The Non-Definitive Guide to the B-side

By: Stylus Staff

Posted 11/14/2005 - 11:10:14 AM by how2know924:
 "Paperback Writer"/"Rain" came out in '66. Don't mean to be a pain in the ass know-it-all, but damn it's the beatles...
Posted 11/14/2005 - 11:49:36 AM by kingatnight:
 Why not a third Radiohead B-side--"Cuttooth" is such a banger, also from Knives Out I think. What a single.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 11:54:36 AM by pbjnecrome:
 If anyone else on this list deserves two entries other than Radiohead, it would have to be Bjork. I think "Nature is Ancient" would fit the bill nicely. And, call me nerdly, but what about a Weezer entry? "Jamie" or "Susanne" anyone?
Posted 11/14/2005 - 11:56:28 AM by weisel:
 There have been some great B-side comps that were better than some of the bands regular records. The Smiths-Louder than Bombs and Hefner's-Boxing Hefner come to mind, but I thought Smashing Pumpkins-Pisces Iscariot was really awesome and I am not that big of a Pumpkins fan.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 12:13:43 PM by pbjnecrome:
 ... or perhaps "Gimme the Car" by the Violent Femmes?
Posted 11/14/2005 - 12:22:01 PM by hutlock:
 You are correct, "Paperback Writer/Rain" was 66. Just a typo, I swear. I can even tell you that it came out in June in the UK, but May in the States. Thanks for pointing this out -- I'll get it fixed.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 01:20:24 PM by hendrik:
 Great list. Especially nice to see "Ansaphone" (yay!), "Asleep" and "Fog" making it, well done. I have to say that I am one of the very few people not too fond of Talk Show Host, but then again I find quite of lot of Radiohead B-Sides a bit....bleak. Much much better in the B-Side department is early Suede; I have to say that "Sci-Fi Lullabies" stands as the finest collection of b-sides anyone has ever crafted to me (the first disc at least). My Dark Star is a worthy choice, but so'd be The Living Dead (from the same single!), Killing of a Flashboy, My Insatiable One etc. etc. Plus they seem to be trying to live up to that legacy with the Tears (see "Southern Rain"). Oh - and a bit of an odd choice concerning Blur, eh ? Nothing against Bustin + Dronin, but with B-Sides such as "All your life", "Tame", "Bone Bag" et al not quite the obvious of all and my favourite B-Side of any band ever though is "Young & Lovely". Definitely up with their finest work (and that says quite something...) And while we're at it - "Right to Pop" by Graham Coxon solo is another favourite.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 01:47:50 PM by jhitting:
 Kudos for including LCD's "Beat Connection". That's perhaps my favorite track by LCD and one of the bravest songs I've ever heard. I love how James stuck the first verse several minutes into the song, long after it shakes off most haters. And what lyrics! My god, what an awesome B-side to the already perfect "Losing My Edge". Way to go Stylus. I guess this time you tried to cover all your bases. I can't really complain; I haven't bought a single since about 1998.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 03:36:32 PM by Subwoofer:
 Pictures of Bernadette is classic, good call, very good call. Tulips was a good choice too, but it doesn't trump Little Thoughts - it'll take something really special for Bloc Party to beat that.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 03:46:26 PM by Giantandre:
 GREAT LIST --- Hadn't listened to that Boo Radleys tune in forever....Not listing U2's "The Sweetest Thing" (b-side to "Where the Streets Have No Name") seems strange since you guys wanted to Play God and put it on TJT....I don't need the current verision of U2 but, U2 of the late 80's early 90's were pretty cool
Posted 11/14/2005 - 04:28:23 PM by pot_anton:
 Not to nitpick, but "Shoot the Singer" (by Pavement) isn't really considered a B-side--Watery Domestic is a four-song EP, not a single. It doesn't fit the criteria of this list at all.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 04:37:11 PM by ct895098:
 "We Still Need More" by Supergrass is one of their 5 best tracks. Still, good to see a lot of British bands since these are a much bigger deal over there.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 05:01:28 PM by Fantastic:
 with all the great Prince b-sides (and with the fact that "Erotic City" would have been the obvious pick), I have to laud the pick of "17 Days." except that now I have to find this goddamn extended version somewhere. one qualm: isn't a true b-side not an album track at all?
Posted 11/14/2005 - 06:20:55 PM by cleric:
 The Beatles, Radiohead, Pumpkins and Belle & Sebastian are the best b-side bands that come to my mind. And maybe oasis when they were in shape. But the problem i have with b-sides that i need to buy the singles which means spending a lot of money for 3-4 tracks, where on the other hand i could get a whole album for twice the money. Not even talking about those awful dance remix b-sides some uk bands release. True rip-off. But a very interesting list, i might check out some stuff i don't know yet.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 07:18:06 PM by gM.Ed.:
 I'm pretty sure that Aphex Twin track is called "Film". At least that's the impression I've been under for the past 7 or 8 years ever since it became one of the first electronic tracks I fell in love with. Although I do agree, one of Richard's best tracks ever.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 07:26:05 PM by sovietpanda:
 FYI - "Tulips" was released as a single on Dim Mak in the US... maybe you already knew that.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 07:42:06 PM by gM.Ed.:
 so its really called Flim?? I guess i'm an idiot for posting... and i've been misinformed all these years hahaha. Anyways I'm so happy to see Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead get the b-side credit they deserve
Posted 11/14/2005 - 09:01:31 PM by TheBrad:
 Fantastic - Tho' a lot of b-sides get compiled as separate albums or tacked onto extended versions of albums from the approx. time period (is that what you meant), it'd be too strict to exclude all of those. That's the label's choice, usually.

Also... I know the proper def. of b-side is the flip side of a single, but I cheated a bit on the EP tip. Sorry! Replace, if it matters, "Raja Vocative" with the Embarrassment's "Sex Drive".
Posted 11/15/2005 - 01:30:45 PM by Fantastic:
 Fair enough. Still haven't found this goddamn "17 Days" extended version though. Sheeeeet.
Posted 11/15/2005 - 06:17:46 PM by antimatter:
 some good tracks here, The Cure selection "2late" is not what I would have picked. I'd go for stuff like "the upstairs room", the insanely manic "Mr Pink Eyes" or the psychy pastoralism of "happy the man" etc etc
Posted 11/16/2005 - 10:49:16 AM by stevegoz:
 Pretty sound list, except for all the unsound picks. Interesting that no Morrissey tune made the cut -- sure, his solo b-sides are more about quantity than quality, but "Lost," "Jack the Ripper," "I'd Love To," and "Black-Eyed Susan" all rank among the best stuff he's ever done -- heck, any of the Maladjusted b-sides would've improved the heck out of that turgid album....
Posted 11/16/2005 - 11:35:39 AM by Zarklephaser:
 I'm surprised to not see Tori on the list. Especially in her early years, she released a wealth of excellent b-sides like "Sugar," "Take to the Sky," "Sweet Dreams," "Upside Down," "Honey," "Cooling," and a haunting cover of "Smells like Teens Spirit."
Posted 11/16/2005 - 11:38:59 AM by Zarklephaser:
 On a different note, Nick Cave also has a great collection of b-sides and rarities that he recently archived in a mini-box set. I could recommend a dozen of its songs to this list.
Posted 11/16/2005 - 12:51:29 PM by bj_randolph:
 I can't believe you guys didn't go for "My Insatiable One" as the Suede track! I know it's the obvious choice, but for a reason. I can't think of any other act whose best known song is a b-side. That's huge! Morrissey covered it! Remember that? Great piece otherwise; much longer than most of the other Non-Defs, a big plus.
Posted 11/16/2005 - 03:30:35 PM by garlad1:
 Cool. A good enough list overall. Some glaring omissions: Rolling Stones/Play with Fire, XTC/Dear God, Them/Gloria, Jimi Hendrix/Highway Chile, Joy Division/She's lost control 12" (I liked it anyway). Including Talk Show Host makes up for any errors, tho.
Posted 11/16/2005 - 04:18:56 PM by TheBrad:
 I think we were gonna put a spotlight on b-sides that became more famous than the a's... I think. All good choices, garlad.
Posted 11/17/2005 - 09:50:34 AM by jchase29:
 just to come correct, the extended version of prince's '17 days' that is out there, is not officially released by was put together by a fan...don't know if it matters to those listening, but i thought i'd mention for completeness' sake...
Posted 11/17/2005 - 11:17:59 PM by dalaiguama:
 You are missing Depeche Mode's "But not tonight"... Remember it was originally a B-Side.
Posted 11/18/2005 - 03:25:14 PM by J_R_K_:
 good call on the stone roses. i just bought like 4 silvertone 12" and have been enjoying them immensely. i guess i'll have to listen to that Pounding single again. also, i have to find that pulp track, and the verve one as well.
Posted 11/18/2005 - 05:24:13 PM by hutlock:
 Re: "But Not Tonight": Yes, originally a B-side, but later a standard album cut, which means we didn't count it -- the only stuff that got exemption were songs that were tacked on as bonus tracks (meaning they weren't really JUST album cuts), and things later put onto compilations (because any band worth it's salt has one of those). Otherwise, that IS a great song.
Posted 11/18/2005 - 05:25:08 PM by hutlock:
 This also applies to "Play With Fire,""Dear God," and a few others mentioned above.
Posted 11/19/2005 - 09:03:52 PM by oddman:
 Maybe because it's too obvious - "Hey, Hey What Can I Do" the Led Zeppelin B-side to "Immigrant Song" is missing.
Posted 11/20/2005 - 12:56:14 PM by bassman08:
 All of these songs (the ones that I know anyway, which is a surprising amount) are great. There is, however, one glaring omission: "Aneurysm" by Nirvana. I mean, Jesus. That may be Nirvana's best song. Such a shame that it had to be a B-side for the most overplayed song of the 90s. I don;t even know if it appeared on every version of the single, only a few formats. But still... If only the DJs would have turned the disc over on accident a few times... Oh, also Weezer's "Jamie" is another that may rank among their best, I think it was a B-side for "Undone." You know, back when Rivers wasn't a bitch.
Posted 11/20/2005 - 03:25:09 PM by salespitch:
 Indeed a great list but I can't let the moment pass without mentioning a personal favourite - 'Goin' Down', four minutes plus of red hot bebop that was the b-side of The Monkees' excellent 'Daydream Believer'. I kid you not - it's sensational.