When most of us bought a 45, we did so for the A-Side, but the B-Side could also hold some glorious treasures, too.
(One could argue that certain B-Sides were better than their A counterparts, but let’s save that topic for another list.)
While 45s might be more of a niche item in the resurgence of vinyl, let’s look back at these eight iconic tracks that were B-Sides.
Queen – “We Will Rock You”
One of classic rock’s most recognizable songs, “We Will Rock You” was the B-Side to that other diddy from 1977’s News of the World, “We Are The Champions.”
Beatles – “Revolution”
Honestly, there could be a whole B-Side list just about The Beatles, but when it came time for pressing this bold classic to a 45, “Hey Jude” scored the A-Side.
Fleetwood Mac – “Silver Springs”
“Silver Springs” was supposed to end up on Fleetwood Mac’s masterpiece Rumours, and the reasons why it didn’t depend on who you ask in the band. While it ended up originally being the B-Side to “Go Your Own Way,” “Silver Springs” ended up on Fleetwood Mac’s 1997 live album The Dance and was finally released as a proper single.
The Righteous Brothers – “Unchained Melody”
Written by Alex North and Hy Zaret in 1955, the Righteous Brothers would release their version ten years later as the B-Side to “Hung on You.” As the classic story goes, when DJs weren’t impressed with “Hung on You,” they checked out a B-Side, and “Unchained Melody” took off.
Booker T & The MG’s – “Green Onions”
One of the most influential instrumental tracks ever, “Green Onions” was the B-Side to “Behave Yourself” released in 1962 and has been including in a ridiculous amount of films and TV shows.
Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
As previously mentioned with the entry from the Beatles, there could be a B-Side list just about The Rolling Stones, too, so picking just one B-Side track from them was difficult, but we went with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which was the B-Side to “Honky Tonk Women,” because it continues to be a setlist mainstay decades later.
The Beach Boys – “God Only Knows”
It’s hard to believe that one of the most beautiful, iconic songs in the Beach Boys’ catalog was released as a B-Side. (The A-Side is “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”) It would go on to be the first dance to countless newlywed couples and number 25 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
David Bowie – “Suffragette City”
The B-Side to “Starman,” “Suffragette City” was originally offered to Mott The Hoople. They passed and opted to record “All The Young Dudes,” which is easily one of the best win-win situations in classic rock history. Wham bam, thank you ma’am, indeed!
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger. The first man she ever loved was Jack Daniel. (True story.)