You can’t have one without the other: The Kings, “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide” (1980)


(Above: The Kings debut LP.  I’ll take a hundred or two for it.)

I actually got to thinking about this topic in the car this morning on the way to campus.  One of the Sirius XM classic rock channels (and I have all of them on the same bank in the memory) played Elton John’s “Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.”  As I am wont to do, I immediately pointed out to my wife, who is legally obligated to hear me point out such things, that the metadata on the screen was wrong.  “Love Lies Bleeding” was not a parenthetical title, as it appeared: it’s the second song on the album, but was always played as a ‘twofer’.  You wouldn’t hear a DJ start talking out of “Funeral,” and damned if I can remember ever hearing a station play “Love” by itself.

So what, then, are the songs that always called for letting the album track – and which ones sounded “weird” when they didn’t?  I have started assembling a list, and encourage you to add to it in the comments:

Waiting For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago,” ZZ Top

Feelin’ That Way/Anytime,” Journey. Detroit radio listeners also expect “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” to be immediately followed by “City Of The Angels.”

“Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End,” The Beatles.  Really, you could just count all of Side 2 of Abbey Road (minus “Here Comes The Sun”) as one track.  Good luck finding it online, though.

“I Would Die 4 U/Baby I’m A Star,” Prince (Note to the 80s Channel: you break this rule all the time.  Stop it.)

Heartbreaker/Livin’ Lovin’ Maid,” Led Zeppelin.  This sounds very strange on the 8-track, where the songs are separated. “What Is And What Should Never Be” comes between them.

Travelin’ Man/Beautiful Loser,” Bob Seger.  Not sure how to count this one, since the live version is the one that always gets airplay, and it’s performed as one track.

Honorable Mention: “Temptation/Hawaiian War Chant,” University of Michigan Marching Band. It is from their performances that I got the title of this piece. Five point deduction, though, for never just playing the two songs back to back without first pointing out that they are doing it.

The one that might be my favorite, though, is “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide” by the Kings.  Technically a “no-hit wonder” based on chart position, this song has long been a staple of AOR radio.  In Chicago the hard-to-get LP The Kings Are Here, which contained the songs would sell for hundreds of dollars in used record shops.  (Once in a record shop in Davenport, I found two copies for $3 each and immediately grabbed them both.  If you need one, let me know.) The duo of tunes made its way onto more than one driving tape that I made over the years.  I even went so far as to bring the recordings with me to New Zealand and play them on the station I programmed, 89FM.  (The station owner, Bruce Johnstone, stopped by the studio, a bit confused, as he had never heard the songs before.)

The Kings put out a second album and an EP, but never really hit it as big as a song this great would have indicated. Radio never initially expected it to be a two-fer, either.  When the song was sent via advance copy to radio stations, it went out as a 45, with “This Beat Goes On” on Side A and “Switchin’ To Glide” on Side B.  A skilled jock with two copies of the single could execute the twofer, but I imagine most stations only played one part, explaining the lack of original airplay sufficient to make the chart.

You can have your cake and eat it, too.  Hear both songs by clicking here.

UPDATE: Several of my Facebook friends contributed a few that I missed.  For some reason, these slipped my mind – and it’s not like I haven’t played them one or twelve times…

“Foreplay/Long Time,”  Boston

“Hard To Say I’m Sorry/Getaway,” Chicago

“Intruder/Pretty Woman,” Van Halen

“Threshhold/Jet Airliner,” Steve Miller Band

“We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,” Queen

More to come, I am sure!



10 thoughts on “You can’t have one without the other: The Kings, “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide” (1980)

  1. +1000 for “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’/City of the Angels”.

    I, too, snagged my copy of “The Kings Are Here” for next to nothing, at an antique store in North Carolina, if I’m recalling correctly.


  2. Throwin’ in my two cents on a favorite topic!

    In addition to all the ones you mentioned, these songs don’t sound right to my ears unless they are played back-to-back.

    “Eruption”/”You Really Got Me” and “1984”/”Jump”- Van Halen

    “Bringing on the Heartbreak”/”Switch 625” – Def Leppard

    “The Load Out”/”Stay” – Jackson Browne

    My wife’s two favorite back-to-backers:
    “Sirius”/”Eye In The Sky” – Alan Parsons Project
    “Mercy Mercy Me”/”I Want You” – Robert Palmer

    “Space Intro”/”Fly Like An Eagle” – Steve Miller Band

    “Venus And Mars”/”Rock Show” – Wings

    “Brain Stew”/”Jaded” – Green Day

    “Black Magic Woman”/”Gypsy Queen” – Santana

    “Need You Tonight”/”Mediate” – INXS

    “Fat Bottomed Girls”/”Bicycle Race” – Queen (I’ve always heard it in this order though a 12″ radio promo also has them reversed on the flipside)

    “Brain Damage”/”Eclipse” – Pink Floyd

    “Moving In Stereo”/”All Mixed Up”, “Shoo Be Doo”/”Candy-O” and “Think It Over”/”Maybe Baby” – The Cars (these might not have ever gotten any significant airplay but they are headphone favorites)

    “Tainted Love”/”Where Did Our Love Go” – Soft Cell

    “Light In The Tunnel”/”Human Race” – Red Rider

    “The Hellion”/”Electric Eye” – Judas Priest

    “Henry”/”Maggie May” – Rod Stewart (“Henry” is only listed on early pressings of the vinyl; later pressings and CDs just included it as one cut with “Maggie May”)

    “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”/ “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)”/”A Day In The Life” – The Beatles

    lots of disco tracks but I’ll just include these:
    “Hot Stuff”/”Bad Girls” – Donna Summer
    “San Francisco (You’ve Got Me)”/”In Hollywood (Everybody Is A Star)” – Village People

    Does “No Sugar Tonight”/”New Mother Nature” by the Guess Who fit?

    I could swear they used to play these three tracks off The Wall together but I haven’t heard them on the radio in a long, long time:
    “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1″/”The Happiest Days of Our Lives”/”Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2”

    My own post about “This Beat Goes On”/”Switchin’ To Glide” from 2013


  3. Len,
    This was always a fave of mine ever since its debut on WLS and The Loop in 1981! I secured a CD version of “The Kings Are Here” many years ago. Probably an import. And yes, when I played radio as a kid, I bought two copies of the 45 before getting the album!

    Another twofer: Head Over Heals/Broken – Tears For Fears


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