The line between merely being a fan and obsession is a thin one, to be sure. Relatively few things in my life consume me (I think), and can probably list them on one hand – the Mets, Arrested Development (although that has waned of late since there’s really nothing to spur my obsession on) and music. My music obsession is an overarching one, but is comprised of various smaller ones. For example, while I dig music, there are very few bands I care about accumulating b-sides from, which is the obvious border between fandom and outright mania.
Kings of Leon are really the only band I do this for, when I think about it, although I have a bunch of Coldplay b-sides as well. If there’s something interesting floating around I’ll look for it; for example, Black Kids have a song entitled “Power In the Blood” on their “Hurricane Jane” 7” single that I want to hear in order to either confirm or refute my suspicion that the song is one I used to sing in church.
With Kings of Leon, however, it’s a need to hear everything they’ve done, but I can’t figure why I have that need. I mean, generally b-sides don’t fit the overall flow of an album, or the band deems the song not good enough, so why should I care about hearing it? This is something I am unable to answer.
Here are a few of my favorite b-sides from KoL. The “Talihina Sky” is an alternate version – the one that was tacked on to the end of the UK version of Youth and Young Manhood. I like it better than what we got in the States.
Kings of Leon – Talihina Sky (Alternate Version) (mp3) from Youth and Young Manhood (UK Version)