The space-time continuum gave early record producers a challenge not faced by their modern down-load counterparts: how do you give people just one song at a time – in order to maximise your return from those you have signed - when a piece of vinyl has two sides? This topological problem with a disc was solved by most record producers by putting something lesser – a filler - on the B-side. After all, we all know what ‘B’ means from our school and college days and we were used to a B-movie. And everyone knows that you can’t have ALL the good stuff at once. And finally record companies were worried that a good B side would split the radio play time by DJs and lessen the all important chances of a massive hit.
But once again, The Beatles were different. Paul has stated how the band wanted to break that habit: they were very close to their audiences, both emotionally and for a significant number of their early years physically: they didn’t want them to feel ‘ripped off’. Sinatra and Elvis and other early stars had simply produced the song-how it was then packaged was of little concern. Plus of course at this peak of their creative abilities The Beatles were simply incapable of producing ‘B’ material. Interestingly 6 of their 27 ‘number 1’s were B sides.
For the Fab Four, the only distinction became that the A-side was for a no-brainer commercial hit and the B-side was for something which pushed boundaries. Occasionally there was a fruitful intersection of the two styles and both were real winners: a so-called double A-side.
And thus, for a Friday before the Christmas weekend....shuffle that play-list and re-discover....
Thank You Girl: a great little rocker. Showing classic head-to-head John and Paul lyric writing and musical construction.
Long tall Sally: a Little Richard high energy song. Played from the start of their career in '57 through to last live concert in '66. Listen to Paul’s vocals: wonderful job and all done in a single take.
Yes It Is: Gorgeous and a Lennon romantic song.
Rain. Best B side? Best Ringo drumming. Best texture. Amazing.
Don’t let me down. Mature and mellow Beatles from '69.
That’s another reason we love The Beatles.
24: Simply Different
25: A Time to Think
27: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah