Apollo 440

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Apollo 440
Apollo 440 performing in 2010
Apollo 440 performing in 2010
Background information
OriginLiverpool, England
Years active1990–present
MembersTrevor Gray
Howard Gray
Ian Hoxley
Cliff Hewitt
Michael Cusick
Ashley Krajewski
Past membersJames Gardner
Paul Kodish
Rhoda Dakar
Ewan MacFarlane
Websitewww.apollo440.com[dead link]

Apollo 440 (also known as Apollo Four Forty or @440) are a British electronic music group formed in Liverpool in 1990.[1] 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.[2]

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).[2] 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.

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.[3]

Collaborators over the years have included Jeff Beck, Jean Michel Jarre, Billy Mackenzie, Ian McCulloch and Tomoyasu Hotei.

Currently[when?], the band resides in Islington, London, having once again moved its headquarters.[citation needed]


Current members[edit]

  • 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)

Former members[edit]

  • James Gardner - bass, keyboards, programming, samples (1990–1993)

Current touring members[edit]

  • Cliff Hewitt - drums, programming (1994-present)
  • Mary Byker (Ian Hoxley) - vocals. raps (1997-present)
  • Harry K - turntables, samples, vocals (1997-present)
  • Ashley Krajewski - keyboards, samples, backing vocals (2007-present)
  • Michael Cusick - bass, backing vocals (2008-present)
  • Ewan MacFarlane - vocals (2007-present)

Former touring members[edit]


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Millennium Fever 117
Electro Glide in Blue
  • Released: 3 March 1997
  • Label: Stealth Sonic, Epic
  • Format: CD, LP, cassette, digital download
62 26 7 32 37 55 54 33
Gettin' High on Your Own Supply
  • Released: 6 September 1999
  • Label: Stealth Sonic, Epic
  • Format: CD, MiniDisc, digital download
20 75 41 50 44
Dude Descending a Staircase
  • Released: 22 July 2003
  • Label: Stealth Sonic, Epic
  • Format: CD, LP, cassette, digital download
The Future's What It Used to Be
  • Released: 30 January 2012
  • Label: Stealth Sonic, Reverb
  • Format: CD, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • Rumble EP (1993)
  • A Deeper Dub EP (2011)


List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Year Title Peak chart positions Album

1991 "Lolita" non-album tracks
1992 "Blackout"
1994 "Astral America" 36 Millennium Fever
"Liquid Cool" 35
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
"Raw Power" 32 17 44
"Carrera Rapida"
1998 "Rendez-Vous 98"
(with Jean Michel Jarre)
12 non-album track
"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.

Media appearances[edit]

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.

Video games[edit]

Music in film[edit]


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.


Jean Baudrillard[edit]

The album, Millennium Fever, is a tribute to the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard. Since the release of that album, other references to Jean Baudrillard's works have popped up.

  • The track, "Astral America", references Baudrillard's book America, 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."

Marcel Duchamp[edit]

The title and cover art of the album Dude Descending a Staircase are parodies of Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 by Marcel Duchamp.


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.

Omega Point[edit]

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".


Their 1996 song is a homage to the Polish-American drummer Gene Krupa and his improvised style of drumming.

Charles Bukowski[edit]

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 Archived 12 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine blog.)

Slavoj Žižek[edit]

The song "Love is Evil", on the album The Future's What It Used to Be, contains samples from the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek.


  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 28. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  2. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 21. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  3. ^ Album Preview Video Archived 24 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Peak chart positions for albums in the United Kingdom:
  5. ^ a b Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 17.
  6. ^ a b "Discographie Apollo Four Forty". austriancharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Discography Apollo Four Forty". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Apollo Four Forty". musicline.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Discography Apollo Four Forty". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Discografie Apollo Four Forty". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Discography Apollo Four Forty". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Discographie Apollo Four Forty". hitparade.ch (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Apollo Four Forty". The Official Charts Company.
  14. ^ "Apollo Four Forty". Austriancharts.
  15. ^ "Apollo Four Forty". Offizielle Deutsche Charts.
  16. ^ "Apollo Four Forty". The Irish Charts.
  17. ^ "Apollo Four Forty". hitparade.ch.
  18. ^ "Apollo 440".

External links[edit]