10 B-sides That Became More Famous Than The A-Sides

2 April 2018, 12:00

What happens when the "flip side" of your single almost overshadows the track it's meant to be supporting? We look at ten great examples of the B-side.

1. The Stone Roses - Fool's Gold

Bending the rules a little here, as Fool's Gold was technically a double A-side, but it was What The World Is Waiting For that was originally listed on the cover on its initial release in 1989.

2. The Beatles - Revolution

The flip to Hey Jude, the Fab Four's first release on their own Apple label. Lennon wanted Revolution as a controversial single, but Macca wasn't so keen.

3. Oasis - Half The World Away

Oasis were very good at a B-side. Originally the flip to Whatever in December 1994, this song gained immortality as the theme tune to the TV sitcom The Royle Family.

4. Kraftwerk - The Model

Originally the A-side was Computer Love, taken from the electronic pioneers' then-current album Computer World in 1981. However, the New Romantic clubs liked the B-side better, a track taken from the old album, The Man-Machine, which was released three years earlier. The result - a Number 1 hit!

5. The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want

This Stones classic was memorable as the finale to their Let It Bleed album in December 1969, but it had first appeared five months earlier as the flip to Honky Tonk Women.


6. The Smiths - How Soon Is Now

Rough Trade boss Geoff Travis thought "How Soon Is Now" was "unrepresentative" of The Smiths' sound, so this classic tune was relegated to the B-side of William It Was Really Nothing in August 1984. It finally got its chance to shine as an A-side in January 1985.

7. Green Day - Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

This Green Day classic was originally written in 1994 and initially appeared as the flip side to a German edition of a single nobody remembers, Brain Stew. It was re-recorded for 1997's Nimrod album and became one of the band's best loved-singles in October that same year.

8. Underworld - Born Slippy

the original Born Slippy was released as a single in 1995… with the more familiar version (officially titled Born Slippy.NUXX) on the B-side. When Trainspotting included the .NUXX vocal version on its soundtrack the following year, the B-side became an A-side.

9. David Bowie - Queen Bitch

Flip over the classic Rebel Rebel and you'll come across this slice of New York sleaze, impeccably performed and inspired by Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. It's been immortalised in this BBC TV session from 1972. 

"Queen Bitch" 1972 from David Bowie on Vimeo.

10. Queen - We Will Rock You

Originally the B-side to the equally flag-waving anthem We Are The Champions, both songs were included on the 1977 album News Of The World.

Needle on vinyl record

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