Heyyyyy, all you kats and kitties, Lynn McKenzie is here with today’s Day Thread! And today we’re going to talk about one of the most important things in music, the platters that matter, the swingin’ smashes, the music which moves us. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about A-sides.
But what’s this I see? Some of you look puzzled. Could it be you’re not familiar with the concept of an A-side? Well sit right back children and listen, while I tell you the story of how A-sides came to exist.
Y’see, back in the Long Long Ago, before streaming, before iTunes, before CDs, before cassettes, even—(No, not now. We’ll talk about cassettes another time.), there was vinyl. A lot of you know vinyl albums, but way in the early days, there were these platters called “singles”, because they had a single song on each side of the record.1 Two songs total, and the song which was the hit, the one everyone wanted, the one that was played four or five times an hour on the radio—that song was the A-side.
Sometimes you’d have what was called a double A-side single. That happened when both songs on either side of the record were hits. These were rare and valued, because you got more for your money, more hit for your gelt, a bargain at twice the price.
A-sides no longer exist, although they were monsters in their day. CDs killed them, because everyone wanted the new digital groove, and they got rid of their turntables. Yes, I know, but in those days that was the wagon the band jumped on. Record companies tried CD singles, with several songs, but you lost that smooth A-side sound, and everyone knew it. When digital downloads came along, they just plain gave up. So you still have hits—there will always be hits as long as there’s music—but A-sides have vanished into the sunset.
So enjoy today’s Open Thread, brought to you by Coca-Cola and Heinz Baked Beans. It’s a gas gas gas!!