Skip to main content

The Top 20 Best B Sides Cocktail Hour Wedding Playlist

26 June 2022

The inspiration for this cocktail hour playlist came to me after the realization that this August would mark 50 years since the release of the signature song by The Spinners, "I'll Be Around".  Not long after the Spinners landed in Philaldelphia they would collaborate with Thom Bell and record the classic song at Sigma Sound Studios.  "I'll Be Around" was placed on the B side of the single " How Could I Let You Get Away".  Here in 2022, it's so surreal to think back that there was actually a time when a DJ had the power to flip over a single and play a song that (in their opinion) had a better chance of becoming a hit. In today's digital world, I'm not sure if a DJ has the ability to flip over a Spotify or Apple Music track, as most songs are delivered to radio stations by way of email or FTP.  Being the active Spotify user that I am, I cruised over to the Spinner profile and found that "I'll Be Around" came up as the 3rd most streamed song from the group.  Even though "Rubbermand Man" came in at #1, I consider "I'll Be Around" to be a signaure song that's got the perfect vibe for cocktail hour at your wedding.

As I was putting together the playlist of songs for this cocktail hour, I was blown away by the number of songs that were already in heavy rotation at weddings all over. As you'll soon see when you scroll down, some of the greatest songs ever written that have also become iconic over the years appear on this playlist.  Helping modern brides and grooms put together a playlist for their wedding is what I tend to do best. I hope you enjoy reading this post that features 20 Of The Best B Sides In Music History, feel free to jot down some notes as well.

Find This Popular B Side Playlist Over On Spotify Profile
Being a professional wedding DJ in the 21st century means meeting modern brides and grooms where they like to listen to music. You can find this playlists and close to 150 more for you to listen to when trying to gain some musical inspiration when designing your playlist for your wedding day. Just head over to Spotify, and search for DJ Mike Bills.


"I'll Be Around" | The Spinners
While the song was a B side to the single "Could I Let You Get Away", you can also find this classic track on The Spinners 1973 self-titled album.  "I'll Be Around" would spend 5 weeks at the top of the R&B chart, and peak at #3 on the Hot 100 pop chart. For those modern brides and grooms who crave a little more tempo for their guests during cocktail hour, this is the perfect add to your playlist.

"You Can't Always Get What You Want" | The Rolling Stones
Rolling Stone magazine placed this song into their list of the greatest songs of all time in 2004.  The song appeared on the B side of "Honky Tonk Women" in the summer of 1969. During that summer, the song did not chart, but in 1973, London Records (in the UK) would release the single allowing it to hit #34 on the Cashbox Top 100 single chart. 

"How Soon Is Now" | The Smiths
Perhaps you are a bride and groom who are lovers of 80s music! Well, if you are then you are in excellent company because I like to think of myself as a resident expert of the music of the 80s. "How Soon Is Now" was originally released as a B-Side in 1984 of "William, It Was Really Nothing",  but as is the case with most B-Sides, the song did not see the light of day until later. The song was released in the UK in 1985, and then re-released in 1992, making it all the way to #16. For more of the Best 80s Alternative Songs For Your Wedding Playlist, <----CLICK HERE

"Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" | Green Day
Some couples have requested this song be played at the end of their wedding as they are being sent off.  Released at the end of 1997, "Good Riddance" (Time Of Your Life) would peak at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and become one of Green Day's signature songs. "Good Riddance" appeared as a B-side to a single released in Europe "Brain Stew/Jaded".  Looking for more of Top 90s Songs For The Modern Bride And Groom's Wedding Playlist. <----CLICK HERE

"Yellow Ledbetter" | Pearl Jam
Keeping with that alternative music vibe from up above with the Smiths, we'll inject some Seattle grunge scene into your cocktail hour with this Pearl Jam. Commonly used to close out all their concerts, "Yellow Ledbetter" was the B-side of the classic 1992 track "Jeremy". The song would eventually find its way into rotation on alterative stations and would peak at #21 on the Mainstream Rock tracks chart.  If you are interested in a 90s Grunge Cocktail Hour For Your Wedding Playlist <----CLICK HERE

"We Will Rock You" | Queen
What's really interesting about this iconic classic rock anthem is it was released as a B-side to "We Are Champions". If you are a fan of classic rock radio, you'll hear that radio DJs decided to play the songs in reverse. Released in the fall of 1977, "We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions" would become one of the most recognizable songs played at sporting events. The song was not released as a single in the United States when their album "News Of The World" was released, but would enter the Hot 100 in 1992 in the months after the death of Freddie Mercury. For more of The Best Classic Rock Songs Of The 70s for your wedding playlist, <------CLICK HERE

"Unchained Melody" | The Righteous Brothers
This timeless, iconic love song that still connects to wedding guest lists, both young and old was one of the first shockers of mine when putting together this playlist.  Being a wedding DJ whose aim is to cater to the masses, throwing a slow song on at any time during the night has never been a problem. Mixing in a song like this is the perfect way to get some of those wedding guests who might be too shy to go out on the dance floor during the faster songs, but may want a special moment with their significant other.  Originally released in 1955 by Les Baxter, Al Hibbler, and Roy Hamilton, it would be the version by the Righteous Brothers in 1965 that would become a standard for wedding playlists across multiple generations. The song would gain new life with the release of the movie Ghost in 1990 and would be re-released hitting #1 on the AC chart.

"Green Onions" | Booker T & MG's
Looking back over my years as a wedding DJ, this iconic instrumental song has been for grand entrance songs for some of my clients. But then there are some of those clients of mine who love some of The Best Songs Of The 60s For Their Wedding Playlist <---CLICK HERE.  Originally released in May 1962 as the B-side  of "Behave Yourself", "Green Onions" was reissued later in the summer of 1962 and would peak at #3 in September of 1962, as well as #1 on the R&B.

"I Saw Her Standing There" | The Beatles
Even in 2022, my clients still have a tendency of putting The Beatles on their wedding playlist. For this song, we go back nearly 59 years to the release of the very first single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand". "I Saw Her Standing There" would enter the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1964 and peak at #14. The song would end up on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

"God Only Knows" | The Beach Boys
Issued as the B-Side of  "Wouldn't It Be Good" in 1966, "God Only Knows" has become one of the most popular wedding ceremony processional songs.  Released in the summer of 1966, the song can be found on one of the greatest albums of all time, Pet Sounds. "God Only Knows" would only crack the Top 40, peaking at #39 on the Billboard Top 40 chart.

"Born On The Bayou" CCR
For those modern brides and grooms who are interested in adding some of the most popular songs of the 60s on their wedding playlist, this is a must add. Released in January of 1969 as the B-side to "Proud Mary", you can also find the song on CCR's album Bayou Country. "Born On The Bayou" would make it all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Colour My World" | Chicago
"Colour My world" is one of those songs when mixed in, and if the right crowd is present can fill the dance floor.  The song was released in 1970 as the B-side to the classic Chicago song "Make Me Smile". Terry Kath was the Chicago member who originally sang lead vocals on the song until his untimely, tragic death in 1978. Then, Bill Champlin would take over on lead until the early 90s when Robert Lamm would sing the song during live performances. The song was released again as B-side to another Chicago classic, "Beginnings" and would peak at #7 on the Hot 100 chart.  Would you like to see some other of The Best Musicians From Chicago For Your Wedding Playlist? <---CLICK HERE

"Into The Groove" | Madonna
Being one of the top wedding DJs who specializes in the best music of the 80s, you just had to know that there were some excellent B-sides that I could put into this playlist. "Into The Groove" was featured in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan along with Madonna herself.  "Into The Groove" would be released as a B-side to her song "Angel" and would become one of Madonna's signature 80s songs. Looking for a great list (from A to Z) of Madonna's biggest songs, <---CLICK HERE

"Hey Hey What Can I Do" | Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin you say? Why not! You can do whatever you want in terms of music for any of the parts of your wedding playlist.  "Hey Hey What Ca I Do" was released as the B-side to "Immigrant Song" in 1970. For those couples who are huge fans of Hootie & The Blowfish, you can find a cover of the song on their "Scattered, Smothered and Covered". 

"Shout Part 2" | The Isley Brothers
Really? "Shout" was a B-side? Well, the first part of "Shout" was on the A-side and the second part was on the B-side.  The summer of 2019 marked 60 years since the release of this wedding classic.  While the song only peaked at #47 when it was released, the song was placed into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

"I Am The Walrus" | The Beatles
You can never have too many Beatles songs on your wedding playlist, especially when they are cool and a little psychedelic like this song. "I Am The Walrus" was released in 1967 as the B-side to "Hello Goodbye". The song can also be found on the Magical Mystery Tour EP.

"I Say A Little Prayer" | Aretha Franklin
Dionne Warwick would make this a hit in the fall of 1967, but Aretha Franklin would record her version in 1968. "I Say A Little Prayer" would be released as the B-side to "The House That Jack Built". "Aretha's version would make it all the way to #10 on the Hot 100, and Number 3 on the Hot R&B chart in 1968.

"Crazy Love" | Van Morrison
In 1970, Van Morrison would release his classic album, Moondance. A single of the same name would become one of the popular requests from Van Morrison by a lot of my clients.  "Crazy Love" would be released as the B-side to "Come Running" in the spring of 1970 and become one of the many popular choices for dinner music during weddings.

"Boogie Shoes" | KC & The Sunshine Band
Perhaps your cocktail hour might be a tad too early to put on the "boogie shoes". No problem! Just tell your wedding DJ to push this 70s disco classic into the dance music portion of your evening.  Originally released as a B-side to "Shake Your Booty" in 1976, the song gained greater popularity when the movie Saturday Night Fever was released in 1977.  The song peaked at #35 after it was re-released as an A-side single in 1978.

"Beth" | KISS
Being a KISS fan of the 70s and early 80s era, this was a ballad that had to be placed on this playlist of B-sides. Originally released in 1976 as the B-side to the KISS classic, Detroit Rock City, radio DJs found themselves turning over the record and playing "Beth".  Until the release of Alive in 1975, KISS always had a problem getting airplay because radio stations thought their music was a little abrasive. "Beth" proved to be an unexpected hit for the band when it was released in August of 1976 peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Looking To Speak To DJ Mike Bills About Being Your Wedding DJ?
Wow! What an interesting group of songs that are very wedding worthy! I hope you enjoyed reading through this playlist and maybe have gotten a little more insight and ideas on what songs you'd like to add into your wedding playlist.  I really thank you for finding me online and would love to speak with you about becoming your wedding DJ for the single most important day of your life. All you need to do is click the link up above to be taken over to my contact form. When you get there, just fill out some basic details and we'll talk soon on how I will make your wedding the best mix of music you've seen at a wedding. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you so much again for finding me!