BUZZING WITH MORE KILLER B’S (Part 1)

A TWO-PART GUEST POSTING BY POST PUNK MONK

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It’s always incredibly satisfying when the comments section goes into overdrive, which it is doing just now with the ICA World Cup.  I’ve always valued the community aspect of TVV, both the old and new versions, and that is why I really enjoy when a guest posting is offered up, all of which are published without prejudice or favour at the earliest possible time after anything drops into the inbox.

I’m cheating a little bit today, however, with the first of what will be a two-part series in that Post Punk Monk didn’t actually offer up a guest posting.  He did leave behind a very lengthy comment when I put up the latest ‘mixtapes’ (or whatever modern term anyone wants to apply to such efforts), that is being recycled today and again next week to provide two new posts. I’ve no qualms about doing so, especially as PPM does state that it was something he’d pulled together for a blog which no longer exists, and I really feel something this well-thought-out and written deserves some sort of fresh profile.  Here’s PPM:-

“Great B-sides are a religion unto themselves! Here’s a list I compiled for a friend’s blog [now deceased] and I still stand by this one.

20 best non-LP b-sides of all time [according to PPM]

1. Ultravox – Paths + Angles

B-side to “The Voice.” Fascinating blend of Warren Cann’s recited verses with Chris Cross singing the chorus. Midge Ure was not around the day the other three recorded this one. Killer melodic hooks are mated with typically compulsive rhythms.

2. Ultravox – I Never Wanted To Begin

“The Thin Wall” B-side. This track is jam packed with insanely compulsive rhythm programming! Once you hear this it will lodge itself in your skull for hours. The 12″ version is extended!

3. Adam & The Ants – Beat My Guest

The B-side to “Stand & Deliver.” Just our luck to have one of Adam’s best singles mated with an even better B-side! As emphasized by Marco Pirroni’s lewd guitar licks, this frolicsome ode to S & M manages to actually sound cheerful.

4. Spandau Ballet – Glow

B-side to “Musclebound.” The band invent new forms of Latinesque synth funk with this killer B-side that telegraphed their first big stylistic shift. Never better than in its 12″ version!

5. Simple Minds – New Warm Skin

B-side of “I Travel.” Another act that mated their best single with an evenly matched B-side! The rhythm track on this chilling song about plastic surgery is an example of Brian McGee at his finest. Mike McNeil’s keyboards mesh perfectly with the jarring stabs of Charlie Burchill, back when he avoided guitar clichés like the plague.

6. Japan – European Son

B-side of Japanese “I Second That Emotion” single. Quite frankly, this is my favorite Japan song of all time! It is the acme of the band’s Moroder-influenced “autobahn music.” It thoroughly smokes the actual single the band recorded with Moroder. Which was great!

7. China Crisis – This Occupation [ext. ver.]

B-side of Wishful Thinking” 12.” The 7″ version of this track is good, but the extended mix is mystical! This sounds nothing like the China Crisis we know and love. It sounds even better! Quite frankly, this resembles mid period Cabaret Voltaire, sigh!

8. Visage – Frequency 7

“Tar” B-side. I was over familiar with the not so interesting extended version of this track that turned up everywhere back in the day. It took years of having this single before I finally played the 7″ version and was blown away by the superiority of this mix. It’s night and day compared to the tedium of the 12″ mix. For starters, it’s an actual song with vocals, and some killer synth rock.

9. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Just A Memory

B-side to “New Amsterdam.” quite possibly my favorite Elvis Costello track ever, this heart-wrenching ballad was originally written for Dusty Springfield, who ultimately did record it.

10. Swing Out Sister – Fever

“Fooled By A Smile” B-side. Yet another face rave B-side by a group that normally sounds nothing like Cabaret Voltaire, yet manages to channel them brilliantly on a B-side.

POST PUNK MONK

JC adds……the remainder of this wonderful rundown will be with you next week.

9 thoughts on “BUZZING WITH MORE KILLER B’S (Part 1)

  1. Thanks for this – particularly like the ultravox B-sides. Wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I learnt how much of the album Vienna Warren Cann wrote..

  2. Excellent selection there, PPM, and thanks for posting it, JC.

    I’m 100% with you on the China Crisis and Visage tracks. I started off with the 12″ single of Wishful Thinking and didn’t hear the 7″ of This Occupation until years later. The former is far and away the superior mix. Likewise, I didn’t care much for the Dance Mix of Frequency 7 or its ubiquity on Visage collections, so it was a revelation hearing the original vocal version from 1979. Much better!

    I think Spandau Ballet agreed with you re: the extended version of Glow as the 12″ single flipped to make it the A-side.

    I didn’t hear Fever until I bought the 2CD reissue of It’s Better To Travel. It’s one of their standout tracks!

  3. Outstanding, PPM! Just A Memory is the pick of B-sides for all the New Amsterdam releases if you don’t count Wednesday Week (US release).
    Great selection–bring on part 2!

  4. Holy Toledo! I just looked at my feed in Word Press to see that I’ve guest-posted on TVV unconsciously! [laughs] Well, all righty, then! See you next week!

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