When the Brion-produced version of “Extraordinary Machine” showed up on the Internet earlier this year, Ms. Apple, upset that her unfinished work was available, thought Sony would scrap the album. “Who is going to give me money to make songs that are already out there?” she recalled thinking at the time.
Little did Ms. Apple know that a group of fans was pleading with Sony to release her album, which they thought had been shelved. Both Sony and Ms. Apple say it was not. On the Web site www.freefiona.com they railed against the “corporate giant” standing between them and their beloved.
“Please give us Fiona and we’ll give you money back,” read one poem posted on the site. Hundreds of foam apples were sent to the company, and in January a dedicated band of protesters, led by the Free Fiona founder Dave Muscato, stood outside the Madison Avenue offices of Sony BMG chanting, “We want Fiona.”