On Air (Alan Parsons album)

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On Air
On Air (Alan Parsons album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by Alan Parsons
Released 24 September 1996 (1996-09-24)
Recorded December 1995 – June 1996
Genre Progressive rock
Length 49:36
Label Digital Sound
Producer Alan Parsons
Alan Parsons chronology
Try Anything Once
(1993)Try Anything Once1993
On Air
The Time Machine
(1999)The Time Machine1999
Singles from On Air
  1. "Brother Up in Heaven"
    Released: 1996 (Europe only)
  2. "So Far Away"
    Released: 1996 (Sweden only)
  3. "Fall Free"
    Released: 1997 (Europe only)
  4. "Apollo"
    Released: 1997 (US only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

On Air is the second solo release by Alan Parsons following the split of The Alan Parsons Project; however, the album's chief creative force was the Project's long-time guitarist, Ian Bairnson. Its concept revolves around the history of airborne exploration.

Musically, this album is very different from Try Anything Once and the Alan Parsons Project albums, opting for more of a soft rock sound and a stable band line-up rather than the funky rhythms, symphonic flares, or rotating vocalists of the past.

Album's concept[edit]

With their newfound independence from Arista, Parsons and Bairnson decided early on that this release would be a work of art from start to finish where neither vision nor integrity would be subverted by commercial sensibility.[citation needed]

The album follows the history of airborne exploration, from the mythological flight of Daedalus and Icarus to escape the labyrinth of the Minotaur in "Too Close to the Sun", through Leonardo da Vinci's search to design a flying machine, or ornithopter, in long-time Project drummer Stuart Elliott's "One Day To Fly", until finally mankind's aspirations for space exploration placed on the shoulders of a single astronaut in "So Far Away" and the subsequent superpower race to put a man on the moon in "Apollo", a track backed by John F. Kennedy's famous speech of 25 May 1961.

The song "Brother Up In Heaven" remembers Ian Bairnson's cousin Erik Mounsey who was killed in a friendly fire incident above Iraq in 1994.[2] The death of this young helicopter pilot is made even more haunting by the fact that he was an unarmed peacekeeper.[citation needed]


On Air was issued as both a stereo CD and a 5.1 channel dts mix. Included with the music CD was a CD-ROM exploring the On Air theme.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocalist Length
1. "Blue Blue Sky" Ian Bairnson Eric Stewart of The Mindbenders and 10cc 1:38
2. "Too Close to the Sun" Alan Parsons, Bairnson, Stuart Elliott Neil Lockwood of ELO Part II 5:04
3. "Blown by the Wind" Bairnson Eric Stewart 5:25
4. "Cloudbreak" Bairnson, Parsons, Elliott Instrumental 4:39
5. "I Can't Look Down" Bairnson Neil Lockwood 4:37
6. "Brother Up in Heaven" Bairnson Neil Lockwood 4:02
7. "Fall Free" Bairnson, Elliott, Parsons Steve Overland of FM and The Ladder 4:21
8. "Apollo" Elliott, Parsons, Bairnson Instrumental with John F. Kennedy audio clips 6:06
9. "So Far Away" Bairnson Christopher Cross 4:07
10. "One Day to Fly" Elliott, Scott English Graham Dye of Scarlet Party 6:16
11. "Blue Blue Sky" Bairnson Eric Stewart 4:24



  1. ^ DeGagne, Mike. On Air at AllMusic. Retrieved 11 February 2013 (2013-02-11).
  2. ^ "Alan Parsons – Brother Up In Heaven". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  3. ^ "Alan Parsons – On Air (CD, Album)". Discogs. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 

External links[edit]