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Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple at a concert in Seattle
Background information
Birth name Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart
Born September 13, 1977 (1977-09-13) (age 32)
Manhattan, New York,
United States
Genres Baroque pop
Alternative rock
Experimental rock
Jazz
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Piano, optigan, vocals
Years active 1996–present
Labels Epic
Website Fiona-Apple.com

Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart (born September 13, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter. She gained popularity through her 1996 debut album Tidal, especially with the Grammy Award-winning single "Criminal" and its music video. Her music is influenced by everything from early jazz, pop, to alt-rock. It is also characterized by Apple's candid personal lyrics and imaginative productions, often featuring idiosyncratic arrangements with instruments as varied as the french horn and optigan.

Contents

Life and career

1977-1995: Early life and career beginnings

Born in New York City, Apple is the daughter of singer Diane McAfee and actor Brandon Maggart. Her older sister, Amber, sings cabaret under the stage name Maude Maggart. Her half brother Spencer is a director and directed the video for her single "Parting Gift". Her half brother Garett Maggart starred in the TV series The Sentinel. In addition, her maternal grandparents were Millicent Green, a dancer with the George White's Scandals, a series of 1920s musical revues similar to the Ziegfeld Follies, and Johnny McAfee, a multireedist and vocalist of the big band era; her grandparents met while touring with Johnny Hamp and his Orchestra.

After she joked to a friend at the age of 11 that she was going to kill her sister and herself, Apple's parents placed her in therapy. The following year, she was raped on her way home from school and would allude to the trauma years later in such songs as "Sullen Girl".[1][2]

Apple's break into the music industry came in 1994 when she was seventeen,[2] Apple gave a demo tape to the babysitter of music publicist Kathryn Schenker. Schenker then passed the tape along to Sony Music executive Andy Slater.[3] Apple's rich alto voice, piano skills and lyrics captured his attention,[4] and Slater signed her to a record deal.

1995–1998: Tidal

In 1996, Apple's debut album, Tidal, was released by Epic, a subsidiary of Sony. The album went on to sell 2.7 million copies[5] and was certified three times platinum in the U.S.[6]

"Criminal," the third single, became Apple's breakthrough hit. The song reached the top forty on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, while the controversial Mark Romanek-directed music video — in which a scantily-clad Apple cavorted in a '70s-era tract house — became very popular on MTV. Apple later said: "I decided if I was going to be exploited, then I would do the exploiting myself" [7]

Other singles from Tidal included "Shadowboxer," "Sleep to Dream," and "Never Is a Promise." Her public image was tempestuous.[2] Most notoriously, while accepting the 1997 MTV Video Music Award for "Best New Artist" for "Sleep to Dream," she proclaimed: "This world is bullshit, and you shouldn't model your life on what you think that we think is cool, and what we're wearing and what we're saying," referring to the mainstream music industry. Host Chris Rock would comment on her speech later on during the program, saying, "That Fiona Apple was mad, huh? Fiona X was up here."[8] Though her comments were generally greeted with cheers and applause at the awards ceremony, the media backlash was immediate.

However, Apple was unapologetic: "I just had something on my mind and I just said it. And that's really the foreshadowing of my entire career and my entire life. When I have something to say, I'll say it."[9] Stand-up comedian Denis Leary included a satire of this speech on his album, Lock 'n Load, titled "A Reading from the Book of Apple". Janeane Garofalo parodied Apple's comments in light of the fact that her video for "Criminal" seemed to reinforce the same celebrity fixation on weight and appearance that Apple condemned. Apple responded to these criticisms in an article in Rolling Stone in January 1998.[9]

During this period, Apple contributed covers of The Beatles' "Across the Universe" and Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love" to the soundtrack of the film Pleasantville.

1999–2001: When the Pawn

Apple's second album, When the Pawn..., was released in 1999. Its full title is When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing Fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You'll Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You Know That You're Right. The title is a poem Apple wrote after reading letters that appeared in Spin regarding an article that had cast her in a negative light in an earlier issue.[10] The title's length earned it a spot in the Guinness Book of Records for 2001. However, as of October 2007, it is no longer the longest album title, as Soulwax released Most of the Remixes, a remix album whose title surpasses When the Pawn...'s length by 100 characters.[11]

The album was cultivated during Apple's relationship with film director Paul Thomas Anderson. When the Pawn... received a positive reception from publications such as The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

When the Pawn..., which was produced by Jon Brion, used more expressive lyrics, experimented more with drum loops, and incorporated both the Chamberlin and drummer Matt Chamberlain.[12] It did not fare as well commercially as her debut, though it was an RIAA-certified platinum album[6] and sold 1 million copies in the U.S.[5] The album's lead single, "Fast as You Can", reached the top 20 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart and became Apple's first Top 40 hit in the UK. The videos for two follow-up singles, "Paper Bag" and "Limp" (directed by then-boyfriend Anderson), received very little play.

In March 2000, at a concert at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, Apple became dissatisfied with the venue's sound and broke down on stage, berating music critics and the audience with vulgar language, before ending her set early and storming off stage.[13][14]

2002–2007: Extraordinary Machine

Apple sang with Johnny Cash on a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water" that ended up on his album American IV: The Man Comes Around and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Country Collaboration with Vocals". She also collaborated with Cash on Cat Stevens's "Father and Son," which was included in his 2003 collection Unearthed.

Free Fiona campaigners outside the NYC headquarters of Sony BMG Music Entertainment in January 2005.

Apple's third album, Extraordinary Machine, was originally produced by Jon Brion. Recording sessions began in 2002 at Ocean Way studios in Nashville, Tennessee, but later moved to the Paramour in Los Angeles. Work on the album continued until 2003, and in May of that year it was submitted to Sony executives.

In 2004 and 2005, tracks were leaked on the Internet in MP3 format and played on U.S. and international radio; subsequently, MP3s of the entire album, believed to have been produced by Brion (although he later claimed the leaked tracks were "tweaked" beyond his own work), went online. Although a website distributing the album was quickly taken offline, it soon reached P2P networks and was downloaded by fans.[15] A fan-led campaign, Free Fiona, was launched in support of the album's official release.

It was revealed in April 2005 [16] that Sony was initially unhappy with the work, and Apple and Brion sought to rework the album. Sony reportedly made caveats on the process, to which Apple balked. After a long period of waiting, she began an attempt to rework the album with close friend, electronica experimentalist Brian Kehew.[15] Mike Elizondo, who had previously played bass on Pawn, was brought back as co-producer to complete the tracks he had begun with Brion and Apple. Despite suggestions that the album had caused a rift between Brion and Apple, they regularly perform together at Largo, a club in Los Angeles, including a joint appearance with Elizondo on bass just before the news broke of an official release.

In August 2005, the album was given an October release date.[15] Production had been largely redone by Elizondo and was co-produced by Kehew. Spin later reported the following: "Fans erroneously thought that Apple's record label, Epic, had rejected the first version of Extraordinary Machine... in reality, according to Elizondo, Apple was unhappy with the results, and it was her decision to redo the record, not her label's."[17] Two of the eleven previous leaked tracks were relatively unchanged, nine were completely retooled, and one new song was also included. According to Elizondo, "Everything was done from scratch." The final mastering of Extraordinary Machine was performed by Brian Gardner, and the released version has a far higher level of compression than any of Fiona's previous releases.

Extraordinary Machine became the highest-charting album of Apple's career in the U.S. (debuting at number seven) and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Pop Vocal Album". It was eventually certified gold[6] and sold 462,000 copies in the U.S.,[18] though its singles ("Parting Gift," "O' Sailor," "Not About Love" and "Get Him Back") failed to enter any Billboard charts. Apple went on a live tour to promote the album in late 2005.

Apple on tour with Nickel Creek in 2007.

In June 2006, Apple appeared on the joke track "Come Over and Get It (Up in 'Dem Guts)" by comedian Zach Galifianakis. Galifianakis previously appeared in the music video for Apple's "Not About Love". The joke track is a complete departure from Apple's previous work, both lyrically and musically. It is a hip hop/dance track that features Apple singing lines such as "Baby, show me your fanny pack/I'll show you my fanny".[19]

Apple recorded a cover of "Sally's Song" for the special edition release of the soundtrack, released in 2006, for the Tim Burton film The Nightmare Before Christmas. In May 2006 Apple paid tribute to Elvis Costello on VH1's concert series Decades Rock Live by performing Costello's hit "I Want You";[20] her version was subsequently released as a digital single.

Apple toured the East Coast during August 2007 with Nickel Creek.[21][22]


Discography

Albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions[23 ] Certifications[6]
(sales threshold)
US US Heat UK AUS NZ BEL FRA
1996 Tidal
  • First studio album
  • Release date: July 23, 1996
  • Label: Clean Slate/Epic Records
15 1 43 22 48 21
  • US: 3× Multi-Platinum
  • CAN: Platinum
1999 When the Pawn…
  • Second studio album
  • Release date: November 9, 1999
  • Label: Clean Slate/Epic Records
13 46 54 32
  • US: Platinum
2005 Extraordinary Machine
  • Third studio album
  • Release date: October 4, 2005
  • Label: Epic Records
7 53 61
  • US: Gold
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays

Year EP details
2006 iTunes Originals – Fiona Apple
  • First extended play
  • Release date: February 14, 2006
  • Label: iTunes

Singles

Year Single Peak chart positions[23 ] Album
US US Mod US Pop UK
1996 "Shadowboxer" 34 32 Tidal
"Slow Like Honey"
1997 "Sleep to Dream" 28
"Criminal" 21 4 17
"The First Taste"
1998 "Never Is a Promise"
"Across the Universe" Pleasantville (soundtrack)
1999 "Fast As You Can" 20 29 33 When the Pawn
2000 "Limp"
"Paper Bag"
2005 "Parting Gift" Extraordinary Machine
2006 "O' Sailor"
"Not About Love"
2007 "Get Him Back"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other contributions

Music videos

Year Song Director Album
1996 "Shadowboxer" Jim Gable Tidal
1997 "The First Taste" (Released only in France) Dewey Nicks
"Sleep to Dream" Stéphane Sednaoui
"Criminal" Mark Romanek
"Never is a Promise" Stéphane Sednaoui
1998 "Across the Universe" Paul Thomas Anderson Pleasantville soundtrack
1999 "Fast as You Can" When the Pawn...
2000 "Limp"
"Paper Bag"
2005 "Parting Gift" Spencer Maggart Extraordinary Machine
"O' Sailor" Floria Sigismondi
2006 "Not About Love" Michael Blieden

Awards and nominations

References

Inline

  1. ^ McLean, Craig (29 January 2006), Second bite, Guardian News and Media Limited, http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2006/jan/29/popandrock.fionaapple, retrieved 2009-12-02  
  2. ^ a b c Luck, Otto. "Fiona Apple Suffers for Her Sins (and So Do We)". NY Rock. November 1997. Retrieved September 23, 2005.
  3. ^ Images - Fiona Apple
  4. ^ The Key to Success Lies in the Mix
  5. ^ a b "Loyal fans helped free Fiona Apple's CD". Associated Press/MSNBC Entertainment. October 5, 2005.
  6. ^ a b c d "Gold and Platinum Searchable Database". RIAA.com.
  7. ^ Spin, October 1997.
  8. ^ THE HOT ROCK | Chris Rock | Pop Culture News | News | Entertainment Weekly | 2
  9. ^ a b " The caged Bird Sings. rollingstone.com.
  10. ^ iTunes Originals Interview, 2006
  11. ^ Soulwax remixes. The full title of the Soulwax compilation is Most of the remixes we've made over the years except for the one for Einstürzende Neubauten because we lost it and a few we didn't think sounded good enough or just didn't fill in length-wise. But including some that are hard to find because either people forgot about them or simply because they haven't been released yet. A few we really love. One we think is just OK. Some we did for free. Some we did for money. Some just for ourselves without permission and some for friends as swaps but never on time and always at our studio in Ghent.
  12. ^ Seattle Weekly: Matt Chamberlain Talk About Recording With Apple, http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2008/09/matt_chamberlain_drummer_for_t.php/1, retrieved 2008-09-17  
  13. ^ Sasha Frere Jones (2005-10-10). "Extraordinary Machines: Fiona Apple's new album". The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/critics/music/?051010crmu_music. Retrieved 2006-08-06.  
  14. ^ "Worst Onstage Meltdowns". Blender magazine. August 2006. http://www.blender.com/guide/articles.aspx?id=2004. Retrieved 2006-07-20.  
  15. ^ a b c "Fiona Apple's Machine Finally Turned On". Spin. August 15, 2005.
  16. ^ New York Times " Interview: The lost Apple".
  17. ^ Fiona Apple's Machine Finally Turned On Spin. August 15, 2005. Retrieved on March 5, 2009
  18. ^ Cohen, Jonathan. "Fiona Taps Rice, Garza For Summer Trek". Billboard. April 19, 2006.
  19. ^ Listen to this come over and get it Perezhilton.com Retrieved on 05-09-07
  20. ^ Decades Rock Live
  21. ^ Hasty, Kate. "Apple, Nickel Creek Teaming For Tour". Billboard. May 18, 2007.
  22. ^ Madison, Tjames. "Fiona Apple joins Nickel Creek's 'farewell' tour". LiveDaily. May 17, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2008.
  23. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 36. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.  

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

I'm feeling like a criminal
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I've sinned against
Because he's all I ever knew of love.

Fiona Apple Maggart (born 13 September 1977), best known as Fiona Apple, is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter.

Contents

Sourced

  • This world is bullshit. And you shouldn't model your life — wait a second — you shouldn't model your life about what you think that we think is cool and what we're wearing and what we're saying and everything. Go with yourself. Go with yourself.
  • It was because of this guy I had gone out with and had been really, really close with. I really loved him. I felt that he was my best friend. But he was a teenaged guy, and they don't think a lot of times. He mistreated me and then he came back. I couldn't even be friends with him for awhile. I cared about him, but it was just a situation where he kept trying to be friends with me, but I knew that he just wanted to be friends with me so he could have the option of making a move on me whenever he wanted to. And because I was so infatuated with him, and even in love with him, I was always available for that. It made me feel weak every time I would fall for that. And I would look forward to him making a move on me, but I knew that it was wrong. I knew that he was playing with me. And after awhile, I didn't even care anymore because I wanted him so much.
    • On Shadowboxer from Tidal, Nuvo [1997]
  • Interviewer: I read a post on the Internet from a young girl who had been victimized by someone and her position was like, "I can talk about this now because Fiona Apple can talk about what happened to her." Do you look at yourself as a role model for women and girls who've had this experience?
    Fiona: That's the only reason I ever brought the whole rape thing up. It's a terrible thing, but it happens to so many people. I mean, 80 percent of the people I've told have said right back to me, "That happened to me too." It's so common, and so ridiculous that it's a hard thing to talk about. It angers me so much because something like that happens to you and you carry it around for the rest of your life. No matter how much therapy you go through, no matter how much healing you go through, it's part of you. I just feel that it's such a tragedy that so many people have to bear the extra burden of having to keep it secret from everyone else. As if it's too icky a subject to burden other people with and everyone's going to think you're a victim forever. Then you've labeled yourself a victim, and you've been taken advantage of, and you're ruined, and you're soiled, and you're not pure, you know.

    If I'm in a position where people are looking up to me in any way, then it's absolutely my responsibility to be open and honest about this, because if I'm not, what does that say to people? It doesn't change a person -- well, it does change a person but it doesn't take anything away from you. It can only strengthen you. It has made me so angry in the past. Like I wanted to say it to somebody. I really wanted somebody to connect with, somebody to understand me, somebody to comfort me. But I felt like I couldn't say anything about because it was taboo to talk about.

  • Nuvo [1997]
  • My problem was that I felt ashamed of feeling sad or angry. Now, I don't hide my vulnerability in my lyrics. There's no way I was going to get raped and not get something out of it. I learned about power and hope and forgiveness. I like who I am now and I wouldn't be who I am if that hadn't happened.
    • ELLE [1996]

Lyrics

  • What I need is a good defense
    'Cause I'm feeling like a criminal
    And I need to be redeemed
    To the one I've sinned against
    Because he's all I ever knew of love.
  • When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king
    What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
    And he’ll win the whole thing ‘fore he enters the ring
    There’s no body to batter when your mind is your might
    So when you go solo you hold your own hand
    And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
    And if you know where you stand then you know where to land
    And if you fall it won’t matter cuz you’ll know that you’re right.
  • My derring-do allows me to dance the rigadoon around you
    but by the time I'm through I lose my desideratum.
  • Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love.
  • Do I wanna do right, of course
    but do I really wanna feel I’m forced
    to answer you, hell no.
    I’ve acquired quite a taste for a well-made mistake,
    I wanna make a mistake.
  • If you keep on killing, you could get me to settle and as soon as I settle, I bet I’ll be able to move on.
  • And I will pretend
    That I don't know of your sins
    Until you are ready to confess
    But all the time, all the time, I'll know
    And you can use my skin
    To bury secrets in.
  • I certainly haven't been shopping for any new shoes,
    And I certainly haven't been spreading myself around
    I still only travel by foot, and by foot it's a slow climb
    But I'm good at being uncomfortable,
    So I can't stop changing all the time
  • If you don't have a date
    Celebrate
    Go out and sit on the lawn
    And do nothing
    'Cause it's just what you must do
    Nobody does it anymore

About Fiona Apple

  • This world is bullshit. And just because I appear in music video wherein I am in my underwear, and make young women feel not good enough so that they become anorxeic; and okay, maybe because of that I became popular more quickly than other singers who are, I don't know, maybe more talented or better songwriters. That doesn't matter because, and ... um ... my boyfriend is a magician, and he can pull a quarter out of your ear and say things like 'We have not met before have we?' Go with yourself.

External links

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