One Bad Apple

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"One Bad Apple"
Single by The Osmonds
from the album Osmonds
A-side "One Bad Apple"
B-side "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
Released December 1970
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1970
Genre Pop, R&B, bubblegum
Length 2:46
Label MGM Records
Writer(s) George Jackson
Certification Gold
The Osmonds singles chronology
"I've Got Loving On My Mind"
"One Bad Apple"
"Sweet and Innocent" (as Donny Osmond)

"One Bad Apple" was a number-one hit single released by The Osmonds in December 1970. It hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1971 and stayed there for five weeks. It also reached number six on the R&B chart.[1] Billboard ranked it as the No. 4 song for 1971.[2] Both "One Bad Apple" and the Donny Osmond-credited single "Sweet and Innocent" are on the 1970 album Osmonds.

The song was written by George Jackson, who originally had the Jackson 5 in mind when he wrote it.[3] The Osmonds' version coincidentally sounded like the Jackson 5 to the point many mistook the Osmonds for the Jacksons on the song when first hearing it.[citation needed] According to Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson later told him that the Jackson 5 almost recorded this song first, but chose to record "ABC" instead.[citation needed]

"One Bad Apple" was also used as the theme to The Osmonds cartoon show on ABC-TV.

Other versions[edit]

  • 1974: The Credibility Gap recorded a parody of the song, "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Hair" and a German version (with totally unrelated lyrics), "Foreign Novelty Smash". Both recordings appear on the album A Great Gift Idea!
  • 1997: Aaron Carter on his self-titled debut album Aaron Carter.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 445. 
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1971
  3. ^ One Bad Apple by The Osmonds Songfacts
Preceded by
"Knock Three Times" by Tony Orlando and Dawn
US Billboard Hot 100 number one single
February 13, 1971 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin
Preceded by
"If You Could Read My Mind" by Gordon Lightfoot
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
February 27, 1971 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival