Apple Records is officially launched

Sunday, August 11, 1968

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On August 11, 1968, the Beatles announced “National Apple Week” and launched their own label, Apple Records. The press received a special pack, labelled “Our First Four”, to announce the four first singles to be released under the new label.

The four first Apple singles were:

SingleUK ReferenceUK release date
Hey Jude / Revolution” by The BeatlesR 5722August 31, 1968
Those Were The Days / Turn, Turn, Turn” by Mary HopkinAPPLE 2August 30, 1968
Sour Milk Sea / The Eagle Laughs at You”, by Jackie LomaxAPPLE 3August 26, 1968
Thingumybob / Yellow Submarine” by Black Dyke Mills BandAPPLE 4August 31, 1968

In the US, a different press kit was sent to radios. From Apple’s American Debut – The Original 1968 Press Kit | beatle.net:

On August 22, 1968, Apple Records’ Los Angeles office sent press kits to radio station program directors across the United States. The kits were packaged in white envelopes with an Apple logo in the upper left corner serving as the return address. The logo was a solid green circle with a white apple in the center with the word “Apple” in white script above the stem. The post mark indicated that the package cost a then hefty eighty cents to air mail. The lucky recipients of these envelopes would be among the first people in America to see and hear what the Beatles new Apple venture was all about. […]

For those disc jockeys who had been monitoring Apple’s progress by reading trade magazines, the arrival of the classy looking white envelope with the Apple logo was truly a magic moment. Upon ripping open the envelope, the recipient encountered a glossy cream colored folder with a large Apple logo on its front side. Inside was a treasure of sound, visuals and text.

In contrast to the white envelope and folder were four distinguished-looking black center cut record sleeves. One proclaimed “The Beatles on Apple” in an attractive script font. The group’s name was in white and Apple in green. The other three sleeves merely said “Apple” in the same eye-catching green script letters. Peeking out of the center of each sleeve was a record label covered with a Granny Smith green apple.

The sleeves were not the only thing different about the singles. While most records had the same label design on both sides, these discs had a full green apple on one side and a sliced apple was its exposed white innards on the other side. The singles also had something new to most Americans — a slip guard consisting of 360 interlocking serations surrounding the label. Although the tiny grooves appeared to be an innovation of Apple, several British labels had been pressing discs with slip guards for years. By coincidence, Capitol had re-tooled its pressing plants for slip guard singles at the beginning of the month, so the Apple singles were among the first Capitol manufactured titles to take on the new look. […]

The press kit also included two 8″ x 10″ black and white glossies of each of the artists featured on the records. The Beatles are represented by their cartoon images from the Yellow Submarine film. Paul and his sheep dog Martha are pictured with the Black Dyke Mills Band in the brass band’s horizontal publicity still. Jackie Lomax and the lovely looking Mary Hopkin are each featured in vertical pictures. All four glossies have the artist’s name printed below the picture towards the left side and the Apple logo in lower right corner.

Recipients of the press kit learned about each artist through separate 8 1/2″ x 11″ information sheets and 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ booklets. The text of the information sheets is credited to Apple press agent Derek Taylor. Although no credit is given in the booklets, the writing is appears to be the work of Derek Taylor as well. […]

From New Musical Express – August 31, 1968
From New Musical Express – August 10, 1968

Last updated on September 26, 2021

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