[…continued from last post]
2003 brought a shake up to the already established Billy MacKenzie canon of posthumous releases. Nude records had cone out of business at the time, giving One Little Indian some of their catalog titles. In 2003, they reissued the then-deleted “Beyond The Sun” in an otherwise identical pressing. Also, Billy’s family who were in charge of his estate, began flexing come muscle on the material in print. One Little Indian also got two new compilations out: “Transmission Impossible,” and “Auchtermatic.” The former was a coherent all-ballad program [the Winter Academy material] which cherry-picked six songs from “Beyond The Sun,” albeit in their demo recordings. One new track appeared, “Satellite Life,” and five more tracks were from the now-deleted “Eurocentric.” Finally, “At The Edge Of The World” from “Double Hipness [with Alan Rankine’s involvement] capped the program of balladry.
This left a mixture of electronic tracks [presumably the Outerpol songs] mostly taken from “Eurocentric” to form the basis of “Auchtermatic.” But three of Billy’s collaborations with Loom, Apollo 440, and Barry Adamson, were added to the playlist; in one case as a 8:32 edit of the 12+ minute opus “At The Edge Of the World.” To fill out the ten track album, three new songs were procured. A Haig-Aungle production of Eurythmics’ “Here Comes The Rain Again” which was far more driven than the former version. “Velvet,” a John Vick/Steve Aungle production, and a new track as written and produced by Boris Blank with “Norma Jean.”
One Little Indian also acquired reissue rights to the Haig/MacKenzie album and issued it in a new, white cover with further changes on the disc as it also had four bonus tracks. Three remixes were included: “Give Me Time,” “Beyond Love,” and “Stone The Memory Palace” plus an instrumental mix of “Thunderstorm.”All of these were catnip to committed MacKenzie fans, [are there any other kind?] but there was another compilation with a much broader appear in the works as well.
While a disc like “Popera” was invaluable in its time, that time was now 14 years earlier. More was needed and to that end Warner compiled and released the only compilation of every single [withdrawn and otherwise] in the iconic “Associates | Singles” package. Two discs packed with everything that should be on a disc carrying that name. The bait here was that it also carried their indie “Boys Keep Swinging” cover as well as two MacKenzie side-trips not in the Associates name but cogent to the discussion. The cover of “Kites” as recorded by 39 Lyon Street [with Christine Beveridge singing lead to Billy’s backing vocals], and the single credited to MacKenzie Sings Orbidoig: “Ice Cream Factory.” All accounted for in their 7″ edit concision.
The last release from 2004 was a wrap up from V2 of “Fourth Drawer Down” and “Sulk” in their V2 editions in a combo-pak® complete with O-card. For anyone who didn’t have the earlier editions. The next year would see something far more interesting manifest: the original 1980 version of “The Affectionate Punch” on CD format.
The original mix of the album was tracks one through ten with its original track meet cover photo. It was an odd cover but one that matched the weird intensity and physicality of the music. An additional four bonus tracks were added. “You Were Young,” The B-side to
the Affectionate Punch” 7″ single. The unreleased at the time “Janice” from “Double Hipness.” And finally the A/B-sides of the “Boys Keep Swinging” single; albeit the A-side in mono format. As I do not have the original 1979 7″ on either its Double Hip issue or its MCA re-issue, A cannot vouch for the provenance of the mono mix here. If I didn’t have that single 32 years ago, I surely can’t afford it now at a very solid three figures.
Next: …Returning For Seconds And Thirds
Not that I am believer in the afterlife concept — comforting as it can be to those left behind — but were a “heaven” to exist I can only imagine Prince talking to Billy and saying “Finally someone with my work ethic around here!”
The “long tail” of posthumous material you have detailed is quite astonishing, and a tribute both to Billy and to his various musical partners, with of course Mr. Rankine the most prominent. It is heartwarming to see MacKenzie still so well-represented and perhaps continuing to mint new fans.
chasinvictoria – And there’s still more to come. Remember… Billy made all of this music without being signed to a label; apart from the “Beyond the Sun” album.