Jul 232012

What’s your favorite B-side? Not “the best.” Not “the coolest” or most obscure or collectible. Your favorite, perhaps from your very own collection.

Take your time on this one. I’ve got a possible selection among my own B-sides to suggest, but I’ve got to check whether any other B-side in my collection tops it.

If you really have trouble selecting a sole favorite, the RTH Cop-Out Car is in the shop for repairs. You can probably get away with listing your Top 3 Favorite B-Sides.

I look forward to hearing about your favorites.


  40 Responses to “What’s Your Favorite B-Side?”

  1. Child of the Moon.

  2. Hands down, “Seconds” by Pulp.

  3. diskojoe

    My fave rave B-side is “She’s Got Everything” the B-side to the Kinks’ Days. I was going to say “I’m Not Like Everybody Else”, the B-side to “Sunny Afternoon”, but that song has been revivied a bit by Ray in his solo concerts.

    Another great B-side is “I’m Down”, the B-side to the Beatles’ “Help”. The Beatles though so little of it that they even didn’t put it on Beatles VI, opting instead to specially record “Bad Boy” (on of my fave Beatles songs) for inclusion to the album.

    I also like “Child of the Moon” very much. That should have been included in Santantic Majesties Request.

  4. Slim Jade

    The Beatles do have a lot of great B-sides. I’ll say “Rain” before anyone else takes it.

  5. pudman13

    My all time favorite B-side is something called “Listen To This Side” by the late-60s bubblegum band The Crackerjack Society. It’s not on youtube, unfortunately, but it’s two and a half minutes of unexpected white noise, a truly shocking example of Phil Spector’s assertion that the B-side should be completely forgettable (in this case unforgettable–but unlistenable to most ears) in order to place to focus on the A. This is METAL MACHINE MUSIC 6 years earlier. Spector’s most notable B-side is probably “The Screw,” about which there are a million legends…

    By the way, if you want me to pick a *good* B-side, I’m going obscure again. Tommy Hoehn is a Memphis power pop guy, the only other artist to record for the Scruffs’ label, and while he recorded a number of really good songs, his best song by miles and miles was buried on the B-side to his first single. The song is called “Love You All Day Long” and can be heard here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyntYjc1GxM

    Another memorable one is Shocking Blue’s “Hot Sand,” B-side of “Venus” and for some reason, something that’s not on any of their albums. It’s by far the hardest rocking and sexiest thing they ever did:

  6. Yes. One of my top 3 and the only Beatles song I’ve ever downloaded from iTunes because I didn’t have it in my CD collection. Great song to sing while you are giving kids a shower.

  7. Not in a Penn State sort of way — you know — your own little kids!

  8. ladymisskirroyale

    What, I’m supposed to remember 45’s! That said, when I was about 5, a babysitter gave us a stash of her 45’s that her kids no longer liked. Among the treasures (Elvis Presley, Ed Ames, Margaret Whiting) was a lone Beatles single: “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” I still love the b-side, “I Saw Her Standing There.” Wooo!

  9. misterioso

    An extremely cool song, totally unknown to me until the Stones singles collection came out ca. 1990 or whenever it was.

  10. misterioso

    The Beatles pretty much walk off with this–there is hardly a Beatles b-side that is not great in its own right.

    So I’ll skip them and go with “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (live in Liverpool)” which was the b-side of “I Want You” in 1966. For many years this was the only legally available live cut from the 1966 Dylan and Hawks tour and it is one white hot smoking version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV9xL2YdhnA

    On a different note, McCartney’s “The Mess (live)” which is the b-side to “My Love” is also tremendous. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbdxU-M1P40

    Macca has a whole bunch of great b-sides, and “The Mess” and “Girls School” are perhaps my favorites of the lot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1ZqOgtyvSM

  11. mockcarr

    This is possibly the most difficult question you’ve ever asked, Mod. Shall we ask you which of your children you love best?

    I suppose I can’t cop out with the double A side the Beatles had and go with the alphabetically second Strawberry Fields Forever? Revolution is a contender for sure, but I feel sure that will be on your list.

    I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better by the Byrds is right there along with God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. In fact, while I don’t think I ever watched a whole episode of that weird-ass Big Love show, but when I had HBO, I always let the theme song play. How can I NOT pick Fortunate Son by CCR? Or is that a double-A with Down On The Corner too? I can’t figure it out. Memphis TN from Chuck Berry? Presley’s Hound Dog was a b-side. That might have been the first rock song I loved.

    Argh, this will take me awhile.

  12. I agree. I had it on Hot Rocks 2 which is an oddball collection but has some real gems.

  13. 2000 Man

    Child of the Moon is a great choice, and definitely should have been on Satanic Majesties. As much as I like that one, I’ve always liked Who’s Driving Your Plane more. That song is so cool, and no one ever plays it on the radio. I think my second favorite B side would be Play With Fire. I’m kind of surprised Ruby Tuesday hasn’t been mentioned yet. That was a pretty monster B side.

  14. The first one that came to mind is actually one of my favorites, and I’m not even a huge Zeppelin fan.

    “Hey Hey What Can I Do” was the b-side to Immigrant Song. Remember being so thrilled at finding the 45, as it was obviously not on any of the albums.

  15. An appropriate inappropriate joke if ever there was one.

  16. I initially sought an image of that record label.

  17. Hands down, The Beach Boys “Girl Don’t Tell Me”, the b-side of Barbara Ann. I bought this when it came out in 1966 at the tender age of 11 and loved it from the first time I played it.


    And I loved it even more a several years later when it happened to me.

    How much do I love it? I bought a Smithereens odds & sods comp because they covered it. Ouch!

    Excuse me now, have to go listen to all the other covers on youtube.

  18. Girls School is great — we wore that out on the bowling alley juke box as kids.

    B-sides that were not on proper alubms are the real treats.

    I am admittedly in the tank for Oasis, but one of the many copycat things they did with their Beatles/Wings/Lennon obsession was to put out decent b-sides that didn’t make the cut for their records, which makes The Masterplan a pretty good Odds and Sods collection.

  19. hrrundivbakshi

    “An Innocent Man,” B-side (along with Weller’s excellent “Aunties and Uncles”) to “News Of the World” by the Jam. A Foxton joint. Totally amazing. Fantastic. Brilliant.

    Just kidding.

  20. I Saw Her Standing There is also a great flip side to Elton’s Philadelphia Freedom. That’s the live version of Elton and Lennon performing together at Madison Square Garden. Not nearly as good a version, but an awesome artifact.

  21. ladymisskirroyale

    Oh, thank god I also found my 45’s from the 90’s.
    Two favorites:
    1. Pavement’s “So Stark (You’re A Skyscraper)” the b-side to “Trigger Cut.”
    2. My Bloody Valentine’s “Swallow” which is the b-side to “To Here Knows When.”

  22. Slim Jade

    Oh Jeez! I take it back (Beatles/Rain). My Bloody Valentine’s “Slow” is my fave.

  23. cherguevara

    Beatles trivia: I’m Down was recorded during the same session as Yesterday.

  24. cherguevara

    We were speaking of Squeeze recently. One really great b-side was on a Glenn Tilbrook solo single called Parallel World. The “b-side” was a co-write with Ron Sexsmith called “By the light of the cash machine” and it is Prime-A power-pop goodness, a buried gem.

  25. trigmogigmo

    I flipped thru my small collection of 45’s from the ’80s and thought fondly of three particular b-sides:
    – The Police “Murder by Numbers” (b-side of “Every Breath”, not on the album until CD)
    – Wall of Voodoo “Call of the West” (b-side of “Mexican Radio”)
    – The Cars “Don’t Go to Pieces” (b-side of “Don’t Tell Me No”, not on an album)

    But then I cracked open my old Beatles book and found the clear winner: “I Am the Walrus” (b-side of “Hello Goodbye”)

  26. bostonhistorian

    Tony Alvon and the Belairs “Sexy Coffee Pot” is my favorite b-side.


    I have no idea who Tony Alvon and the Belairs were–I don’t think they released more than a few 45s–but this little piece of Philadelphia soul/funk kills.

    It also provided the backing track for Eric B and Rakim’s “Run For Cover” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4kDLe0dAnk

  27. Child of the Moon is probably my pick, although Pink Floyd’s Candy and a Currant Bun, the B-side to Arnold Layne has merit

  28. cherguevara

    A few more favorites are “Dear God” by XTC and “My Favorite Waste of Time” by Marshall Crenshaw.

  29. Surprised no one’s mentioned “Big Tears” by Costello yet.

  30. Since “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time” has been taken already (which was “our song” with my high school girlfriend), I’ll pick another favorite from the same era: “Voice of America” by the Red Rockers. It was the flip of their semi-hit “China,” and if you didn’t know that they used to be a hardcore band — I didn’t — it came as rather a shock.


  31. Funny that the Great One and a few others have felt like someone else “beat them to the punch” in this. There’s more than one person who feels the Yankees are their favorite baseball team. More than one of us should be allowed to feel the same song is their favorite B-side. But I understand the impulse to be original all too well. I’m glad we’re at least sharing the fact that we would have chosen what someone else already chose.

    I’d forgotten about “Rain,” which may be among the “best” B-sides, but since I don’t own the “Paperback Writer” single I will go by how I was thinking of this and only consider B-sides from singles I actually own. For the same reason I can’t consider any Beatles single. I don’t think I own a single Beatles single, just the albums!

    Eric Burdon and War’s “Magic Moutain,” the B-side to “Spill the Wine” is among my faves, as is John Lennon’s “Meat City,” the B-side to my “Mind Games” single. Those songs are HEAVY and unintentionally funny, both admirable qualities in a B-side.

    The B-side to Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” single is “Girls Talk.” This B-side held special meaning for me because I’d already spun Dave Edmunds’ A-side of that song to death. The B-side to the Edmunds single is “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” which is almost as strong as “Girls Talk” and probably a Top 5 recording by Dave Edmunds. Strong contender!

    I’ll have to dig through my 45s when I get home and see if I can’t give a definitive answer.

  32. i can’t necessarily profess to it being a favorite, but the most indelible b-side of my misspent youth was “put the bone in” by terry jacks (b/w “seasons in the sun”).


  33. alexmagic

    After giving this much thought, the correct answer finally presented itself to me: “Goin’ Down” by the Monkees (the b-side to “Daydream Believer”)

  34. Sock it to me! I love Going Down both sincerely and ironically.

  35. alexmagic

    Same here.

  36. My first Stones album (brother gave me an old copy when I was in 6th grade) was Hot Rocks 2!

  37. The Undertones – “Mars Bars”, B-Side of “Jimmy Jimmy”.

  38. …or maybe, Buzzcocks – “Autonomy”, B-Side of “I Don’t Mind”.

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