Beset by legal wrangles for much of its history, the music recorded for Apple has generally been less readily available than it would otherwise have been. Despite those problems, the important recordings, particularly by Badfinger and Mary Hopkin, have been available on CD. Nevertheless, a lot of other material has remained in the vaults. The release of this eclectic compilation apparently signifies the end of Apple's legal problems; let's hope so. The compilation is well presented, with the booklet containing copious notes about each song, which is particularly useful for learning a little about the obscure artists, though even the comments about the familiar songs may occasionally surprise you.
Of course, Mary Hopkin (Those were the days, Goodbye) and Badfinger (Come and get it, Day after day, plus Maybe Tomorrow, credited to the Iveys who evolved into Badfinger) are represented, .but the primary purpose of this compilation (apart from selling plenty of copies) is clearly to showcase the range of music recorded for Apple, and it does that superbly, with a great variety .of sounds and styles.
Aside from the tracks by Badfinger and Mary Hopkin, the compilation is notable for the inclusion of Carolina in my mind (James Taylor), Thingumybob (a TV theme by the Black Dyke Mills Band), two gospel recordings by Billy Preston (That's the way God planned it, plus a cover of My sweet Lord), an excellent track by the under-rated Doris Troy (Ain't that cute) and a cover of Give peace a chance, performed in a reggae style by the Hot Chocolate Band, who as Hot Chocolate became very successful throughout the seventies and early eighties.
There are a lot of other great tracks here, all of which were originally released as A-sides of singles, but not all of which charted. The story given about King of Fuh is somewhat amusing. It certainly isn't the best track here, but it never received airplay at the time so it is in effect a new release. The inclusion of such rarities makes the compilation is more interesting than it would have been had it focused exclusively on the big hits, but it also means that the compilation subtitle, Best of Apple records, is not entirely true. Still, those missing hits and other important recordings (such as Badfinger's original version of Without you) will surely appear on a future Apple compilation.
Enjoy this for what it is - a fascinating insight into the diverse music recorded for Apple records - and look forward to a follow-up compilation eventually.