While highly-paid record executives once liked to think they knew how to make decisions, sometimes the public willed things the other way.
Here is a list of 25 hits that were originally B-Sides. FYI, it's said that Elvis, The Beatles and Fats Domino had the highest amount of double A-sides, that is singles where both sides became hits. I'm still trying to figure out to turn my hard drive upside down and get something out of it.
25) Hank Williams - "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" / "My Bucket's Got a Hole In It": I'm a huge fan of "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It," especially the version where Hank can't buy no MILK. But in terms of classic status, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is the hands-down winner.
24) Deee-Lite - "Groove Is In the Heart" / "What Is Love?": I've never heard the A-side. And I was forcefed the B-side, "Groove Is In the Heart" and I remember thinking the video was fun to watch. But I was young and unemployed and likely never turned up the sound.
20) Kraftwerk - "The Model" / "Computer Love": I have trouble thinking that anyone thought they'd get a hit single out of this band, period. Both tunes are worthy, but since when is worthiness a criteria?
19) Madonna - "Into the Groove" / "Angel": Madonna was like the Oprah of the 1980s. She could do no wrong even when she wasn't doing anything. I'm always a little suspicious regarding artists who need to be written about concerning their "historical context" rather than their musical placement. Not saying I don't get stuck doing it often. But I'm suspect.
17) The Doors - "Roadhouse Blues" / "You Make Me Real": How they could think they had a hit single with "You Make Me Real" when "Roadhouse Blues" was just sitting there waiting to be flipped over is bizarre. The live version is even better. Cover bands were damned for eternity with this one.
16) Thin Lizzy - "Whiskey in the Jar" / "Black Boys On the Corner": Oh, come one, the novelty of rocking out some old Irish ballad is obviously the way to go. Now hand it over to Metallica and let them make more noise about it.
14) The Beatles - "We Can Work It Out" / "Day Tripper": One of my favorite double singles. Preferable to "Come Together" with the awful "Something" on the flip. (Yes, I'm in the minority here, but songs that sound like shampoo commercials don't interest me.)
11) The Champs - "Tequila" / "Train to Nowhere": Frat-boys the world over would never have gotten so hammered if not for this song. Tequila companies should pay a royalty to the Champs for not choosing Amaretto.
10) Rod Stewart - "Maggie May" / "Reason to Believe": Who would have guessed that a song this long could've been a huge hit? Not these days with ADD and all. They'd re-write the song these days to play the hook several thousand times in the first minute.
9) The Rolling Stones - "Ruby Tuesday" / "Let's Spend the Night Together": There once was a time when the Rolling Stones were an adventurous pop group not firmly addicted to Keith Richards' rhythm guitar.
8) The Beach Boys - "Wouldn't It Be Nice" / "God Only Knows": Again, Brian Wilson was writing at the top of his game. For those who don't think Pet Sounds is the perfect LP, these two highlights should surely pass the audition.
7) XTC - "Dear God" (replaced "Mermaid Smiled" on the LP) / "Grass": Someone recently informed me that the book The Purpose Driven Life is not about working a job to pay for your kids' future but some sort of religious version of that "Follow Your Bliss" stuff. Yeah, I've read all about plenty of those people. Most of them died from heroin overdoses. Maybe it's best if we follow the money and get big screened TVs instead!
6) Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps - "Be-Bop-A-Lula" / "Woman Love": I'm kind of down with Steve Allen in thinking these are some dumb lyrics. The music, on the other hand, is killer. But all this crap that Bob Dylan brought meaningful lyrics to the masses is a clearly misguided if you've listened to Hal David, Cole Porter and plenty of folk, country and blues musicians.
5) Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive" / "Substitute": My favorite story about Gloria Gaynor remains the one where she opens her concert with "I Will Survive." Closes her concert with "I Will Survive." And comes out for an encore of "I Will Survive." Did Modern English do the same with "I Melt With You"?
4) The Beatles - "Strawberry Fields Forever" / "Penny Lane": They don't make singles like this anymore. Actually, they didn't make singles like this before this one either.
3) The Smiths - "How Soon is Now?" / "William, It Was Really Nothing": Homosexuals not only should be allowed to marry, they should be allowed to make double A-sides like this all the time. That's what I call real progress. In memory of Stephanie Nooney who recently passed and was a huge Johnny Marr fan. RIP.
1) Bill Haley & His Comets - "Rock Around the Clock" / "Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town)": Rock n' Roll would've still happened without this song, but maybe it gets a different name. Truth told, the original A-side sounds more interesting.