Apollo 440 (also known as Apollo Four Forty or @440) are an English electronic music group formed in Liverpool in 1990. The group has written, recorded, and produced five studio albums, collaborated with and produced other artists, remixed as Apollo 440 and as ambient cinematic alter-ego Stealth Sonic Orchestra, and created music for film, television, advertisements and multimedia. Over eleven years, they notched up eleven top-forty UK singles with three top-tens, and had a chart presence worldwide.
Its name comes from the Greek god Apollo and the frequency of concert pitch — the A note at 440 Hz, often denoted as “A440”, and the Sequential Circuits sampler/sequencer, the Studio 440. They changed the writing of their name from Apollo 440 to Apollo Four Forty in 1996, though they switched back for their latest album. To date, Apollo’s remixes number around sixty – from U2 in the early 1990s to Puff Daddy/Jimmy Page and Ennio Morricone a decade later. Among their Stealth Sonic Orchestra remixes are a series of Manic Street Preachers singles.
Apollo 440 were formed by the brothers Trevor and Howard Gray with fellow Liverpudlians Noko and James Gardner, although Gardner left after the recording of the first album. All members sing and add a profusion of samples, electronics, and computer-based sounds.
After relocating to the Camden area of London, Apollo 440 recorded in 1994 with their debut album, Millennium Fever, and released it on 30 January 1995 on their own Stealth Sonic Recordings label (distributed by Epic Records). They have successfully invaded both the record charts and the dance floor with their combination of rock, breakbeat, and ambient.
The band had been most known for its remixes until the release of Liquid Cool in the UK. However, it was not until the success of the singles “Krupa” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Dub” that their own musical efforts were brought to international attention — particularly the latter single contributed greatly to pushing Apollo 440 into the spotlight.
In 2007, the band played a tribute gig to the late Billy Mackenzie.
Apollo 440’s fifth album, The Future’s What It Used To Be, became available for download on the iTunes Store from 23 March 2012.
Collaborators over the years have included Jeff Beck, Jean Michel Jarre, Billy Mackenzie, Ian McCulloch and Hotei.
Currently, the band resides in Islington, London, having once again moved its headquarters (affectionately labelled ‘Apollo Control’).
Electro Glide in Blue is the second studio album by English electronic music group Apollo 440. It was first released on 3 March 1997 in the United Kingdom by Stealth Sonic Recordings and Epic Records and on 9 September 1997 in the United States by 550 Music. The album features Charles Bukowski, Billy Mackenzie, and a tribute to Gene Krupa; all three of whom had died by the time of the album’s release. Its title is a reference to the 1973 film Electra Glide in Blue.
Stealth Mass in F#m” was played several times on BBC Radio 1 on 31 August 1997, when their regular schedule was suspended due to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The title track was featured on the soundtrack to the 1998 film Homegrown (by wikipedia)
A more satisfying album than their previous Sony effort, Electro Glide in Blue sees Apollo 440 moving closer to straight-ahead techno and away from commercial pop, a good move considering the electronic atmosphere of the times. Whether it’s the Sony Playstation video-game track “Rapid Racer” or an incredibly well-done duet with former Associates vocalist Billy Mackenzie on “Pain in Any Language,” Apollo 440 proves they’re no strangers to the dancefloor. (by John Bush)
Mary Byker (Ian Hoxley) (vocals)
Trevor Gray (keyboards, programming)
Cliff Hewitt (drums, programming)
Harry K (turntables, samples, keyboards)
Paul Kodish (drums, programming)
Billy Mackenzie (vocals on Pain)
01. Stealth Overture) (T.Gray/E.Gray/Noko) 1.00
02. Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Dub (E.Van Halen, A.Van Halen/Anthony/Roth, Noko) 4.31
03. Altamont Super-Highway Revisited (Noko) 6.33
04. Electro Glide In Blue (T.Gray/H.Gray/MacFarlane) 8.36
05. Vanishing Point (Noko) 7.28
06. Tears Of The Gods (H.Gray/T.Gray/Noko) 6.18
07. Carrera Rapida” (Theme from “Rapid Racer”) (Noko/T.Gray/H.Gray/Hoxley) 6.47
08. Krupa (Noko, T.Gray/H. Gray) 6.15
09. White Man’s Throat (album version) (Noko/H.Gray/Hoxley) 4.55
10. Pain In Any Language (Mackenzie /Noko) 8.40
11. Stealth Mass In F#m (TGray/E.Gray) 6.36