Lost B-Side: The Ones- “Tight Rope”

Now I know normally in this series (such as it is) I’ve covered A-sides that have been unjustly forgotten and left in the attic of history. We’re switching it up this time for The Ones’ 1980 “Short Dress” b/w “Tight Rope” single on the fantastically named Blue Ribbon Records. The reason for this is rather simple, I think the flip side is far superior to the A-side.

The Ones, originally named Ozone, started in 1975 and made their bones in the familiar way- doing covers of their heroes and slipping originals in here and there where they could. Milwaukee’s punk scene (talk about unjustly forgotten) had coalesced into a thriving culture by the time the band won a “Battle Of the Bands” in 1979. As part of the prize, they won studio time a single release. They discovered another band using the “Ozone” name so they reshuffled the letters a little and ended up as The Ones.

This was their only official release. Rerun Records out of St. Louis recently released a lavishly-presented collection of this single as well as studio outtakes and live records. I highly recommend it.

As a bonus, here’s the band (under the old name) cranking this tune out, and I am not even kidding, on TV during a cerebral palsy telethon. It’s glorious. Look for the girl in the red dress over the singer’s shoulder about 48 seconds in, the look on her face is priceless.

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Jim Powers

I used to always write "sideburns and leather, rock and roll forever" in things like this but I'm 35 now and the sideburns are gone and the leather jacket doesn't really fit. However, I'm still like that in my mind.

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