After the release of Living In The Material World, George retreated once again from the public eye for the remainder of 1973. One of his only Apple-related projects that year was producing the film Little Malcolm; George had seen the play on which it was based in 1966 and fell in love with the story.
The movie was filmed in February and March 1973 but not released until June 1974, when it was screened at a Berlin film festival. By that time, Apple was nearly defunct as a business, and the film remained mostly unseen until its recent DVD release. George also produced and played guitar on a song for the soundtrack, "Lonely Man", co-written by Mal Evans and performed by the duo Splinter.
As with most of George's musical efforts from this point forward, the song was recorded at his home studio, FPSHOT (Friar Park Studios, Henley-On-Thames). He invited guitarist Ron Wood to stay there in October 1973, and the duo co-wrote a song for Wood's next album, "Far East Man".
In November, George was ready to begin recording his own LP at home, inviting Ringo to participate. He would record his own versions of "Far East Man" and an earlier giveaway, "So Sad", for the album. Very little work on what would become Dark Horse was done by the time George took another trip to India in February 1974.
By that time, Ringo was hogging most of the spotlight as his LP Ringo had been a gold-seller, and the #1 single "Photograph" was followed up in December by another #1 US single, "You're Sixteen". On February 8th, 1974, "You're Sixteen" was issued in the UK (where it peaked at #3). By then, the US was up to its third single from the LP, "Oh My My", which came out February 18th. It reached #5, making Ringo the first (and to date, only) ex-Beatle to have three top five singles from the same LP.
On February 6th, Ringo sat down with Brian Matthew for an appearance on the BBC Radio 1 series My Top Twelve. As the title suggests, the show was an outlet for celebrities to choose 12 of their favorite songs, creating a fantasy LP. Ringo, whose record collection was legendarily enormous, made things easy on himself by selecting singles from his home jukebox. In addition to discussing the songs, he chatted about favorite drummers, films, seeing Elvis in Las Vegas, the Ringo LP, and his new home studio.