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The A-side and B-side are the two sides of phonograph records and cassettes; these terms have often been printed on the labels of two-sided music recordings. The A-side usually features a recording that its artist, producer, or record company intends to be the initial focus of promotional efforts and radio airplay and hopefully become a hit record. The B-side (or "flip-side") is a secondary recording that typically receives less attention, although some B-sides have been as successful as, or more so than, their A-sides.
Use of this language has largely declined in the 21st century as the music industry has transitioned away from analog recordings towards digital formats without physical sides, such as CDs, downloads and streaming. Nevertheless, some artists and labels continue to employ the terms A-side and B-side metaphorically to describe the type of content a particular release features, with B-side sometimes representing a "bonus" track or other material. [ unreliable source? ]The term B-side carries a more expansive definition in the K-pop industry, referring to all tracks on an album that are not marketed as title tracks.
Conventions shifted in the early 1960s, at which point record companies started assigning the song they wanted radio stations to play to side A, as 45 rpm single records ("45s") dominated most markets in terms of cash sales in comparison to albums, which did not fare as well financially. Throughout the decade the industry would slowly shift to an album-driven paradigm for releasing new music; it was not until 1968 that the total production of albums on a unit basis finally surpassed that of singles in the United Kingdom.
A "double A-side", "AA-side", or "Dual single" is a single where both sides are designated the A-side, with no designated B-side; that is, both sides are prospective hit songs and neither side will be promoted over the other. In 1949, Savoy Records promoted a new single by one of its artists, Paul Williams' "House Rocker" and "He Knows How to Hucklebuck", as "The New Double Side Hit – Both Sides "A" Sides".In 1965, Billboard reported that due to a disagreement between EMI and John Lennon about which side of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" and "Day Tripper" single should be considered the A-side and receive the plugging, "EMI settled for a double-side promotion campaign—unique in Britain."
In the UK, before the advent of digital downloads, both A-sides were accredited with the same chart position, for the singles chart was compiled entirely from physical sales. In the UK, the biggest-selling non-charity single of all time was a double A-side, Wings' 1977 release "Mull of Kintyre"/"Girls' School", which sold over two million copies. It was also the UK Christmas No. 1 that year, one of only four occasions on which a double A-side has topped that chart, the others being Queen's 1991 re-release of "Bohemian Rhapsody" with "These Are the Days of Our Lives", Westlife's 1999 release "I Have a Dream"/"Seasons in the Sun", and the Beatles' aforementioned "Day Tripper"/"We Can Work It Out" in 1965.Nirvana released "All Apologies" and "Rape Me" as a double A-side in 1993, and both songs are accredited as a hit on both the UK Singles Chart, and the Irish Singles Chart.
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The term "b/w", an abbreviation of "backed with", is often used in listings to indicate the B-side of a record. The term "c/w", for "coupled with", is used similarly.
B-sides are often considered to be filler material: songs of lower quality. However, some pop artists have been particularly known for releasing strong material on B-sides.B-sides have often been compiled on expanded or "deluxe" editions of albums, or may be compiled into a "B-side compilation album" across multiple periods of an artist's career.
Sir George Henry Martin was an English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, and musician. He was commonly referred to as the "Fifth Beatle" because of his extensive involvement in each of the Beatles' original albums. Martin's formal musical expertise and interest in novel recording practices facilitated the group's rudimentary musical education and desire for new musical sounds to record. Most of their orchestral arrangements and instrumentation were written or performed by Martin, and he played piano or keyboards on a number of their records. Their collaborations resulted in popular, highly acclaimed records with innovative sounds, such as the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band—the first rock album to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
An extended play (EP) is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single but fewer than an album or LP record. Contemporary EPs generally contain four to five tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well. In K-pop they are usually referred to as mini albums. Ricardo Baca of The Denver Post said, "EPs—originally extended-play 'single' releases that are shorter than traditional albums—have long been popular with punk and indie bands." In the United Kingdom, the Official Chart Company defines a boundary between EP and album classification at 25 minutes of maximum length and no more than four tracks.
Apple Records is a record label founded by the Beatles in 1968 as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. It was initially intended as a creative outlet for the Beatles, both as a group and individually, plus a selection of other artists including Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, and Billy Preston. In practice, the roster had become dominated by the mid-1970s with releases of the former Beatles as solo artists. Allen Klein managed the label from 1969 to 1973, then it was managed by Neil Aspinall on behalf of the Beatles and their heirs. Aspinall retired in 2007 and was replaced by Jeff Jones.
Worldwide, the English rock band the Beatles released 12 studio albums, 5 live albums, 51 compilation albums, 36 extended plays (EPs), 63 singles, 17 box sets, 22 video albums and 53 music videos. In their native United Kingdom, during their active existence as a band, they released 12 studio albums, 1 compilation album, 13 EPs, and 22 singles. The early albums and singles released from 1962 to 1967 were originally on Parlophone, and their albums and singles from 1968 to 1970 were on their subsidiary label Apple. Their output also includes vault items, remixed mash-ups and anniversary box-sets.
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded on 17 October 1963, it was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment.
A Collection of Beatles Oldies is a compilation album by the English rock band the Beatles. Released in the United Kingdom in December 1966, it features hit singles and other songs issued by the group between 1963 and 1966. The compilation served as a stopgap release to satisfy EMI's demand for product during the Christmas period, since the Beatles had only begun recording Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the follow-up to their Revolver album, late the previous month. It was the band's first official greatest hits collection, although the Beatles had no involvement in the album.
Red Rose Speedway is the second studio album by the British–American rock band Wings, although credited to "Paul McCartney and Wings". It was released through Apple Records on 4 May 1973, preceded by its lead single, the ballad "My Love". By including McCartney's name in the artist credit, the single and album broke with the tradition of Wings' previous records. The change was made in the belief that the public's unfamiliarity with the band had been responsible for the weak commercial performance of the group's 1971 debut album Wild Life.
20 Greatest Hits is a compilation album featuring a selection of songs by The Beatles that were number one singles in the UK and US. It was released on 11 October 1982 in the United States and 18 October in the United Kingdom and marked the 20th anniversary of The Beatles' first record release, "Love Me Do", in the UK in October 1962. 20 Greatest Hits was the last Beatles album to be released with variations between the U.S. and UK versions. There is an extremely rare 8 track tape version of this album, which approximately 10 to 15 copies still exist today. Legend has it that Capitol Records decided to pull the plug on the release at the last minute, as 8 tracks were not selling well in late 1982, and all copies were to be destroyed. However, there were a few that survived.
Rock 'n' Roll Music is a double album by the English rock band the Beatles containing previously released tracks. It was issued on 7 June 1976 in the United States, on Capitol Records, and on Parlophone in the United Kingdom, four days later. The 28-track compilation includes 15 Lennon–McCartney songs, one George Harrison composition ("Taxman"), and a dozen cover versions of songs written by significant rock and roll composers of the 1950s, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins and Larry Williams. Not counting the 1971 Spanish compilation album, Por Siempre Beatles, Rock 'n' Roll Music was the first Beatles album to include "I'm Down", which had previously only been available as the B-side of the "Help!" single.
"Can't Buy Me Love" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released in March 1964 as the A-side of their sixth single. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The song was included on the group's album A Hard Day's Night and was featured in a scene in Richard Lester's film of the same title. The single topped charts in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Sweden. In the UK, it was the fourth highest selling single of the 1960s.
"Ticket to Ride" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written primarily by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Issued as a single in April 1965, it became the Beatles' seventh consecutive number 1 hit in the United Kingdom and their third consecutive number 1 hit in the United States, and similarly topped national charts in Canada, Australia and Ireland. The song was included on their 1965 album Help! Recorded at EMI Studios in London in February that year, the track marked a progression in the Beatles' work through the incorporation of drone and harder-sounding instrumentation relative to their previous releases. Among music critics, Ian MacDonald describes the song as "psychologically deeper than anything the Beatles had recorded before" and "extraordinary for its time".
"We Can Work It Out" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon. It was first issued as a double A-side single with "Day Tripper" in December 1965. The song was recorded during the sessions for the band's Rubber Soul album. The single reached number one in Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada and Ireland. In the UK, it was the seventh highest selling single of the 1960s.
"Paperback Writer" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written primarily by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership, the song was released as the A-side of their eleventh single in May 1966. It topped singles charts in the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, West Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Norway. On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song was at number one for two non-consecutive weeks, being interrupted by Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night".
"Day Tripper" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as a double A-side single with "We Can Work It Out" in December 1965. The song was written primarily by John Lennon with some contributions from Paul McCartney and was credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. Both songs were recorded during the sessions for the band's Rubber Soul album. The single topped charts in Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway. In the United States, "Day Tripper" peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and "We Can Work It Out" held the top position.
"Please Mr. Postman" is a song written by Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland and Robert Bateman. It is the debut single by the Marvelettes for the Tamla (Motown) label, notable as the first Motown song to reach the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. The single achieved this position in late 1961; it hit number one on the R&B chart as well. "Please Mr. Postman" became a number-one hit again in early 1975 when the Carpenters' cover of the song reached the top position of the Billboard Hot 100. "Please Mr. Postman" has been covered several times, including by the British rock group the Beatles in 1963. The 2017 song "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man draws on "Please Mr. Postman" and includes a credit for Brian Holland.
The Best of George Harrison is a 1976 compilation album by English musician George Harrison, released following the expiration of his EMI-affiliated Apple Records contract. Uniquely among all of the four Beatles' solo releases, apart from posthumous compilations, it mixes a selection of the artist's songs recorded with the Beatles on one side, and later hits recorded under his own name on the other.
Stay with the Hollies, also known by its American release title Here I Go Again, is the debut album by the British rock band the Hollies and was released in January 1964 on Parlophone Records. In Canada, it was released on Capitol in July 1964, with a different track listing. In the US, Imperial Records issued the album under the title Here I Go Again in June 1964 to capitalize on the moderate success of the singles "Here I Go Again" and "Just One Look". It also features covers of well-known R&B songs, not unusual for Beat groups of the day.
The discography of American singer Diana Ross, the former lead singer of the Supremes, consists of 25 studio albums and 116 singles. Throughout her career, Ross has sold over 100 million records worldwide. Billboard ranked her as the 47th Greatest Artist of all time and the 11th Greatest Hot 100 Female Artist of all time. In 1993, Guinness World Records crowned Ross as the "most successful female artist in music history". Her 11th studio album "Diana" remains the best-selling album of her career, selling more than 10 million copies around the world.
Past Masters is a two-disc compilation album set by the English rock band the Beatles. It was originally released as two separate volumes on 7 March 1988, as part of the first issue of the band's catalogue on compact disc. The set compiles every song released commercially by the band that was not available on the Beatles' 12 original UK albums or the US Magical Mystery Tour LP. It includes liner notes by Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn. The majority of the Past Masters set consists of A- and B-sides from the band's singles, including single versions of songs that appeared in a different form on the band's albums. Also included are the full contents of the UK-only Long Tall Sally EP, two German-language tracks, a song recorded for the American market, and a track released on a charity compilation album.
The Beatles experienced huge popularity on the British record charts in early 1963, but record companies in the United States did not immediately follow up with releases of their own, and the Beatles' commercial success in the US continued to be hampered by other obstacles, including issues with royalties and public derision toward the "Beatle haircut".
Savoy and Paul Williams Lead Again with ... The New Double Side Hit – Both Sides 'A' Sides