BILLY MACKENZIE RARITIES…COURTESY OF SID LAW (5)

Billy tay bridge with Wild and Lonely

After being dropped by Warners in 1988, Billy quickly put some demos together with Blair Booth and Philip Erb (who he had recorded “Cinemas Of the World” with) and secured a deal with Virgin subsidiary Circa. The result was 1990’s “Wild And Lonely” a record much maligned by many Associates and MacKenzie fans. There are a number of reasons for this but the main one is that while the rest of the UK had romped through the 2nd Summer of Love in 1988 and two years later Acid House, House, Hip-Hop and sample-tastic dance music was filling the charts, “Wild And Lonely” had been produced by Julian Mendelsohn and it sounded slick and well – a bit like 1986. “Wild” and “Lonely” were two of Billy’s Whippets by the way…

My favourite track from this era is a B-side track from the single “Fire To Ice” called “The Glamour Chase” – an Abba-like paean to lost hope, shattered dreams and dented pride. The song refers to the ditched Warners album, Billy’s stalled career and the cost of the quest for fame (“Quality knows what is insincere/ All is not what it seems to appear/ Searching for what in this emptiness/ Why all this sudden need to impress/ Why must we always think we know best/ Knowing you’re wanting a part of me/ Only protects that same part of me”).

mp3 : Associates – The Glamour Chase

Billy insisted the track was included on the UK version of the “Wild And Lonely” CD and it was the only track on the album which Julian Mendelsohn didn’t produce. Billy produced it.

Sid Law

JC adds (in August 2015)….

The marvellous illustration above is the work of Stuart Murray, but I only discovered this many months later via the comments section.

It was done by Stuart me for a book called The Great Scots Musicography in 2003 (a tome from which I draw much of the info that subsequently appears in postings), and Stuart says it was one of his favourites for the book. You can check out more recent work of his at http://www.thefolkyebumpintae.wordpress.com

7 thoughts on “BILLY MACKENZIE RARITIES…COURTESY OF SID LAW (5)

  1. if it is the same exhibition as was at Glasgow a few years back then it is well worth a few visits. My young brother bought me Harry’s book for my 50th birthday and it brought back so many memories.

  2. The top track for me of the “Wild + Lonely” era was “Fever In The Shadows,” a sample-tastic hip hop dance re-imagining of the tepid song “Fever” from the album proper. It may be dated, but its far less dated than the rest of the Julian Mendelsohn [very ca. 1986, as Sid correctly stated] produced material. It’s worth mentioning that Mendelsohn also produced and mixed this track that pulses with a life. I don’t dislike JM as a producer, but Billy needed someone to push out the boundaries, and the polite W+L sound was the safest Billy had ever played. And that was to his detriment.

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