Oh dem B-sides. Over the years, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen have hung some of their most dynamic and offbeat jibes on back of 7" singles. Think of "Pink Cadillac," think of "Heartbreakers' Beach Party," think of "Psycho" ... think of three more great B-sides and read on.
The Coward Brothers "The People's Limousine" b/w "They'll Never Take Her Love From Me" (IMP 7" import)
The Coward Brothers are none other than Elvis Costello and T-Bone Burnette. "The People's Limousine" is a funky little send-up of revolutionary politics and modern mores but the flip is what makes this platter worth the imported $3. Leon Payne's erstwhile undying love-song is given the full treatment with Costello and Burnette trying to outcry each other against a lovely mandolin and acoustic guitar backdrop (which I'm assuming T-Bone is responsible for). Viva la C&W.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers "Make It Better (Forget About Me)" b/w "Cracking Up" (MCA 7")
"Make it Better" — you know it, you love it, you can't live without it but "Cracking Up" is the one that got away from Southern Accents. Its live from off-center grittiness betters Nick Lowe and then some. Mike Campbell/Benmont Tench execute the nasty guitar/piano riffs with true blues power and T.P. sings like maybe this is what he was up to when his hand accidentally went through the wall. The feigned phone call from Nick that ends the side is, well... listen for yourself.
Bruce Springsteen "Glory Days" b/w "Stand On It" (Columbia 7" single)
"Well Jimmy Lee was hookin round the far turn of a funky Florida dirt track..." So begins the Boss on "Stand On It," the most straight-ahead rock and roll song he's released since "Pink Cadillac." So why doesn't he put this stuff on his albums in the first place? you might ask. To give somebody a reason to buy the single when everybody in the whole damn world already owns Born in the U.S.A. (and hence the A-side), you might answer. Smart, Bruce — but let's try for a more attractive sleeve pic next time, huh?