45 Singles You Just Had to Buy

In the bad old days before the internet & streaming😀, what pieces of music did you have to purchase on a 45rpm single because there was no other genuine way of getting them home? The trouble was that more often than not, an album cut of a rock-and-roll hit would be a different version/take/mix of the one you loved hearing on the radio. Which means you just had to get the 45.

Here's a random handful of mine --

Hanky Panky -- Tommy James & the Shondells

Save the Country -- Laura Nyro

She Don't Care about Time and Change is Now -- The Byrds

Baby Please Don't Go -- Them

Candy Girl -- Four Seasons

The Battle of New Orleans -- Johnny Horton


I was never big on singles because back then turntables like my Rega and Linn made playing 45s a real pain so I stopped buying 45s by the mid 1980s.

Lifting the platter on the Rega to swap the belt to the 45rpm pulley was bad enough but far far worse on the LP12. Here you had buy a machined adapter and force it over the existing one.

An execrable experience. One guaranteed to strip away any joy of playing music.

However, before all of that crap I did pick up some 100 singles including the following memorable ones.

Holidays in the Sun / Satellite by the Sex Pistols.

For whatever reason neither of those songs have ever sounded as good in any digital version.

I also bought their Silly Thing / Who Killed Bambi 45.

Don't know why, just had to. A no brainer as they later started saying.


Oliver's Army by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

That was a first dip into their music and led to the later discovery of their brilliant Get Happy!! LP.


Atmosphere / Novelty by Joy Division

This was a 12 inch single and the only way back then to hear either of these great songs. 


Going Underground by the Jam

I wasn't yet a fan but that was a great record.
Later I remember buying The Bitterest Pill by them.


Dancing in the Dark by Springsteen must have been one of the last 45s I ever bought.

It's a sobering thought but I can't now remember whether I gave them all away or kept them boxed up somewhere in the attic.

How did these last 30 years go by so fast?

Fond memories from high school days in the 70’s!

Most 45’s i own turned out to be one hit wonders

Here are a couple with naughty and fun lyrics😄:

  • Undercover Angel
  • Afternoon Delight

Couple of other ones i can think of

  • It never rains in Southern California
  • Walk away Renee
  • Love grows

I remember buying the 45 of Come Sail Away by Styx.  Later, I got the album and learned that they cut songs down for the radio/singles so I never got another 45 again after that.  Back then, a 45 was $0.99 but an album was about $5 so I didn't want to get cheated out of music.  

The B-side of The Band’s "Ain’t Got No Home" (from their Moondog Matinee album) is the previously-unreleased "Get Up Jake", a cool little song recorded during the sessions for their second album, I believe. That song later showed up on the Band’s live double-album Rock Of Ages.

I have quite a few promo-only 45’s which have the same song on both sides, one in mono the other in stereo.