Apple Records - Artists Who Signed With Apple Records

Artists Who Signed With Apple Records

  • Badfinger (originally known as The Iveys) - Signed to Apple after several demo tapes were brought in by Mal Evans, after getting approval from McCartney, Harrison and Lennon. They had several top 10 hits in the UK and US, including the Paul McCartney song "Come And Get It", and recorded five albums for Apple.
  • Black Dyke Mills Band (as John Foster & Sons Ltd. Black Dyke Mills Band) - A north of England brass band whom Paul McCartney employed for the one-off "Thingummybob"/"Yellow Submarine" single. It was recorded by McCartney on location near Bradford, where the group were based.
  • Brute Force (stage name of Stephen Friedland) - George Harrison attempted to have his song "King of Fuh" released as an Apple single. EMI refused to handle it due to its intentionally vulgar double entendre ("Fuh king"), but Apple manufactured a small number of copies in-house which were made available to the public. The song itself appears on the 2010 compilation, Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records.
  • Elastic Oz Band - A one-off single, "God Save Us", was written and produced by John Lennon and Yoko Ono to raise money for a legal battle involving Oz magazine. The A-side of the single was sung by Bill Elliot, later of George Harrison's Dark Horse Records signing Splinter.
  • Elephant's Memory - Recruited as backing band for John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and also released material separately.
  • Chris Hodge - Discovered by Ringo Starr; they shared an interest in UFOs. Hodge only released two singles on Apple, the second not issued in the UK.
  • Mary Hopkin - Discovered after appearing on a UK television talent show. Early recordings were produced by Paul McCartney, including the Lennon-McCartney original "Goodbye" and her hit recording of "Those Were the Days". She also released a Eurovision Song Contest entry on Apple ("Knock Knock, Who's There") and two studio albums.
  • Hot Chocolate (as Hot Chocolate Band) - Released one single, "Give Peace A Chance", which they recorded and had played to John Lennon, who liked it. Their post-Apple releases as Hot Chocolate were more commercially successful.
  • Jackie Lomax - Liverpudlian singer known via his Brian Epstein connections, he recorded with Harrison, McCartney and Starr at various times, resulting in the 1969 album Is This What You Want?. Lomax's first single, "Sour Milk Sea", features all three Beatles and was written by Harrison.
  • Modern Jazz Quartet - Associated with Yoko Ono, and were famous prior to their involvement with Apple. They released two albums for the label.
  • Yoko Ono - Recorded extensively with John Lennon and released several singles and albums herself, with Lennon usually performing, and directing the band.
  • David Peel and the Lower East Side - Political folk singer brought to the label by John Lennon.
  • Billy Preston - Brought in to work with the Beatles in January 1969 on their "Get Back" / "Let It Be" sessions, and signed as a solo artist. George Harrison worked on some of Preston's recordings which include the hit single "That's The Way God Planned It". Preston's recording of Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" was released on Apple before Harrison's version. Preston issued two albums on Apple in 1969-70.
  • Radha Krishna Temple, the London Hare Krishna temple - George Harrison brought them to the label and produced a single and album for them.
  • Ravi Shankar (with Ali Akbar Khan) - A classical Indian musician. George Harrison brought him to the label.
  • Ronnie Spector - Married to Phil Spector, who separately worked with the Beatles and solo Beatles around 1970. George Harrison wrote, co-produced and played on her only Apple single, "Try Some, Buy Some", which was made with her husband, as an attempt to revive her recording career.
  • The Sundown Playboys - A French-language cajun band from Louisiana. A pre-existing single was brought to the label by Ringo Starr.
  • John Tavener - A classical composer. His brother, a builder, worked on Ringo Starr's house, and Starr took interest in Tavener.
  • James Taylor - Recorded with Paul McCartney, who appears on the Apple LP which launched his career.
  • Trash (originally White Trash) - Brought to Apple by Tony Meehan, formerly of the Shadows. Their second single was a cover of "Golden Slumbers" and charted on Apple in the UK.
  • Doris Troy - An American soul artist since the early 1960s, who worked with George Harrison and Billy Preston while the latter was signed to Apple. Troy recorded one Apple album, and released two spin-off singles, the first of which, "Ain't That Cute", was co-written with Harrison. Starr also collaborated on the album and is credited as a co-writer with Harrison and Troy on some of the tracks.
  • Lon and Derek Van Eaton - Signed to the label in September 1971 by George Harrison, who produced their debut single, on which Ringo Starr also guested.

Also released were the soundtracks to Come Together and El Topo (in the US), the onetime Philles Records compilation Phil Spector's Christmas Album and the multi-artist The Concert for Bangla Desh. Cassette and 8-track tape versions of Bangla Desh were marketed by Columbia Records, in a deal that permitted the inclusion of Bob Dylan, a Columbia artist, on the album.

Artists who went on to have considerable success in the pop and rock world (though in some cases, for their post-Apple work) include Badfinger (originally known as The Iveys), James Taylor, Mary Hopkin, Hot Chocolate, Yoko Ono and Billy Preston.

Artists who were to appear on the label, but did not make it, include:

  • McGough and McGear (who was also McCartney's brother), whose self-titled album was due to be released on Apple, but it was released on Parlophone Records, to which both were signed, as members of The Scaffold;
  • Grapefruit, whose single "Dear Delilah" was issued on RCA Records with Apple Records publishing credit;
  • Focal Point, a Liverpool band who were going to be managed by Brian Epstein before he died, were signed to Apple after chasing Paul McCartney around Hyde Park. John Lennon and Brian Epstein signed them to Apple, and they were the first band signed. Their single "Sycamore Sid" was issued on Deram Records with credit to Apple Publishing on the label.
  • Fire ( a band with future Strawbs member Dave Lambert on guitar) released two singles in 1968, Father's Name Was Dad, (produced by Tony Clarke) and Round The Gum Tree, on Decca with Apple publishing credits
  • Delaney and Bonnie's Accept No Substitute album was originally meant to be released on Apple in 1969; it was first released commercially on Elektra Records the same year. In England, copies of the LP were pressed before Apple realized the band was already contracted to Elektra. No album covers were ever printed and the disc is now a high-value Apple collectible.
  • Mortimer were a folk-based three-piece, notable for a recording of the Beatles' "Two Of Us". It was planned for release as an Apple single in 1969 (before the Beatles' version was issued) under the title "On Our Way Home", but the release was cancelled.
  • Slow Dog (Wheels) who were a Cambridge based rock band headed up by Scottish singer/guitarist Dave Kelly. They were the winners of the Apple Records sponsored national talent contest early 1969, organised by Apple A & R head Peter Asher prior to his departure for the US. The winner of the talent contest was promised a record contract with Apple Records, but the band only recorded demo tracks, due to Asher's departure. However, on the recommendation from Beatles' roadie Mal Evans, Warner Brothers Records in London, headed up by Ian Ralfini, signed Slow Dog to a record contract, changing their name to Wheels.
  • See also Zapple Records section for cancelled releases.

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