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Exploring artists through their B-sides
21 November 2013
3.39pm
SatanHimself
Hades-on-Leith
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 696
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16 August 2012
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Not all artists are like the Beatles, in the way that their B-sides are fully-recognized by the general public and mostly indistinguishable from their album and single catalogue.

Many artists and bands used the flipside of their single as a dumping ground for album rejects, experimental ditties and generally lackluster songs.  But sometimes exploring B-sides offers legitimate insight into the development and growth of an artist.  I can name a couple off the top of my head of note:

Radiohead, in my opinion, offers the clearest insight into the development and evolution of their constantly-changing styles.  With EMI's deluxe sets of their first 6 albums, each collection of B-sides clearly shows the band experimenting during each album the sound that would be prevalent in each subsequent album.

Smashing Pumpkins, and their phenomenal output of B-sides and finished unreleased tracks, charts less a development of sound than an overall sense of overwhelming singular creativity.  As polarizing as he is, Billy Corgan deserves at least to be recognized as an endlessly inventive songwriter who is never happier than when he's creating something new.

 

I have other examples, but for now I want to see if you have any...

E is for 'Ergent'.
21 November 2013
8.17pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1941
Member Since:
29 August 2013
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I think U2 are much the same - their deluxe sets also have a number of interesting second CDs where they explore a lot of territory on their b-sides and unreleased material.  They are all in nice boxes with great booklets and don't cost too much.  I think Blur have done the same?

21 November 2013
8.54pm
SatanHimself
Hades-on-Leith
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 696
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16 August 2012
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Yes, Blur could release entire albums of their B-sides.  The output and overall quality was remarkable.

E is for 'Ergent'.
21 November 2013
9.27pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1941
Member Since:
29 August 2013
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SatanHimself said
Yes, Blur could release entire albums of their B-sides.  The output and overall quality was remarkable.

Nice - I occasionally try and expand my musical experience by trying artists I haven't heard much of, and those Blur boxes have been calling out to me from the record store shelf.  Maybe when the credit card recovers from the Beatles onslaught :)

 

22 November 2013
2.37am
LongHairedLady
coming in through the bathroom window
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2133
Member Since:
17 January 2013
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SatanHimself said

Radiohead, in my opinion, offers the clearest insight into the development and evolution of their constantly-changing styles.  With EMI's deluxe sets of their first 6 albums, each collection of B-sides clearly shows the band experimenting during each album the sound that would be prevalent in each subsequent album.

Radiohead is amazing.  They did a great job at evolving their style while still keeping that core sound that is Radiohead.  heart

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

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