Latin Grammys 2018
Fiona Apple'Machine' Shop
The back story of Fiona Apple's first new album in six years, "Extraordinary Machine," is truly, well, extraordinary. Earlier this year, 11 of Apple's tracks leaked on the Internet, making the rounds on peer-to-peer networks. Although the tactic is often part of a label strategy to build excitement for a project, the leaks devastated the singer. The songs "weren't done at all, and these weren't the versions I wanted to put out on an album," she says of the Jon Brion-produced tracks.
Then, through the Web site freefiona.com, Apple's core fans waged a campaign against her label, Epic Records, claiming that the company was unwilling to release the singer's third studio album. It is a charge that Epic president Steve Barnett denies: "Our goal was to put out a record that Fiona was happy with. There was never, ever any pressure from us. We're really proud of our working relationship with her."
Apple was so disheartened after the leaks that she says she quit working on the project. But she "couldn't stay angry long," she says. "Whoever did it, I think they thought they were doing me a favor." But with support from Epic, she worked on new versions of the tracks with producer Mike Elizondo. Elizondo was introduced to Apple by Brion, who had also produced her last studio project, 1999's "When the Pawn . . ." Elizondo played bass on that album.
The final "Extraordinary Machine" features nine reworked tracks, two songs that kept their original form -- the title track and "Waltz" -- and a new song, "Parting Gift." Elizondo "made these really simple tracks to start off, and I really got excited," Apple says of the final recording process. "I knew all along that those two songs I kept exactly the same were perfect. 'Parting Gift' I wrote when we were finishing up, and it was recorded in one take."