After reading about The Cure playing their song “2 Late” live for the first time ever, I thought “how have I never heard this before??” Turns out it was a b-side, meaning it didn’t quite make the album but was released as a bonus track with one of the singles.
So what other songs have we been missing out on? Here are some of the best b-sides you’ve never heard.
Radiohead – Fog
If you thought “Knives Out” was weird, listen to this creaking, crackling b-side. As always Thom Yorke’s vocals are beautifully haunting with some gorgeous harmonies and, wait, is that a guitar?
The Cribs – Get Yr Hands Out Of My Grave
The Cribs had a UK top 20 hit “Men’s Needs” in 2007 and this song was included on the Moving Pictures EP from the same year. Frontman Ryan Jarman’s thick guitar tone fits nicely with his double-tracked baritone vocals.
Kings Of Leon – My Third House
Remember when Kings of Leon were more raucous and less dad-rock? “My Third House” was the b-side for the “On Call” single and sounds more southern hick than polished radio rock.
Bloc Party – Skeleton
After the release of Silent Alarm, Kele Okereke said he wished he’d included this song on the album instead of “Luno”. Personally I think they made the right choice with “Luno”, but “Skeleton” was later released as the b-side to “Helicopter”.
Arctic Monkeys – Plastic Tramp
After the Arctic Monkeys debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not became the fastest selling debut album in British music history in 2006, they quickly followed with the faster, louder Favourite Worst Nightmare in 2007. “Plastic Tramp” was originally announced as one of the album tracks but was dropped before its release. It later resurfaced as the b-side for the single “Fluorescent Adolescent”.
The Cure – 2 Late
When The Cure played a 3 1/2 hour 45 song set list at a Cancer Trust Benefit concert some reviewers complained that it was “numbing” and lacked “momentum.” On the bright side, they pulled out some rare gems like “2 Late.” It was originally the b-side for the Disintegration single “Lovesong” and they had never played it live before.