Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Dying Game: B-Sides

I've been listening to Do You Love Me Now Jnr on repeat since we got back from Austria. A rare Breeders B-Side which J Mascis remixed and added vocals to. Justin from Weekender told me about it and I tracked it down and fell in love with it.

This has reminded me of yet another one of my rants about music these days. What the hell has happened to B-Sides? Gone are the days where you would stick a 4 song single on and fall in love with ALL the songs and not just the single. One band whose B-Sides were always phenomenal, was Belly. Their astounding B-Sides as well as album tracks just confirmed what an amazingly talented band they were - they didn't just bung a crap remix on for a laugh. They gave their fans real music everytime. This is why I admire bands of old so much - the music, the ethos, everything was just so much more genuine then.

It may sound extreme but I think a large part of this genuinity died when John Peel died. No matter what people say, I definitely believe this. I grew up in a tiny steel mining village in the north east of England. 40 miles from Newcastle and 30 miles from Durham. Seriously, it was in the middle of absolute nowhere. However, I managed to fall in love with my escapism of music through the radio. I heard Urusei Yatsura, Mazzy Star, PJ Harvey on Radio 1 and managed to track down all their early releases in an indie record store in Newcastle. Seriously, listening to good music changed my life. The infamous Peel sessions were aimed solely at pure music fans - hearing bands play album tracks, covers and B-Sides. It just feels like no one really cares anymore and that hurts having finally given up a lot to be where we are right now. I really wish we met John Peel and would've given anything to have done a session for him....

I never want to release anything with just a remix as a B-Side. I think remixes serve their own purpose but being in a band, you need to constantly challenge yourself and give people as much as you can. You should never feel you are wasting a song by putting it out as a B-Side. Go away and write 5 more great songs instead.


Do You Love Me Now Jnr - download it here:

Check out the entire Peel sessions back catalogue here:

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