Tag Archives: B-side

Darondo – Didn’t I (1972)

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William Daron Pulliam

This might be my soul find of the year. I had not heard this track until last month. William Daron Pulliam’s recording history is thin, but in 1972 he penned and released ‘Didn’t I’. “Darondo” released the song as a B-Side to ‘Listen To My Song’ on the Berkeley-based Music City label. It’s a great way to start the week. Have a goodun.

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Misfits – Where Eagles Dare (1979)

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Misfits

Released in the autumn of 1979, the B-side of ‘Night of the Living Dead’ also drew its inspiration from the world of film. It was the Misfits’ fourth single release and the band had already shown their disdain for the political and social messages abundant elsewhere in punk. Instead, ‘Where Eagles Dare’ was all about kicking out the jams and having fun.

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The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)

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The Smiths again

Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr wrote ‘How Soon Is Now?’. But he famously says that even he would now have difficulty to recreate the sound of the oscillating guitar that is the hallmark of the track.Instantly recognisable; genius at work in 1984. Remarkably, it slipped out as a B-side to ‘William, It Was Really Nothing’ single. Have great weekend.

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Underworld – Born Slippy (1995)

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Underworld

On the subject of song association, undoubtedly one the best songs of 2014, Future Islands’ ‘Seasons’ does actually sound a little like Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’. It was mentioned to me and I don’t know why I have not spotted it before. The famous Nuxx mix of ‘Born Slippy’ was originally released as a B-side in 1995, but would reach wider acclaim a year later as a standalone release on Junior Boys Own and as the music to the final scene of the beloved movie Trainspotting.

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Yvonne Baker – You Didn’t Say a Word (1967)

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Yvonne Baker

Last night, I went to see the new movie Northern Soul. It was a nostalgic evening of label, track and cameo spotting. (Lisa Stansfield, where have you been?) One label, Cameo-Parkway Records gets a special mention. I know the label because it pressed Yvonne Baker’s 1967 single ‘To Prove My Love Is True’. While Baker had had limited success as a soul singer with The Sensations, her voice would live on, because that single’s B-side ‘You Didn’t Say a Word’ would become a stomper on the floors up north. Keep the faith.

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Esther Williams – Last Night Changed It All (1976)

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Esther Williams

Before it was reincarnated as a sample in Kid ‘N Play, Jamiroquai and 2Pac tracks, ‘Last Night Changed It All’ was the only real hit for Esther Williams. Written by Joe Wheeler, the song featured on her debut album Let Me Show You. It was a sleeper in disco circles and would be rereleased (without the alarm bell) as a B-side to her 1980 single ‘Your’s And Your’s Alone’. Have a great weekend.

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Pink Floyd – Fearless (1972)

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Pink Floyd again

I don’t think I’d like Roger Waters if I met him. That fact that he’s a fan of Arsenal, doesn’t help. But in 1972 he set aside his allegiances and allowed David Gilmour and team to feature the Kop’s rendition of Gerry and the Pacemakers’ ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as a fade-out for the sensational ‘Fearless’. One of the enduring sounds of football, Liverpool fans bring to an end Waters’ lyrical interpretation of madness. ‘Fearless’ first featured as a B-side to single ‘One Of These Days’ and then took its place on Pink Floyd’s seminal long player Meddle. 

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Primal Scream – Velocity Girl (1986)

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Bobby Gillespie

A change of musical direction, but an equally important B-side to finish off the week. ‘Velocity Girl’ by Bobby Gillespie’s Primal Scream was the influential flip-slide of their 12″ single ‘Crystal Crescent’. Three years later, The Stone Roses would re-use the melody for their equally pivotal ‘Made Of Stone’.  80+ seconds of indie history in the making. Have a great weekend.

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Jorge Ben & Toquinho – Carolina Carol Bela (1969)

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Toquinho

Before ‘drum and bossa’ DJ Marky got hold of ‘Carolina Carol Bela’, it lived as a slice of tropicalista cool. Like ‘Right’, ‘Carolina Carol Bela’ was released as a B-side to a more popular track – in this case Jorge Ben Jor & Toquinho’s single ‘Que Maravilha’ (What a Wonder). While Jorge Ben had already established himself as Tropicália star, ‘Que Maravilha’ was Toquinho’s first big hit. For me, ‘Carolina Carol Bela’ had a slower-but-brighter burn.

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David Bowie – Right (1975)

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Thin White Duke

There was a lot of music memorabilia on TV this Christmas. One broadcast that didn’t have me immediately switching over was ‘Five Years’. An intimate portrait of five key years in David Bowie’s 1970s period, the documentary is hijacked by a handful of Robert Fripp interviews and a fascinating insight into his Thin White Duke phase. While hanging out with Lennon in New York in 1975, he met guitarist Carlos Alomar. Alomar would take him regularly to the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem where he would meet the unknown Luther Vandross and a number of other session artists that inspired a new form of ‘plastic soul’. It got no better than ‘Right’ that would feature on the B-side of the bigger-but-inferior ‘Fame’ – the song also features on 1975’s Young Americans.

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Oasis – The Masterplan (1995)

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Oasis

‘The Masterplan’ was a song released by a band at the height of its powers. As good as ‘Wonderwall’ is, to release this song as its B-side seems beyond belief now. Noel Gallagher has since acknowledged it as one of the best he’s written. I think Noel may have smiled when he said as much; not only is it sung by Noel, but also it doesn’t feature frontman Liam. Noel can be heard singing The Beatles’ ‘Octopus’s Garden’ towards the end of the song. A sense of brotherly love, indeed.

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Bill Fay – Scream In The Ears (1967)

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Bill Fay

From Bill Fay’s first single in 1967, ‘Some Good Advice’,  B-side ‘Scream in the Ears’ is, frankly, a sublimely crafted song. He would follow the single with two long players, Bill Fay (1970) and Time of the Last Persecution (1971). The albums didn’t sell well and he went off-radar for for 40 years. He has resurfaced in the last couple of years and this time with a seal of approval from Wilco and Jim O’Rourke.

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Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Two Can Have A Party (1967)

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I pass up on the string of successful duets (e.g. ‘Ain’t No Mountain’, ‘Your Precious Love’, and ‘Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing’) that Ashford/Simpson penned for Gaye and Terrell. Instead I hone in on this party nugget. It was a B-side of ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’, which gives it some sort of rarity and ‘Northern Soul’ respectability. But more importantly, it’s an upbeat danceable stomper. “Who needs the noise of a party crowd/Who needs the records turned up loud/When two, we two can have a party all alone?/Oh yeah.” Brilliant.

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