Tuesday 19 July 2011


Oh I do like to be beside the B-side

Over on S6 Radio tonight, Piley and Mondo will be bringing you another Sesame slice of peerless platters brought to you by the letter B. From what I can gather, Baby You're A Rich Man (originally) by The Beatles is getting an airing.

The original didn't get much of a look in back in the day; that's because it was a B-side. The A-side being All You Need Is Love (you may have heard of it).

So, let's hear it for B-sides. The tunes that don't get on the radio. The songs that bands often think aren't strong enough to stand on their own two feet and, by inference, don't make the cut when the album comes out; though Oasis did buck the trend in the mid 90s. How else could Queen's Roger 'I'm just the drummer' Taylor have amassed such a personal fortune if he hadn't persuaded the suits at EMI to put his, rather lame, I'm In Love With My Car on the B-side of multi-million selling BoRhap?

However, one of my favourite bands took B-sides very seriously. The Sweet's only shop window to show the world that they were serious musos and not just a bubblegum boy band (there's three more Bs!), was the B-side - it's where they put all their 'heavy stuff.' The darker side, if you will, to the manufactured Chinnichap choons (Need A Lot Of Lovin', Burning, Someone Else Will to name but three). So here's one of my all time favourites. And besides, any excuse to shoehorn The Sweet into my blog can only be a good thing. Can't it?

Here we go then, Burn (1) On The Flame by The Sweet fronted by Brian (2) Connolly, the B-side (3) of The Six Teens.

The Sweet - Burn on the Flame (1974)


  1. Tip of our Podrophenia bowlers for the honk J. I reckon there's an entire show to B(side) had from the dark sides..

    Sweet B's are winners, Soft Cell's Insecure Me. The Pistols Did You No Wrong and Satellite, Bolan's Raw Ramp. And then there's Adam Ant's B-side babies...

    Could be a goer you know..

  2. They were a genre in themselves weren't they? A space to put a beloved cover version or a song that was a bit different. Particular favourites include Under the Ivy, b-side of Running Up that Hill, Lady Nina, flip side of Kayleigh, and of course, Rain. And what about There Ain't Half Been some clever Bastards, which was the B side to Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick? I could go on all day.

  3. Wasn't Play With Fire the b side of The Last Time? And then there was The Girl that I Knew Somewhere by The Monkees. I'll stop there.

  4. Ian Dury had some other good b-sides such as Razzle In My Pocket & Wake up and Make Love to Me.

    And I know they are not a cool name to drop but Thumper is absolutely right about Marillion's Lady Nina.

  5. The Sweet - possibly the band responsible, with Queen for my looking to the dark side as a kid! My brother was into both but The Sweet in particular, Windy City still one of my all time fav tracks, from Off The Record I think... a long time ago now!

    One b-side I can't help but mention if only to raise your ire against them again ;-) is Supertramp "I started laughing". That was B-side to Lady first single off Crises! What Crises? However even on Retrospectacle in the sleeve notes on that it is claimed this only first appear on vinyl on the Paris (live) album a couple of releases later. So even the record companies forget the Bsides! :-)

  6. Oh yes, "Great single but have you heard the B side? It's ace!" .. those were the days.

  7. My all-time favourite Stones track is a b-side, 'Who's Driving your Plane' and 'She's a Woman' by the Beatles is another biggie for me.

    Perhaps it was because I couldn't afford to buy a lot of albums in the '70s, but so many singles seemed to have cracking b-sides; Cadilac & Sunken Rags by T.Rex, Man From Mecca, Burning, Done Me Wrong Alright etc by Sweet and Slade, Alice Cooper & Sparks all gave good value for money on their flipsides too.

    Also, let us not forget that ode to this very subject, 'Oh I Do Like to See Me On the 'B' Side' by Andrew Loog Oldham and his chums in 1964!