a fan of the b-side.

B-sides are cool. They often carry a slightly alternate history of a band or artist. Often they don't fit within the story arc or overall mood of the album and are therefore relegated to the single or EP release as b-sides. This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with quality, as many b-sides are truly brilliant pieces of music that just happen to not end up on the album or the A-side of a particular era in a band's history.

One of my favourite b-sides is "Rain" by The Beatles which was the b-side to "Paperback Writer". It's a brilliant piece of 60's rock songwriting with some slightly psychedelic flourishes. Somehow you hear why this song didn't become an A-side but it's still a really great track. A delightfully "sloppy" recording and regarded by many to be the best b-side ever recorded by The Beatles:


Another favorite is the "Street Spirit (fade out)" single by Radiohead. Not only is it a stunning lead track, it also contains two really strong b-sides: "Talk Show Host" and "Bishop's Robes". "Talk Show Host" ended up on the Romeo & Juliet soundtrack in a slightly remixed version (courtesy of Nellee Hooper) and "Bishop's Robes" chronicles Thom Yorke's not-so-happy school memories. Most bands would kill to have such material on their albums but Radiohead could afford to put this amazing stuff out as b-sides:



A similarly great example of a single containing b-sides that follow up on the mood of the A-side is  "With Or Without You" by U2 which has "Walk To The Water" and "Luminous Times (Hold On To Love)" as its b-sides. I read somewhere that for a while U2 intended The Joshua Tree to be a double album and you can somehow hear those traces:



Then there are b-sides that become worldwide hits far surpassing everything their original A-side ever did. A class example of this is Gloria Gaynor's disco anthem "I Will Survive"; originally released as the b-side to a Righteous Brothers cover song.


And while we're at it I would like to point you in the direction of my new single "The Road". You can stream the tracks below and buy them as high quality mp3 downloads here. Thanks for reading + listening!


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