B-Side Wins Again

sadchild

Dude
Mar 28, 2016
3,078
4,685
168
50
NH
www.asimplecomplex.com
I mentioned in another thread it would be cool to have a list of songs which were originally B-sides that became the bigger hit. I had a small list started in a text file, so I'll start with those.

PS - Thread title is a reference to this

Bill Haley & His Comets
1954
A: "Thirteen Women"
B: "Rock Around The Clock" US #1

Champs
1958
A: "Train To Nowhere"
B: "Tequila" US #1

Surfaris
1963
A: "Surfer Joe" US #62.... one month after the success of the b-side
B: "Wipe Out" US #2

Righteous Brothers
1965
A: "Hung On You" US #47.... one week after the b-side peaked
B: "Unchained Melody" US #4

Steam
1969
A: "Sweet Laura Lee"
B: "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" US #1

Bill Withers
1971
A: "Harlem"
B: "Ain't No Sunshine" US #3

Gary Glitter
1972
A: "Rock And Roll Part 1"
B: "Rock And Roll Part 2" US #7

Gloria Gaynor
1978
A: "Substitute"
B: "I Will Survive" US #1

Salt N Pepa
1987
A: "Tramp"
B: "Push It" US #19

Vanilla Ice
1990
A: "Play That Funky Music" US #4 .... three months after the success of the b-side
B: "Ice Ice Baby" US #1
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
20,924
8,685
168
Toronto, ON
I mentioned in another thread it would be cool to have a list of songs which were originally B-sides that became the bigger hit. I had a small list started in a text file, so I'll start with those.

PS - Thread title is a reference to this

Bill Haley & His Comets
1954
A: "Thirteen Women"
B: "Rock Around The Clock" US #1

Champs
1958
A: "Train To Nowhere"
B: "Tequila" US #1

Surfaris
1963
A: "Surfer Joe" US #62.... one month after the success of the b-side
B: "Wipe Out" US #2

Righteous Brothers
1965
A: "Hung On You" US #47.... one week after the b-side peaked
B: "Unchained Melody" US #4

Steam
1969
A: "Sweet Laura Lee"
B: "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" US #1

Bill Withers
1971
A: "Harlem"
B: "Ain't No Sunshine" US #3

Gary Glitter
1972
A: "Rock And Roll Part 1"
B: "Rock And Roll Part 2" US #7

Gloria Gaynor
1978
A: "Substitute"
B: "I Will Survive" US #1

Salt N Pepa
1987
A: "Tramp"
B: "Push It" US #19

Vanilla Ice
1990
A: "Play That Funky Music" US #4 .... three months after the success of the b-side
B: "Ice Ice Baby" US #1

Interesting. The song that 'started Rock N Roll was a B-side.

Salt N Peppa -- I hate that song. Maybe the A side would have been better.

Vanilla Ice -- so since they were A & B does that make him a 1 hit wonder?

I wonder who got fired for not recognizing the hit?
 

Channel98

Don't yell or hit.
Feb 2, 2019
4,398
1,548
118
Glendale CA
I say "the song that started rock 'n' roll" is Jackie Brenston's Rocket 88 from 1951. I'm not alone in thinking that.

On the day my late wife Teri was born in 1962, the number-one song was The Stripper by David Rose. It was the B-side of Ebb Tide – but very few radio stations played the A-side. The B-side became the hit.

 

Aaron

Moderator
Oct 10, 2008
13,349
8,203
168
South Louisiana
Hectic's favorite band, The Smiths. "How Soon is Now" was originally the B side to "William, It was really Nothing". B side won that one.

Then you have Boz Scaggs hit "Lowdown", which wasn't even deemed worthy of B side status, until some DJ started playing it off the album, and it caught on and was later released as a hit single.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sadchild

sadchild

Dude
Mar 28, 2016
3,078
4,685
168
50
NH
www.asimplecomplex.com
I saw "How Soon Is Now" and "Maggie May", but didn't put them on the list because the A Side also performed well (without needing the B-Side to succeed first).

There are a lot of Beatles singles where both sides were big hits, but I think that's because their philosophy was "release two radio songs on a single" at the time....? But anyhoo, the original post was strictly "The A-Side didn't succeed. Then the B-Side did. (Then maybe the A-Side has success afterward)."

But yeah, it is also interesting when the A-Side does well and then the B-Side unexpectedly does well too (and sometimes is even more remembered, like The Smiths).

I never knew that about "Lowdown". Glad that DJ started playing it, because Boz only has two songs I like and that's one of them!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aaron

HecticArt

Administrator
Oct 19, 2008
41,803
12,951
168
Toledo, Ohio
I think the Beatles philosophy was (in a proper Liverpool accent) “We just thought we’d wright some songs, ya know. Maybe people will give a listen. Ringo wrote a song about an octopus, ya know.“
 
  • Haha
Reactions: sadchild

sadchild

Dude
Mar 28, 2016
3,078
4,685
168
50
NH
www.asimplecomplex.com
Hank Ballard
1959/1960
A: Teardrops On My Letter #87
B: The Twist #28

“The Twist” was originally written by Hank Ballard and released by Hank Ballard & The Midnighters in 1959 as the flipside to their single “Teardrops On My Letter”. “Teardrops” was a minor hit, but “Twist” was even more successful – reaching the top 30. It attracted the attention of Dick Clark, the host of TV’s popular American Bandstand, who asked Ballard to perform it on the show but he turned it down.

Clark then turned to Checker, who was known for his ability to imitate other performers (with “The Class” being a prime example where he imitates Elvis, The Coasters and Fats Domino) to perform the song instead – and that version topped the pop chart, making “The Twist” the hottest dance in the nation for several years and spawning a number of imitations like the chart-topping “Peppermint Twist”.
 

MonoStereo

Well-Known Member
May 12, 2020
239
427
68
55
Kansas City
KISS
A-Side : "Detroit Rock City"
B-Side : "Beth" ( #7 in 1976 )

From Wiki : "The song, recorded and released as a single in 1976, was the third single from Kiss's album Destroyer and was planned to be their last in support of the album. As a single, it did poorly in sales and radio play (other than in Detroit), and failed to chart in the U.S. even though it would prove to be a fan favorite. It came as a surprise that the B-side "Beth", a ballad written and sung by drummer Peter Criss, wound up catching on in different markets in the U.S., so the single was reissued with "Beth" as the A-side and "Detroit Rock City" as the B-side."
 

Channel98

Don't yell or hit.
Feb 2, 2019
4,398
1,548
118
Glendale CA
In 1956, Gene Vincent (born Vincent Eugene Craddock) wrote Be-Bop-A-Lula and recorded the song with his band the Blue Caps. Capitol released it as the B-side of his debut single, Woman Love. Disc jockeys preferred the B-side. Be-Bop-A-Lula reached #7 on the Billboard Top 100, #5 on the country chart and #8 on the R&B chart.


 
  • Like
Reactions: sadchild