One Bad Apple

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"One Bad Apple"
One Bad Apple-The Osmonds cover.jpg
Single by The Osmonds
from the album Osmonds
B-side"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
ReleasedNovember 14, 1970
RecordedOctober 26, 1970
GenrePop, R&B, bubblegum pop
Songwriter(s)George Jackson
The Osmonds singles chronology
"I've Got Loving on My Mind"
"One Bad Apple"
"Double Lovin'"

"One Bad Apple" was a No. 1 hit single released by The Osmonds on November 14, 1970. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on January 2, 1971. It hit the top of the chart on February 13, 1971 and stayed there for five weeks. It also reached No. 6 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. It was certified Gold by the RIAA on February 4, 1971.

The song was written by George Jackson, who originally had the Jackson 5 in mind when he wrote it.[3] According to Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson later told him that the Jackson 5 almost recorded this song first, but chose to record "ABC" instead.[4] Rick Hall recorded and produced the song at his FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, and then brought it to Terry Manning in Memphis to mix.

"One Bad Apple" was also used as the theme to The Osmonds cartoon show on ABC-TV. It is the only song in the Osmonds' repertoire that continues to receive any appreciable airplay on oldies radio, and even then its airplay is much lower than comparable hits of the era (most of the Osmonds' other songs get no airplay at all).[5]

Other versions[edit]

  • 1984: Nolan Thomas included it on his only album, Yo Little Brother
  • 1974: The Credibility Gap recorded "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Hair" and a German version (with totally unrelated lyrics), "Foreign Novelty Smash," both of which borrow melodic themes from "One Bad Apple" and the Jackson 5's "The Love You Save." Both recordings appear on the album A Great Gift Idea!
  • 1997: Aaron Carter on his self-titled debut album Aaron Carter.



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 445.
  2. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1971/Top 100 Songs of 1971". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  3. ^ "One Bad Apple by The Osmonds Songfacts". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  4. ^ Reference starts at 0:36
  5. ^ Ross, Sean (September 21, 2020). "Lost Factor 1971: Some Songs Are Like a Broken Yo-Yo". Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  6. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  7. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 12 April 1971
  8. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 445.
  10. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MONTH DD, 19YY". Retrieved 2016-10-16.[dead link]. Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Songs from the Year 1971". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1971/Top 100 Songs of 1971". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  14. ^ Billboard. 1971-12-25. p. 15. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  15. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1971". 1971-12-25. Archived from the original on 2016-10-06. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  16. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  17. ^ "American single certifications – The Osmonds – One Bad Apple". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.