In 1996 Billy was in London trying to get a record deal. Epic and Nude were both interested and while the fine detail and deal was sorted out, Billy had been recording a vocal for yet another collaboration. This time it was with those epic progsters Apollo Four Forty.

Already well-known for their remix and production work on everyone from U2 to The Moody Boys, they had ditched the extended exploration of cryogenic preservation evidenced on their “Millenium Fever” debut LP in 1994 (do check it out – I love it!) to create a sample-icious follow up album “Electra Glide In Blue”, but they needed someone to do a kind of “Billy MacKenzie” style performance on a tune called “Pain In Any Language”. There was only one person to get in for the job.

Top @440 dudester Noko described how “up” Billy was “about the whole thing”. It was the last song Billy wrote, recorded and completed in his life. It is a career highpoint and in a bitter twist turned out to be Billy’s swansong.

mp3 : Billy Mackenzie /Apollo 440 – Pain In Any Language

There is a tiny wee clip of Billy in “The Glamour Chase” documentary showing Billy laughing and having a cup of tea during the recording session with Apollo Four Forty. He looks full of beans. When Nude signed a deal with Billy in late 1996, Apollo Four Forty were given the nod to produce four tracks for Billy’s album for Nude. Listen to this track and imagine what an album that could have been. It was never made.

Sid Law

And that, dear readers, brings an end to what has been a truly wonderful series and one that was I honoured and humbled to have hosted on T(n)VV.  Thank you so much Sid.  Please feel free to share more treasures with us.


  1. Thank you once again Sid – great to have these wonderful rarities! 🙂

  2. As usual, another great Billy related song from Sid – thank you so much. The whole series has been a beautiful reminder of how good Billy was – and how it was such a shame that he didn’t feel he could go on. I’m sure that if he was still around now, he would have taken all this with a wee ‘och’ and a walk over the hills with Wild and Lonely’s grandpups.

  3. A stunning song full of real emotion and intent. Apollo440 and Billy were made for each other – drama to the fore and creativity abounding. Thanks for sharing Sid and JC!!

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