Archive for Apple Records

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Singles, Part 7 – Beatles solo on Apple Records

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by 30daysout

As part of our Labor Day singles sock hop, let’s drop by 3 Savile Row in central London’s shopping district to grab a handful of singles from the record company housed there – Apple Records.

Apple Corps Ltd. was of course the Beatles’ own multimedia company and its most profitable venture remains the record label.  After the breakup of the Beatles in 1970 the individual members issued their own solo records on Apple until 1975 when the Beatles were officially dissolved.  Apple remains a live entity today, mainly as an imprint on reissued Beatles recordings.

The first Beatle to issue a solo single on the Apple label was John Lennon – his “Give Peace A Chance,” credited to the Plastic Ono Band, came out in 1969.  But that’s so well known – let’s jump ahead to the second Plastic Ono Band single, “Cold Turkey,” also from 1969.  Lennon wrote the song about kicking heroin (he was briefly an addict) and presented it to the other Beatles but they didn’t like it.  So Lennon released it under his own name, claiming sole writing credit on a song for the first time.

MP3: “Cold Turkey” by John Lennon

We’ve already spun a Paul McCartney single, the controversial “Give Ireland Back To The Irish.” Well, after that single was effectively banned throughout the United Kingdom, McCartney felt he needed something completely innocuous as a follow-up, to at least get him back into radio’s good graces.  So he adapted the nursery rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and issued that as the second Wings single, in 1972.  It was a moderate hit, but nothing really special.

MP3: “Mary Had A Little Lamb” by Wings

Also in 1972, Ringo Starr had a pretty nice solo career going thanks to the hit single “It Don’t Come Easy” which came out the previous year.  He followed it up with another single: like “It Don’t Come Easy,” the song “Back Off Boogaloo” didn’t appear on an album at the time.  Starr wrote “Boogaloo” all by himself, but asked George Harrison to produce it.  This rockin’ tune was Starr’s biggest U.K. hit and reached the Top 10 stateside.

MP3: “Back Off Boogaloo” by Ringo Starr

And finally, lonesome George Harrison wrote a sequel to his Beatles classic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in 1975.  Harrison issued “This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying)” as a single to promote his then-current album Extra Texture, but the song failed to register on any singles chart.  Not only was this the final Apple single by any of the ex-Beatles, it was the final Apple Records release until the label was revived in the mid-1990s as an imprint for Beatles reissues.

MP3: “This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying”) by George Harrison

After the jump, an apple crate full of bonus tracks!

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Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Badfinger

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by 30daysout

Still riffling through those records I got from my sister’s cool boyfriend, who works at an FM rock radio station.  Today we have something of interest to Beatles fans … by a group that managed to get three of the Fab Four involved with them over different points in their existence.

That’s Badfinger of course, and today’s record is Magic Christian Music, released on the Beatles’ Apple Records imprint in 1970.  Badfinger performed some of the songs in a movie, The Magic Christian, but the album isn’t an official soundtrack because the song “Something In The Air” by Thunderclap Newman that appears in the movie isn’t on the Apple label.  The real soundtrack appeared on another label, but mainly in England – so Apple put out today’s record to at least get Badfinger exposed to American audiences.

Badfinger is, of course, the British group led by singers Pete Ham and Tom Evans, who were also the group’s main songwriters.  They were called the Iveys when they were “discovered” by Mal Evans, the Beatles’ roadie and the dude who did a lot of the heavy lifting for Apple Records.  Evans signed the Iveys to a recording contract in 1968 and released a few singles to lukewarm success.  Paul McCartney was asked to write a song for the soundtrack of The Magic Christian movie, and when he did he asked the Iveys to record it.  While they were recording McCartney’s song “Come and Get It” (the session was also produced by McCartney), the group changed its name to Badfinger.

The Magic Christian was a satirical movie written by Terry Southern, also known for penning the script for Easy Rider.  It was first a novel, then the screenplay was adapted by Southern along with the film’s star Peter Sellers and two young British comedians, Graham Chapman and John Cleese (later to become famous as part of Monty Python’s Flying Circus).  Sellers played Guy Grand, an eccentric billionaire who adopts a homeless man (Ringo Starr) and together they begin playing nasty practical jokes on people.  The movie’s satiric message is that people would do just about anything for money, and each prank progressively gets wilder than the one preceding it.

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