Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Strange Fruit: The Beatles' Apple Records, A New DVD

Sexy Intellectual has produced another "unauthorized" documentary of interest, this time focusing on the Beatles' Apple Records venture. Strange Fruit (SIDVD570) lingers for 162 minutes or so on the overall story of the label, its changing fortunes, influences and guiding personalities.

This is not so much concerned with the Beatles own output on the label as it is with the other artist brought into the fold, Jackie Lomax, Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, and others.

How interesting you find this documentary depends on how interesting you find this bit of music industry/Beatles history. It has good documentary footage, interviews by many concerned, and a comprehensive narrative.

In the end it is a story of smashing successes and egregious mistakes, chaos and creativity, the story of a period of cultural and musical efflorescence and its gradual decline, of the four fates of the Beatles, their personal and musical triumphs and peccadilloes. If you don't know about the ill-fated single, "The King of Fu," for example, here's your chance.

It absorbed my attention and I came away knowing much more about the story than I did before. It informs and entertains.