Various Artists – An Apple A Day

More Pop-psych Sounds From The Apple Era 1967-1969

A sequel to 94 Baker Street Songs, An Apple A Day offers us a “bite even further into the Apple”, providing no less than 15 unreleased tracks from the Apple Music Publishing catalogue, all displaying initial songwriting attempts leading at least some of the authors such as Pete Ham, & Tom Evans or Graham Lyle & Benny Gallagher towards bigger fame.

In accordance with the overall concept, of course there’s more than a couple of Beatlisms, as heard right from the very opening by the Brumbeatsters THE U (DON’T) KNOW WHO’s upbeat Peppery pop of the title tune, along which they also deliver a piece of Zombie-heaven in Strange People, being quite reminiscent of their own This Will Be Our Year, while Now And Again Rebecca is a more conventional, but non the less great, Britsike item.

Featured are also some of the demos that the songwriting team of GALLAGHER & LYLE recorded during their salary-days at Apple Publishing, ranging from the lightweight pair of Bacharach-through-Paul Simon-like jazzy sounding Ivy Unrehearsed, through the Lennon-ish acid-folk of Technicolour Dream to the power-popin’ rocker Good As Gold, which they released as a single under the guise of THE CUPS.

Before they established themselves as a pioneering power-pop act, most of the early IVEYS demos still find them attached to the snappy mod grooves, hitting right into the middle of the “target” with the Move-ing Black & White Rainbows, the blue-eyed soulful Girl In A Mini Skirt and the freakbeatin’ Mr. Strangeways, while it’s only Tomorrow Today that is being suggestive of their signature sound that was about to happen by the time of their debut album, and even more so by the time of the name change to Badfinger.

Ex-Felius Andromeda keyboardist, DENIS COULDRY deserves the “weirdo of the set” tag with his debut single’s pairing of the moody psychedelic venture I Am Nearly There, sharing equal parts of Britsike and Johnny Cash (!?), and an even quirkier toontown-ish ditty called James In The Basement, with the A-side’s backing being provided by a band called The Next Collection, soon to evolve into SECOND HAND, also featured with their own Fairytale, a piece of popiske, sounding exactly as the title suggests.

Other entries worth the mention include JIGSAW’s pumping Small Faces-like pop of Great Idea, LACE’s Soldier, which finds them “protesting” somewhere between Lennon, Donovan and early Bowie, while there’s also TURQUOISE’s Kinky-pair of Sister Saxaphone and Woodstock (meanwhile also released on their own Collected Recordings on Rev-ola, reviewed elsewhere on these pages).

As the song goes, “an Apple a day keeps the doctor away”, as well as your thirst for Beatle-related-and-occasionally-sounding late ‘60s slightlydelic pop.

[Released by RPM 2006]

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