Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Singles, Part 10 – B-sides!
We wrap up our Labor Day singles sock hop rock-a-thon with a few B-sides, some very famous, some legendary and some totally unknown.
In 1970 Led Zeppelin cut its classic Led Zeppelin III, and the first single off that album was “Immigrant Song.” The flip side was “Hey, Hey What Can I Do.” The song was the only non-album track Zeppelin would offer up during its career, and for the longest time the only way you could hear it was on a scratchy single (or through the benevolence of a local radio DJ), but it’s since appeared on some Led Zeppelin box sets and as a bonus track on the Coda CD.
Elvis had a pink cadillac, John Prine called an album Pink Cadillac, and Bruce Springsteen cut “Pink Cadillac” during his sessions for Born In The U.S.A. in 1984. Appearing on the flip of “Dancing In The Dark,” Springsteen’s Cadillac got a lot of mileage during his 1984-85 world tour and received radio play worldwide. The song has since appeared on a few of the Boss’s compilations and Tracks sets.
Townes Van Zandt is perhaps the godfather of Texas singer/songwriters. Before his death in 1997 he wrote and recorded a number of classics, and he has influenced the current generation of Lone Star pickers, like Steve Earle and Robert Earl Keen. “Dirty Old Town” is the Ewan MacColl song most famously covered by The Pogues, and Townes cut it in 1996 at one of his last recording sessions. “Dirty Old Town” is the B-side of “Riding The Range,” released on single by a German company in 1999.
Before the Who unleashed Tommy upon the world in 1969, they teased listeners with “Pinball Wizard,” the first single from the LP. If that wasn’t enough, the flip side of that 45 would be an instrumental, “Dogs (Part 2),” written by drummer Keith Moon, of all people. It’s a rockin’ showcase of Moon’s powerhouse drumming and Pete Townshend’s fiery guitar.
When Fleetwood Mac re-emerged with a new lineup in 1975, they would become superstars behind the oddball genius Lindsey Buckingham and the enchanting vocals of Stevie Nicks. Cutting the blockbuster Rumours in 1976, Nicks offered the song “Silver Springs” which didn’t make the album. The song did make the B-side of the 1976 rocker “Go Your Own Way,” and has been a sought-after rarity for decades. The reformed Mac performed the tune on their tour for The Dance and it’s since appeared on CD as part of a Stevie Nicks retrospective.
You Tube: “Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac
When they released The Joshua Tree in 1987, U2 became the biggest band in the world, if they weren’t already. The second single off that blockbuster was “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and one of the songs on the B-side was “Spanish Eyes,” a song cut early in the album sessions. Now the Irish rockers did something cool – they actually managed to fit two songs on a B-side and the other tune here was “Deep In The Heart” but we’re going to spin “Spanish Eyes,” which has a sound that perhaps belongs to the U2 that cut The Unforgettable Fire and earlier works.
I wondered what would be an appropriate B-side to close out our Labor Day marathon, and after much deliberation I wound up just picking one at random. So here you go: “Try and Try,” the B-side of the BoDeans’ first single in 1986, “Fadeaway.”
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed these singles … we’ll try to keep them up for a few days before the blog police catch up to us. We’re going to take the week off and we’ll have more stuff for ya around Sept. 11!