Brought To You By The Beatles – James Taylor

Apple Advertisement - 1968

When The Beatles formed Apple Corps their goal was to create a label that would assist unknown and frustrated artists of all kinds by furnishing them with the resources they needed to succeed.  All The Beatles thought that they had to do was to cast their net out and the cream of the world’s unknown talent base would flock to them in droves.

So in 1968 The Beatles published a now legendary advertisement announcing that Apple was seeking talent.  The response was enormous.  Bands, artists, fashion designers, filmmakers all sent in their demos, resumes and portfolios.  Most went nowhere.  But out of this chaos came a few acts that have endured.

History shows that Apple (or any label, for that matter) could not be run with such a business model.  Within a year the highly anticipated Apple recording studios were unfinished and the “what’s mine is yours” communal attitude of the company led to employees and artists robbing Apple blind.  By 1970 Apple settled into a more typical business structure.  But during the years 1968 and 1969 there were a series of good finds by Apple.

James Taylor is one such example.  James Taylor was discovered by Peter Asher (the “Peter” in Peter & Gordon and brother of Paul’s former fiance, Jane Asher) who was at that time the head of A&R at Apple.  To help their new project The Beatles offered Taylor studio time that they had booked to record The Beatles (aka The White Album).  George and Paul even provided background vocals on the first single from the album “Carolina In My Mind” (Paul also played bass on the track).

The result was a very solid debut album featuring two songs that would go on to become classics, “Something In The Way She Moves” and “Carolina In My Mind” (the versions on the Apple album are different from the versions you’ve probably heard).  For artistic effect horn, string and percussion interludes separated the tracks on the album.  This can be frustrating to listen to, but given a chance the album will grow on you.   Strangely enough, a version of Taylor’s monster hit “Fire and Rain” was recorded for the album, but it was left off.  Taylor would leave Apple after one album and find fame on another label with this discarded track in 1970.  But it could not have happened without The Beatles.

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3 Responses to Brought To You By The Beatles – James Taylor

  1. 71LesPaul says:

    Great history lesson there. Never knew about that connection between the Beatles and JT. That version of Carolina in my Mind was interesting. Kind of psychadelic..

  2. Gripweed says:

    Unfortunately the album is massively overproduced. The strings sound out of tune and the horns barely hit their notes. Perhaps it was for effect, but with James Taylor you really only need a guitar and a microphone. I still recommend the album for the quality of the songs. “Knocking Round The Zoo,” “Something’s Wrong” and “Circle Round The Sun” are songs I would have liked to have featured, if only someone had created YouTube videos for them. But then again it is a very hard to find album.

    Coming soon in this series: Badfinger, The Bonzo Dog Band, Billy Preston.

  3. 71LesPaul says:

    True all James Taylor needed was a guitar and a microphone.
    But the hot mess in the background is kind of interesting to listen to.
    I bet it sounded better with a purple microdot.

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