The Gaslight Anthem’s The B-Sides (and 7 other great outtake compilations)
New Jersey blue collar rockers The Gaslight Anthem announced back in July that they had begun work on their fifth studio album, the follow-up to 2012’s Handwritten, with a release expected some time in 2014. In the meantime, the band have been busy putting out a variety of other material to keep their fans occupied, starting last summer with the release of a wooden box set of 9 vinyl 7” singles entitled Singles Collection: 2008-2011, followed by their Live in London DVD released in December. Next week they will release a compilation, imaginatively named The B-Sides - a collection of album outtakes, b-sides and acoustic versions aimed at satiating the fans’ thirst for new tunes.
The collection includes some unplugged renditions of favourites including ‘The ’59 Sound’, ‘American Slang’ and ‘Great Expectations’, as well as a handful of cover versions, notably ‘Tumblin’ Dice’ by The Rolling Stones and a live version of Pearl Jam’s ‘State of Love and Trust’.
The new collection is available for pre-order from our download store and will be available in stores and to download from January 27. In the meantime, why not check out some of our favourite outtake compilations? Enjoy…
Released in 1992 in between unstoppable behemoth Nevermind and follow-up In Utero, this is a great collection of tracks that includes the single ‘Sliver’, as well as a selection of tracks from sessions at the BBC with John Peel and Mark Goodier. There are two covers of songs by Glasgow punk rockers The Vaselines (‘Molly’s Lips’ and ‘Son of a Gun’) as well as a cover of Devo’s ‘Turnaround’, but the highlight is the closing track ‘Aneurysm’, a track that completely fits Kurt Cobain’s description of Nirvana’s sound: “All in all, we sound like the Knack and the Bay City Rollers being molested by Black Flag and Black Sabbath."
Naked Baby Photos
Ben Folds Five
A compilation of live versions, soundcheck improvisations and outtakes from their first two albums, Naked Baby Photos is a neat collection of rarities from Ben Folds Five at the height of their popularity. Highlights include the live version of ‘Underground’ and a cover of Built To Spill’s ‘Twin Falls’, but the best moments are the improvised tracks from concerts and soundchecks including ‘Satan Is My Master’ and ‘Dick Holster’, which Folds described as “Just us screwing around while waiting to do a show. Engineers tend to go out for coffee while we're on these kicks and luckily they often leave the tape machines on."
The Lost Tapes
Released in 2012, this compilation is a selection of rediscovered outtakes and lost studio tracks that spans three discs and covers the whole period between Can's formation in 1968 and their initial split in 1977. With thirty tracks to choose from there is plenty to keep hardcore fans busy, but highlights include the previously unheard opener ‘Millionspiel’ and a live rendition of ‘Mushroom’. Well worth a listen for Krautrock fans.
Ten Bloody Marys and Ten How’s Your Fathers
Elvis Costello & The Attractions
This collection of twenty songs recorded between 1977 and 1980, when the compilation was released, is mostly a collection of b-sides, though there are two previously unreleased tracks in ‘Clean Money’ and ‘Hoover Factory’. ‘Watching The Detectives’ and ‘Girls Talk’ are amongst the highlights, but the real standout here is Costello’s brilliant version of Nick Lowe’s ‘(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding’.
Hatful of Hollow
Another collection of tracks mostly culled from BBC sessions with John Peel and David Jensen, 1984 compilation Hatful of Hollow features blistering live versions of tracks like ‘What Difference Does it Make?’ and ‘Handsome Devil’, but also features the single ‘William, It Was Really Nothing’ and its b-side ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’. Some of the live recordings show The Smiths at their very best, but this compilation also includes the brilliant ‘How Soon Is Now’ for the first time on an LP, which makes it worth owning by itself.
The Birds & the B-Sides
This compilation is a collection of covers and b-sides from the influential Japanese three-piece that showcases just why the band earned themselves a host of celebrity fans, including Thurston Moore and Kurt Cobain. The range of songs on offer is impressive, with covers including a wonderful, upbeat rendition of The Carpenters’ ‘On Top of the World’, a version of The Kinks’ ‘At The End of the Day’ and even a cover of ‘’(Love is like a) Heat Wave’ from legendary Motown songwriting team Holland Dozier Holland. If you aren’t familiar with Shonen Knife this is great place to start.
When Oasis were at the height of their powers between 1994 and 1997, Noel Gallagher seemed to be writing more songs than he knew what to do with. Mostly b-sides, this is an incredibly strong collection – arguably stronger than their 1997 album Be Here Now – that includes highlights ‘Half The World Away’ - better known as the theme from sitcom The Royle Family - and ‘Wonderwall’ b-side ‘Talk Tonight’. The standout though is their live version of The Beatles’ ‘I Am The Walrus’, a crowd favourite often used as a show closer. Well worth digging into if you’ve got all the albums but no singles.