Friday, 24 April 2015

Rare Apple pressing of Delaney & Bonnie LP for sale

The rare Delaney & Bonnie record.
Parlogram Records are ebaying an excellent condition 1969 UK pressing of 'SAPCOR 7', "The Original Delaney and Bonnie" LP. This is the rarest item in the Apple catalogue. Delaney & Bonnie & Friends were a Rock/Soul Group fronted by husband & wife duo Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, and in early 1969 they signed to Elektra Records to record their second album 'Accept No Substitutes'. The album was recorded at Elektra's recording studio and on hearing pre-release tapes of the album, George Harrison offered the group a contract with Apple Records, which the group accepted despite already been contracted to Elektra.

The Apple label, side 1

Apple's plan was to release Delaney & Bonnie's second album 'Accept No Substitutes' under the title of 'Delaney & Bonnie & Friends'. Apple got as far as starting production of the album before Elektra declared Apple's contract void and the pressing was subsequently stopped. Interestingly, it was Electra who supplied Apple with the stampers/metal work which were used to press the records at EMI's Hayes factory. After Elektra had decided to make Delaney and Bonnie stick to their original contract, most of the small batch pressed at EMI's Hayes factory were destroyed and only a handful are known to survive. No covers were prepared for the Apple release and none have ever been known to exist, but this copy is housed in an original Apple Records inner sleeve, with a standard factory laminated album sleeve.

The album cover, as released by Electra

On 1 December 1969, George Harrison watched husband and wife act Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett perform at the Albert Hall in London, with Eric Clapton on guitar. The following night George joined them on stage in Bristol, for his first stage appearance since The Beatles' final concert. He came along for the remainder of the tour, playing guitar and staying in the background. They played two shows each night, in Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and Croydon in England before going to Scandinavia. In Copenhagen they played At the Falkoner Theatre, on December 10, and one of the concerts was filmed by Danish Television that day. The tour also visited Sweden, playing December 13 in Stockholm and giving two concerts in Gothenburg the following day, Harrison still on board. These later concerts are rarely mentioned in the English/American books about George Harrison's stint with the group.

While the group was staying in Stockholm, George wrote the song "Woman Don't You Cry For Me", as evidenced by the reproduction of the original lyric sheet, the letterhead displays the name of the place they were staying in Stockholm, the Castle Hotel. The song was planned for release on "All Things Must Pass", but fell by the wayside and was resurrected for the 1976 album "33 1/3".

Several of the concerts were also recorded for possible album release - the result was 1970's album Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour With Eric Clapton. Harrison was credited as "Mysterioso" on the album cover. The 40 minute long concert album was expanded in 2010 by Rhino Handmade to a four-disc deluxe reissue, with more than three hours of live recordings from the tour. The package contains the complete performance from the Royal Albert Hall, plus a composite of the next night's performances at Colston Hall in Bristol, and both the early and late shows from Fairfield Halls in Croydon. George Harrison doesn't appear on the first disc (as he was only in the audience) but does on the other three.

Although a successful live band, Delaney and Bonnie was never a commercial success on record, and they cut their last album together in 1972, the year they divorced. Delaney Bramlett died in 2008. Before he died, Mr. Bramlett gave an interview where he claimed to have written George Harrison's smash hit, "My Sweet Lord", for which he was never credited.

5 comments:

georgefromhenley said...

Hi - in Copenhagen they played only on Dec 10th and gave 2 shows that day. This is wrong for decades in all books. Joining them on the Skandinavian leg was Billy Preston.

Cas said...

In the Copenhagen 1969 video you can clearly see Delaney play George Harrison's rosewood Fender Telecaster (of Beatles roof top gig fame) which obviously was already donated to him by George at the time (George plays his psychedelic Stratocaster) and years later sold by Delaney for a huge sum (as compensation?).

Mark McKendrick said...

Am mildly dubious about the originality of the Apple D&B elpee as it appears to contain both Apple AND Elektra matrix numbers. The only one of these I've seen previously contained only Apple matrixes.

Martin said...

In a specialist record shop in Manchester (England) somebody brought in a copy of the picture sleeve 1968 US single of the Rolling Stones' 'Street Fighting Man': the rarest of Stones singles... Turns out it was a very well done forgery. Even Bill Wyman (who was consulted about the find) said it was counterfeit. So, who knows?

It'd be nice if the D&B album is real, but people can pull off anything these days...

As for Bramlett's claim that he 'wrote' 'My Sweet Lord': he may have helped with the beginning of the idea (like Billy Preston did), but those who were around George at the time (Patti Boyd, Phil Spector, Clapton) have all said that George wrote the song...

Noelthe4th said...

I've been contending for quite some time that this recent Delaney & Bonnie Apple LP's that have been on Ebay are all fakes/counterfeits, as it's impossible for the Elektra number to have appeared on the Apple dead wax, as no other Cat No was allocated at that exact time, apart from Sapcor 7. Additionally, the UK (genuine) later Elektra red label pressings (of the re-titled "Accept No Substitute" LP) have THIS EXACT SAME (incorrectly spelt as "SAPCORE 7") HAND WRITTEN MATRIX. Now, many years ago, there was a copy being sold on Ebay by a seller from Columbia, South America...& at the time, the seller was insisting upon cash or similar, (nowadays Paypal must be a payment option). Anyway, not being a trusting guy, I asked for more photos, particularly the matrix number on the dead wax (I wish I copied the photos he sent me)...NOW...I do specifically remember that there was NO hand written matrix at all....there was just ONE matrix...correctly spelt as SAPCOR-7A & SAPCOR-7B...and...it was MACHINE STAMPED, not HAND WRITTEN...
So...in conclusion, I believe that any Apple pressing with these hand written duo matrix's are fakes/counterfeits, created by someone with access to the Elektra Mother/Master plates....Noel Forth, Adelaide, Australia