Apple Records was founded in 1968 by the musical group known as the Beatles, comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. The label became successful, surviving the legal dissolution of the Beatles in 1974, and continuing to issue new material till 1976, although the holding company, Apple Corps, Ltd., is still in existence. The label was resurrected around the time of the Anthology for use on all Beatles CDs.
This venture was reportedly due to the Beatles' need to invest money as a tax shelter. The British tax laws at the time were draconian. When George Harrison sang in his song "Taxman", "It's one for you, nineteen for me," he wasn't kidding. That was the exact amount they retained after taxes -- five per cent. As George added, "Should five per cent appear too small, be thankful I don't take it all."
During the 1974 proceedings dissolving the Beatles as an entity, a court ruling decreed that eighty percent of all profits from Beatles albums (as a group) would accrue to Apple Records, and five percent would go to each of the four members.
The label consistently made a profit through 1984, then lost money for several years.
At one point, Apple Records sued Apple Computer for trademark infringement because the computer company broke their earlier agreement not to add sound to its computers. The case was settled out of court. Apple computers ever since have included a sound labelled Sosumi ("So, sue me").
The first LP release from Apple Records was the Two Virgins album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, released on November 11, 1968 (although the parent record companies refused to be involved because John & Yoko were shown naked on the controversial sleeve - it was distributed by Track Records in the UK and Tetragrammaton in the USA). It was closely followed by the first Beatles album release, titled The Beatles but more commonly known as the White Album, released November 25, 1968.
The other Beatles albums released on the Apple label were:Mary Hopkin's "Those Were the Days", which was released in four languages.
View a list of Apple Records singles.
The success of Apple Records resulted in several similar names through the years, including:
- Bad Apple Records
- Big Apple Records
- Black Apple Records
- Crab Apple Records
- Mountain Apple Records
- Screaming Apple Records
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Artists Recorded on Apple Records
See also: List of other record labels