In our last post we featured a new series of books being prepared called A is for Apple, a history of the Beatles’ Apple Corps company. Volume 1 in the series will be released in the first half of next year.
Apple Corps was established not only to release the Beatles own records but also to promote new talent – to build a stable of newer and undiscovered artists. In the late 1960s and early 1970s they signed and released a series of albums and singles by a wide range of performers.
In 2010 Apple re-issued a selection of those artists on CD.
But well before that (between 1991 and 1996) they had a similar re-issue program under way – releasing on CD and vinyl a selection of the artists signed to Apple. There were 23 titles in all, re-issued in five main phases over the course of five years.
We’ve slowly been collecting examples of these re-issues on vinyl – the reason being that most of them (but not all) came with unique, additional discs on the Apple label containing bonus material, previously unreleased tracks, etc.
You can see some examples of these here (e.g. Jackie Lomax’s Is This What You Want?; The Ivey’s Maybe Tomorrow; Badfinger’s No Dice and Straight Up; and Billy Preston’s Encouraging Words), and also here (Badfinger’s Magic Christian Music).
We’ve just added two more to the collection. They are John Tavener’s The Whale, and Billy Preston’s That’s the Way God Planned It.
The Whale was re-issued on vinyl in June, 1992. Like the original 1970 release it comes in a beautiful gatefold cover which opens to reveal a fantastic painting (click image to see a larger version):The Whale does not come with any bonus material and so it is a single LP disc. The labels look like this:
Unlike the original release though this 1992 re-issue comes with an inner sleeve containing an article about the recording and how a modern classical composer like Tavener came to be signed to Apple. It is by Andy Davis (from Record Collector magazine). On the other side is some detail about the re-issue:
Our other recent find was a copy of Billy Preston’s That’s The Way God Planned It, which was reissued on vinyl in 1991:
Unlike the original 1969 release this one comes in a gatefold cover. That’s so that the cover can hold a second vinyl record with the three bonus tracks (click image to see a larger version of the gatefold image below). As you can see, That’s The Way God Planned It was produced by George Harrison:
Note that while the bonus tracks come on a 12″ disc, it plays at 45 rpm.
The hunt for other vinyl examples in this 1990s Apple re-issue series continues!
The Whale is a special album indeed John Tavener is the only signing that Ringo Starr proposed for the Apple company.
I have a full set of these (I believe) so others not mentioned so far are……..
george harrison wonderwall & electronic sound mary hopkin postcard & earth song ocean song best of badfinger & Ass , both the modern jazz quartet releases doris troy james taylor radha Krishna ravi Shankar in concert john tavener celtic requiem
…..so they released remastered vinyl editions of all those issued on cd I think ?
Hi John, yes there was a CD series re-issued with the same artists and titles. Envious of you having a complete set!
Will Apple ever reissue The Pope Smokes Dope, Elephants Memory, The Phil Spector Christmas Album, and The Beatles’ Christmas Album (SBC-100), Raga, Cometogether, In Concert 1972, US/UK Rarities, Stereo/Mono US A Hard Day’s Night, and/or A Collection of Beatles Oldies in a box set of remastered CDs?
Hi Sam, Really good question. Those Apple titles you list appear to have been forgotten in the last rounds of re-issues.
You forgot to include two others: the El Topo soundtrack – which did come out a couple of years ago on CD and on vinyl – but on the ABKCO label in the US ( http://www.abkco.com/index.php/store/release/254 ). And there’s Brother by Lon and Derek Van Eaton, which came out (only on CD) in 2012 on RPM Records in the UK ( http://www.amazon.com/Brother-LON-DERREK-VAN-EATON/dp/B007XCH128 ). They’ve both never been re-issued by Apple though, which makes you suspect it’s probably licensing issues which is stopping a re-issue each of the Apple titles you mention.
The Rarities (UK and US versions) would be good, as would Hollywood Bowl and A Collection of Beatles Oldies. The US version of A Hard Day’s Night has been reissued in stereo and mono by Apple/Capitol/Universal (see: https://beatlesblogger.com/2014/01/22/beatles-launch-official-u-s-albums-website/ ).
I think the AHDN album reissued last year on Thw Beatles US Albums had the uk mixes, not the US UA mixes, which differ from Something New and Hey Jude versions
Thanks for the reminder on other titles and the post red/blue compilations also contain some unique mixes and versions
Yes – you’re correct about AHDN – they do use the UK mixes.