Apple records was first talked about in 1967 and was intended as a section of the hen new company Apple Corps. It was in those days a relatively bold move to begin one’s own record company ……….only the likes of Frank Sinatra had been able to exert so much control of the choice and manufacture of their own ( and others ) product.The Beginners Guide To Apple Records ( Part 1 ) The Singles 1 To 20
The move gave EMI palpitations as the realized that they could lose their greatest asset, and so they were more than accommodating to the Beatles in their offers of assistance.
So what was APPLE about ? Try the promotional film below to get an idea.
(As far as I can tell this clip contains unreleased material from The Beatles: Helter Skelter and Blackbird !)
The final deal left the Beatles with Parlophone but, allowed a custom Apple Label to be used with any artists signed to the label.
The label itself was to be a statement in itself…………….Paul choose a design ( I believe by the artist Magret ) which showed a Granny Smith apple on the A side and sliced in half on the B side.
The code for the singles was settled upon as being APPLE ( However, there is a short run of the APPLES code too )
So the stage was set and Apple records was ready for launch. There is a large amount of Beatle involvement in Apple releases…………Nearly all feature a Beatle on the session and this makes each release interesting.
What was to be APPLE 1 ?
This remains a mystery as APPLE 1 was never issued!
But here is an interesting story from the wiki:
The Lady Is A Champ
Sinatra recorded another version of the song in 1968 as a favour to The Beatles. Sammy Cahn wrote new lyrics to the song as a birthday gift to Ringo Starr's wife, Maureen. His recording was pressed as a single as Apple 1. Only one copy was made, and the tape and masters were destroyed. Since there is only one copy, and since Sinatra and the Beatles were both involved, this may be among the most valuable records in the world. The recording has been bootlegged.
Mary Hopkins……………….Those Were The Days/ Turn ! Turn Turn !
Beatle involved Paul……………..Producer.
Paul also spotted Mary Hopkin on a talent show called opportunity Knocks ( Actually the model “ Twiggy “ told him about her ).
Jackie Lomax………………Sour Milk Sea/ The Eagle Laughs At You
Beatle involved George, Paul and Ringo………….Jackie had been a member of the Mersybeat group the Undertakers….George was trying to give him the exposure he deserved…………..
George Harrison - guitar, guide or backing vocal
Paul McCartney - bass
Ringo Starr – drums
Black Dyke Mills Band...................Thingumybob/Yellow Submarine
Beatle Involved……………..The A Side is listed as a Lennon/McCartney song . Producer Paul McCartney
Interestingly enough this would have been APPLES 1003 as this is seen scratched in the run off groove.
The Iveys ……………Maybe Tomorrow/Her Daddy’s A Millionaire
The Iveys were the group who were to be renamed Badfinger…………..They signed to apple and produced an album under that name and two singles. This band were a tremendous talent and received the full attention of the Beatles and it is not beyond belief that favorable comparisons were made .
The Beatle involvement. They were reviewed by both Paul and John , but were left to be signed by Beatle Roadie Mal Evans……………The direct recording involvement of the Beatles is hard to trace with this release but there are many instances and references to the Beatles actually schooling their sound and appearance.
( White ) Trash…………..Road To Nowhere/Illusions
Apple records courted a fair amount of controversy: this was one of the first instances…copies of APPLE 6 exist with the band listed as White Trash but racist backlashes were feared so the white was removed. As far as I can tell, White or not the BBC banded this track anyway ! The band were originally known as “The Pathfinders “ and the A side is a Goffin and King track.
Beatle involvement :Unknown
Mary Hopkin…………..Lontano Dagli Occhi / The Game
Apple records has an odd history, not all issues were available in all territories....This one was not issued in the UK but instead surfaced only in Europe.( There is evidence of at least an Italian release and the reason:the song entered in the 19th Sanremo Song Festival in 1969 .
Beatle involvement : Production is probably by Paul and it is possible he played on the A side...The B side was written by George Martin.
Brute Force……………….King Of Fuh/Nobody Knows
It was only going to be a matter of time until the F word appered on vinyl with a Beatle connection! Observation of the Let It Be Out takes shows Lennon working on this with gusto. However it would not be until 1970 that he managed the f word on an Apple release.
This looks like an earlier attempt :
Listen carefully if you don’t get ……you will!
Its simple and harmless but of course this was the late 60s………………..
It was thought for many years that APPLE 8 didn’t exist then strange acetate copies appeared . They don’t carry a full apple label ……………They are indeed test pressings but they did get given to DJs on some radio stations but of course it as banned.
Beatle Involvement ? Hard to gauge………..I believe John wanted it out and may have had some involvement .
I go to the Wiki for support!
Brute Force (born 1940) is the pseudonym of Stephen Friedland, an American singer and songwriter. He wrote and performed with The Tokens in the 1960s and wrote songs for Peggy March, Del Shannon, The Chiffons and The Cyrkle (to name but a few).
Brute Force may be best known for a song that barely saw a release: "The King of Fuh", a song produced by The Tokens about a "Fuh King," which was admired by Beatles George Harrison and John Lennon. Harrison used the already recorded demo track but had strings arranged and overdubbed for the record. Apple Records knew that partner EMI would never distribute it, so the company pressed and distributed 2,000 copies themselves in 1969 (catalogue number Apple 8). There was also a copy of the record on the US version of Apple, without a catalogue number (said to have been created as personal copy for an American Apple employee). Brute Force also attempted to have Major Minor records in Britain release the record but with no success. Finally, the artist issued the record on his own label Brute Force Records with an alternate B Side, "Tapeworm Of Love," which received airplay on the Dr. Demento radio show. More recently, the Revola label issued both "King of Fuh" and its original B side ("Nobody Knows") as bonus tracks on the CD release of Extemporaneous. In 2010, "The King of Fuh" was released on the compilation album, Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records.
Mary Hopkin.....................Prince En Avignon/The Game
Another track which only managed a European release as it was not released in the UK
The lack of a UK release is explained by the fact that it was a French language song ( The Brits have an aversion to language learning even though they do get French in school !) I believe this was only available in France .
Notice also that, George Martin’s The Game appears on the B side..............
Beatle involvement : This seems really hard to pin down............I guessing Paul might have had involvement as he had a great deal of involvement with Mary in the early days............however, later Tony Visconti took over ad later she did become Mrs T Visconti !
By now Apple was approaching crisis, the last three releases had been controversial in some way so they had to return to the straight and narrow.
Apple 10 was another Mary Hopkin release which was aimed at the charts all over the world!( I’m told it appeared in 28 countries each with their own picture sleeve !)
Mary Hopkin ...................Goodbye/Sparrow
Beatle involvement : The song was written by Paul McCartney.It is considered to be a Lennon/McCartney song and appears on the catalogue and some issues as such.
The demo shows that Paul had pretty much done the arrangement for her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eyet4WxAmpM
IT seems that Paul is also present on the sessions because there are photos of him in the studio recording this with Mary .
Strangely he subtitles here are Dutch so maybe it is from a Dutch source!
Jackie Lomax..................New Day/I Fall Inside Your Eyes
This seems to be one of Apple’s quieter releases................I ‘ve never heard the track on 7 inch vinyl until now.
It is an album track and is part of the unsuccessful attempt to make Jackie a star.
Beatle involvement : George Harrison, who played guitar and produced the album. The line-up included Paul McCartney (bass), Ringo Starr (drums).
This vanished without trace, somehow Jackie’s soul voice did not manage to connect with the already strong soul following present in London at the time.
Billy Preston...................That’s The Way God Planned It/What About You
Billy had appeared as the fifth Beatle on part of the Get Back sessions and so it was natural that he would appear on Apple records .
Beatle involvement: George Harrison : Guitar Doris Troy Backing vocals( Apple artist)
Plastic Ono Band....................Give Peace A Chance/Remember Love
So far , in this guide, The Beatles themselves were not directly involved in the APPLE releases. However, things were getting bad between John and Paul........................IT is thought that at one time John had difficulty persuading Paul to put his song s out as Beatle records. So, he decided that he would put out a solo single as The Plastic Ono Band.
Beatle Involvement: John vocal and instruments
The strange thing about this release is that in the end The Beatles did end up putting it out..........The credit is Lennon/McCartney and many of the copies carried a Parlophone code R 5795.......thus it was a Beatle record.
The Iveys.......................No Escaping Your Love/Dear Angie
This track was only released in Europe ......it was considered too weak to be a single in the UK. It was also the last possible single by the Iveys as they had changed their name to Badfinger.
Release : USA , Holland, France, Japan, Sweden
Beatle involvement : Not sure
Radha Krishna Temple................ Hare Krishna Mantra/Prayer To The Spiritual Masters
To the Wiki to help here:
The Radha Krishna Temple was the headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in London from the late 1960s. The temple came to prominence when The Beatles and especially George Harrison started to publicly express their interest in Eastern philosophy and Krishna consciousness
Beatle involvement ( Thanks Wiki !!) George was already aware of the devotees of Krishna before meeting the movements leader A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and had purchased 20 copies of the Happening album, the first recording by Swami Prabhupada and his disciples. But it wasn’t until 1969 that George was to meet Shyamasundara dasa in the London offices of Apple Records, the Beatles’ recording company. “Where have you been? I’ve been waiting two years to meet you fella's” was how he greeted the devotee. Shyamasundara and five others had come to London to start a branch of ISKCON and they had sent apple pies and clockwork apples with the Hare Krishna mantra written on them to the Beatles at Apple. This initial meeting eventually led to the recording of 'The Hare Krishna Mantra' by the Radha-Krishna Temple with George, Paul, Linda and drummer Ginger Baker all in the studio helping. George produces the song and is believed to have played harmonium and guitar on the "Govinda" and "Hare Krishna Mantra". Harrison also attended the Radha Krsna Temple's Top of the Pops appearance when they performed the single "Govinda", although he did not appear in front of the cameras. It reached the charts in twenty countries it was even sung one afternoon by 40,000 people at Wembley
Mary Hopkin..........................Que Sera Sera/Fields Of St. Etienne
Another non UK issue but again, it appeared in Europe. It also appeared in the US!
Apple 16 has an interesting history, it has at least two pencilled in releases A Beatles cover "Two Of Us" entitled "On Our Way Home", by a New York trio, Mortimer was also allocated the code Apple 16
This must have come close to release because there are acetates of this track on an Apple custom pressing..................
Que Sara Sara was rescheduled in the catalog and apaers on APPLE 27!
Beatle Involvement: Mary Hopkin :?????
:Mortimer: It seems that Paul was behind this release I guess he might have played on it or produced it but I have no evidence..
Trash...............................Golden Slumbers/Trash Can
Now having reduced their name to “Trash”.............they produce a wonderful cover of an Abbey Road track...........
Beatle involvement : Unknown !
Hot Chocolate Band.....................Give Peace A Chance/Living Without Tomorrow
This was one of Apple’s most enduring signings .................Hot Chocolate went on to tremendous success in the UK singles charts................Funnily enough they made only one album Ciciro Park.
Beatle involvement: They were discovered by John and certainly the song was written by John.
By this time Beatle involvement became more indirect as they were braking up. The Hot Chocolate band, were taken on by producer Mick Most who worked with RAK records. The band was dropped and a very successful career followed.
Billy Preston...........................Everything's Alright/I Want To Thank You
Another album track from “That’s The Way God Planned It”
Nice reggae feel to this one.
Beatle involvement: George Harrison : Guitar ;Doris Troy Backing vocals( Apple artist )
At this point in the story we have to look at the main players:
The Beatles had split up and were doing the best they could to kick start their own solo careers
Apple was in a mess and Alan Klein had been called in to sort it out, this resulted in a much more streamlined approach................Less Beatle involvement and less A and R work.
Badfinger ...........................Come And Get It /Rock Of All Ages
Despite things getting a bit tight the renamed Ivey’s continued to do well, this track charted well and gave them a big hit !
Owing a lot to Paul’s writing, this became a big success for Apple and brought in the money that was badly needed for Apple.
Again this was written by Paul and in lisrening to his demo he had done most of the arranging:
Yet another “lost “ Beatle track...............
Beatle involvement, Paul as Writer and arranger/producer.