I've always been a sucker for singles and 7 inch records dating back to my teen years. The format has always been somewhat of a collectors format ever since the LP became king. But said collector is often rewarded with B-Sides that on many occasions rank among a band's best songs in my opinion. In a way, they are liking reading the unknown book by a great author and finding it far better than the one everyone is supposed to read. In that spirit, this weekend I bring you a whole mess of singles that I've gathered over the past few months or so. Dive and and discover something great.
Beady Eye - Bring the Light: Released this past Wednesday, this was one of those songs that I've been waiting to hear ever since Oasis split. Liam (along with the other members of Oasis not named Noel) formed Beady Eye immediately after the split. This is the first taste of the band, a song given away for free on the band's website. The result is typical of any highly hyped anticipation...it's okay. A solid Mod-revival track with Jerry Lee Lewis type piano backing. It certainly intrigues me to hear more.
Manic Street Preachers - (It's Not War) - Just the End of Love: The single that proceeded the album (reviewed last week). The title track is pretty standard Manic fare, which is to say it has a really big anthem sound. There are three B-sides, the strongest being "I'm Leaving You For Solitude" which had it been on the album, would be one the top 3 or 4 songs on there. Worth it for that song alone.
The Raconteurs - Top Yourself: Jack White's Third Man Records has been releasing a lot of interesting limited edition vinyl of late. This one came out recently, it's two demo versions of songs from the last album. The A-Side is a raw rough rehearsal version of the album track which is heavy on Jack White's guitar work accompanied by barely audible vocals. The B-Side is the real treat, a demo version of Brendan Benson's "You Don't Understand." Usually his songs are so produced that it's nice to hear the song stripped down to this acoustic version.
Interpol - Barricade: I have yet to hear the new album, but heard this, the second single, last night and was very impressed. Having known this band from it's earliest days when we walked in the same circles of the East Village, I have to say this song is probably the most exciting song I've heard from them since their debut album. I hope the album lives up to my new, higher expectations.
The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger - Jardin du Luxembourg: The debut single from Sean Lennon's new project with girlfriend Charlotte Muhl. It's easy to compare him with his dad, with the similar voice and affinity for trippy power pop guitar riffs. But these songs benefit from Charlotte's accompanying vocals, lending a folky feel to it. It reminds me so much of autumn days in Central Park for some reason. Again, looking forward to hearing the album which came out a few weeks ago.
Oasis - I Believe in All: The last song ever released by the blokes from Madchester is amazing. Originally a Bonus Track on the Japanese edition of their last album Dig Out Your Soul, the song was released to the rest of us as a single last year. I heard it for the first time last week and like all of the best Oasis songs, it's been stuck in my head ever since. If this is truly the last we hear of them as a unit, it was a great way to go out. An aggressive psychedelic gem.
Brenda Lee - Ride, Ride, Ride: This '45 dates from 1967, during Brenda's mid-career swirling pop era. The title track is a little bit of a throwback to her earlier country rockabilly days while the B-Side "Lonely People Do Foolish Things" is a beautifully sad song like the kind that defines this period of her career.
The Triffids - Bury Me Deep in Love: This 1989 single from the Australian folk rock band comes a few years after their two legendary albums (In the Pines and Born Sandy Devotional). The A-Side isn't all that original or memorable, but a B-Side cover of Madonna's "In the Groove" is amazing. Along with Drop Nineteens cover of "Angel", it's the best Madonna cover I've ever heard and made the purchase of this vinyl worthwhile.
Rhubarb Rhubarb - Moneylender: This 1968 single is the only release from this Berkshire band. Their blend of psychedelic pop reminds me more of Oasis than any of their contemporaries, feeling a bit ahead of it's time but also derivative at the same time. Two solid songs that can be found on many compilations.
Karine et Rebecca - Moi, je dors avec Nounours: Released in 1965, the title track is something of a novelty hit. Karine and Rebecca are two little girls with very childish voices that went on to release a seemingly endless string of four track '45s for the next decade. I found the music to be extremely interesting and out of time. The girls sound like the little white mouse in Tom & Jerry. Very interesting stuff.
Wonderland - Poochy/ Moscow: Released in 1968, these two songs by the Hamburg based band are heavy groove numbers that sound like the precursor to Prog Rock. Worth a listen simply to hear that early birth of a genre that wouldn't make a splash for another several years.
Melvins - Night Goat / Adolescent Wet Dream: This is a rougher version of the song 'Night Goat' that appears on the Kurt Cobain produced album Houdini. Easily one of my favorite songs by the sludge rock pioneers. The B-Side is a short rambling dose of sludge that is remarkable only for it's great title.
No Way Sis - I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing: In 1996, at the height of Oasis phenom in the UK, this Glasgow Oasis covers band released their own single. It's a cover of the Coke commercial song (referenced in Oasis's Shakermaker) along with two B-Sides. Despite Noel referring to them as the second best band in the world, they ain't. Good for a laugh but not much else. I do believe the band split and some members went on to form Urban Verve (a Verve covers band).