The Raveonettes release a limited edition, 27-track-song B-Sides And Rarities collection on 15 December. Marking the release, the band's Sune Rose Wagner has writte Q a guest column on the art of the great B-side.
When Phil Spector released the perfect single Be My Baby in 1963 he made sure that radio would only play the A-side by adding a horrific instrumental track called Tedesco And Pitman as the B-side. I certainly remember very vividly finding the original seven-inch and listening to that B-side and thinking, wow, Phil, what happened? Obviously there was a method to the madness and it surely worked for Phil.
Somehow along the years the concept of creating B-sides no one would ever want to listen to changed. Nowadays a band's B-sides can sometimes rank among their best work, it's a peculiar change for sure but nevertheless a change for the better.
We never write a song specifically as a B-side. The name B-side itself even sounds derogatory to me. All our B-sides are truly great songs that simply never made it onto an album because of time constraints or aesthetic concerns. They are beautiful songs that never got the attention they deserved by not being there when its 9-12 counterparts were released on an album.
The single Woman Love by the king of rockabilly Gene Vincent had an even more classic and explosive B-side, a catchy little tune called Be-Bop-A-Lula. When Madonna released her third single Angel from her 1985 album Like A Virgin it didn't contain a throw-away B-side, quite the contrary, it featured Into The Groove which became a classic.
We've decided to release an album of rarities and B-Sides, well, what's the difference? Simple, read the latter paragraph for B-sides and rarities are songs that never have been released before. We're making sure that whoever wants to sit through 27 songs don't get bored by having the tunes be in chronological order. If you're a fan of Whip It On, skip to the section of the album that contains all the B-sides from that session and so on...
Here's an example of the perfect B-side. In 2003 we released our second single off of Chain Gang Of Love, a catchy little tune called Heartbreak Stroll. It was received quite well but it was the B-side of that single, which proved to be the real gem, a Christmas song simply titled The Christmas Song. The NME called it "...the greatest ode to Xmas since 1963's Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector." And it has since become our biggest selling song ever with appearances in countless movies, commercials, etc.
It's difficult to create the perfect B-side but chances are you already have it in your collection of songs.
Sune Rose Wagner, NYC November 2011
Head to Theraveonettes.com for more on the band and their B-sides.
11:05 AM | 01/12/2011
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