sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

February 4, 2019 10:46 am  #1


20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

This is sort of a follow-up to the ever popular "The Songs Radio Forgot" thread from last October. B-sides don't really exist anymore. But back when singles were still a thing, the flip side of a hit was generally accompanied by a throwaway song that allowed record companies to quickly put out a song on 7" vinyl.

But sometimes they guessed wrong, fate intervened or a disc jockey turned the record over and took a chance on the other side. (Imagine an on-air person trying that today!)

I especially like the story in the linked article below about "Beth" by KISS, which the group hated but the daughter of CKLW legend Rosalie Trombley loved, prompting her mother to add it to CKLW's playlist. (I'll forgive the authors for referring to it only as "a rock station in Ontario," since we all know it was a lot more than that!)  

On a personal note, when I was a kid, I always played the other side of 45s I bought. just to hear what was on them. It didn't always happen, but sometimes the song became one of my all time favourites, even though it never made the charts and no one else has ever heard of it. That's how I discovered the great "How's About Trying Your Luck With Me" by Freddie and The Dreamers, a song written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin that could have been a huge hit. Also "I'll Be Missing You" by the Searchers, the B-side of "When You Walk In The Room." 

If you still have 45s from long ago, a turntable to play them on, and enough curiosity to pull them both out, you may be surprised by what you find on the other side of all those hits you bought so many years ago.

All of which is B-side the point.    

(Thanks for FYImusicnews.ca for the link.) 

20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits 

 

February 4, 2019 12:13 pm  #2


Re: 20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

The flipside of "One Less Bell to Answer" by 5th Dimension, was "Feelin' Alright".  A great version of the song.

"Straight Up" by Paula Abdul had the LP version of "Cold Hearted" on the flipside.

I always liked "Get it Right the Next Time" by Billy Joel, which I don't think ever became a hit, but it was on the flipside of "Just the Way You Are".
 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
Q:  What did one 45 say to the other?
A:  Are you "single"?  http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.gif
 

February 4, 2019 12:18 pm  #3


Re: 20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

The Pearl Jam and Green Day singles had to be pretty rare, since 45-rpm discs (and all other vinyl pressings for that matter) were all but non-existent in the 90s and early 2000s.
 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
Q:  What did one 45 say to the other?
A:  Are you "single"?  http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.gif
 

February 4, 2019 12:38 pm  #4


Re: 20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

I always enjoyed the flip side of "Bohemian Rhapsody".  It was a Roger Taylor song called "I'm in love with my car".

The lyrics are priceless.  Among them:
"Told my Girl, I'd have to forget her"
"Rather buy me, a new carburetor"


Then, there was the time when I was on-air at a small southern Ontario radio station on New Year's eve.  Back then, we spun 45s.  I was supposed to play Rough Trade's "Fashion Victim but, despite all the dire warnings (and even some tape across most of the disc) warning this is not to be played, I had cued up and started playing the flip side, a little ditty called "What's The Furor About The Führer? "  I had nothing else cued up.  After a few seconds, in a panic, I just lifted the needle off the record, flipped it over, threw the needle back onto the lead-in groove, and played the right song.  I said nothing hoping to god it would go unnoticed and no one would say anything.  And they didn't.  (whew!)
 

 

February 4, 2019 4:00 pm  #5


Re: 20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

Regarding the story in the article about KISS and their B side of "Beth"....


"the band later reportedly presented Trombley's daughter with a gold record."


I can confirm that that is true. She has it in her basement next to her lifetime KISS Army plaque. 

 

Last edited by Scraps (February 4, 2019 4:00 pm)

 

February 4, 2019 5:11 pm  #6


Re: 20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

RadioActive wrote:

I especially like the story in the linked article below about "Beth" by KISS, which the group hated but the daughter of CKLW legend Rosalie Trombley loved, prompting her mother to add it to CKLW's playlist. (I'll forgive the authors for referring to it only as "a rock station in Ontario," since we all know it was a lot more than that!)

Diane obviously got her hit-picking genes from her mom. I'll never forget getting a ride home from Rosie one afternoon. Diane, not more than two at the time, was in her child seat in the back of Rosalie's VW Beetle, radio on, singing every word along with Mel & Tim's "Backfield In Motion." A preview of what was about to come...

When it comes to B-sides, I think of the flip of Gene Vincent's "Bebopalula," "Woman Love." Easily a two-sided smash when we were kids.
My favourite B-side turned out to be a huge record for James Brown. We began to play the A-side, "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me), as a CKLW World Exclusive, and quickly discovered that "There Was A Time" was hot (my favourite of the two). The Big 8 gave them even/alternate play and both became double-sided Number 1 hits in Windsor/Detroit.
Years later, available on CD, I got the album from Japan and then bought the Star Time box at HMV. I was PO'd that "There Was A Time" was a "live" version, not the original. It got better, though, when I learned that setting the tune to Repeat Track and just letting it rip for a while, turned out to be an intense, humongously-long gem. If you get lemons, make lemonade, right?

Last edited by mike marshall (February 4, 2019 5:12 pm)

 

February 4, 2019 5:43 pm  #7


Re: 20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

One B side that became a fairly big hit in Canada was Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Not so in the U.S. where it was banned by most stations due to its anti-Viet Nam war stance.  The A side was Down on the Corner.

Another Beatles B side that got a lot of air play in 1970 was For You Blue.  The A side was The Long and Winding Road.

 

February 4, 2019 9:23 pm  #8


Re: 20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

Chuck99 wrote:

Another Beatles B side that got a lot of air play in 1970 was For You Blue.  The A side was The Long and Winding Road.

To be fair, nearly every Beatles 45 was almost a double-sided hit. They had so much good material it was sometimes impossible to decide which side was which!

Beatles B-Sides

     Thread Starter
 

February 4, 2019 10:04 pm  #9


Re: 20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

I was just listening to an air check that had the song "Little Woman Love" by Paul and Linda McC and just discovered that the song was the b side to their Mary Had a Little Lamb single but the song eventually beat the a side in America to the point where they created a picture sleeve for the B side:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/76/Little_Woman_Love_%28Wings_single_-_cover_art%29.jpg


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

February 4, 2019 10:19 pm  #10


Re: 20 B-Sides That Became Big Hits

here's an example of a song that started out as a b side yet it went to #1 (its popularity resulted in the song being  re-released as an "a" side) and from there it gained legendary status. i'm talking about elvis' version of "hound dog" (btw, the "a" side was "don't be cruel").