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‘b’ sides

‘B’ sides have always been an integral part of vinyl records, being the flip side of an ‘A’ side on a 45 rpm single.

If that sentence has left you wondering what the hell I’m on about, then have a listen to Elbow frontman Guy Garvey singing the praises of ‘b’ sides on a recent edition of Radio 4’s ‘PM’ programme.

In a bid to encourage artists to keep the ‘b’ side alive, he’s set up a record label, which will do nothing but release EPs.

EPs? Ah, yes. EP standing for ‘Extended Play.’ A 45 rpm record featuring three or four tracks.

Garvey’s aim is to get bands to record experimental tracks that they wouldn’t normally issue as part of their regular releases.

It’s an enterprising idea, and one that deserves support from artists and music lovers too.

There’s the full interview at 50′ 20″ on the BBC iPlayer below.

He cites his favourite ‘b’ side as the moment where Talk Talk gave their fans and EMI a flavour of where they were heading artistically as a band (Colour Of Spring, 28th March 2012).

And Elbow have just released a collection of their ‘b’ sides, which in the track I’ve picked out has more than a hint of Talk Talk about it.

 Talk Talk – It’s Getting Late In the Evening

Elbow – Our Little Boat

Guy Garvey on ‘b’ sides – BBC iPlayer

Elbow – official website

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