How does a B-side become a chart-topping hit?

Which B-Sides Improbably Became No. 1 Hits?

Which B-Sides Improbably Became No. 1 Hits?

Half a century of pop-chart history.
Jan. 26 2018 3:51 PM

Hit Parade: The B-Sides Edition 

Live from Brooklyn’s Bell House, it’s a very special Hit Parade about B-sides that improbably became classics, or even No. 1 hits.

Ted Leo with Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

Shirley Chan

Listen to Episode 9 of Slate’s Hit Parade:

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Sometimes record executives and even musicians—from the Beatles to Beyoncé—get it totally, completely wrong, thinking that throwaway, wacky song was destined for a single’s B-side, only to find it’s actually the No. 1 hit. At our first-ever live Hit Parade—recorded at the Bell House in Brooklyn—host and trivia-meister Chris Molanphy and special guest Ted Leo break down some of the most improbable chart-toppers of all time.

Podcast production by Chris Berube.