The real story behind Fiona Apple's 'Machine'

9657__fiona_l_1Everything you thought you knew about Fiona Apple‘s long-awaited, soon-to-be-released Extraordinary Machine is wrong. Contrary to rumor, the label did not shelve the album out of fears that it wasn’t commercial enough; neither Apple nor Epic had a falling out with her longtime producer, Jon Brion; neither Apple nor anyone else in her camp leaked the Brion sessions to the Internet last spring; and the version of Machine coming to stores on Oct. 4, as re-recorded under new producer Mike Elizondo, is really the version Apple approved.

The short version of what really happened, as Apple told Entertainment Weekly’s Karen Valby, is that she shelved the album herself; that when she decided to rerecord the tracks with Elizondo, Epic balked; and that, facing the prospect of song-by-song scrutiny from Epic over the rerecording, she quit the sessions altogether. ”So where everybody thinks [Epic] shelved the album, that is actually when I just said, ‘I quit,”’ Apple told Valby. ”It was the only thing I thought I could do.” In March, when unknown fans leaked the Brion version to the Internet in an apparent effort to prod the label to release the album, Apple said, ”I started feeling guilty, because it wasn’t the truth. The album hadn’t really been shelved. What was I going to do, tell all these people to stop, tell them that I had done the quitting? But I quit because I felt that what was going to happen was what they thought was already happening.”

The good news was, the fan response did prompt Epic to pay for her to re-record the album the way she wanted, with Elizondo producing, and she did so in June. ”I’ve been in the driver’s seat throughout this,” the singer told Valby. ”Sometimes not driving. Sometimes not actually moving. I was stalled for a long time, but I’ve definitely been in the driver’s seat.” For the full story, see Entertainment Weekly’s new issue, out Friday.


Comments (63 total) Add your comment
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  • Kyle Crispino

    Fiona’s breasts are somewhat askew…..much like her previous musical efforts.

  • Melissa

    Kyle, you are retarded…not clever.

  • Nikky

    aaah, anything for attention. Funny how you’re insulting, however, you’re on this site, reading aren’t you?

  • Eric

    Both “Tidal” and “When the Pawn…” encapsulate seasons in my memory–after sampling a few of the previewed tracks, I’m feeling pretty confident that “Extraordinary Machine” is going to be a fresh coat of paint on my mind this autumn. Fiona’s remarkable and utterly unique voice alone warrants further albums. She could be singing 20th century standards or Rogers & Hammerstein, and I’d still eat it up.

  • Crystal

    I have to go with the group consensus on this one to say that Kyle is a moron. (yet, sadly all morons are entitled to an opinion). I’d also like to say how excited I am to buy this album, and I’m telling everyone about it to help promote music that’s actually worth listening to.

  • Echo

    What’s wrong with music being ‘askew’? Maybe learn something about posture, Kyle? Who knows, someday even you might be able to see breasts not in print ~shrugs
    I love Fiona, and if she’s telling the truth then I’m glad to see her set things straight.

  • Guigui

    Don’t believe a word of this article.

  • Manda

    Fiona Apple is a kick ass artist. her music is great, her voice is awesome and her lyrics are pensive. In my opinion she has more talent than most of what you hear on the radio.

  • Eric

    I could care less if Fiona’s and the studio’s stories are true or false. Getting too wrapped up in the personal and (ugh) business lives behind the music only muddies the enjoyment. Everyone b.s.’s about a new album–it’s always “their greatest work”, “really special”, yada yada yada. If the album pleases, that’s all I care about. If not, on to the next one…

  • Raff_1975

    This is obviously a big lie. Problably, Fiona and Epic came to terms and made a deal. They released her album with some major changes to make it more appealing to the MTV audience, she agreed to say it was her and not Sony which shelved the album.

  • Renaud

    Kile is a perfect idiot : go back to your Kilie Minogues’ and Britney’s hot pictures and shut up man, you’re only a pervert.
    I don’t know and I don’t care if Fiona or Sony or anyone else is telling us the truth : the reality is that we have a new album on the track :-)
    I have already seen all the videos (extraordinaires) and listen to Oh Sailor and my opinion is that it will be a great album, in the same vein as the 2nd one, I think ;)
    By the way, does somebody knows where to download the remix version of “Across the Universe”, the Beatles cover featured on the film “Pleasantville”. I can only find the original version but I heared a remixed version very very interesting ;-) Feel free to mail me if you know something! Thanks a lot friends. Renaud

  • Bobby

    There is nothing dishonest about Fiona or her music. If you have any perception at all, you know that.

  • cozbaldwin

    To those who believe that this article is false, please listen to her WNYC radio interview here: and listen to her tell her side. Listen to her sincerity. I don’t understand why you must make her life out to be such a tragedy anymore. She doesn’t have to be viewed as put-upon anymore.

  • Gwendolyn

    I have to say Kyle, why did you bother reading the article if you thought Fiona’s music was “askew” in the first place? And for that matter, what’s wrong with being “askew”? It’s a hell of lot more powerful and interesting than most of the bull thats on the radio now. In relation to the article,I couldn’t give a rats ass if shes telling the truth or not. What I’ve heard so far is awesome and its got those sharps and flats that Fiona is known for and that I love.

  • Nick

    Thank you soooo much for this article….I’m glad that, even though we, at FreeFiona, did not achieve what we orginally set out to do, we helped Fiona in a bigger way than we could have ever imagined. I am proud to have taken part in this.

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