The Year In B-Sides (That I Heard And Enjoyed)
Technically, the era of the b-side is probably long over. Even in digital form, a castoff track is more likely to appear as an iTunes bonus track or as extra material on the Japanese release these days than actually attached to a single. Still, even as the file-sharing age has diminished the joy of feeling like you’ve heard a song that few other Americans have thanks to plunking down ten dollars for a import single, there’s still something special about the non-album track. While the likelihood of finding a “How Soon Is Now?” on the back of a “William, It Was Truly Nothing” is low, there were a few songs this year I thought were worth a mention (and a few listens).
As a preface, the qualifications for this list were that a) I heard the song; and b) that there was a YouTube clip to embed.
Bloc Party, “Idea For A Story” (b-side to the “Mercury” single):
Morrissey, “Children in Pieces” (b-side to the “All You Need Is Me” single):
Ida Maria, “We’re All Going To Hell” (I have no idea where this song is from, but it’s not on the album):
The Cure, “Without You” (b-side to the “The Perfect Boy”):
What else was out there? What track were you telling your friends about, followed by the phrase “Well, it makes sense you haven’t heard it, it was only available in Europe”?