# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Various - Good as Gold – Artefacts of the Apple Era 1967-1975

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 5 / 7 / 2021

Various - Good as Gold – Artefacts of the Apple Era 1967-1975
Label: Grapefruit
Format: CD Box


Enthralling five CD compilation of songs associated with Apple Records, founded by these Fab Four, proves a great look into the more forgotten parts of the 60's pop scene in the UK

There has been an ongoing trademark feud between Apple Records and Apple, the computer/phone company, for many year, in which the record label claims that the US tech company infringed on the trademark, both name wise and with the iconic Apple logo. Well, all the court cases have been settled so far, so we won’t focus on that anymore here and now. We’re here to talk about the label, Apple Records, famously founded by the Fab Four to release their own Beatles and solo efforts, but they also found the time to discover and sign other acts as well. The most famous ones here are probably Mary Hopkin, James Taylor and Badfinger, but there were many others who either had their records released by Apple, or just got to the demo stages, for some reason. On this new compilation, Cherry Red compiles more than 100 tracks spread over 5 CDs, with each disc having a theme (like ‘The Savile Row Sound 1971-75’ and ‘Lost Sessions and Singles 1968-1969’). If you want an Apple Records crash course, you would be far better off with the 2010 compilation ‘Come and Get It’, which compiled the hit singles, like ‘Those Were the Days’ and ‘Goodbye’ by Mary Hopkin, ‘Come and Get It’ by Badfinger and ‘Carolina in My Mind’ by James Taylor. None of those songs are on this new compilation, and. while there’s nothing by Hopkin and Taylor, the Badfinger song ‘Lay Me Down’ is included on the fourth disc. So, what I’m trying to say here is that this is most suitable for the already converted, or if you’re just a big fan of the British pop scene of the 60s. Or if your interest in the Beatles borders on the extreme, as they appear as producers here and there. For me, I would say that I’m mostly at home in the second category, and there’s plenty for me to enjoy here. The first disc focuses on those lost sessions and singles, taken from the label’s first few years, when the members of the Beatles were a lot more involved with the day-to-day business of their new label. More or less every artist that recorded in the Apple studio was discovered by John, Paul or George (there’s no mention of Ringo anywhere here, as far as I can see), and one of the stand-out tracks here is ‘King of Fuh’ by Brute Force, or Stephen Friedland, as his parents probably preferred to call him. The song in itself isn’t great, but the lyrics are quite hilarious, as it tells the story of the King of Fuh, also known as the Fuh King. Naturally, the proposed single was banned everywhere, and the EMI pressing plant even refused to make it, so Apple did a very short run by themselves, and it’s now selling for ridiculous sums online. This first disc also features the talents of Contact and Grapefruit, who got their name from Lennon, and he also co-produced their unreleased song ‘Lullaby’ (featured here) with McCartney. The second disc is called ‘Children of the Sun – Pop Psych Sounds 1967-71’,and features mostly acts that was signed to Apple Music Publishing, which meant that the songs were often released on other labels (like Decca), but some of them were recorded in Apple’s studio. And the ‘psych’ term is, as we all know, a bit misused at times, or maybe it’s too broad for its own good? It would be fully acceptable to file many of the tracks on this second disc under ‘baroque pop’ as well, but some would surely argue that ‘psych pop’ is a great term for this as well. Well, I won’t go any deeper into that discussion here, but instead I just accept the fact that this is great 60s pop. Full stop. The aforementioned Grapefruit appears here as well, this time with their debut single ‘Dear Delilah’ (which managed to reach the top 20 on the UK singles chart), plus three more songs, ‘One More Try’, ‘Elevator’ and ‘Deep Water’ (which was recorded with a new line-up, and became a hit in the Netherlands). The third disc, ‘Apple Publishing Curios’, again focuses on the publishing part of Apple, and – surprise surprise – Grapefruit returns again! This time, it’s with demo recordings made by their songwriter George Alexander, and ‘Dear Delilah’ from the second disc can be heard in its raw demo form here. Other names worth noting here are Gallagher & Lyle, who would go on to mainstream success as McGuiness Flint. Included here are three demo recordings they did as songwriters for Apple in 1967-1968, but none of these songs were ever recorded by someone else. ‘The Savile Row Sound 1971-1975’ is the title of the fourth disc, and it features recordings made in the new premises that the Beatles bought on 3 Savile Row in 1968, including both the Apple HQ and a basement studio. After several delays, the studio was finally opened in late 1971, with bands from all over the world coming there to record in the Fab Four studio. The first act to appear on this disc was also the first non-Apple band to record in the studio, the all-female US quartet Fanny, whose guitar-based cover of ‘Hey Bulldog’ is included here, as is also the aptly titled ‘Paul McCartney’ by Tony Hazzard. And if you have any interest in the 70’s pop scene, you are probably familiar with the fourth song on this disc – Stealers Wheel’s 1973 superhit ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’, recorded by iconic songwriters Leiber/Stoller in the Apple studio. So, we arrive at the fifth and final instalment on this compilation, ‘The Ghosts of 94 Baker Street (Songs from the Apple Demo Studio)’, which brings some light to the demo studio built by Terry Doran at the Apple premises at Baker Street in 1967. Some of the names here are familiar if you have listened to the previous four discs, like Focal Point and Drew & Dy, but there are also some ‘new’ acquaintances to be made as well, like Jack Hollingshead and Barry Alexander. For obvious reasons, the sound quality on these demo recordings aren’t always top notch, but I would say that it rather suits them, as demos should be a bit rough. All in all, this is a great compilation, with a very informative booklet (as usual from Cherry Red).). If you have the slightest interest in the 60s pop scene in the UK, and especially the bands that never made the top sections of the charts, this is definitely for you! Enthralling five CD compilation of songs associated with Apple Records, founded by these Fab Four, proves a great look into the more forgotten parts of the 60s pop scene in the UK

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