After the release of No Pressure : The B-Sides +, Aftershock decided to carry on with their successful B-Sides + series. The next studio album to be released after No Pressure was Hidden Agenda. Seeing as the B-Sides + album for Hidden Agenda had alreasy been released they moved to the next album which was Illeagal Music : Volume 1. The band delayed plans for a B-Sides + for Illeagal Music : Volume 1 until the release of Volume two which they had started working on during the compiling of No Pressure : The B-Sides +. It Ain't Easy was the next album they could work with. The first song that was chosen for the release was the B-Side to Casino (James Bond Theme) entitled Don't Get Too Close. The band stated this song as being their favourite from the original recording to the point where they nearly switched the tracks so that Don't Get Too Close was the single and Casino (James Bond Theme) was the B-Side but this did not happen due to the James Bond connection. After that 5 further B-Sides from the It Ain't Easy era singles were chosen. Work then began on the "new" songs. Sleep On It was chosen by the management from the original recording sessions much to the dismay of the group. When Are You Coming Home? was a song the group had been working on for a while and finally felt ready to release it on the compilation. A remix of the album track Warning Signs was added. The final track was another track that the group had been spending a lot of time working on entitled Free To Fall.
When the band and management met to discuss the release schedule for It Ain't Easy : The B-Sides + friction arose with the choice and order of single releases. The band wanted to lead the album with Free To Fall as they felt it to be their strongest single since It Could Never Happen. The management were not overly keen calling the song too electro club to be a lead single. The management team wanted Sleep On It as lead single. The band immeadiately veetoed that idea even going as far as to say that if Sleep On It was the lead single they would refuse to promote the project and leave the label and management team. A compromise was reached where When Are You Coming Home? was released as the lead single. It eventually charted at #24 in the UK charts and #9 as it's highest peak in the US. There was still tension between the band and mangement which only increased when the management insisted that Sleep On It was used as the album's second single. The band were fuming as they claimed that the song was the second worst song they had ever recorded (behind Secret Love Affair which is unreleased to this day). They felt the sound was too immature and pure lation pop to be taken seriously. The band refused to film a video and did not even acknowledge it to promote it. The band provded to be right not to want the song to be a single as in 4 of the charts it had charted in it performed worse than When Are You Coming Home? only charting hingher in UK (#9 - up 15 on WAYCH?), Canada (#25 - up 10 on WAYCH?), Europe (#32 - up 1 on WAYCH?). For the project's final single release the band finally got to release Free To Fall. However the management were still unsure of it achieving success and turned it into a double a-side with the remaining new track Warning Signs (Justin Warfield Mix). Aftershock were exstatic when Free To Fall outperformed both previous singles and went top 10 in every chart even top 5 in UK, US, Canada, Australia & New Zealand and Europe. The charting and sales for Free To Fall left the management team with egg on their face.
The finalised tracklisting for It Ain't Easy:The B-Sides + is as follows: -
- Warning Signs (Justin Warfield Mix)(Previously Unreleased)
- Capture You
- Wake Up Call
- Sleep On It (Previously Unreleased)
- Don't Get Too Close
- Never Again
- When Are You Coming Home? (Previously Unreleased)
- Selling Your Soul
- Free To Fall (Previously Unreleased)
Prior to the release of the album all the singles were released
- When Are You Coming Home? (#9 in US)
- Sleep On It (#9 in UK)
- Free To Fall (#3 in UK and Europe)