Song Of The Day 1/25/2015: Jackie Lomax - "How the Web Was Woven"

Apple Scruffs: The Beatles formed Apple Records in 1967 after the death of their long-time manager Brian Epstein. Apple was founded for a bigger purpose than serving as the repository for all future group and solo Beatles projects. They sought to make the label a home for new and developing artists, and to use their considerable clout to bring attention to these aspiring and established musicians.

Ha-ha. No, really.

Apple Records was, to put it mildly, only a middling success once you ticked off the bosses’ output. This may have something to do with the truly Carroll-ian figures who frequented the label’s back offices and gave a drunk showman’s flair to office meetings. Such corporate liberty obscured most of the micro-history of how Apple managed to sprout up in the first place. (“I’ve no idea who thought of Apple first,” George said. “It was a bad idea, whoever thought of it!”) Out of all the non-Beatle artists signed to the label only one, James Taylor, managed to obtain superstardom, and that was only after he latched on to the presumably tighter ship of Warner Brothers Records in America.

But despite the high comedy of Apple’s ledger adventures, you could still make a strong case for the artistic merit of its less-known roster inhabitants. The 2010 compilation Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records, named after a hit song from the label’s second best group, does a good job of summarizing their highlights. This week we’re going a bit deeper to find some of the remnants of the legacy buried beneath the Apple tree.

Like Jackie Lomax (1944–2013), a hell of a singer cut from the Joe Cocker/Terry Reid cloth. With the possible exception of Mary Hopkin (“Those Were the Days”), Lomax is probably the solo artist most associated with the Apple label, and maybe the one who got the most benefit from it, scoring a memorable minor hit with Harrison’s “Sour Milk Sea.” “How the Web Was Woven,” released in 1970, was actually Lomax’s last single for Apple. It was covered two years later by no less than Elvis Presley himself, who maybe thought George’s Wonderwall Music wasn’t quite linear enough to interpret.

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