Ever since the start of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ fans have been flipping the A-sides ( the track that the record companies wanted to be played on the radio) to hear diverse and sometimes terrible alternative tracks. Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby’, was originally the B-side to his cover of ‘Play That Funky Music‘ by Wild Cherry, but an American DJ decided that the former was far more interesting. Amazingly The Rolling Stones’ ‘Ruby Tuesdays’ was the flipside to ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together‘ . The B-side could also be a boring old remix from whoever was the freshest DJ of the era or just a lazy cover – but when fans came across a diamond in the rough say Oasis’s flipside to ‘Wonderwall ‘- ‘The Masterplan,‘ they would hold that song close to their bosom. This was a perfect track that only the most loyal of fan would have bothered to find. As if they had lifted the sword from the stone, these were the ultimate reward for their loyalty- a gift to the ‘real’ fan. This was a track that wasn’t on prime-time radio and most definitely wouldn’t be on Ryan, the annoying punk from up the road Walkman. These little nuggets would be hidden amongst the racks of music fairs around the world, where avid music fans would spend hours getting finger cramp looking for that lost Wedding Present rarity. Now of course these can all be found in mere minutes online and the mystique has somewhat been quashed – but that’s a whole other article.
Some of these tracks didn’t feel like aborted studio sessions, but sonic love-missiles meant for the bands true hardcore fan base. Ask any Suede, Smiths, Sweet (or even a fan of a legendary band that doesn’t begin with an S) what their favourite tracks are and they are bound to have a few B-sides in their top ten lists.
But now, who ever hears a B side? With the death of the physical single, there is never the opportunity to discover these lost treasures. So here we have some of Hit The Floor’s finest staff writers on their all-time favourite B-sides.