Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The reverse side of a phonograph record, especially a single.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The reverse side of a phonograph record, especially of a vinyl single.
  • n. Any song included on a compact disc single, besides the first song (the A-side).

Etymologies

From the B on the record's label.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Urban Dictionary even goes so far as to call a B-side “not good enough to be on the album” and just plain “left-over,” a “sub-par” track.

    Save as draft

  • and to a new category, B-side, which is for unwieldy or alarming amusements that don't fit well on the homepage or in the main RSS feed.

    Boing Boing

  • Bell recorded this song in 1961, and it appeared as a B-side on the 16th single ever to be released by Stax.

    How music can reach out and touch us

  • One is a single, All Our Yesterdays, and the other is the B-side instrumental, Alpha Centauri.

    All Our Yesterdays : Bev Vincent

  • I'd once read a Pete interview where he said that whenever The Who were suffering through an awful show, they'd play "Daddy Rolling Stone" the import-only B-side of their second single, "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere"... a great, but, to even most Who fans, unknown R&B song.

    Binky Philips: The Who Arrive Late, Beatles News Arrives Early, Central Park, August 1968

  • Released anyway that fall as the B-side of a 45-rpm record, the song soared to No. 21 on Billboard magazine 's Hot 100 chart — launching the hit-making careers of Ms. Warwick and songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

    The Copycats

  • Like the B-side of an A-side that you know cos it was used on a mobile phone advert.

    This week's new singles

  • On the Tumblr feed for Hynes's latest project, Blood Orange, there's a brilliantly incongruous picture of Florence Welch Hynes was originally part of Florence's band and co-wrote an early B-side draped over Beyoncé backstage at a Jay-Z show.

    From Lightspeed Champion to Blood Orange, the many lives of Dev Hynes

  • Ms. Gaynor's "I Will Survive" originally was released as the B-side of a 1978 single.

    Auld Lang Syne—With a Backbeat

  • (Sad that a B-side from another album is better than the A-sides from the new album.)

    New U2

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