B-Side Wins Again

sadchild

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Men At Work
1980
A: "Keypunch Operator"
B: "Down Under" US #1

 

HecticArt

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That's crazy. The song that made them, and made them broke, was on the dark side.
How many Fosters did their producer have in him to think this was better than Down Under?
Or, are B-Sides like toilets in Australia and they go the other way around?
 

Channel98

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"Hey, this is Bob 'DRC' Hope. DRC. That stands for "darn rotten Crosby." No, that isn't nice. Sorry, Bing. But listen, in January 1939, Two Sleepy People, my duet with Shirley Ross, reached #15 on Billboard's Radio Airplay chart. Yes sir, it was a hit – but hey, I wanna tell ya, the B-side became much more famous. It became my theme song and I sang variations of it on all my many NBC television specials. Here it is, right here."

 

HecticArt

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That A-side is pretty lame. But the original "Down Under" recording on the b-side ain't so great either. Shows what a big difference having a good producer makes!!

I actually like that version a lot. Yes, the producer made a world of difference and made the song work. That, and a proper recording studio.
 
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sadchild

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Carl Douglas
1974
A: "I Want To Give You My Everything"
B: "Kung Fu Fighting" #1

Technically, "Kung" wasn't released commercially as a b-side (according to Discogs), but the song was recorded to be the b-side until the label said to make it an a-side. "I Want" was still released as an a-side, just with a different song on the flipside instead.

The song's producer: "Kung Fu Fighting was not meant to be a hit. Carl Douglas recorded something for an A-side of a single and every session was three hours long. We spent two hours on the first song and then took a break and I said: 'Quick guys, we need to record the B-side in two takes.' Kung Fu Fighting was the B-side so I went over the top on the 'huhs' and the 'hahs' and the chopping sounds. It was a B-side: who was going to listen? I played the A-side to the guy at Pye Records, Robin Blanchflower, and he said: 'Can I listen to the rest of the reel?' When he heard it, he said: 'This should be the A-side.'"
 

sadchild

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Wild Cherry
1976
Almost A: "I Feel Sanctified"
Almost B: "Play That Funky Music"

According to Songfacts: This was going to be the B-side of Wild Cherry's cover of the Commodores' "I Feel Sanctified." When they heard it, the owners of their record label suggested that the B-side become the A-side.
 
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sadchild

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Another "it was almost a b-side" story

George Harrison
A: "This Is Love" uncharted
Almost B: "Handle With Care" #45 (released as the supergroup Traveling Wilburys instead)

"The Wilburys formed in 1988 after Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison assembled at a California studio to record a B-side for the Harrison single 'This Is Love'."
Jonathan Cohen (March 20, 2007 - Billboard)

"Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne helped George Harrison on Handle With Care, originally conceived as a throwaway B-side of This Is Love from his 1988 Cloud Nine album. When the folks at Warner Bros. Records heard the easygoing rock song they convinced George and his pals it was too good to be relegated to the flip side of a single."
Mark Marymont (June 20, 2007 - news-press.com)
 

HecticArt

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There was too much talent in that studio for something big not to happen.
Having them remove the pressure of having to write something "good" and just letting what naturally happens was probably the magic ingredient.
 
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