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 Post subject: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Sun 04, 2016 12:17 am 
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I've heard that a 45 rpm single record has an A side and a B side. The A side was supposed to be the hit side the DJ should play and the B side was not. How could the DJ tell which side was the A and which side was the B? Was there some kind of code or number? I can imagine a top 40 radio station getting lots of singles from lots of different labels. How would they know what the record company and artist considered to be the best side of their single?

Thanks for your help.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Sun 04, 2016 12:29 am 
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There were several ways it was done. Most "promo" records had a star symbol on the label indicating the A-side. Some DJ's would mark the A-side with an "X" symbol. Some records came with correspondence (a letter from the record company) suggesting which side was to be plugged. Other records had the words "PLUG SIDE" printed on them. Still others had the letters "A" and "B" on them. I'm sure there were other ways a DJ would know which side was the "A" side. Some DJ's would actually go against the grain, and play the B-side. Sometimes, this side would become the unexpected hit, if enough listeners called into the station requesting the song over and over.

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Sun 04, 2016 12:36 am 
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Just to add...beginning in the late 60's, early 70's, some promo 45's had no "B" side. The same song would be on both sides. One side would be in stereo, and the other would be in mono. The stereo side would be played on FM stations, and the mono side would be for AM stations.

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Sun 04, 2016 12:37 am 
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Promo copies sent to the stations often had white labels, the easier to mark the A side with, so the hand marked symbol would stand out.

I think the most famous of the B sides was the one behind the A, "Hey Senorita" by the Penguins...

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Sun 04, 2016 12:54 am 
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It's tough to say which "B" hit was the most "famous" but two contenders of the rock genre are

“Rock Around the Clock” – Bill Haley and His Comets (original A side "Thirteen Women (And Only One Man in Town)")

And

“Unchained Melody” – The Righteous Brothers (original A side "Hung on You")

Runner up: “Tequila” – The Champs (original A side “Train to Nowhere”)


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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Sun 04, 2016 1:14 am 
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Hehe, we could go on and on with this. Don't forget Van Morrison's band, "Them", with the B side, "Gloria" in 1964.

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Sun 04, 2016 2:07 am 
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fifties wrote:
Hehe, we could go on and on with this. Don't forget Van Morrison's band, "Them", with the B side, "Gloria" in 1964.
Yep. a ton of them 8) I was going on "famous" (not the most popular or favorite or....)

I LOVE Gloria. 'bout five feet-four, from her head to the ground.

I had my 'Gloria' by another name. She make me feel so good, Lord
I want to say she make me feel all right :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Sun 04, 2016 11:52 pm 
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Weren't Heartbreak Hotel and Houndog released on the same 45?

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Mon 05, 2016 12:04 am 
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Flipperhome wrote:
fifties wrote:
Hehe, we could go on and on with this. Don't forget Van Morrison's band, "Them", with the B side, "Gloria" in 1964.
Yep. a ton of them 8) I was going on "famous" (not the most popular or favorite or....)

I LOVE Gloria. 'bout five feet-four, from her head to the ground.

I had my 'Gloria' by another name. She make me feel so good, Lord
I want to say she make me feel all right :mrgreen:

This is the Gliora .. that I knew of from the 50s doo wop era
by The Cadillacs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U28e4EEC2j4

The Cadillacs are the group that did that old fav "speedo" .... if any of you remember that one from around the same time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9uZvrsAoyE

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Mon 05, 2016 12:19 am 
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I've got at least one 45 promo with the same song on both sides, both sides are stereo. This gives twice the life of the record. My record is "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister.

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Mon 05, 2016 12:26 am 
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Ed Morris wrote:
Weren't Heartbreak Hotel and Houndog released on the same 45?


Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog:


Attachments:
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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Mon 05, 2016 1:40 am 
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Thanks! I knew it was two of his big hits early in his career.

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Tue 06, 2016 3:44 am 
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There were singles which were considered to have two 'A' sides. Probably the most famous of these was The Beatles "Strawberry Fields" / "Penny Lane".

As for singles whose B sides became more popular than their A sides, I have an example of this in Nazz - "Open My Eyes" b/w "Hello, It's Me". A promo film was made for Open My Eyes, but it didn't gain much popularity. According to Wikipedia, a DJ on WMEX accidentally played the B-side instead, and it quickly eclipsed the intended hit in popularity.

I'm not sure if the promo version of this single differed visually from the single I have, which has little indication of which side is supposed to be where. "Hello, It's Me" was later reissued as the A-side of a single with a different song on its B-side; the promo singles I've seen on Discogs actually have Hello It's Me on both sides, with the "Plug Side" being a shorter version of the original 4-minute song.
-Adam

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Mon 19, 2016 12:23 am 
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Flipperhome wrote:
It's tough to say which "B" hit was the most "famous" but two contenders of the rock genre are

“Rock Around the Clock” – Bill Haley and His Comets (original A side "Thirteen Women (And Only One Man in Town)")

And

“Unchained Melody” – The Righteous Brothers (original A side "Hung on You")

Runner up: “Tequila” – The Champs (original A side “Train to Nowhere”)


If I'm not mistaken, wasn't "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" by Tony Bennett originally a B side?

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Mon 19, 2016 2:50 am 
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Gary Tayman wrote:
Flipperhome wrote:
It's tough to say which "B" hit was the most "famous" but two contenders of the rock genre are

“Rock Around the Clock” – Bill Haley and His Comets (original A side "Thirteen Women (And Only One Man in Town)")

And

“Unchained Melody” – The Righteous Brothers (original A side "Hung on You")

Runner up: “Tequila” – The Champs (original A side “Train to Nowhere”)


If I'm not mistaken, wasn't "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" by Tony Bennett originally a B side?
You're right. It was released as the B side of "Once Upon A Time."


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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Mon 19, 2016 9:32 pm 
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The Beatles released a number of double A-side 45s.
We can work it out/Day Tripper
Penny Lane/ Strawberry Fields Forever
Something/Come Together

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Tue 20, 2016 1:57 am 
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phinegan wrote:
The Beatles released a number of double A-side 45s.
We can work it out/Day Tripper
Penny Lane/ Strawberry Fields Forever
Something/Come Together


In the case of Elvis, and later the Beatles, the artists were so hot at their peak that radio DJ's, responding to listener demand, simply flipped over the records they already had and played the B sides. These in turn became hits.

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Sep Sat 24, 2016 5:25 am 
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Lots of demos were sent out with "Plug Side" printed on the label or on a sticker clearly showing you what side they wanted you to play.

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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: Oct Wed 19, 2016 6:01 am 
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Some songs had B-sides that became hits apparently out of necessity. The Rolling Stones' "Let's Spend The Night Together" was considered risque at many stations, which played the B side "Ruby Tuesday", instead -- and Ruby Tuesday became a hit in its own right.

It was much the same thing with the Stones' "Mother's Little Helper" and "Lady Jane". "Lady Jane" was a hit in certain areas where stations didn't want to play "Mother's Little Helper" because of drug references. Some stations apparently played both.


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 Post subject: Re: 45 RPM single question
PostPosted: May Mon 22, 2017 7:46 pm 
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There was a group "Steam" whose first release was a so-so song, no surprise. B side accidentally was played and THAT was what took off. Nah, Nah, Hey, Hey. Craig


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