Silver Apples, The

Band members               Related acts

- Simeon - vocals, banjo, electronics, simeon (1967-69, 97)
- Dan Taylor - vocals, drums, percussion (1967-69) 



- none known


Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Silver Apples

Company: Kapp

Catalog: KS-3562

Year: 1968

Country/State: New York

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor ring and edge wear; no poster 2 inch seam split along top

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: 13

Price: $50.00


As The Silver Apples, synthesizer/electronics wizard Simeon and drummer Dan Taylor were among the earliest exponents of "electronic" music. While they never attracted more than a cult following during their brief existence, today their influences can be spotted in a wide variety of musical styles, to say nothing of acts as diverse as Devo, Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark and Tangerine Dream. Rediscovered in the early-1990s, the belated recognition culminated in the release of a 1995 multi-artist tribute set: "A Tribute To the Silver Apples".

Starting in 1967, the duo's New York appearances including headliner billing at Max's Kansas City, attracted attention within the artsy avant-garde community, eventually leading to a recording contract with Kapp. (Why Kapp the home of MOR and country acts such as Burt Bacharach and Jack Jones signed them is a complete mystery to me.)  


With that background 1968's "Silver Apples" may not have sounded like the year's most promising collection.  Simeon and Taylor's vocals were certainly an acquired taste; their performances occasionally recalling Donovan crossed with an out of control oscilloscope).  Similarly Stanley Warren's rambling, hippy-dippy poetry was very much a product of that particular timeframe.  Still, the pair managed to coax some modestly interesting sounds out of their late-1960s equipment (imagine an early Atari game run amuck) , including Simeon's home built "simeon" which looked like a science project gone terribly wrong. Coupled with a couple of skittish melodies and rhythms, tracks like 'Oscillations' and 'Whirly Bird' were actually weird enough to capture your attention.  Sure it sounds hopelessly primitive today, but that characteristic may have been part of the album's goofy charm. Their obvious sense of importance might have been the other factor - check out the hysterically pompous 'Dust'.  Moreover, how could you not be captivated by catchy song titles such as ''Dancing Gods', 'Program' and 'Lovefingers'?  Get up and dance you fool ...  Hard to believe but Kapp actually tapped the album for a single: 'Oscillations' b/w 'Whirly Bird' (Kapp catalog number K-923). Curiously, given its experimental nature the album actually proved a modest seller making it into the top-200 charts where it peaked at # 193. (Original copies of the LP included a poster.)  

"Silver Apples" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Oscillations   (Simeon -
Dan Taylor - Stanley Warren) - 2:47
Seagreen Serenades   (Simeon - Dan Taylor - Stanley Warren) - 2:53
Lovefingers   (Simeon - Dan Taylor - Stanley Warren) - 4:10
4.) Program   (Simeon -
Dan Taylor - Stanley Warren) - 4:05
5.) Velvet Cave (Simeon - Dan Taylor - Stanley Warren) - 3:28


(side 2)

1.) Whirly-Bird   (Simeon - Dan Taylor - Stanley Warren) - 2:39
2.) Dust   (Simeon - Dan Taylor - Stanley Warren) - 3:42

3.) Dancing Gods   (arranged by Simeon - Dan Taylor - Stanley Warren) - 5:55

4.) Misty Mountain (Eileen Lewellen - Dan Taylor - Simeon) - 2:38


Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Contact

Company: Kapp

Catalog: KS-3584

Year: 1969

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear; bullet hole bottom left corner

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: 14

Price: $75.00


Co-produced by Barry Bryant and the duo, 1969's "Contact" wasn't a major change in musical direction. Full of weird studio sound effects ('You and I' started with the sound of an airplane taking off), droning synthesizers, oddball rhythms and jagged melodies, if anything the sophomore set was even more eclectic and manic. Largely original material such as 'Water', 'I Have Known Love' and 'Confusion' once again proved suitably eclectic (particularly for the day and age). If there was a difference compared to the debut it stemmed from the fact the sophomore set traded in the debut's pseudo-hippy stance for a darker and more ominous feel - credit it to their decision to abandon Warren's sophomoric lyrics for Simeon's own. Full of sputtering electronics (they occasionally recalled a Casio keyboard having a meltdown (check out the freak out 'Gypsy Love')) and treated voices, anyone who managed to survive something like 'A Pox On You' (probably their best known effort), or the weird country-flavored 'Ruby' was left with the clear impression these guys has some personal issues to deal with. As on the debut Kapp again chose to release a single.  In this case 'Confusion' b/w 'You And I' (Kapp catalog number K-956).  It meant the same fate as the album - instant obscurity.  Simeon and Taylor subsequently vanishing from the music scene.

"Contact" track listing:

1.) You and I   (Silver Apples) - 
2.) Water   (Silver Apples) - 
3.) Ruby   (Silver Apples - Cousin Emmy) - 
4.) Gypsy Love   (Silver Apples - Stanley Warren) - 
5.) You're Not Fooling Me   (Silver Apples) - 

(side 2)

1.) I Have Known Love   (Silver Apples - Eileen Lewellen) - 
2.) A Pox On You   (Silver Apples) - 
3.) Confusion   (Silver Apples) - 
4.) Fantasies   (Silver Apples - Larry De Mott) - 

In 1994 the small T.R.C. label reissued the two albums as a twofer CD.  There's also a CD entitled "Garden" collecting band outtakes.

Perhaps inspired by the tribute album, in 1996 Simeon emerged from his three decades long hiatus. Announcing he'd reformed the band he played a number of small clubs, the obscure Enraptured label released a single 'Fractual Flow' b/w 'Lovefingers'. 


Back to Bad Cat homepage/search