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It's Been Far Too Long Since The Last Fiona Apple Album... Again

Four albums from the songstress over the course of 20 years simply isn't enough.

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Welp — it's now been more than four years since Fiona Apple released her amazing album The Idler Wheel... Additionally her first record, Tidal recently turned 20 years years old. Why is that significant? Well, sadly, Apple only had only two other albums in her catalog and that's not nearly enough!

Tidal

Tidal was released on July 23rd, 1996 when Apple was only 18 years old. That album spawned the massive hit "Criminal" (recently featured on President Obama's Spotify playlist) and the not-as-big-a-hit-but-still-utterly-amazing single "Sleep to Dream" among others. This helped the record go triple platinum and turned Fiona Apple into an MTV/VH1 star.
Columbia Records

Tidal was released on July 23rd, 1996 when Apple was only 18 years old. That album spawned the massive hit "Criminal" (recently featured on President Obama's Spotify playlist) and the not-as-big-a-hit-but-still-utterly-amazing single "Sleep to Dream" among others. This helped the record go triple platinum and turned Fiona Apple into an MTV/VH1 star.

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When the Pawn...

Mercifully, fans only had to wait two years for Apple to release her follow up, When the Pawn... Actually the album's 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 Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right. — and, yes, I have that memorized. You're most likely to remember this one from its lead single, "Fast as You Can."

Via tumblr.com

Admittedly this is my favorite of Fiona's records but it's a very tight race. Another single from the record that has grown in popularity over the years — "Paper Bag" — is not only among my favorite tracks from Apple but is on my list of Top 10 songs of all time. The video for the song is also an utter delight:

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#FreeFiona (before hashtags were a thing)

Then came trouble. If you're old enough to remember when Rolling Stone was relevant you may recall hearing about a "meltdown" Apple had at the Roseland Ballroom as well as other rumors of erratic behavior. On top of that, word began to circulate that the artist's third album, Extraordinary Machine had been rejected by Sony, leading fans to launch the Free Fiona campaign that included shipping apples to the record label.

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The leaked version of "Not About Love"

In 2004 — while I was in college, driving around in a car with a Free Fiona bumper sticker — demos from Extraordinary Machine were leaked online... and they were fabulous. Sometime after the leak, Apple cleared up confusion about the project and confessed that, while she was grateful for all of the support, it was actually her who was to blame for the delay. Eventually, a reworked and remastered version of the album was released in October 2005 and went on to be certified Gold and be nominated for a Grammy.

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Hear the difference? These changes weren't even as drastic as some of the others on the record.

The Idler Wheel

So Fiona was back, right?! Ugh. Not quite.

In fact, it was actually a longer break between Extraordinary Machine and her fourth album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do than there was between records two and three! The Idler Wheel didn't arrive until 2012 but it was worth the wait. Notable in my eyes is the fact that, while the artist has gone through some trying times over the years, that the album's penultimate track — "Anything We Want" — is arguably the most upbeat and dare I say "happy" song Apple has ever released.

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Bits and pieces

To be fair, while Fiona hasn't released a new album since 2012, we have received a few songs from her relatively recently. In addition to penning the theme to Showtime's The Affair, Apple released a cover of "Pure Imagination" in 2013 as part of a short film produced by Chipotle. Fun fact: that job was originally supposed to go to Frank Ocean but he apparently bailed.

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And now?

These little tastes have been great and I'm willing to take whatever I can get from one of the best songwriters of the past few decades, but I can't help but want more. Sadly, there is currently no word on a possible fifth album and she doesn't seem to have any tour dates scheduled at the moment.

So I won't beg and I won't complain... but, Fiona, just know that I love you and I'm waiting. Who's with me?

Epic Records

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