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Words: Alastair ' 'bgtt'

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Let’s be honest, most of the time we tend to play them once and forget about them. But the B—side has a rich and influential history of its own. ’Louie Louie', for instance, began life as the B-side of ~ believe it or not ’You Are My Sunshine’ by Richard Berry and The Pharoahs in 1956. It's thanks to Los Angeles DJ Hunter Hancock, who flipped it over, that it caught the attention of The Kingsmen, who used it to redefine rock ’n’ roll.

22 THE lIST 22 Oct ‘3 ‘10» 1998

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With no new material due from OASIS for a" DON'T LAUGH AIT {VHAT ' " may seem l'C a couple of years,,CreatIon are about to t bimm wmlmm .

release a collec ion of their B-sides entitle ,

entertain hopes that The .l/Iastet'p/(ttt might be as enlightening and provocative as The xi/It’I‘IHIIlH’ Pet Shop Boys. ()n that 1905 double— (‘l). Messrs Tennant and Lowe wrote a new history for themselves through B—sides. bonus tracks and obscttrities one to sit alongside the (ireutest Hits so that ltttts can ask themselves which version of the grottp they want to believe on that day.

Frankly. yott couldn‘t expect that from a grottp as single-laceted as ()asis. but there was a chance that we'd missed something and that The .lluster/ilun wottld tell us what it was. At least it scores over lie Here Now in that the ‘sorry—guv-completely-lost-the-plot‘ bluster that‘s creatively destroying the band is largely absent. Being a compilation. it has an excuse for being incoherent. though not for being completely rubbish. since all tracks have been voted on by fans through the official website as being the best B-sides from all ()asis's singles.

It opens with the song that‘s not only the best single they never released. but argttably ()asis's linest moment ever: '.»\quiesce‘. :\s the two brothers swap lead vocals. guitars ttunbling and girning behind them. the chorus —‘ ‘We need each other/We believe in one another" —— packs ten times the meaning of the woolly autopilot doggerel .\'oel (iallagher‘s been churning out by the yard l‘or the last two albums. aThe

There‘s a reason these songs were B-sides.

The most obvious would be that they weren‘t Masterplan good enough to go on the ol'licial albums. But opens there‘s a mood ol‘ cautious experimentation

here too. Several times. (iallagher seems to be the Song

trying to emulate his heroes and getting that's not only hall‘wav to doing something original with their . inl'luen'ces -— but rarely more than halt’way. And the beSt s'ngle then there‘s "I‘alk 'I‘onight’. where (iallagher's they never model is. a i iarentlv. himsell’. and he still onlv

gets a medilolcre song ottt of it. ' released bUt

‘(ioing .\'owhere’ and 'Rocking (‘hair’ are arguably both good tracks and should have been able to Oasisls finest talk their way onto ()asis s ‘proper albums had they not been so modest about their charms. The band‘s crackling energy is present and correct on ‘lleadshrinker‘ and 'l‘ade Away”. the latter sounding like a rehearsal room demo. its rawness showing up the elephantisis sul’l'ered by practically every track here. .\'oel's tendency for stretching weak songs out to interminable lengths even spreads to B-sides. with listen l'p’ an average tune at best the worst ol‘t‘ender.

The title track. though. is the most painful. .’\ sort ol~ generic ()asis song suspended between ‘l.ive Forever" and ‘l’enny Lane‘. it resembles nothing so much as .\'oelrock in a nutshell -- an overworked sketchpad before its creator had time to separate the parts and farm them ottt to different songs. It‘s a glimpse of one possible end to ()asis: collapsing. like a neutron star. under the weight of its songwriter's gestures.

moment ever,

"Aquiesce .

The Masterplan is out on Creation on Mon 2 Nov.

You’ll have noticed the fuss about the release of Bob Dylan’s Free Trade Hall concert, three decades after the event. Well, in 1966, the only way to hear any live Dylan when you hadn’t seen him in the flesh was to get hold of the ’I Want You’ single and turn it over for a version of ’Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’ featuring Dylan and The Band in full flight.

Some fondly remembered B-sides of the post-punk years gave schoolboys excuses for a naughty giggle. It was the

flipside of the Sex Pistols ’Something Else’ ’Friggin’ In The Riggin’ that became a playground hit across the nation. A few years later, The Smiths announced their arrival with ’Hand In Glove’. It’s a fact largely forgotten now, but what made them household names initially was the tabloid furore surrounding its B-side, ’Handsome Devil’ ’A boy in the bush is worth two in the hand/I think I can help you get through your exams’. Indeed. The grand tradition of the B-

side waned in the 805, with more singles being backed with remixes and instrumental versions. As the indie scene grew, four-track 12-inch EPs started to become the backbone of many bands’ careers; and the whole concept became muddied further with the introduction of the CD-single and recent BPI wranglings over how many tracks they were allowed to have to be eligible for the charts. For so many years, two was all we needed. (Alastair Mabbott)