It was written as a tribute to the die-hard Beatles fans known as Apple scruffswho would wait in certain London locations where the band members were likely to appear, even long after the group's break-up in April The recording has been noted for its Bob Dylan influence, featuring Harrison on acoustic guitar and Apple Scruffs - George Harrison - All Things Must Pass , and is recognised as a departure from Apple Scruffs - George Harrison - All Things Must Pass big sound synonymous with All Things Must Pass.
The name "Apple scruffs" was first coined by George Harrison during the late s. Sometimes George would record from 7 p. Harrison recorded "Apple Scruffs" late in the proceedings, during the overdubbing and mixing phase of All Things Must Pass. Using take 18 of his performances that day,  the released recording was edited together from the full take, lasting around two-and-a-half minutes, with the section comprising the song's chorus and the following instrumental passage repeated,  thereby extending the track length to Harrison invited the Apple scruffs into Abbey Road Studios to hear the results.
The song was afforded further exposure when issued as the B-side to " What Is Life ", released internationally though not in Britain in February as a second single off the album.
A popular track on radio, "Apple Scruffs" received as much airplay as the A-side in America,  while in some European markets and Australia, its popularity led to the song being favoured as the lead side over "What Is Save The Moment - Fancy - Contact / Five. On release, reviewers were quick to point Apple Scruffs - George Harrison - All Things Must Pass the Dylan influence on "Apple Scruffs";   Alan Smith of the NME described it as "a Dylanesque, pacy piece with harmonica and a girlie chorus".
In his combined review of all the former Beatles' solo releases, Geoffrey Cannon of The Guardian described All Things Must Pass as "relaxed, well resolved, and, as ever with George, magnanimous" and said he especially admired the sentiments in "Apple Scruffs", despite it being "one of the slighter songs". More recently, Beatles author Bruce Spizer has written of the song: "Sandwiched in the middle of an album full of elaborate wall-of-sound productions, Apple Scruffs breaks through like a breath of fresh air.
In a review for the 30th anniversary reissue of All Things Must PassJames Hunter of Rolling Stone highlighted "Apple Scruffs" among other tracks on an album that "helped define the decade it ushered in", advising listeners to "proceed to music that exults in breezy rhythms", which included "the colorful revolutions of 'What Is Life' … bluesy and intricate on Harrison and Dylan's 'I'd Have You Anytime,' fizzy on 'Apple Scruffs,' grooving on 'Let It Down,' and spookily proto-disco on 'Art of Dying'".
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