Mix Six: “B Sides”

Written by Mix Six, Music

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Sorry for the long delay between mixes, kids. Some real-life issues took over for the past few weeks and I had to take a break from Popdose. But things are settling down and I’m back for more fun! This week’s mix is the result of me going through some old 45s from both my mobile DJ days and when my brother and I had a ten-watt pirate radio station broadcasting out of his bedroom. Almost all the 45s in our collection are pretty much Top 40 pop, but one of the great things about 45s was the B side that most ignored — and sometimes for good reason! But sometimes there were good songs on the flip side that were only available “for a limited time.” Translation: “We’re saving them for rereleases or box sets.” Okay, on with it! (Before we get going, my apologies for the crappy pics. I snapped photos of the 45s in my backyard, and from the way I framed them, it’s clear I’m not a photographer. )


“Another Day,” Sting

This is the flip side of “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free,” and it’s really not a throwaway from Sting. It’s not one of his strongest tunes, either, but for a flip side to the lead single from his first solo album, I would say that he gave people a lot of value for $1.49.


“My Turn to Love You,” Eddy Grant

If you only remember Eddy Grant for “Electric Avenue,” I feel bad for you. If you remember the A side to this song, then I could probably guess your age. After the success of “Electric Avenue” (and a tie-in for the electronics department at Montgomery Ward department store), Eddy was on the road to cashing in! Enter the film Romancing the Stone. Grab Eddy, get him to record the single to the film’s soundtrack, and watch it climb the charts. But what to put on the other side? How about a live track from Eddy’s own movie, Eddy Grant Live at Notting Hill Carnival.


“Rock and Roll Widow,” Tina Turner

When Tina made her “comeback” album Private Dancer, the lead single was “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and perhaps “the suits” at Capitol Records knew they had an album with a lot of singles to release. Should they risk putting a potential hit on the B side? Nope. Instead they used “Rock and Roll Widow” for those who bothered to actually play side two. “Rock and Roll Widow” is a very good song, but it suffers from the production standards of the mid-’80s, so it sounds somewhat soulless.


“I’m Over You,” INXS

The hit single from Listen Like Thieves was “This Time.” The other side was this song, “written and performed by Jon Farriss” — who does his best Michael Hutchence imitation. That being said, my guess is that this was a demo for the album, Jon provided the guide vocals for a fully produced song, and it got the thumbs down. What do to, what to do with this ho-hum tune? Yep, stick it on the flip side and add the disclaimer added-value teaser of “unavailable on LP.”


“Clean Cut Boy,” Bananarama

Pop fans, do you remember the production team of Stock-Aitken-Waterman? If not, click HERE for an exhausting list. Bananarama were clearly coming to the end of their ’80s run by the time “I Heard a Rumour” was released in 1987. Ah, but what of the flip side? Why not enlist the, um, talents of SAW and see what happens! If you’re listening to this week’s Mix Six, you know what happened. My guess is that this single is something the SAW team probably wishes they could take off their resumé.


“Heartbreakers Beach Party,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

This was a great single to own. Not only did you get the 45 pressed on a red disc, but the A side was “Change of Heart,” probably my favorite song off Long After Dark and a great counterpoint to the overplayed “You Got Lucky.” The B side is just a fun little toss-off that’s actually a real gem because it shows something that I didn’t think Tom Petty had — a playful spirit.