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Time everlasting,
Time to play B-sides...
Blue Öyster Cult, Burning For You

Often when bands release a single, they want to put a little extra on there for the fans. It so happens that back in the days of the 45 rpm record, there was a whole half of the vinyl record left over for the extra music; the side with the main song on it was the "A-side" and the side with the rest on is the B-side.

Even today, now that the 45 rpm single is more-or-less extinct outside of a niche community of vinyl enthusiasts, the terminology persists. A B-side is a song released alongside a single. It may be a good song that doesn't fit in with an album (or recorded for the single), is not good enough for release on an album, something too experimental to be commercially viable on its own, or just a joke. It could be a song written by a young up-and-coming songwriter, or a cover of a pop, country, jazz or R&B standard. It could also be a different version of the A-Side (i.e., instrumental, a cappella, remix, a different language, acoustic, etc.).


The single is usually denoted as "A-side b/w B-side", the b/w standing for 'backed with'.

Occasionally, both sides of the single are promoted equally; the single is then called a "double A-side". Famous examples are "Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane" and "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions". B-sides may be collected onto Greatest Hits albums, or be included on an extra disc for deluxe reissues and Boxed Sets. They might also turn up as bonus tracks on later printings of the album.

In Japan, this is a requirement for many bands, in order to control grey-market imports. It backfired. The Japanese Editions are among the most wanted (and thus, among the most pirated) editions of the albums. In the past, it was a convention that European B-sides would contain non-album tracks (often outtakes or covers), while American singles would usually feature a second album track.


Unscrupulous publishers used to cheaply buy the rights to B-sides of songs they predicted to be hits. Since the B-side got 50% of the airplay royalties, the publishers would clean up.

B-side songs may well become Black Sheep Hits. Even if they don't, it's not uncommon for them to become staples of an artist's live repertoire and even become fan favorites.

Ubiquitous throughout the music industry, so any examples added here should be parodies, subversions or otherwise noteworthy.

See also B-Movie and B-Side Comics.



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  • An entire American Country Countdown program (a special that aired Oct. 4, 1975, in place of that weekend's regular countdown) was dedicated to B-sides of country music. The special featured classic gems by Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams (Sr.), Lefty Frizzell, Elvis Presley, Ray Price, Hank Snow, Kitty Wells, Eddy Arnold, Merle Haggard and many others. The top song: "The Tennessee Waltz", as recorded by Patti Page.
  • Hank Williams had multiple B-sided hits, plus one that never charted but has gone on to be one of his all-time classic performances and most covered:
    • 1949
      • "Never Again (Will I Knock on Your Door)" backed "Lovesick Blues".
      • "Lost Highway", which backed "You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)."
      • "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", backed "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It." Initially — according to at least one Time-Life Records compilation this song is included on — "I'm So Lonesome ... " was virtually ignored when "Bucket" was first released, unlike many other Hank B-sides. But then, in 1966, a handsome young country and pop singer from Hugo, Oklahoma named B.J. Thomas recorded the song about loneliness in a troubled relationship, and Williams' song finally got the recognition it deserved, with Thomas reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. All of a sudden, country disc jockeys began playing Williams' original version (and sometimes, Thomas' new version as well), and although it never charted, finally was heard and appreciated. In the years since, more than 300 performers have recorded "I'm So Lonesome ... ."
    • 1950
      • "My Son Calls Another Man Daddy" backed "Long Gone Lonesome Blues."
      • "They'll Never Take Her Love from Me" backed "Why Should We Try Anymore."
      • "Nobody's Lonesome for Me", backing "Moanin' the Blues."
    • 1951
      • "Dear John", the flip side to the all-time classic "Cold, Cold Heart."
      • "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)" backed "Howlin' at the Moon."
      • "Crazy Heart", the other side of a lonesome song called "(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle."
    • 1952
      • "You Win Again" backed "Settin' the Woods on Fire".
    • 1953
      • Perhaps his biggest two-sided hit ever — "Your Cheatin' Heart", backing "Kaw-Liga." Both were multi-week No. 1 country hits, with "Kaw-Liga" becoming the biggest country hit of 1953.
  • The B-side to 1970s pop singer Andy Kim's No. 1 hit "Rock Me Gently" was ... an instrumental of "Rock Me Gently". (It was simply the same music track, minus Kim's vocals.) This became very common in the years to come.
  • The B-side to Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!" was called "!aaaH-aH yawA eM ekaT ot gnimoC er'yehT" and was a backwards version of the A-side. For added effect, most of the information on the 45 label is printed backwards.
  • The Spitting Image single "The Chicken Song" b/w "I've Never Met a Nice South African" was jokingly promoted on the cover as a "double B-side", implying that both songs were of dubious quality.
  • Marvin released a "Double B Side" too.
  • Dance You Fuckers by Wall of Voodoo is over 5 minutes long and the most awesome track both line-ups ever recorded.
  • Radiohead's B-sides are popular among fans for their strangeness and experimentation; "Kinetic" features a looped, backwards, slowed-down vocal part.
  • Muse's B-sides are popular amongst fans. The most popular is Fury, which the band have played live, and Matt wanted on Absolution but the band voted him out. The band have a compilation called Hullabaloo which collects several of their B-sides, and another one called Random 1-8 which covers similar ground but has a couple of exceptions. Other popular B-sides include Agitated (a funk-thrash song that was a live staple for years), Eternally Missed (A 6 minute long epic that was in the running for Absolution but left off due to length), Nishe (a moody instrumental which the band still do live), and the band's cover of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (which even got radio airplay in the UK).
  • The Protomen released a white vinyl record roughly one year prior to releasing their Act II CD with the single "Father of Death". The other side contained a remixed version of "No Easy Way Out" from Rocky IV.
  • Blur have so many b-sides, that the situation is very close to Archive Panic.
    • Blur recorded so often that they'd have brand new songs to release as B Sides, and not have to put out anything substandard (something The Smiths also did). This was particularly common during the Leisure and Modern Life Is Rubbish periods. In the case of the former, the more mature "Inertia" and "Luminous" were released as B-Sides before Leisure came out, despite being recorded after it.
    • Their Japan-only release, The Special Collectors' Edition, which collects B Sides up to the Parklife singles. In terms of box sets, they have the more substantial 10th Anniversary Collection and the even more substantial Blur 21 set (of which all the albums were released as 2CD sets including most of the B-Sides).
    • And Kylie Minogue.
    • And Tori Amos.
  • Eye of The Lens by The Comsat Angels could have been their biggest hit in the early 80s had it been included on an album.
  • Nightwish has a few of these from the Anette era, notably "The Escapist" and "While Your Lips are Still Red."
  • All of Led Zeppelin's songs from their original discography were released on all of their studio albums, with the notable exception of "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do", the b-side to "Immigrant Song". For years, the only way to get "Hey, Hey" on an LP was to buy a sampler from Atlantic Records, The New Age of Atlantic. The song was later put on the Led Zeppelin box set and was also a bonus track on the 2015 Coda reissue.
    • "Wish I Had an Angel" was backed with a cover of Ankie Bagger's "Where Were You Last Night".
  • Self's "No B-sides": The back story is that Matt Mahaffey of Self was streaming one B-side (more accurately "outtake") from forthcoming album Ornament And Crime a day until the album's release date. When the anticipated release date came and the album didn't, the song for the day was "No B-sides", a catchy, jingle-like number where Mahaffey informed fans that there weren't any b-sides left, the album was delayed by record label issues but was still going to come out, and if anyone pirated the streaming songs in mp3 form, he would personally Groin Attack them. Now that Ornament And Crime is a Missing Episode, the song is a mild Harsher in Hindsight moment.
  • The B-side of Three Dog Night's "Shambala" was called, appropriately enough, "Our B-Side". The lyrics had the band speculating what they might do if they ever got to write a song that ended up as an A-side (since Three Dog Night almost exclusively recorded songs by established outside songwriters).
  • The original "Garage Days Revisited" by Metallica. This was the B-side to the European release of "Creeping Death", and contained two covers, "Am I Evil?" (originally by Diamond Head) and "Blitzkrieg" by the group of the same name. Metallica would use the "Garage" name for a number of future cover-based releases, and would release many NWOBHM cover tunes as B-sides (later collected into the "Garage, Inc." album).
  • Birmingham stand-up comic Jasper Carrott had a hit single with a mildly diverting funny song called Funky Moped. However, what people were really buying it for was a B-side that because of content could not be broadcast on the radio: an adult-themed version of popular children's animation The Magic Roundabout, in which, among other things, aspersions are cast as to prim and proper Florence's sexual preferences.
  • The B-side of Yes's "Leave It" was the same song a cappella.
  • Keith Whitley had three B-sides that were Covered Up by other artists - two of which were themselves covers (see the notes):
    • "Nobody in His Right Mind Would've Left Her"note , the B-side to "Ten Feet Away", was later a #1 hit for George Strait...
    • "On the Other Hand", the B-side to "Homecoming '63", was later a #1 hit for Randy Travisnote , and...
    • "Brother Jukebox"note , the B-side to "I Wonder Do You Think of Me", was later a #3 hit for Mark Chesnutt.
  • Johnny Cash had quite a few B-sided hits as well:
    • "Five Feet High and Risin'" — the flip side to the original studio version of "I Got Stripes" was a childhood memory of Johnny's. A harsh winter of 1936-1937 gave way to record rainfall and flooding in the Arkansas Mississippi Valley, and the result was water that kept rising, seemingly by the minute and hour, as entire farms — crops, livestock, buildings (including farmhouses) and all — and communities were washed away and dozens of people were killed. Eventually, the Cash family was forced to flee to higher ground to safety until the river crested and began to drop below flood stage.
    • Examples from his Sun Records days: "Hey Porter" (backed "Cry, Cry, Cry"); "So Doggone Lonesome" (backed the original "Folsom Prison Blues"), "Get Rhythm (the flipper was the famous "I Walk the Line"), "Big River" (turn it over to get "Ballad of a Teenage Queen")
  • Merle Haggard: Lots:
    • To "The Legend Of Bonnie and Clyde", his fourth No. 1 hit from the spring of 1968, came the critically acclaimed "Today I Started Loving You Again".
    • Briefly, when released in June 1969, "Silver Wings" was the A-side to the working man's anthem "Working Man's Blues". The two were flipped within two weeks of release, and while "Working Man's Blues" eventually went to No. 1, many radio stations still played "Silver Wings", a song that took Merle in a new direction: a pop-styled lament about loneliness on the road.
    • The flip side his 1976 No. 1, the nostalgic "My Roots Of My Raising", was the equally nostalgic "The Way It Was In '51". "Roots ..." was a longing for home, while "... '51" was a yearning for the simpler, carefree days of just 25 years earlier. "... '51" went on to become a minor country hit in 1978, based on airplay.
    • "If We Make It Through December", not explicitly a Christmas single despite many references to the holiday — it was much more a lament about being laid off and enduring other majorly disappointing news just before the holidays — did have a more blatant holiday tune for the B-side: "Bobby Wants a Puppy Dog For Christmas", a song about a young boy who, living in a community where there are no boys his age (it's unclear whether he was an only child or much younger than his siblings) yearns for a dog for companionship and friendship.
    • Other flippers were listed along with many of Merle's songs, but are lesser known today. For instance, "Cherokee Maiden", a tribute to Bob Wills, had "What Have You Got Planned Tonight, Diana?" "Turning Off a Memory" was listed on the B-side of "Grandma Harp".
  • The Postal Service only had a couple of b-sides that were original songs ("Be Still My Heart" and "There's Never Enough Time"), the rest being remixes and a Cover Version of Flaming Lips' "Suddenly Everything Has Changed". What was more unusual was that the "Such Great Heights" single included other Sub Pop-affiliated artists covering their songs - Iron and Wine performing the title track and The Shins performing "We Will Become Silhouettes". Iron And Wine's version of "Such Great Heights" became fairly well-known on it's own when it was used in Garden State.
  • The Sex Pistols released four singles during their career as an active band, with extremely varied B-sides.
    • "Anarchy in the UK", their debut single, was backed with "I Wanna Be Me", a throwaway early song from a demo session some months earlier whose inclusion on the single is probably the most notable thing about it.
    • "God Save the Queen", taken from the sessions that produced Never Mind the Bollocks, was backed with "Did You No Wrong," another song from the sessions that didn't end up on the album. The song originated as "Scarface" from when Steve, Paul and Glen were performing with Wally Nightingale as the Swankers. Since the group was essentially a pub-rock group before John Lydon became the singer, it's instrumentally a pretty straightforward rock 'n' roll song with Lydon's punk vocal and rewritten lyrics laid on top.
    • "Pretty Vacant" had a cover of the Stooges' "No Fun" on the B-side. This was taken from the sessions where they first attempted to record the "Anarchy in the UK" single, which also happened to include a string of covers recorded live in the studio, the rest of which would surface on various bootlegs and film soundtracks in later years. It's an incredibly strong and spontaneous performance, especially considering that the band had just learned the song. It's also the longest single song they ever recorded: the full version comes in just under seven minutes, but the B-side edit cuts out the last 30 seconds or so of the chaotic AC/DC-esque ending.
    • "Holidays in the Sun" features another cut from the Bollocks sessions that was left off the album, a recording of "Satellite", an older song about playing unpleasant gigs in small towns around London in the band's early days, trying to build a following. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it's a fine song and a damned energetic performance that really benefits from the bigger-budget production and fuller sound available to the band at the time of recording.
  • Anyone who bought Dion's sentimental, patriotic 1968 hit "Abraham, Martin & John" and flipped the record over suffered a huge case of Mood Whiplash; the B-side was a much Darker and Edgier electric Blues song called "Daddy Rollin' (In Your Arms)".
  • Back in The '60s, there were several methods to ensure the intended song got radio airplay instead of the B-side:
    • Putting a quickly-recorded, not particularly great Instrumental on the B-side. Phil Spector in particular was notorious for this. His protégé Sonny Bono adopted this for his productions, using the Theme Naming device of mentioning quetzals somewhere in the title.
    • Putting an instrumental version of the A-side song on the B-side. This has backfired at least once: the B-side of Cliff Nobles' "Love Is All Right" was its instrumental version under the title "The Horse" — the latter (not featuring Nobles) became a #2 hit in 1968 while the former was ignored.
    • Only including the A-side song on promotional copies sent to radio stations, whether by leaving the B-side blank or by putting the A-side song on both sides. When stereo on 45rpm records returned in the late 1960's (following a brief experiment in 1958-61), some promotional copies would have the same song in stereo on one side (for FM-Stereo stations) and in mono on the other side (for AM stations).
  • Kenny Rogers had two examples, both from 1984:
    • "This Woman"/"Buried Treasure". While the former was a #23 pop hit and #2 on the AC charts, country radio preferred the B-side "Buried Treasure", and it went to #3 on the country charts at the same time.
    • "Evening Star"/"Midsummer Nights" from the same album was sent to country radio as a double A-side.
  • The European single release of The Cranberries' "Zombie" was backed with "Away", which was featured in the film 'Clueless, though not included on its soundtrack album.
  • Italo Disco/spacesynth duo Laserdance have "Galactica" backing "Laserdance Ultimate '88 Remix", and "Fall of the Wall" on "Megamix Vol. 3". The former was produced by Peter Vriends under the alias Andromeda, while the latter sounds like an outtake from the Discovery Trip sessions, and was also used for the intro and outtro of "Megamix Vol. 4".
  • British instrumental rock group The Shadows did a similar "double B-side" gag to the Spitting Image single up above with their "The Dreams I Dream" b/w "Scotch on the Socks" single in 1966. The promotional copies had a big red "B" on the labels, parodying the standard EMI promo label design of the time that had a big red "A" on the A-side.
  • Helalyn Flowers' "E-Race Generation", from A Voluntary Coincidence, in addition to being a double A-side with "Voices" from said album, was B-sided by "Teargas", which is one of their few songs to not be included on an album or EP.
  • Void Vision has "Black and White" for the limited 7" vinyl release of her debut "In 20 Years", and "20-20" for "Sour".
  • Originally, Alabama's "If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)" was the B-side to "I'm Not That Way Anymore". But due to radio showing more interest in the former, the sides were reversed after two weeks.
  • In 1981, John Anderson released "Chicken Truck" and a cover of Lefty Frizzell's "I Love You a Thousand Ways" as a double A-side. Radio preferred the former, getting it to #8 on the country charts while the latter stalled out at #54. But in Canada, the reverse was true: "Chicken Truck" was not released there at all, so "I Love You a Thousand Ways" got the bigger radio push, making #11 on the RPM Country Tracks charts.
  • Originally, Mark McGuinn's debut single was supposed to be "That's a Plan". However, stations were showing interest in the track "Mrs. Steven Rudy" instead, so that became the lead single and "That's a Plan" was relegated to the B-side. "Mrs. Steven Rudy" went on to become McGuinn's only hit.
  • In 1971, italian singer Domenico Modugno (of Volare fame) wrote a song for the Sanremo Music Festival. When the song was released as a single, Modugno put on the other side Questa è la facciata B ("This is the B-side"): three minutes of random chatting and instrumental improvisations where, at some point, Modugno says "Well guys, since nobody listen the B-side of the Sanremo record, I didn't write the song at all".
  • The Murmaids' one big hit, "Popsicles and Icicles", was issued with four different B-sides in the U.S. In order of appearance, they were "Blue Dress", "Bunny Stomp" (an instrumental), "Comedy and Tragedy" (a recording by another group released under the Murmaids' name) and "Huntington Flats" (another instrumental). Most non-U.S. releases of the single used "Comedy and Tragedy" as the B-side.
  • Gary Lewis and the Playboys' "This Diamond Ring" was originally released with the instrumental "Hard to Find" as the B-side, a composition of jazz bassist Leroy Vinnegar. A few weeks later, the B-side was changed to "Tijuana Wedding", another instrumental. The composers of a B-side earned an equal amount of royalties on every single sold as the composers of an A-side, and the new B-side happened to be composed by Gary Lewis, his producer Snuff Garrett and his arranger Leon Russell.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre's "Moon Machine" was originally composed for Zoolook, but rejected due to not fitting with said album's theme. Instead, he released it as a B-side to "Rendez-Vous IV".
  • Paul Hardcastle's US 12" single of "19" was backed with "The Asylum (It's Weird)". The UK editions of the single had one or two other non-album tracks; "Fly By Night" and "Dolores", and sometimes all three together as a medley.
  • The B-side of Tracey Ullman' hit cover of "They Don't Know" was a skit titled "The B-Side" in which Ullman played various characters discussing B-sides.
  • When the cast of the musical TV drama Rock Follies of '77 had a hit single with the rock song "O.K.?", the flip side was a song titled "The B-Side", a solo ballad in which, very much Leaning on the Fourth Wall, one of the characters laments being the Lesser Star of the band and therefore having her contribution relegated to the B-side.
  • Irene Cara's "Flashdance...What a Feeling" from Flashdance was backed with Helen St. John's "Love Theme from Flashdance (Instrumental)" on its 7" single, and "Found It" on the 12".
  • The B-side of Fleetwood Mac's 1969 single "Man of the World" was "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonite" by the mysterious Earl Vince & The Valiants, a Genre Throwback rock'n'roll number that got very excited about the prospect of a forthcoming riot. Who were these young upstarts? As it turned out, Earl Vince & The Valiants were a Fake Band. It was actually Fleetwood Mac themselves having an Out-of-Genre Experience.
  • Paul McCartney's 1980 solo single "Coming Up" had a live version of the same song by his (by-then effectively disbanded) group Wings on the B-side. The actual A-side was a big hit around the world, but the US market preferred the B-side and made that the hit instead.
  • The original 1984 recording of the Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" had two editions; one with "Pet Shop Boys" as its B-side; the other as a double A-side with "One More Chance", which was featured on their Actually album three years later.
  • "Radar Radio" by Giorgio Moroder and Joe Pizzulo, featured in Top Gun but not included on its soundtrack album, was released as a B-side to the film's Award-Bait Song, "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers are notorious for producing a ton of songs that don't quite make it onto their albums, though this is mainly because they release a new album every four years on average as of late.
    • Blood Sugar Sex Magik was notable given that the band recorded the entire album in less than a year, but produced over twenty original songs and a bunch of pretty good cover versions.
      • "Soul To Squeeze" was the B-Side to both "Give It Away" and "Under The Bridge" in 1991. In 1993 it appeared on the Coneheads soundtrack and was released as a single. Many people thought it was a new song, which was why the song was a hit, peaking at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the top 10 in Canada and Australia.
      • "Sikamikanico" and "Search and Destroy" (an Iggy Pop cover) were featured on Wayne's World and Beavis And Butthead, respectively.
    • Same with Californication. Frusciante has even said that he likes some of the B-Sides such as "Instrumental #1" and "Gong Li" better than a lot of the album tracks.
      • Prior to recording the album, the band asked Daniel Lanois (of U2 fame) to produce their album, who initially said no, but allowed them to use his recording studio in L.A. to put down some rough versions of the tracks. A lot of tracks from the album as well as the B-Sides are featured in these sessions, as well as a ton of previously unreleased material. (These sessions were leaked years after the album was released.) Lanois listened to these tracks months later and called the band up to offer to produce their next album, but by then the band had moved forward with their longtime producer Rick Rubin.
    • After the release of their 2002 album By the Way, the band began work on a new album in 2003 and produced at least 10 completed songs. However, the album was scrappednote  and most of the songs have either been released as B-Sides or performed live. Notably, "Fortune Faded" and "Save the Population" were included on the band's Greatest Hits album, with the former released as a single. The drummer Chad Smith admitted during a Reddit AMA that there were at least a few studio recordings from those sessions that haven't been released, and that they were waiting for the right time to do so.
    • They exaggerated this with the release of the 2006 double-album Stadium Arcadium, with a whopping 28 songs. While it earned them Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song (for lead single "Dani California"), many critics bashed its, well, bloatedness and filler. The band actually had plans to release a third album, but had to cut over ten songs at the insistence of management.
  • Crocheted Doughnut Ring was a 60s band that only released a few singles before folding. Their first single, Two Little Ladies (Azalea & Rhododendron) was fairly standard 60s psychedelic pop, nothing unusual for 1967. However, they also needed a B-Side for that. So they sat down, did some tape manipulations, did some experimental playing - and invented the Ambient genre. For that the B-Side, called Nice, is much more well-known nowadays than the A-Side.

    B-side compilations 
  • Gorillaz have two whole B-side albums: G Sides for their self-titled first album, and D Sides for their second album Demon Days. They contain both unused songs and remixes by other artists.
  • TheMightyMightyBosstones's Medium Rare contains a variety of B-sides, rare tracks and three new songs. One of the tracks, Don’t Worry, Desmond Dekker is a fan favorite and has closed most of their shows since the album was released in 2007.
  • Radiohead's My Iron Lung EP contains outtakes from the early stages of The Bends sessions. The only exception is Creep (Acoustic) which was a B side in the Pablo Honey era.
    • The EP Airbag/How Am I Driving? collected most of the b-sides from OK Computer, along with the album's opening track, "Airbag".
  • Muse's Hullabaloo has one disc of B Sides and the other of a live concert. During the Showbiz era, the band released a Japanese tour EP called Random 1-8, which had a similar tracklisting to Hullabaloo (sans the Origin Of Symmetry era B Sides), but also had Agitated, a live version of Do We Need This, as well as three Sunburn mixes which were hidden tracks.
  • Elton John's Rare Masters collects his B-sides from 1968 through 1975 along with a few soundtrack recordings and other rarities.
  • Alternative by Pet Shop Boys collects their B-sides from 1986 through 1994. Format does the same for 1995-2012.
  • & Giggles by the Kleptones is a 2010 compilation of Kleptones b-sides from 2004 to the present day. The catch is that, as a mash-up artist, all of his albums have been released online for free and they've never had a proper "single". Also, it's good.
  • To accompany the Red Hot Chili Peppers' tenth album I'm With You (which contained 14 songs), the band released an unofficial series of tracks called I'm Beside You, with no less than 17 songs that didn't make it onto the album.
  • Sloan released a compilation of them, along with bonus tracks, called B Sides Win: extras, bonus tracks and b-sides 1992-2008.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins have four: Pisces Iscariot, The Aeroplane Flies High (which is a debatable case as it includes five single A-sides as well), Judas Ø, and Rarities and B-Sides. The last of these is a digital-only release that contains 114 tracks, and it still wasn't complete as of the time of its issue (and, because plenty of additional material has been unearthed from the band's vaults for the band's recent deluxe reissues of its discography, it's even less complete now). It's fair to say that Billy Corgan is one of the most prolific songwriters of his generation.
  • The Used's Shallow Believer.
  • Manic Street Preachers has Lipstick Traces, featuring their B-sides from 1989 to 2002.
  • Suede's Sci-Fi Lullabies is reckoned by many critics to be the equal of their better studio albums.
  • Oasis has The Masterplan, which contains many classics and fan favorites like "Acquiesce" that were never featured on their studio albums.
  • Crowded House released Afterglow which featured, among others, "Recurring Dream," their first recorded song.
  • Pearl Jam has Lost Dogs, a two-disc compilation of B-sides and non-album singles like "Last Kiss".
  • Nirvana's Incesticide has many of their B-sides from the Bleach (Album) and Nevermind eras. Many fans consider it to be the album most representative of the band's style.
  • Green Day's Shenanigans.
  • The Pixies' Complete 'B' Sides.
  • Miscellaneous T by They Might Be Giants collects b-sides from their first two albums.
  • R.E.M.'s Dead Letter Office, a collection of B-sides from their first four albums. Later editions would also include the out-of-print Chronic Town EP in it's entirety as bonus tracks. A deluxe version of In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003 also included a disc of B-sides.
    • The Automatic Box compiled b-sides from the Automatic For The People singles. It only featured about an hour's worth of music, but was separated into four EP-length discs with different themes: The first disc was all original songs with vocals, the second was all original instrumental pieces, the third was all Cover Versions, and the last was a set of b-sides from their previous album, Green.
  • Disturbed's The Lost Children, released shortly after the beginning of their hiatus.
  • Disk 4 of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' box set Playback consists of B-sides.
  • Sugar's Besides
  • Nick Cave's B-Sides and Rarities.
  • Anthrax's Attack of the Killer B's.
    • Attack Of The Killer B's was also a compilation album of B-sides released in 1983. Included were songs such as "You're My Favorite Waste Of Time" (Marshall Crenshaw), "In The Sticks" (the Pretenders), "Babysitter" (the Ramones), and "Love Goes To A Building On Fire" (Talking Heads).
  • The Broken Social Scene's Bee Hives, which was entirely B Sides from You Forgot It In People.
  • The second disc of Metallica's Garage, Inc., as mentioned above.
  • XTC's Rag N Bone Buffet is a compilation of B Sides and other rarities (such as contributions to film soundtracks, singles released under other names, and "Mermaid Smiled", the song that was originally left off the US version of Skylarking).
  • The Replacements' Distinct Double Album compilation All for Nothing / Nothing for All - one disc was a Greatest Hits Album covering the last five years of the band, the other was b-sides, outtakes and other rarities from the same period.
  • The Killers' Sawdust is a collection of B-sides, rarities, and remixes from Hot Fuss and Sam's Town.
  • Ash released a collection of B-Sides titled "Cosmic Debris" as a bonus with their greatest hits album Intergalactic Sonic 7"s.
  • Zig-zag: The Capitol records release of the Beatles' Hey Jude album were composed of songs, a and b-sides that were not previously featured on albums. The 1980 release Rarities features other cuts not previously released on American albums.
  • The Cure's Join The Dots is a 4-CD collection compiling no fewer than 70 B-Sides and stray non-album tracks.
  • Feeder has a double-disc compilation titled Picture Of Perfect Youth, named after a song of theirs. The fact that the dobule-album have some missing B-sides is a good showcase of the bands's productivity early in their career.
  • Jimmy Eat World's Singles has a collection of songs that didn't made to Static Prevails and Clarity and it was released shortly prior they hit big in the mainstream.
  • Sigue Sigue Sputnik's 21st Century Boys: The Best of Sigue Sigue Sputnik compiles all of the band's 7" singles alongside their B-sides.
  • The CD and cassette versions of Bronski Beat's Remix Album Hundreds & Thousands include "Infatuation/Memories", "Close To The Edge", and "Cadillac Car", which were originally B-sides to "Smalltown Boy", "It Ain't Necessarily So", and "Why?", respectively.
    Double A-sides 
  • Hank Williams had several two-sided hits, but his best known was "Kaw-Liga"/"Your Cheatin' Heart," both which went No. 1 in 1953, several months after his death.
  • Elvis Presley: Also famous for scoring with dual-sided hits, his most famous was one of popular music's all-time most popular songs — from 1956, "Don't Be Cruel"/"Hound Dog." Both sides of this double A-sided hit were No. 1 on all three of the major charts — the Top 100 (as Billboard magazine called it at the time), the country, and the rhythm and blues charts. Incidentally, the song's designation as a double-A single didn't come until 1960.
    • This got crossed with Germans Love David Hasselhoff in Australia in 1969. "Edge of Reality" (from Live a Little, Love a Little) was B-side of "If I Can Dream", and while the "If I Can Dream" was dominant in most of the world, in Australia "Edge of Reality" was equally, if not more, popular, with the combined sides peaking together #2 on the ARIA chart.
    • Much like Linda Ronstadt as mentioned below, Elvis started using the strategy in The '70s of having one side of a single aimed at the Pop market, and the other targeted at the Country audience, like with "Moody Blue" (Pop) and "She Thinks I Still Care" (Country), though the Pop side often ended up getting more airplay on Country radio anyway.
  • Dolly Parton had several, including "It's All Wrong, but It's All Right"/"Two Doors Down" and "Baby I'm Burning"/"I Really Got the Feeling". Both sides went to #1.
  • Razzy Bailey also had two #1 singles with double A-sides: "I Keep Coming Back"/"True Life Country Music" and "Friends"/"Anywhere There's a Jukebox". "Midnight Hauler" also went to #1, with its b-side "Scratch My Back" reaching #8 soon afterward.
  • Linda Ronstadt had several double A-sided hits in 1975 and 1976 alone, allowing her to have as many as six top 10 hits (divided between the country and Hot 100 charts) within a year's span:
    • Early 1975: The single "You're No Good"/"I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)." "You're No Good" (with a searing rock guitar solo from Andrew Gold) topped the Hot 100 in February 1975, right around the same time the flip side — a cover of a classic Hank Williams Sr. song note  — peaked at No. 2 on the country chart; the Hank Sr. cover included vocal harmonies from her good friend, Emmylou Harris. (And yes, both sides got airplay on both country and pop radio.)
    • June 1975: "When Will I Be Loved," a soaring cover of the Everly Brothers' hit from 15 years earlier, was backed with "It Doesn't Matter Anymore." Although the flip side didn't chart on its own, it did get lots of airplay in both the country and Top 40 genres, going to No. 1 country and No. 2 Hot 100.
    • October 1975: "Heat Wave"/"Love is a Rose." "Heat Wave" was a No. 5 hit, and Ronstadt's cover of the old Martha and the Vandellas smash from the early 1960s. "Love is a Rose," a cover of a then-unreleased Neil Young song, was the side of choice for country radio. Incidentally, both songs stopped at No. 5 on the Hot 100 and Hot Country Singles charts, respectively.
    • February 1976: "The Sweetest Gift"/"Tracks of My Tears." Again, released to both country and rock radio stations, "The Sweetest Gift" — with Emmylou Harris providing backing vocals — got the nod early on at country radio, but it wasn't long before the pop side "Tracks of My Tears" (covering Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) earned its keep at country radio and (depending on the chart) made the top 10 or stopped just short.
    • November 1977: Some pressings of "Blue Bayou" (top 5 both country and Hot 100) had as the flip side the Warren Zevon-penned "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me," the latter which became a top 30 pop hit.
  • Conway Twitty released a single in 1975 that ultimately became a double A-sided hit – "Touch the Hand"/"Don't Cry, Joni." The two songs were subsequent hits, with "Touch the Hand" (a ballad) becoming the first hit, becoming a No. 1 country hit in the summer of 1975. As that song's popularity began falling off, there came "Don't Cry, Joni," a tale about a 15-year-old girl's infatuation with her 22-year-old neighbor, his rejection of her, and – several years later, after realizing she may have been the girl for him all along – returning home to start a relationship but learning that she had wed his best friend. "Don't Cry, Joni," whose female vocal was by Joni Lee James (Twitty's daughter), became a top 5 hit that fall.
  • Don Williams, country music's "Gentle Giant," had one of his earliest major successes in the late spring through summer of 1973 with a double A-sided hit, "Come Early Morning" and "Amanda." The double-sided hit never got any higher than No. 12 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, but like Kris Kristofferson on the Hot 100 in 1973 with his memorable spiritual "Why Me," it was one of those crazy occurrences where the song was popular in one area of the country early on, then caught on in a different region and/or at different radio stations just a few weeks later; toward the end of the run, "Amanda" note  was the listed A-side because that was the song getting more airplay than "Come Early Morning." That allowed the two-sided "Come Early Morning"/"Amanda" to spend 19 weeks in the top 40 (an extended run for any country hit at that time even for a No. 1 song note ), but thanks to its long run and general all-around popularity, "Come Early Morning"/"Amanda" was the No. 5 song of the entire year on the Hot Country Singles chart. note note 
  • Rod Stewart's "Reason To Believe"/"Maggie May", already listed below under "Famous songs that were originally B-sides", is similar to the Twitty single especially in terms of the second song's subject matter.
  • Michael Jackson did this with the first single release from HIStory: Past, Present, and Future -- Book I, "Scream"/"Childhood".
  • Wings had the double A side "Mull of Kintyre"/"Girls School". "Mull of Kintyre" was massively popular in the UK, while "Girls School" was ignored; in the USA, "Girls School" was a hit and nobody remembers "Mull of Kintyre".
  • The commercial single of Lonestar's "No News" (their second single) was a double A-side with its predecessor, "Tequila Talkin'."
  • "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions" by Queen, both from their LP News of the World (Queen), are usually played one after the other on radio stations.
  • Since mainstream radio tended to avoid anything with blatant drug references, Pulp deliberately paired "Sorted For E's and Wizz" with the more radio friendly "Mis-shapes".
  • Some acts have deliberately paired Christmas and non-Christmas songs as double A sides, so that there's still something for radio to play (and with a bit of luck, attract a few more buyers) come New Year. One particularly successful example was Wham!'s "Last Christmas"/"Everything She Wants".
  • Another double A-sided Christmas release was Alabama's 1982 hit "Christmas in Dixie", paired up with "Christmas Is Just a Song for Us This Year" by Louise Mandrell (Barbara Mandrell's sister) and R.C. Bannon.
  • The Everly Brothers had a bunch in their heyday, often with a ballad on one side (ostensibly meant to appeal to female fans) and an uptempo song (for male fans) on the other. "Bird Dog" (uptempo) and "Devoted to You" (ballad) is a notable example.
  • B-sides by The Beatles quite often became big hits in their own right, but "We Can Work it Out"/"Day Tripper", "Yellow Submarine"/"Eleanor Rigby", "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Come Together"/"Something" were all officially considered double A-sides. On November 15, 1969, "Come Together" was #2 and "Something" was right behind at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Finally Billboard decided to just change their policy and start listing a popular B-side along with the A-side, and two weeks later they combined as a #1 hit. Billboard also charted "The Long and Winding Road" and "For You Blue" as a double-A side.
  • Dead or Alive's "Misty Circles" only barely touched the UK Singles top 100 in its original 1983 single release, but became significantly more popular once it was doubled up with "You Spin Me Round" the following year.
  • Elton John's singles "Healing Hands" and "Sacrifice" went almost unnoticed on their original release in 1989. Paired up as a double A side the following year, they would top charts all over Europe (including the UK, where despite his massive popularity his only previous #1 had been a duet with Kiki Dee).
  • Huey Lewis and the News had their only UK top 10 hit with a double A side pairing two previous singles: "Do You Believe in Love?" and "The Power of Love". The latter was probably the side that most sold the record (thanks in large part to the home video release of Back to the Future) even though it had been a top 20 hit only the previous year.

    Famous songs that were originally B-sides 
  • From the aforementioned American Country Countdown B-Sides Special came these songs where the B-side/intended B-side was the hit:
    • "The Jamestown Ferry" by Tanya Tucker, from 1972. The original A-side, "Love's the Answer" was not the answer to what would be the follow-up to the 14-year-old Tucker's first hit, "Delta Dawn."
      • In introducing the song, ACC host Don Bowman explained that by the late 1960s, record companies were servicing radio stations with vinyl 45 RPM records having the same song on both sides of the records, that is, a specific song the record company and/or artist wanted radio stations to play. (Plus, it allowed jockeys to play the other side of the record once one side became worn or "skipped.") note  However, "Love's the Answer"/"The Jamestown Ferry" was an exception, since — according to Bowman — there seemed to be uncertainty at Columbia Records which song would be the stronger hit, so the label sent out copies of what also went to the stores.
    • "The Tennessee Waltz" by Patti Page, from 1950. The song was issued that October, with "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus" as the A-side. The story was that, with only about an hour left in Page's recording session for the day, they would record "Waltz," put it on the B-side and forget about it. When the record sold better than expected, months before the holiday rush, someone asked why fans were loving "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus." It turned out they loved the B-side — a cover of a then 2-year-old Pee Wee King song, with vocals by Redd Stewart — instead ... and it was the B-side that became Page's signature song and about 15 years later one of Tennessee's state songs.
    • "My Special Angel" by Bobby Helms, from 1957. The intended A-side, as the follow-up to "Fraulein," was "Standing at the End of My World." "... End of My World" was a flop, but it wasn't the end of that particular record by country radio, as disc jockeys found the real hit on the other side.
    • "He'll Have to Go" by Jim Reeves, from early 1960. The original A'er was a nice ballad called "In a Mansion Stands My Love." Like "... End of My World," "Mansion" flopped. The jockeys flipped the record over and found what went on to become a country standard.
    • "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean, from 1961. The original A-side was a cover of one of Stuart Hamblein's last drinking songs, "I Won't Go Huntin' With You Jake (But I'll Go On Chasing Women)." In the years since, Dean's cover version has gotten some classic country radio airplay. However, it was — both then and now — the B-side where jockeys and the public found a memorable tale of a miner who sacrifices his own life to save the lives of several hundred of his fellow miners.
    • "Release Me" by Ray Price, from 1954. The Cherokee Cowboy had a few hits under his belt during the previous four years but not that one, definitive breakthrough. The original A-side, "I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)" did OK, but it was "Release Me" that became the real hit. note 
  • Artie Shaw's 1938 Big Band instrumental rendition of Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine", originally relegated to a B-side due to RCA Records' lack of faith in the tune's commercial potential, went on to become the first major hit for Shaw and one of the defining records of its era.
  • Tom T. Hall's 1975 No. 1 country hit "Sneaky Snake." The original A-side (and one most often listed as the No. 1 hit) was a ballad called "I Care," but not too many cared about that song. Instead, disc jockeys, country music radio listeners and the record-buying public instead liked "The Storyteller's" flip-side silly story about a snake (metaphorically so) who had a fondness for others' root beer and girlfriends. "Sneaky Snake" was a rare novelty song to become a major country hit.
  • Rod Stewart's "Maggie May," with the first A-side being "Reason to Believe." While "Reason to Believe" gained airplay during the summer of 1971, it wasn't long before "Maggie May" – the song about a young adult's infatuation and mixed emotions over his infatuation with an older woman – became the clear favorite of both the radio-listening audience and disc jockeys. Despite its length of 5:15 ("Reason to Believe" itself clocks in at just over four minutes), the song was fitted on a standard 7-inch single in its full edit (excepting for an early fade) ... and soon became a classic that is played heavily to this day.
  • Boney M. originally released "Brown Girl in the Ring" as the B-side to "Rivers of Babylon". Once "Rivers of Babylon" had become a hit and was slipping down the charts, they asked radio stations to start playing "Brown Girl in the Ring" instead — and then released that as the A-side of a single, with the B-side — what else? — "Rivers of Babylon". Effectively, many people ended up buying the same record again but upside down.
  • The song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" (by "Steam") was written for the purpose of being the inferior B-side song for a number of A-side songs. It became a hit, while most of the A-sides were forgotten.
  • Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" was originally the B-side to his cover of Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music," which was also a top five hit but not as big as "Ice Ice Baby" and is today forgotten to the point where he is usually considered a one-hit wonder.
  • "Move It" by Cliff Richard and the Drifters and "Shakin' All Over" by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates (the first British rock record and rock number 1, respectively).
  • "Beth", KISS' biggest pop hit, was originally the b-side to "Detroit Rock City." The latter is probably the better known song today, however.
  • ABBA's "S.O.S.", which was one of their first worldwide hits, first appeared as the B-side to the French issue of the less well remembered "Bang-A-Boomerang". France never did get "S.O.S." as a single in its own right, even after it became a hit elsewhere.
  • "How Soon Is Now?" by The Smiths was first released as a B-side to "William, It Was Really Nothing", then appeared on the compilation "Hatful Of Hollow" and the US version of Meat Is Murder, and only after that given a proper single release. This is commonly cited as the reason for its comparatively poor chart performance.
  • Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" was originally the B-side to "Substitute."
  • Oasis's "Acquiesce" started out as the B-side to "Some Might Say". Such was its popularity with fans that it became a single itself a few years later (natch, it was as the lead-off single from The Masterplan, a collection of B-sides).
  • Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" was originally the B-Side to Brain Stew/Jaded (itself a Double A-Side), but rerecorded for the following album nimrod., and subsequently became one of their best known (if not the best known, period) songs. The song "Maria" on International Superhits was originally released in a different version as the B-Side to the 7" version of "Waiting", which meant it was widely regarded as a new song.
  • Many songs by The Beatles were originally released as B-sides, including such classics as "Rain", "I Am the Walrus", "Revolution", "Don't Let Me Down" and "The Inner Light". The album Past Masters compiles a lot of them.
  • A really weird example is "Hey Hey What Can I Do?" by Led Zeppelin. The band was no stranger to releasing singles, however, none of them were non-album songs. This one, released as the B-side of "Immigrant Song", was, and yet remains a beloved radio staple to many an American Zep fan (non-singles are usually not played on UK radio).
    • They originally recorded it to be a non-album single in the UK, but decided against it, so it was an obvious choice for interntational B Side. It was in the running for Led Zeppelin III at one point but not included.
  • "Incense And Peppermints" by The Strawberry Alarm Clock. "Birdman Of Alkatrash" was its original A-side, but radio DJs preferred the flip-side instead.
  • An abridged version of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" was the B-side of The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women". When the full version was released on Let It Bleed, it became just as popular.
  • "Dear God" is one of XTC's most well-known songs - Originally a Cut Song from Skylarking due to the label's concerns about the album's length and potential controversy over its agnostic lyrical theme, it became a B-Side to the single "Grass". Despite the record label being especially concerned about the song getting negative reception in America, American DJs actually preferred playing it over "Grass". There was some controversy over the lyrics, and even a couple of violent incidents - a Florida radio station received a bomb threat for playing it, while a student in New York forced a faculty member to play the song over the school's PA at knife point... If anything, this just seemed to make the song more popular, and "Dear God" was subsequently added to the US version of the album, with another song ("Mermaid Smiled") being cut for time instead.
  • A near example came while George Harrison was working on doing a B-side for a single off his new solo album. Visiting with his friend Bob Dylan, who had a mini recording studio in his place, he ended up doing a little song along with a few other friends, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty, taking the name from a tag on one of Dylan's travel cases. When he sent it to the record company, they saw immediately that this was NOT B-side material song and asked for more. The result was that Handle With Care became the lead song from The Traveling Wilburys' first album.
  • Pink Floyd's ''Careful with That Axe, Eugene" was originally released as the B-side to the unpopular single "Point Me At The Sky", the latter of which even the band expresses dislike for. Nonetheless, CWTAE went on to become a live staple from 1968 to 1973, becoming increasingly longer and more elaborate, even seeing release on the live side of their fourth album, Ummagumma.
  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions' cover version of Brinzley Shwarz's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding", which came to cover up the original. Not only was it originally a b-side, but it wasn't even a B-side to an Elvis Costello single - it first appeared as the B-side to "American Squirm", a single by Nick Lowe, who wrote "...Peace Love And Understanding".
  • U2's "The Sweetest Thing" was originally a b-side to "Where the Streets Have No Name" in 1987. Eleven years later they re-recorded it for The Best of 1980-1990 and that version became a sizable hit.
    • U2 did it again with their B.B. King collaboration When Love Comes To Town from The Joshua Tree. While the A-side was certainly strong, many radio stations flipped it over and gave equal airtime to the B-Side, a cover of Patti Smith's Dancin' Barefoot.
  • Chicago's "Colour My World" was a B-side twice; it backed "Make Me Smile" in 1970 and "Beginnings" in '71.
  • Alan Jackson used "Home", a track off his debut album, as a b-side for five songs before he released it as a single off a Greatest Hits Album in 1996. (He wanted to release it off the debut album, but backed down because Joe Diffie had released another song of the same name.)
  • "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas was originally supposed to be a B-side to "I Want to Give You My Everything" (they had a three-hour recording session, and had to rush "Kung Fu Fighting" in the last ten minutes). The label decided to swap and make it an A-side. The novelty song kept him from ever being taken seriously again and led to him being a one-hit wonder.
  • "Born Slippy .NUXX" by Underworld ("lager, lager, lager, mega-mega-white thing..."), famous for appearing in the final scenes of Trainspotting, was originally a B-side to the very different track "Born Slippy" and was more or less thrown together as a joke.
  • Feeder's "Just A Day" was originally the B Side to "Seven Days In The Sun", before it appeared on the Gran Turismo 3 soundtrack, from which it was released as a single in its own right. It ended up becoming a huge hit.
    • As with "Shatter", once the B Side to "Tumble And Fall", and then released on their Greatest Hits album "The Singles" from which it was a single (albeit slightly remixed). The band really wanted this track on Pushing The Senses but the record company felt it was too heavy, so they were glad to have it on The Singles.
  • When New Order released their singles compilation Substance in 1987, they recorded the song "1963" to promote it, with "True Faith" as the B-side. The band's US label, Qwest Records, found that song to have more commercial potential and switched the tracks around, with "True Faith" being the A-side and "1963" the B-side. While Qwest's suspicions proved correct, with "True Faith" being New Order's American Breakthrough Hit, "1963" proved popular enough with fans and critics to be featured on their next Greatest Hits Album a few years later. For the US release of that, a remixed version finally got released as an A-side in its own right.
  • Depeche Mode were famous for including exclusive B-Sides on almost all their singles, and their US label really liked their song "But Not Tonight" (the B-Side of "Stripped") and flipped the tracks. The song was included on a movie soundtrack as well as the US version of the band's album Black Celebration. The band were annoyed about this as they felt "Stripped" to be one of their best songs yet (something that many fans agree with), and felt that "But Not Tonight" was a rushed, thrown together pop song in comparison. "But Not Tonight" remains popular in the US, but "Stripped" is also widely known, largely in recent years thanks to the infamous version by Rammstein.
  • Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs" was left off of the Rumours album and an edited version was put on the flip side of "Go Your Own Way" (much to Stevie Nicks' chagrin). The song finally got its time to shine when the live version from The Dance became a single in 1997.
  • Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" was a B-side to "My Hometown" (from the Born in the U.S.A. album).
  • The first single for The Doobie Brothers' What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits was "Another Park, Another Sunday", with the album track "Black Water" as a B-side. "Another Park..." peaked at #32 on the billboard charts, which its writer Tom Johnston attributes to radio stations pulling the song from airplay due to taking the lyric "the radio just seems to bring me down" personally. Meanwhile, the B-side slowly started picking up enough regional airplay that the label decided to issue it as a single on its own, which became their first #1 Billboard hit.
  • Bill Haley & His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" was recorded in two takes at the end of a session which was mostly spent working on "Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town)". When both were released on a single in May 1954, "Thirteen Women" was the A-side; while that song made the Cashbox charts, it ended up being a commercial disappointment. "Rock Around the Clock" would have to wait until it appeared in the opening credits of Blackboard Jungle in 1955 (courtesy of Glenn Ford's son Peter's record collection) to become a hit.
  • "Wipe Out" by The Surfaris was improvised and recorded in two takes within ten minutes because their producer reminded them they needed a B-side for "Surfer Joe". While "Surfer Joe" was a hit of its own (#62 in the Billboard chart), "Wipe Out" ended up being the more popular of the two sides, making the charts three times (in 1963 at #2, in 1966 at #16 and in 1970 at #110) and being well-known to this day.
  • The Winstons were a One-Hit Wonder in 1969 with the sentimental Soul ballad "Color Him Father". The B-side was clearly intended as a throwaway—an uptempo Instrumental version of the old Gospel Music standard "Amen", titled "Amen, Brother". However, early Hip-Hop DJs unearthed the song and realized that a short drum break in the middle of the song made a perfect beat bed. Thus was born the Amen Break, the most overused sample in music history.
  • Vicious Pink's "8:15 to Nowhere/Great Balls of Fire" was originally a B-side to their hit "Cccan't You See?". "8:15" later had its own single release with "The Spaceship is Over There" as the B-side.
  • Danish synthpop duo Laid Back's only North American hit, "White Horse", was the B-side to their 1983 single Sunshine Reggae, whose A-side was a hit in several European countries.
  • Daniel Miller, as the Normal, only released one single, "TVOD" b/w "Warm Leatherette", both filk songs based on J.G. Ballard's Crash. The B-side achieved international recognition, being covered by numerous artists, while the A-side is completely forgotten nowadays.
  • Trance duo Rank 1's second single, "Black Snow", had the B-side "The Citrus Juicer", which ended up being chosen for their 2002 album Symsonic.
  • "Sunrise (Here I Am)" by Scooter side project Ratty is a vocal remix of "Sunrise (Ratty's Inferno)", the B-side to Scooter's "She's The Sun".
  • George Michael's "Fantasy" was originally a B-side to "Waiting for that Day" in the UK and "Freedom! '90" in the US. In 2017, shortly after his death, it was rereleased as a Posthumous Collaboration with Chic's Nile Rodgers.
  • Van Morrison-fronted R'n'B group Them had a big UK hit in 1964 with their cover of "Baby, Please Don't Go" but its Morrison-penned B-side "Gloria" became just as popular and enduring, perhaps even more so. It also became a single in its own right in the US and other places.
  • Kraftwerk had a minor UK hit in 1981 with the single "Computer Love". Then DJs started flipping it over and playing the B-side "The Model", a track from a previous album which had already been a flop single in 1978 and was just there to fill space. The single was subsequently re-promoted with the sleeve altered to list "The Model" first (although the disc itself still identified it as the B side) and the single went to number one early the following year.
  • Yazoo's "Situation" was first released as a 2 1/2 minute B-side to the 7" single of "Only You", then as a 6-minute 12" single mixed by François Kevorkian, which was the version used for their Upstairs at Eric's album.
  • Gloria Jones' "Tainted Love", famously Covered Up by Soft Cell, was originally the B-side to her 1965 single "My Bad Boy's Comin' Home".
  • Garbage's "#1 Crush" was originally a B-side to the single "Vow" - a remix by Nellee Hooper would appear on the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack album and that version became a hit. Despite this, when HEX used the song as a Real Song Theme Tune, they went with the original b-side mix.
  • For the US release of Nena "99 Luftballons", the song was re-recorded in English as "99 Red Balloons", with the German version being relegated to the B-side. However, the German version proved so popular that people bought the single specifically for it: the result was that the B-side hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Nena's sole Stateside hit, while the English-language A-side didn't chart in America at allnote .
  • Madonna's "Into The Groove", featured in the film Desperately Seeking Susan, was initially only available as the B-side to the 12" single of "Angel" in the US, but got a proper single release in the UK and Europe, and was later included on reissues of Like a Virgin.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers song "Soul To Squeeze" was recorded during the Blood Sugar Sex Magik sessions, but was not included on the album and was initially featured as the B-Side to the lead singles "Give It Away" and "Under The Bridge". In 1993 it appeared on the Coneheads soundtrack and was released as a single. Many people thought it was a new song, which was why the song was a surprise hit, peaking at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the top 10 in Canada and Australia.
  • Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" was originally released as the B-side of the ballad "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)" because the all-synthesised "I Feel Love" was rather unusual for its day and the record label was afraid that The World Was Not Ready. DJ response soon put them straight on that, and the track is now considered one of Summer's most iconic, being praised by the likes of David Bowie and Brian Eno.
  • The original independent release of "Jilted John" by Jilted John was as the B side of "Going Steady". By the time EMI picked it up for wider release it was clear "Jilted John" was the side getting all the attention, so they flipped it over.
  • "I'll Be Around" by The Spinners was originally the B-side to "How Could I Let You Get Away?" in 1972, which made sense since Soul ballads like "How Could I Let You Get Away?" were hugely popular at the time. Instead, radio liked the uptempo, bittersweet "I'll Be Around", which eventually hit #1 and became the group's Signature Song.
  • Bafflingly, when The Beach Boys began their career with Capitol Records, the label relegated the band's single "Surfin' Safari" to B-Side status, with them banking on "409" becoming the band's first major hit. Their reasoning being that they felt the success of the band's first single "Surfin'" was a fluke and that the surfing craze was dead. The label was quickly proven wrong when "Surfin' Safari" received more airplay on the radio and record buyers assumed that "Surfin' Safari" was the intended A-Side. The rest of the band's surf music singles would follow this format, with a surf song being on Side A and a hot rod song being on Side B.
  • In 1961 a Detroit Girl Group called The Donays released a single on the small local label Correc-tone. The A-Side, "Bad Boy", was an obvious attempt to do something In the Style of "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes, the first #1 hit for Motown. It got some sales in the Detroit area, and was picked up nationally by the Brent label, becoming a minor regional hit in New England, though the group never recorded anything else. At some point a copy must have traveled across the ocean to Liverpool, England, where a fledgling band called The Beatles heard it. They may not have thought much of "Bad Boy", but clearly liked its B-Side, "Devil in His Heart", a clever Call-and-Response Song, enough to cover it (as "Devil in Her Heart"), with George Harrison on lead vocal, recording it for With the Beatles.
  • Bad Meets Evil's "Scary Movies", with its majestic Shirley Bassey sample, ended up being the group's Signature Song despite it being a B-side to "Nuttin' To Do", which had a 'jiggy' beat that was expected to be more popular in 1999 but has dated into obscurity.
  • Vince Guaraldi had been an early appreciator of Bossa Nova, and released the album Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus to capitalize on the genre's growing popularity in the US. To promote the album, his label released Guaraldi's cover of Luis Bonfá's "Samba de Orpheus" as a single, and the B-side was Guaraldi's own composition "Cast Your Fate to the Wind". Radio DJ's preferred the B-side, and "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" became Vince Guaraldi's Breakthrough Hit.
  • Mike Mareen's "Heavy Water" from Let's Start Now, rather than having its own A-side single release, was shoehorned in as the B-side of the standalone single "Lady Ecstasy".
  • The Nightcrawlers' "Push The Feeling On (The Dub of Doom)" was far more popular than the completely different A-side vocal version, and the group subsequently recorded a full album of songs with remixer Marc Kinchen in the same style.