The Beatles on Apple Records

Bruce Spizer’s New Book Recounts the Cre­ation of the Bea­t­les Apple Records Label

All Things Con­sid­ered
Date Aired: Sep­tem­ber 25 2003
Reporter: Michele Nor­ris | NPR
Time: 00:08:05


The hit song “Hey Jude” was a first for The Bea­t­les. At 7 min­utes, 11 sec­onds, it was the longest number-one sin­gle ever. The song was also the first record on the group’s own new label, Apple Records. A gen­er­a­tion later, Apple con­tin­ues to be in the news. This week, record label exec­u­tives announced that a new ver­sion of The Bea­t­les album Let It Be will be released in Novem­ber. The new ver­sion will be closer to the intent of the orig­i­nal project — to move away from the stu­dio tech­niques the group had pio­neered, and get back to their rock ‘n’ roll roots. That means an album shorn of the strings and choirs added by pro­ducer Phil Spector.

The history of Apple Records is — to bor­row a phrase — a long and wind­ing road. A new book by Bruce Spizer, The Bea­t­les on Apple Records, doc­u­ments this history in exact­ing detail — includ­ing discogra­phies, record­ing ses­sion details and a history of the label itself, which the group began more as a tax shel­ter than a cre­ative outlet.

NPR’s Michele Nor­ris talks with Spizer about his book and about the other artists signed to the Apple label — some of whom went on to fame and for­tune, and oth­ers who became one-hit wonders.