Apollo 100

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Tom Parker in 1972 on AVRO's TopPop.

Apollo 100 was a short-lived British instrumental studio-based group that had a top 10 hit with the Johann Sebastian Bach-inspired single "Joy" in 1972.[1]

The recording of "Joy" as performed by Apollo 100 is a nearly note-for-note remake of the arrangement of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (but with modern pop music flourishes like percussion, electric guitar and bass) recorded by the British band Jigsaw on their 1970 debut album Letherslade Farm.

Tom Parker was an accomplished arranger responsible for most of the successful arrangements from the Young Blood catalogue, such as the Top 20 American hit "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" and a number of Don Fardon's recordings. Parker is a multi-instrumentalist, having played keyboards, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and a number of other instruments from an early age. His first performances were in and around Newcastle upon Tyne, where he performed in a number of jazz clubs. Following this he was associated with a number of groups, including The Mark Leeman 5, Jimmy James and the Vagabonds, and Eric Burdon with the New Animals. He put together the band in 1972, with drummer Clem Cattini, guitarist Vic Flick, guitarist Zed Jenkins, percussionist Jim Lawless, and bassist Brian Odgers. Their first single, "Joy", based on Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", rose to number 6 on the pop singles chart in the US. None of their subsequent efforts were as successful, and they broke up in 1973.

The US release of "Joy" was handled by the Nashville, Tennessee based independent label Mega Records, who released it there as a 7" single in November 1971.[2]

"Joy" has subsequently been featured in the soundtracks of the films Boogie Nights, One Day in September, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Battle of the Sexes and in 2014 and 2015 it was featured in radio and television commercials for Miller Lite beer, as well as Hewlett Packard Enterprise's 2015 TV commercials.


1. Joy, LP, March 1972,[3] Mega M31-1010 Stereo

(Debut on Billboard Hot 100: Feb. 19, 1972 for 16 weeks; peak: 47th position.)

A Youngblood Production, Produced by Miki Dallon.

Side One
Side Two
Apollo 100 Master Pieces
Apollo 100 Master Pieces front cover Australia.jpg
Studio album by
Apollo 100 featuring Tom Parker. Painting: "The Man in a Golden Helmet" attributed to a student of Rembrandt (altered for album cover).
ReleasedMarch 1972[4]
LabelYoung Blood, RCA
ProducerMiki Dallon

2. Master Pieces, LP, April 5, 1973, Mega M51-5005 Stereo

A Youngblood Production, Produced by Miki Dallon.

Side One
  • "Amazing Grace" (Trad. arr. Tom Parker) (ASCAP) 3:09
  • "Custer's Last Stand" (Tom Parker) (ASCAP) 2:27
  • "Tristesse" (Trad. arr. Tom Parker) (ASCAP) 3:14
  • "Opus 5" (Tom Parker) (ASCAP) 2:52
  • "Valleys" (Joe Moretti) (ASCAP) 2:31
Side Two

The Australian release had a slightly different line-up. Master Pieces, LP, 1972, Young Blood SSYB-17 Stereo

Side One
  • "Beethoven 9"
  • "Telstar"
  • "Nutrocker"
  • "Listening to Mozart"
  • "William Tell"
Side Two
  • "Amazing Grace"
  • "Custer's Last Stand"
  • "Tristesse"
  • "Opus 5"
  • "Minuet for a Funky Lady" (previously released on single as B-side)
  • "Valleys"

Released by RCA Limited, Sydney, Australia

Although "Popcorn" is mentioned on the rear cover as included in the album, it does not appear in the song list.


  1. ^ http://www.45cat.com/record/yb1034
  2. ^ http://www.45cat.com/record/6150050
  3. ^ "Billboard," Billboard Productions, Inc., New York NY, March 18, 1972, p. 48
  4. ^ "Billboard," Billboard Productions, Inc., New York NY, March 18, 1972, p. 48