Friday, 27 November 2009


In 1986 Billy popped along to R.E.L. Studios in Edinburgh to drop onto tape what is perhaps his most bizzarre vocal performance. A collaboration (albeit in seperate studios) with Palais Schaumburg founder member Holger Hiller. With the music in Billy's headphones already recorded in a Hamburg studio and working pretty much on his own, he tackled Hiller's lyrics (eg. "OH SOOO TOYO TO TO FEBAYQAYO OCH") with some gusto. Just what the track adds up to.... well I'm just pretty banjaxed really. Make your own mind up!
"Whippets" was released by Mute on a 12" single. It was backed by "Waltz" (no input from Billy on this track). I had long thought that the 12" would be prohibitively rare and expensive to track down but I picked up a VGC copy off the Outerweb for £2.50 last year. It is worth the purchase for the sleeve alone, where Hiller had thoughtfully printed the lyrics in case any of us wanted to sing along.

Both tracks were included on the album "Oben Im Eck" (1986) released by Mute. Billy contributed backing vocals to two more tracks on the album - "Oben Im Eck" and "We Dont Write Anything On Paper Or So". A slightly different version of the "Oben Im Eck" track was added as an extra to the CD re-issue. I particularly like Billy's contribution to the "We Don't Write Anything..." track- a precursor of the haunting, wordless soundscapes and vocal washes he created for Yello in the years following this strange collaboration.

Sid Law

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that info , I have credited you in my post on my blog. RIP Billy , voice of an Angel