A blog relating to B-sides recorded throughout Showaddywaddy’s career.
I’ve been listening to the new “A’s and B’s“ CD (from the 2013 ‘Complete Studio Recordings’ box set) a lot in recent months, featuring remastered tracks from Showaddywaddy’s back catalogue, and it struck me that many of the B-sides were very strong tracks indeed, and often would have been worthy of inclusion on albums.
All of SWW’s B-sides were written by the band, and this was often the only outlet for the band’s own material. The band’s earlier albums were weighted in favour of the Showaddywaddy’s own songs, whereas later albums featured more covers due to the demands of the record label.
Some B-sides were hard to get hold of unless you collected original Showaddywaddy vinyl, and often didn’t become better known until being released on CD for the first time during the 2000s - over 20 years after they were originally released!
You Will Lose Your Love Tomorrow(released 19th April 1974)
B-side to “Hey Rock And Roll”. A more gentle track than the stomping A-side, with Dave Bartram on lead vocals, “You Will Lose Your Love Tomorrow” was an early showcase to the band’s vocal/harmony ability.
Dave revealed at his first solo event since leaving Showaddywaddy (Nov 2013), that both the A-side and B-side were recorded on the same day.
The track was later included on the ‘1976-1978 Greatest Hits’ LP (which reached number 1). Even though it was a 1974 track, it was included on the LP due to public demand.
I’m A Traveller(released 2nd August 1974)
This track Dave Bartram penned track was originally a Choise track entitled “Travellin’ Man”, and was recorded as an intended single by the band and produced by Labi Siffre. However as Showaddywaddy had been formed by this time, this was cancelled.
Dave again on lead vocals on this track due to Bill Gask performing lead vocals on the A-side, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Lady”.
The track was never included on any albums, and not available until being included as a bonus track on the re-release of the band’s debut album on CD in 2000, 26 years after its original release.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Man(released 15th November 1974)
It could be said that this was the ideal B-side for “Hey Mr Christmas” – both songs being about the same person perhaps?!
Vocals on “Rock ‘n’ Roll Man” were performed by Bill Gask. Dave Bartram later observed that he was disappointed by the track due to guitars being out of tune, and that this was something that produced Mike Hurst should have ensured did not happen. Trevor Oakes dismissed this once as a “throwaway” track.
The track was available on CD from as early as 1991 due to being included on a German compilation, “25 Steps To The Top”.
Windows(released 7th Feb 1975)
“Windows” was already available as an album track on the band’s debut LP. A gentle track sung by Bill Gask. This was said to be the only song that Bill had a hand in writing, as he came up with the original idea for the track, with Dave and Trev making more of a song of it.
The Party(released 9th May 1975)
Perhaps an unusual choice for a B-side as “The Party” was already available on the band’s debut album, released in November 1974. However the Dejamus Productions film ‘Three For All’ was released during the same month, and which featured the band performing “The Party”, so perhaps not such a strange choice after all as it was a track very much in the spotlight at the time. The track was titled as “Rock ’n’ Roll Party” on the soundtrack album.
The band performed “The Party” in their live set around this time also. Romeo can be heard leading into the song with “OK let’s go!”
“The Party” was another Choise song (remodelled for Showaddywaddy), and was written by Trevor Oakes.
Lucy Jane(released 22nd August 1975)
Sung by Dave, “Lucy Jane” is a favourite amongst Showaddywaddy fans and could quite easily have been an album track. The ‘Step Two’ album was released two months earlier so perhaps “Lucy Jane” was recorded after the album was released.
Nevertheless it’s a fine track, and was heard by a wide audience due to the A-side (“Heatbeat”) selling very well indeed and being a top-10 hit.
Smiling Eyes(released 7th November 1975)
Perhaps the strangest choice for a B-side to date, as “Smiling Eyes” was already available on the “Step Two” album which was released during the summer.
The lead track, “Heavenly”, did not receive much television exposure, and indeed was not performed on Top Of The Pops due to a decision by a member of the band’s team to perform on Belgian Television instead (read about it in Dave’s forthcoming book!). As a result, the single stalled and only reached number 34 in the charts whereas perhaps with exposure on TOTP it would have likely done much better, such was the impact of the show around that time. The track was performed on the Shang-A-Lang Christmas Special however (a Bay City Rollers TV show).
“Smiling Eyes” was written by Dave during his Choise days about a childhood sweetheart who he went out with at the age of 16.
The track was said to be one of Bill Gask’s favourite Showaddywaddy songs, and Dave Bartram performed the song at his solo event in November 2013, the first time the song had ever been played live.
Teenage Love Affair(released 30th April 1976)
Around this time, the band were going through their ‘teeny-bop’ phase, having attracted a younger female following, I always suspected the track was released to cater for this type of audience. However the song (a joint effort by Dave and Trevor) was actually written for the Bay City Rollers, but unfortunately rejected by the BCR management team, who had a deal in place with another songwriting team at the time. Dave also observed recently that the original demo of the track was far superior to the final Mike Hurst produced version, on which little time was spent.
The single (“Trocadero”) was released only a week before the album, and many would-be purchasers would have just obtained the A-side by buying the album instead, and the single only reached number 32 in the charts despite a great performance on Top Of The Pops.
Consequently, “Teenage Love Affair” became quite a hard track to get hold of until it was featured on a CD for the first time in 2001.
Go Johnny Go(released 16th July 1976)
Two B-sides to comment upon here! Both the A-side (“Take Me In Your Arms”) and the b-side were already available on the “Trocadero” LP which was released approx. 6 weeks earlier, so it was perhaps no surprise that the single failed to chart.
It was later observed that the single was an ‘interim release’ (perhaps to fulfil contractual obligations?) and also it did not have any promotion undertaken at all either.
“Go Johnny Go” was a rocky track, in contrast to the A-side which was much slower.
The ‘other’ B-side to comment on is “Say Mama”, which was the actual track on the pressed single (“Go Johnny Go” was a label misprint). “Say Mama” was a track covered by Golden Hammers prior to the formation of Showaddywaddy (Bill on vocals); the Showaddywaddy recorded track featured Al James on vocals.
The track was performed on TV a couple of times (Showaddywaddyshow and Pebble Mill), and also featured in the band’s live show well into the 1990s.
Lookin’ Back(released 15th October 1976)
As with the previous release, “Lookin’ Back” was already available on the Trocadero LP, but this did not matter as the A-side (“Under The Moon Of Love”) was such a strong single that it sold in large numbers anyway, reaching number 1 in the singles chart. In any case, “Lookin’ Back” was a strong track that Trevor Oakes wanted to be an A-side, and probably alerted the public to the ‘Trocadero’ LP and helped with some further sales for that album.
In the late 90s, I got talking to a colleague at work who had bought “Under The Moon Of Love”, and he distinctly remembered the B-side (22 years later) which is testament to how strong this track was.
The band even performed “Lookin’ Back” during a gig at Baths Hall, Scunthorpe in 2003.
Superstar(released 25th Feb 1977)
The first B-side to have lead vocals performed by Al James, who performed lead vocals on a small number of tracks throughout the band’s career.
A straightforward rocky track, “Superstar” always seemed to have a muffled sound for some reason – however it was thankfully proven during 2013 that it was not originally intended to release it this way, as when “Superstar” was included on the 2013 box set, it was shown to be a much cleaner track and sounding much clearer than the 1977 release.
The subject of the track is influenced by the New Faces Theme ‘You’re A Star’, performed by Carl Wayne (formerly of The Move) and which was released as a single in 1973.
“Superstar” was featured on the MFP budget LP release ‘Rock On With Showaddywaddy’ in 1981.
Showboat(released 8th July 1977)
Perhaps one of the weakest B-sides to date, “Showboat” was a joint collaboration between Dave Bartram and Trevor Oakes, and sung by Bill Gask, but nevertheless saw a wide audience as it was the flip side to “You Got What It Takes”, which reached number 2. The track was used on the BBC’s Match Of The Day 2 programme on Sunday 7th December 2014 whilst showing players “showboating” skills!
One Of These Days(released 21st October 1977)
“One Of These Days” was the first time that the same lead vocalist had performed on both the A-side and B-side, with Dave also taking lead vocal duties on “Dancin’ Party”.
The track was written by Dave as a protest against the conveyor belt of covers the band was doing, at a time when it seemed most of Dave’s and Trevor’s songs were being overlooked.
Ever Lovin’(released 10th March 1978)
“Ever Lovin’” was originally recorded in 1977 as it had been intended to include it on the “Red Star” LP released that year. However the track was dropped from the LP, along with “Lost”, a decision made by the record company bigwigs.
The track consequently saw the light of day as the B-side to “I Wonder Why”, and again, as with the previous release, Dave performed lead vocals on both the B-side and the A-side.
Dave recently revealed that the original master of the song sounded like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, but the record company insisted on a remix as the song “was not representative of what the band was about”. The result was a “watered down version, with the emphasis placed on a ‘poppy’ version of the track that then the American feel of the first mix. The key was also raised from B flat to D to give it a more jangly feel”. Dave thought the track ended up being “ridiculously high to sing!”
Maybe Maybe Maybe(released 16th June 1978)
For the single “A Little Bit Of Soap”, it was decided to utilise a track that was already available, perhaps due to the lack of any other songs being available. The band was that busy around this time touring and undertaking numerous TV appearances that they just did not have time to get into the studio.
In the event “Maybe Maybe Maybe” was a strong track, and which was available on the band’s 1977 Red Star LP.
I’m Yours(released 16th October 1978)
A new B-side not already available anywhere else, “I’m Yours” was a romantic track with lead vocals performed by Bill Gask.
I had this song at my wedding in 2004, and since found out that some other SWW fans have had this at their weddings also.
Again this was quite a difficult track to get hold of unless you had the original vinyl, with it not being released on CD until 24 years later in 2002.
Love For A Star(released 16th March 1979)
This is a strong track that was certainly worthy of being included on an album. The A-side however (“Remember Then”) was later included on the “Crepes & Drapes” LP released in November 1979.
The acoustic guitar solos sound Spanish influenced to me, or perhaps reminiscent of a Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel solo.
Dave Bartram originally recorded the lead vocals on this track, but Bill Gask subsequently recorded lead vocals over the top of Dave’s. Dave’s vocals can clearly be heard as backing during the choruses.
Some of the words in the last verse have always been near impossible to work out! (A source of frustration to me to this day!)
Five Minutes More(released 29th June 1979)
Some great fill-ins by Romeo on this track, which was the b-side to “Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” and was another example of the same vocalist (Dave) being on both the A-side and B-side.
Dave later observed that this song “wasn’t our finest hour”, but I like it!
Also interesting to note that the ‘five minutes more’ vocals at the end of the track is repeated five times (to fit with the theme of the song) rather than the more standard four.
I Appreciate The Job(released 19th October 1979)
One of the band’s rockiest songs with great opening bars, and excellent drum track and guitar solo, “I Appreciate The Job”, a Trevor Oakes track, was the B-side to “A Night At Daddy Gee’s”. Both tracks were subsequently included on the “Crepes & Drapes” LP that was released a fortnight later.
Cool Cool Cat(released 18th April 1980)
This was a new track (written by Trevor Oakes about Romeo Challenger), to accompany the single “Always & Ever”, which was the first single not to chart since 1976. This was despite the band performing the track on a number of shows, but crucially perhaps not Top Of The Pops. An excellent promo video was also recorded.
“Cool Cool Cat” was later released on the ‘Bright Lights’ LP (December 1980), with a slightly different drum fill half way through.
The piano on the track was played by studio engineer Bill Somerville-Large.
Teen Canteen(released 12th September 1980)
This Al James track was the B-side to “Why Do Lovers?”, a relatively successful hit for the band, reaching number 22.
Unusually for a B-side, it was performed on TV on the BBC ‘Showaddywaddyshow’ recorded at Pebble Mill Studios, but like the B-side on the previous single, the track was also featured as an album track on the “Bright Lights” LP released later in the year, and much of which was promoted on the Showaddywaddyshow.
Really Goin’ Out Of My Mind(released 1st December 1980)
An interesting one this, as the date of this track on the label shows 1978, indicating it was actually recorded two years before it was released.
In this case it could quite easily have been a B-side earlier, or even included on the “Crepes & Drapes” LP. It would certainly have been worthy of being included on that LP as it’s a most enjoyable track with an excellent Russ Field guitar solo.
You Are Love(released 12th Feb 1981)
“Doo Wah Diddy” was the A-side for this release, a track that was already available on the “Bright Lights” LP.
Unfortunately the single did not chart despite having a promo video made, and also being promoted on the Marti Caine show. Consequently “You Are Love”, a Dave Bartram power ballad, was quite rare and hard to get hold of until it appeared on a Showaddywaddy CD as a bonus track in 2003.
I Wish That I Could Undo All The Bad That I Have Done(released 5th June 1981)
The honour of not only the longest-titled B-side, but the longest titled Showaddywaddy song altogether goes to the B-side of “Multiplication”.
The track features Bill Gask on lead vocals, but Dave’s backing can be clearly heard throughout.
A nice track with a killer acoustic guitar throughout, this is one of the best B-sides of the band’s career.
Tribute(released 6th November 1981)
Another Al James track, a song that was perhaps not quite good enough to be album material. Not a favourite amongst many Showaddywaddy fans, but it has an excellent bass line - and the guitar solo (best played loud) – Eric Clapton would be proud.
You Always Stand Me Up(released 19th Feb 1982)
This B-side, and the lead track, “Good Timing”, were both already available on the “Good Times” LP which was released in October 1981, so it was perhaps no surprise that the single failed to chart, especially as the single has next to no promotion at all (only briefly mentioned on Tiswas).
It is notable however as the first single to feature Bill Gask on lead vocals since Heartbeat back in 1975.
“You Always Stand Me Up” is a great song, and is in my list of top-10 SWW tracks! A track that Romeo really likes, and he did the drumming on the snare throughout most of the song as he wanted it to sound like “The Twist”.
Do It Again(released 14th August 1982)
The band travelled to Miami, Florida, to record the A-side (“Who Put The Bomp”), and I always assumed that it was recorded there too, but it was recorded at Rockfield in Wales.
This Al James track has a country feel and is one of the band’s strongest B-sides in my opinion. It is surprising to me that this song was not featured on the band’s next LP “Living Legends”, as it is certainly stronger than much of the material on that album, but it was considered at the time not to be strong enough for the LP.
I Want You To Be My Girl(released November 1982)
Again like the previous B-side, “I Want You To Be My Girl” was recorded at Rockfield, and is a great track - again most surprising that the song didn’t appear on the “Living Legends” LP but again not considered to be strong enough at the time.
It was featured as the B-side to “Goody Goody”, a song that was indeed featured on “Living Legends”, and promoted on a couple of TV shows around the time of its release.
“I Want You To Be My Girl” is personally one of my favourite B-sides of the lot.
Run For Your Life(released January 1983)
Unlike the previous two B-sides, “Run For Your Life” was featured on the “Living Legends” LP, which was released later in 1983. “Run For Your Life” was certainly an upbeat and a more modern sounding track, with the end production being reflective of the era.
Out On The Town(released September 1987)
An interesting one this, as “Out On The Town” was originally promoted on TV during 1984 and 1985 on three popular TV shows, including “Little & Large” who were big stars in the ’80s, as well as “Knees Up” and “The Krankies”. It was originally due to be released as a single at that time, but the record company at the time would not release it.
The 1984 version is a little rockier than the version released here, which again was reflective of the time it was released by having an electronic sounding drum, and echoes on the vocals.
It’s a well written song by Dave, but for me it doesn’t quite have the edge of the ’84 version, but it was good for it to be finally released, albeit 3 years later than intended.
There is another version available in Dave Bartram’s private collection and which was very nearly included on the 2013 anthology box set, but the recording was not quite of good enough quality to be included.
“Out On The Town” was the first of the band’s own material to be credited to the author (in this case Dave Bartram), rather than all the band members.
In 1990, SWW released a single “Rockin’ & Rollin’ With Santa Claus” on the President label, who were also dealing with the “Jump, Boogie & Jive” album.
“Sympathy” was actually a demo track recorded much earlier, around 1986, and unusually featured Trevor Oakes on lead vocals, the only recording of the band’s career to do so. The President Records budget at the time would not stretch to a new recording as the single’s B-side,
Like “Out On The Town”, the lyrics were also solely credited to the author (Trevor Oakes).
An interesting fact about this track is that it featured no other Showaddywaddy personnel on the recording other than Trevor, the other musicianship being undertaken by others including Rick Willson.
“Sympathy” is only currently available on the 7Ts reissue of the “Jump, Boogie & Jive” album, being released in 2008; the original album coming out in 1991.