Free And Easy: The Complete Works 1970-1975
Apple And The Three Oranges
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An overview of Edward Nelson early to mid seventies output ! Contains a 16-page booklet with full annotation, extensive liner notes and never-before-published photos, this 2-LP set comes sleeved in a reproduced version of the cover photo.
Edward “Apple” Nelson is best known for the small clutch of 45s he released under the Apple and The Three Oranges name on local Los Angeles labels in the 1970s. He first found credit as “Apple” on a Marie Franklin single released the Stage Music imprint which led to the issue “Free And Easy,” the first record released as Apple and The Three Oranges.
This rapid development from road hog to recording artist inspired him to found Sagittarius Records, named after his zodiac sign. His run with Sagittarius contains six unimpeachable soul and funk numbers released under the Apple and The Three Oranges banner and one issued under his own name, Ed. (sic) Nelson. This material is ripe for a historical reappraisal.
The low fidelity of every Apple and The Three Oranges single was never a problem for the low-riding Eastside Angelenos, who lionized tracks such as “True Love Will Never Die,” but their muddy quality cast Nelson outside of the canon in which troubled soul singers like Bobby Womack have held court for decades.
Nelson’s master tapes — lost in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina — will never surface to right this wrong. And the records themselves are rare: the “Love Brings Out The Best Of You,” “Curse Upon The World” and “I’ll Give You A Ring (When I Come, If I Come)” singles are amongst the most sought after and expensive Los Angeles soul and funk records to ever list at auction.
Thus, here's Nelson’s complete works in the Free and Easy anthology. Nearly forty years after he gave up on his recording career, we’re left with little more than Nelson’s explosive music and his straight-shooting stories of his life’s arc. The fact he can’t explain his life’s contradictions are what makes the extensive interview contained in Free and Easy’s book a compelling read.
Whether it’s his first hand experience with the great New Orleans drummers who laid the foundations of funk, or his relating the oft-told, and always sad, tale of lust supplanting love, Nelson offers confounding words to complement his all too beautiful soul and funk music.