Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Beside the b-side

I've been fluttering around too many remixes this week. Although I'm taking nothing away from the ones I like, it did make me wonder about the long-lost cousin of the remix, the b-side. Although some acts still give their listener the choice on CD and download of that extra track, it's vinyl where you had no choice BUT to do something else.

When the hit appeared on the a-side of 7 inch vinyl single, the track on the b-side was usually one of the following options:
1) A song written specifically for the b-side (applause for the sentiment but boos for 90% of the results)

2) A track that that wasn't quite good enough for the album (a misjudged choice when it turns out the entire album wasn't quite good enough for the album)

3) A live version of a previous hit (a marketing ploy which sounds a lot better on paper, especially when the live version is some ropey version with the annoying cheering and audience participation)

4) An instrumental (how fucking lazy and how fucking disappointed were you when you flipped the single over! What use is an instrumental?)

5) The second half of the extended club mix (the bits where the synths go mental and the vocals are minced through a Fairlight sampler 'til they're nothing but a sequence of barks)

6) A remix (and here we are at the beginning of the end of option 1)

Here are a few genuine option 1 b-sides I've known and loved...

Eurythmics - Lifted (zShare)
A-side: I Saved the World Today

Altered Images - Surprise Me (zShare)
A-side: Bring Me Closer

ABC - Minneapolis (zShare)
A-side: The Night You Murdered Love

EBTG - Laugh You Out of the House (zShare)
A-side: Each and Everyone

The Human League - The World Tonight (zShare)
A-side: Life On Your Own

Pet Shop Boys - The Ghost of Myself (zShare)
A-side: New York City Boy


xolondon said...

gahhh! I don't have nor have ever heard that EBTG song!

Phil said...

Now you do! I had a version on an NME compilation casette (!) as well as this. Lovely little ditty though.

I've just noticed.. I forgot a PSB song. Bet you have it!

Tricky said...

I have that PSB song also. Part of my "Alternative 2" playlist. The PSB, I scarcely need to mention to you, are the great masters of the b-side, always recognising the wondrous balance between remix and new song. Why they fell into the hideous 'download' trap with the 'Integral' mess, I have no idea.

Phil said...

I know! I've always appreciated their efforts!

And Integral as a promo for Disco 4 tried too hard to be 'out there' in terms of having a life on the web rather than the shops!

Yuяi said...

I did not have the EBTG or the ABC or the HL one! Phil, excellent post! Thank you for sharing!

Phil said...

My pleasure Yuri!

Echorich said...

HELP!!! Phil you are the only person I have ever seen post EBTG "Laugh You Out the House" which is among my top 5 fave songs of theirs!!! My US copy of the first album, where I had this track has long since been a vinyl memory and I have been searching for a download for ages!! Is there any chance you might re upload it some time soon? Much thanks for your consideration!!!