Wednesday 18 April 2012

Review: Strange Fruit: The Beatles' Apple Records

Review by David Bedford

This new DVD promises to tell the story of Apple Records, which in itself needs no introduction as such, but this quality documentary spends al of its 162 minutes delivering quality information and interviews from some of the key people involved in Apple Records, especially some of the musicians signed to the Apple label.

Launched back in 1968 with the famous advert in newspapers, featuring Apple’s own Alistair Taylor, promising to sign bands and entertainers and side step the traditional music business.

But this is not just a nice trip down memory lane: this is an expert examination of what went right, and what went wrong. The film-makers interviewed people like Tony Bramwell, whose expert testimony helps us understand what it was like from the inside: from The Beatles’ and Apple’s perspective. This is a valuable insight, but only one side of the coin. what i found particularly enlightening were the interviews with several of the artists signed to Apple, like Jackie Lomax, former lead singer with the Merseybeat group The Undertakers, produced by George Harrison, but who never fully achieved the success maybe her deserved, though he is philosophical about it now. One of the biggest successes of course was the transformation of the group from Wales, The Iveys, who had minor pop hits, into Badfinger, with Liverpool’s Joey Molland now in the band, producing some incredible songs, especially with Paul’s help. But it wasn’t all plain sailing.

These are just some of the highlights behind this excellent documentary film, which has been well researched and edited, with experts like Apple biographer Stefan Granados, and presents a great insight into Apple records, which will be a fab addition to any fan’s library.

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