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|Past members||James Gardner|
Apollo 440 (also known as Apollo Four Forty or @440) are a British 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. They notched up ten UK top 40 singles with three top-tens, and had a chart presence worldwide.
Its name comes from the Apollo program 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 440's remixes range from U2, P. Diddy/Jimmy Page, Jean-Michel Jarre and Ennio Morricone. 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. Trevor, Howard and Noko all attended the same school, Old Hall High School in Maghull, in the mid to late 1970's. 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). Their combination of rock, breakbeat, and ambient music has been successful on the record charts as well as on the dance floor.
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 to pushing Apollo 440 into the spotlight.
In 2007, the band played a tribute gig to the late Billy Mackenzie.
- Howard Gray - production keyboards, samples, programming (1990–present)
- Trevor Gray - production, keyboards, samples, programming (1990–present)
- Noko - production, vocals, guitars, keyboards, samples, programming (1990–present)
- James Gardner - bass, keyboards, programming, samples (1990–1993)
Current touring members
- Cliff Hewitt - drums, programming (1994-present)
- Mary Byker (Ian Hoxley) - vocals. raps (1997-present)
- Harry K - turntables, samples, keyboards (1997-present)
- Michael Cusick - bass, backing vocals (2007-present)
- Ewan MacFarlane - vocals (2007-present)
Former touring members
- MC Stevie Hyper D - raps (1994)
- Rhoda Dakar - vocals (1994-2004)
- Paul Kodish - drums, programming (1997-2000)
- Rej - bass (1997-2000)
- Jonathan "Stan" White - bass (2004)
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Electro Glide in Blue||
|Gettin' High on Your Own Supply||
|Dude Descending a Staircase||
|The Future's What It Used to Be||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- Rumble EP (1993)
- A Deeper Dub EP (2011)
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1994||"Astral America"||36||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Millennium Fever|
|1995||"(Don't Fear) The Reaper"||35||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996||"Krupa"||23||85||—||—||38||—||—||—||—||7||Electro Glide in Blue|
|1997||"Ain't Talkin' 'bout Dub"||7||64||32||3||13||24||15||2||18||15|
(with Jean Michel Jarre)
|"Lost in Space"||4||—||—||—||74||18||90||—||—||—||Gettin' High on Your Own Supply|
|1999||"Stop the Rock"||10||79||—||—||47||26||—||—||—||11|
|"Heart Go Boom"||57||81||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000||"Cold Rock the Mic / Crazee Horse" (promo only)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Charlie's Angels 2000"||29||—||64||—||95||—||70||—||75||—||Charlie's Angels|
|2001||"Say What?" (with 28 Days)||—||23||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Stealing Chairs|
|2003||"Dude Descending a Staircase"
(feat. The Beatnuts)
|58||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Dude Descending a Staircase|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
Over 50 different Apollo tracks have featured in movies, trailers, TV, games and ads worldwide, the latter including globally branded cars, beers, soft drinks, phones, audio and software. They have also written two entire soundtracks for the Sony PlayStation and provided the themes for ITV World Cup '98 and Formula 1 2000 to 2002 coverage as well as Liverpool F.C.'s Official 2006 FA Cup song.
- 1996 Adidas Power Soccer (PlayStation version) - Rumble/Spirit of America
- 1997 Rapid Racer (Turbo Prop Racing), format: PlayStation CD (Audio CD plus game data track). The soundtrack was also available as an extra CD, as part of the limited edition double CD single release of "Carrera Rapida"
- 1999 FIFA 2000 - Stop the Rock
- 1999 Gran Turismo 2 (NTSC version) - Cold Rock the Mic
- 2000 Spider-Man (2000), featured a remix of "Spider-Man theme song"
- 2001 ATV Offroad Fury - Yo! Future
- 2001 Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (NTSC version) - Stop the Rock (Mint Royale Mix)
- 2002 F1 2002 (PS2 and PC versions) - Blackbeat
- 2003 SX Superstar - Cold Rock the Mic
- 2004 EyeToy: AntiGrav - ???
- 2004 EyeToy: Groove - Hustler Groove (instrumental)
- 2004 Gran Turismo 4 - Start the Car
- 2004 Gran Turismo 4 - Hold the Brakes
- 2007 Forza Motorsport 2 - SolidRockRazorSteel
- 2007 Forza Motorsport 2 - Rollin' Down the Highway
- 2007 Cars Mater-National Championship - Stop The Rock
- 2012 LittleBigPlanet Karting - Odessa Dubstep (Instrumental)
Music in film
- Spawn (1997) the soundtrack : "This Is Not A Dream" (UK Mix), with Mark Sandman of Morphine on vocals
- Spawn (1997 film)#Soundtrack Bonus Track (#15-16)
- Club Hits 97/98 (1997), (soundtrack to music used during Sky Sport's coverage of Premiership football), featured "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Dub"
- Species II (1998), featured "Carrera Rapido"
- Lost in Space (1998), featured "Lost In Space (Theme)"
- Charlie's Angels (2000), featured a remix of the Charlies Angels theme song
- Boys and Girls (2000), featured "Stop the Rock" in a club scene
- Cut (2000), featured "Stop the Rock"
- Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), featured "Stop the Rock"
- Driven (2001), features "Stadium Parking Lot" in a montage of several songs during a chase scene
- Spider-Man (2002), featured "Altamont Super-Highway Revisited" in one of the trailers
- Resident Evil (2002), featured "Wall Of Death"
- S.W.A.T. (2003), featured "Time Is Running Out"
- Eurotrip (2004), featured "Make My Dreams Come True"
- Chasing Liberty (2004) featured "Stop the Rock"
- Disaster Movie (2008), featured "Stop the Rock" in the teaser trailer
- The Sopranos, in "Whoever Did This" (2002) "The Man with the Harmonica" played over the end credits
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2007, featured "Stop the Rock" in the segment "Sureally Sexy"
Apollo 440 has a history of working with various vocalists. Whilst their debut album, Millennium Fever, was sung almost exclusively by Noko, he has since withdrawn from his vocalist status in the band to make way for various guest appearances, including, but not limited to:
- Billy Mackenzie on "Pain In Any Language" on Electro Glide in Blue, the last song he recorded.
- Ewan MacFarlane on "Electro Glide in Blue" on Electro Glide In Blue and numerous tracks on the Dude Descending a Staircase album - currently performing live.
- Xan on "Something's Got to Give" on Dude Descending a Staircase
- Jalal Nuriddin on "Children of the Future" on Dude Descending a Staircase
- The Beatnuts on the title track of Dude Descending a Staircase
- Elizabeth Gray on "Christiane" on Dude Descending a Staircase and "Stealth Mass" on Electro Glide in Blue
- Mary Byker (Ian Hoxley) on "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Dub", "Raw Power" on Electro Glide in Blue and "Stop The Rock" on Gettin' High On Your Own Supply - performed as live vocalist until 2004.
- The track, "Astral America", references Baudrillard's America essay, where the term originates.
- The track, "The Perfect Crime", references Baudrillard's book of the same name.
- The lyrics of "Stealth Requiem" reference the Baudrillardian concept of hyperreality. At one point a female voice says, "Ravishing hyperrealism ... Mind blowing", and later quotes directly from America (1988): "The exhilaration of obscenity; the obscenity of obviousness; the obviousness of power; the power of simulation."
The song "Liquid Cool" (released as a B-side in 1993, as a single in 1994, and featured on the Millennium Fever album) is a tribute to Alcor, a company focused to pursue research into and the organization of cryonization. The topic is also referenced in the title-song "Millennium Fever", which includes the line, '"I've been dreaming of freezing my mind in California'" where Alcor was based until 1994. Contact details for Alcor subsequently appeared on the sleeve of the single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", a cover of the Blue Öyster Cult song.
The song "Omega Point" references the religious concept of the same name, and features a quote from Barrow and Tipler's "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle".
On the album Electro Glide in Blue, track 6 called "Tears of the Gods" (6:18) features audio quotes from the 1970s video performance "Bukowski at Bellevue". The quotes are all taken from a piece entitled "Soup, Cosmos, and Tears." (A transcription of the video can be found at the Blithering Savant blog.)
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 28. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 21. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
- Album Preview Video Archived 24 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Peak chart positions for albums in the United Kingdom:
- Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 17.
- "Discographie Apollo Four Forty". austriancharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Discography Apollo Four Forty". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Chartverfolgung / Apollo Four Forty". musicline.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Discography Apollo Four Forty". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Discografie Apollo Four Forty". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Discography Apollo Four Forty". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Discographie Apollo Four Forty". hitparade.ch (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Apollo Four Forty". The Official Charts Company.
- "Apollo Four Forty". Austriancharts.
- "Apollo Four Forty". Offizielle Deutsche Charts.
- "Apollo Four Forty". The Irish Charts.
- "Apollo Four Forty". hitparade.ch.
- "Apollo 440".