Ass is the fourth and last album released on Apple Records by power pop band Badfinger. The opening track, "Apple of My Eye", refers to the band leaving the label to begin its new contract with Warner Brothers Records. The cover artwork (showing a donkey chasing a distant carrot) alludes to Badfinger's feelings that they had been misled by Apple over the years. The cover was painted by Grammy Award winning artist Peter Corriston who would later create famous album covers for Led Zeppelin (Physical Graffiti) and The Rolling Stones (Some Girls, Tattoo You).
Recording and release delays :
Because of the dispute over Joey Molland's copyrights, Apple did not credit the individual writers of the songs on Ass, such as Tom Evans for "Blind Owl", instead crediting the song simply to "Badfinger".
Although recordings for the album began as early as 1972, shortly after the release of Straight Up, Ass wasn't released until 26 November 1973 in the US and May 1974 in the UK. The album was originally delayed because of production quality, as the band attempted to produce the album themselves after producer Todd Rundgren departed the project with just two songs recorded. After a first version of the album was rejected by the label, Apple engineer Chris Thomas was hired as a first-time producer to improve the overall recordings and make new track selections.
The album was further delayed when a disagreement surfaced between Apple and Badfinger's management on publishing copyrights. The majority of the tracks on Ass were written by Joey Molland. Molland, unlike his bandmates, never signed a publishing agreement with Apple Music, instead assigning the individual copyrights of his songs selected for Badfinger albums to Apple Music after production. Badfinger's then-manager, Stan Polley, attempted to use Apple's lack of a publishing agreement with Molland to block release of the album; he told Molland not to agree to any individual assignments, and Molland obliged. To circumvent Polley's strategy, all songs on the US and UK album releases of Ass were credited by Apple to Badfinger, not to the actual authors.
Ultimately, Ass peaked at number 122 on the Billboard 200 in the US. The single "Apple of My Eye" only peaked at number 102 on Billboard's "Bubbling Under" chart in America. The release of Ass caused the band's first album for Warner Bros. to be delayed. After the album was deleted from the Apple catalog a large number of heavily discounted copies appeared in cut-out bins at US record stores during the 1970s. The original CD version released in the 1990s is now rare because it was re-released only in a few countries (UK, Canada and Japan) for a limited period. The album was remastered and re-released, in 2010.
A few weeks prior to the 1990s CD release a few Abbey Road Studios mastered C90 cassettes of "Ass" were distributed to a handful of A & R agents. It appears from the track listing on these cassettes that "Ass" was originally planned to have 5 bonus tracks: Dreaming, Piano Red, Rock & Roll, Regular and Do You Mind. This idea was clearly scrapped as Do You Mind was the only one included on that version of the album.
Ass was Apple's last original album that was not by an ex-Beatle. From then on, only the Beatles as solo artists were left to release records on the Apple Records label.
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