B-Sides don’t really exist any more, but for those bands who made it big in the 1990s and early 2000s, they were bigger business than ever.
Where once you bought a Beatles single and would be delighted at the treat that awaited you on the other side of the record (unless it was ‘The Inner Light’), record companies in the 1990s released singles on multiple versions, each with differing cover art and B, C, and often D sides, meaning many bands were in truth putting out EPs rather than singles. Radiohead in the industrious pomp of their EMI days were such a group, and here are five of the finest, but less commonly heard ‘B-Sides’ (or in other words, listen to ‘Talk Show Host’ elsewhere).
Not included on OK Computer for rather obvious reasons of tone rather than quality (this matches up to Electioneering on a purely visceral level, surely?). Can be found on the Airbag/How Am I Driving EP.
“It turned a fine tune into what sounded like a malfunctioning music box.”
Not so much a B-side as a Bends-era live rarity that never found its way out of the recording studio, if it ever found its way in at all to begin with. Listen closely to hear the sound of Chris Martin planning a career.
One of the great mysteries of the Kid A/Amnesiac sessions, firstly for the great detail that Ed O’Brian afforded this seemingly forgotten track during his session diaries online at the time, and secondly that a track on which such attention was so clearly lavished ended up as a mere CD single B-Side. It sounds like the band Can always wanted to be – simply marvelous.
Less of a B-Side, more of an apology – the original Fog in all of its electro-syncopated cloud of nothing in particular turned a fine tune into what sounded like a malfunctioning music box. This tastily stripped back live version was included on the Com Lag EP.
‘The Daily Mail’
Part of the great King of Limbs mystery was why so much material didn’t find its way onto what ultimately felt like half of a great album. Bolted on to the ‘Staircase’ release that followed the album, this dystopian herald would have made a fine addition to the main LP.
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