Fruits from the Garden of Eden…
Come And Get It/The Best Of Apple Records
by Jon Kanis
CD review [on page 187] for issue #31 [Spring/Summer 2011] of Ugly Things magazine [filed on December 15, 2010]
“We want to set up a system whereby people who just want to make a film about anything don’t have to go on their knees in somebody’s office…probably yours.” – John Lennon [New York City, May 14, 1968]
It has been 43 years since The Beatles announced the formation of their own record label and in all that time, with few exceptions, most of the artists who recorded for Apple Records have not been heard from since. That is a real shame for anyone who is deeply interested in late ‘60s/early ‘70s pop music because Apple was a delicious folly that created more than a few master strokes during those glory years between 1968 and 1972. Naïve, utopian and idealistic, Apple was part vanity project and/or unintentional welfare line, where the freak flag of free enterprise was certainly flying when all four Beatles thrust themselves into the roles of impresario, sideman, producer and A&R.
For the generally curious and uninitiated there is a highly entertaining sampler on offer this season that takes it title from the Paul McCartney song that he gave to label mates The Iveys shortly before changing their name to Badfinger (who were easily the most commercially successful artists on Apple’s roster outside of the Fab Four). Come And Get It offers up a number of rarities that I had only heard about through the Beatles grapevine (including Brute Force’s “King Of Fuh,” Ronnie Spector’s “Try Some, Buy Some” and “Ain’t That Cute” by Doris Troy). A smattering of these tracks are really just teasers for the full-length offerings on hand by Billy Preston, James Taylor, Mary Hopkin, the aforementioned Badfinger and George Harrison protégé Jackie Lomax (check out his underrated LP Is This What You Want?). Lomax’s “Sour Milk Sea” is one of the great Beatle outtakes – a Harrison composition & production that features McCartney on bass, Ringo Starr on drums and Eric Clapton on lead guitar – it would have sounded awesome on The Beatles.
The mastering and packaging are great; top 20 hits rub shoulders with novelty curios, political protests and Hindu chants that make for an eclectic romp before the dream was declared “over.”