Why weren't these classic songs released as singles?

24 October 2023, 18:03

Mick Jagger in 1969: the master of the album track
Mick Jagger in 1969: the master of the album track. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo

Sometimes genius is there lurking in the grooves of your favourite LP... Here’s a list of the best songs that never had a single release….

  1. The Stone Roses - This Is The One

    A huge track from the Roses’ debut album, and the walk-on music for Manchester United. Strictly an album track, however.

    The Stone Roses - This Is the One (Audio)

  2. David Bowie - Oh! You Pretty Things

    A highlight of Bowie’s career-defining 1971 album Hunky Dory, former Herman’s Hermits singer Peter Noone had already scored a hit with the song in the summer of 1971, so Bowie didn’t try and compete.

    David Bowie- Oh! You Pretty Things

  3. New Order - Your Silent Face

    Always a live highlight, this elegant Kraftwerk-influenced ballad kicks off side two of the Manchester band’s second album, Power, Corruption And Lies.

    Your Silent Face (2015 Remastered Version)

  4. Nirvana - About A Girl

    This classic Kurt Cobain song was included on the band’s debut album Bleach in 1989, but became more famous following its inclusion in the MTV Unplugged special and album.

    Nirvana - About a Girl

  5. Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven

    Led Zep were so famous in the 1970s that they didn’t need to release singles, so their most fanous song was an album-only delight.

    Stairway To Heaven

  6. The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter

    This massive tune from the Stones opened their brilliant Let It Bleed album, but never made it as a single in the UK in the 60s.

    The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter (Official Lyric Video)

  7. Pixies - Where Is My Mind

    Made famous by its inclusion in the film Fight Club, this indie classic kicked off Side 2 of the Boston band’s 1988 album Surfer Rosa.

    Pixies - Where Is My Mind

  8. The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun

    The Fabs issued a double A-side from the Abbey Road album - Come Together and Something - but George Harrison’s beautiful song was strictly for LP lovers. Despite this, Here Comes The Sun remains the Beatles' most-streamed song on Spotify, notching up over 1.1 billion listens.

    Here Comes The Sun (Remastered 2009)

  9. The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

    Yes, there was a single release of this classic tune - but not until five years after The Smiths had called it a day and split up. During their lifetime, it remained an album-only favourite, as the penultimate track on The Queen Is Dead. The "official" Queen Is Dead era singles were Bigmouth Strikes Again and The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, while there were non-album singles in Panic and Ask around the same time.

    The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Official Audio)

  10. Oasis - Slide Away

    A huge favourite from the Definitely Maybe album - and it was almost the fifth track to be issued as a single, but Noel Gallagher put his foot down.

    Oasis - Slide Away (Official Lyric Video)