Obviously, to be totally inclusive could have resulted in a dry inventory of many insignificant singles and albums. A good bonus feature could have included all this, as well as a discography of all the re-issues now available on CD. On the other hand, much screen time is devoted to critiques as to why some records were more successful than others. There’s much rhapsodizing on the glories of Ono’s solo work, certainly reflecting a minority view. Perhaps the talking heads are correct when they claim releases from Billy Preston and Doris Troy suffered from musical blandness. Preston, of course, like other Apple alumni, would enjoy greater success when they moved to other labels with more support than the dying Apple could provide.
Therefore, all viewers for this film should be on notice that it’s part informative, part opinion, and not definitive. How could it be with key players, such as Neil Aspinall, president of the company before and after Klein, not being involved? All this being said, most Beatle fans will want to add this disc to their collections. There are insights many likely have never heard before. there are many musical selections rarely heard, then and now. (I must add that many of the visuals are obviously imagery stuck in simply to have background for these excerpts, and apparently one key source for some material is YouTube.) If viewers are encouraged to seek out more of this music, then Strange Fruit will have been of service to artists who may not have gotten their full due all those years ago. Just remember that, even after 162 minutes, there’s much more to the Apple legacy than captured here.