Good as Gold: Artefacts of the Apple Era 1967-1975

Various Artists

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Good as Gold: Artefacts of the Apple Era 1967-1975 Review

by Tim Sendra

When the Beatles set up their mini-empire in 1967, they intended to be involved in as many aspects of the recording industry as possible. Good as Gold: Artefacts of the Apple Era 1967-1975 collects tracks drawn from some of the avenues that Apple Corps pursued. The first disc -- Lost Sessions and Singles 1968-1969 -- is made up of songs recorded by artists someone at Apple thought had a chance at a hit. The bands were given some studio time and, as the title of the disc makes clear, the results didn't make it to vinyl. Looking back thorough the mists of time, it's hard to determine why many of them didn't make the cut. The three tracks by Timon are solid psych-pop with a happily twee point of view, Mortimer's "You Don't Say You Love Me" is a brilliantly brassy slice of horn-driven pop, and Grapefruit's "Lullaby" was produced by Paul and John but somehow languished on the shelf despite being a psychedelic treat. Disc two gathers up freakbeat and psych tracks from the publishing arm of the company, and it's clear that whoever was guiding the ship here had both hands on the rudder. Rip-roaring hard psych classics like Fire's "Father's Name Is Dad" and the Misunderstood's "Children of the Sun" sit happily next to toytown tunes (Majority One's "Charlotte Rose"), oddball rockers (Sands' "Listen to the Sky"), and bouncy pop (the Ways and Means' "Breaking Up a Dream") in a wonderfully trippy and fun mix. Both the third and fifth discs collect demos recorded for Apple Publishing; the latter set was recorded in the attic of Apple HQ on a bare-bones setup. As such, the tracks on disc three are more finished sounding. There are nice stripped-down versions of songs (Turquoise's classic "Flying Machine"), early efforts by Gallagher and Lyle, a nice batch of tunes from Grapefruit's George Alexander, and loads of cool rarities. Disc five is a more spartan affair with many of the songs sounding coated in 50 years' worth of dust. It's still worth a listen, but it should come with a warning that it's for fanatics only. The remaining disc is titled the Savile Row Sound 1971-1975 and showcases songs recorded at the state-of-the-art studio built in the basement and helmed by Abbey Road's Geoff Emerick. Friends and family of the Beatles would turn up to record here, as would Apple artists like Badfinger. They also took on outside work that ranged from the hard rock thunder of Fanny to the sweet soul-folk of Linda Lewis, provided a home to faded genius Tim Hardin, and even spawned a timeless hit with Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle with You." As with Apple itself, this set is all over the place, kind of a mess and utterly fascinating. Grapefruit Records has done its usual top-notch excavation job and has provided an artifact that serves as an educational tract and a compelling listen in equal amounts.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 U (Don't) No Who 02:29 Amazon
2 Grapefruit 02:32 Amazon
3 Sands 03:45 Amazon
4 The Cyrkle / Andy Ellison 02:54 Amazon
5 Andy Ellison / Ways And Means 02:29 Amazon
6 Fire / Ways And Means 02:08 Amazon
7 Denis Couldry & the Next Collection / Denis Couldry / Fire 03:18 Amazon
8 Denis Couldry & the Next Collection / Jackie Lomax 03:25 Amazon
9 Second Hand / Jackie Lomax 03:19 Amazon
10 Second Hand / Joker 02:29 Amazon
11 Grapefruit / Joker 02:04 Amazon
12 Father's Name Is Dad / Grapefruit 02:32 Amazon
13 Fire / Joker 03:43 Amazon
14 Joker / Turquoise 03:10 Amazon
15 Rawlings and Huckstep / Turquoise 02:46 Amazon
16 Rawlings and Huckstep / Lace 03:35 Amazon
17 Peter Cooper / Lace 02:22 Amazon
18 Pete Cooper / The Misunderstood 02:48 Amazon
19 The Misunderstood / Turquoise 02:53 Amazon
20 The Majority / Turquoise 02:53 Amazon
21
Majority One Amazon
22
Stefan Grossman / Danny Kaih Amazon
23
Grapefruit Amazon
24
Jackie Lomax Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 George Alexander 02:54 Amazon
2 Gallagher & Lyle 02:33 Amazon
3 Legay 02:56 Amazon
4 Focal Point 02:58 Amazon
5 Turquoise 03:07 Amazon
6 Gallagher & Lyle 03:15 Amazon
7 George Alexander 03:38 Amazon
8 Promise 03:02 Amazon
9 Coconut Mushroom 02:29 Amazon
10 George Alexander 03:09 Amazon
11 Gallagher & Lyle 02:24 Amazon
12 Focal Point 02:40 Amazon
13 Drew and Dy 03:22 Amazon
14 George Alexander 02:42 Amazon
15 U (Don't) No Who 03:21 Amazon
16 Focal Point 03:27 Amazon
17 The Perishers 03:02 Amazon
18 Rawlings and Huckstep / U (Don't) No Who 03:15 Amazon
19 Rawlings and Huckstep / Coconut Mushroom 02:44 Amazon
20 Coconut Mushroom / Focal Point 02:21 Amazon
21 The Misunderstood / Focal Point 01:59 Amazon
22 The Misunderstood / Turquoise 03:25 Amazon
23 Contact / Turquoise 03:23 Amazon
24 The Cups 02:51 Amazon
25 Fairfield Ski 11:19 Amazon
26 Chris Sievey 01:13 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Fanny / Focal Point 02:55 Amazon
2 Tony Hazzard / Jack Hollingshead 03:12 Amazon
3 Linda Lewis / Robert & Miles Priestly 01:49 Amazon
4 Jackie Lomax / Stealers Wheel 02:26 Amazon
5 Pagliaro / Focal Point 03:00 Amazon
6 Tim Hardin / Jack Hollingshead 02:59 Amazon
7 Barry Alexander / Contact 02:26 Amazon
8 Fanny / Robert & Miles Priestly 01:52 Amazon
9 Drew and Dy / Pagliaro 04:29 Amazon
10 Tim Hardin / Focal Point 03:02 Amazon
11 The Sensational Alex Harvey Band / Jack Hollingshead 02:28 Amazon
12 Barry Alexander / Fairfield Ski 02:47 Amazon
13 George Alexander / Linda Lewis 03:56 Amazon
14 Tony Hazzard / Jack Hollingshead 03:04 Amazon
15 Drew and Dy / John Howard 04:01 Amazon
16 Barry Alexander / The Sensational Alex Harvey Band 02:26 Amazon
17 Jack Hollingshead / Chris Sievey 02:25 Amazon
18 Drew and Dy / Mike McGear 03:20 Amazon
19 Barry Alexander / Stealers Wheel 02:29 Amazon
20 Jack Hollingshead / Mike McGear 03:01 Amazon
21 Badfinger / Drew and Dy 03:39 Amazon
22
Focal Point 02:53 Amazon
23 Drew and Dy 02:36 Amazon
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