On Air (Alan Parsons album)

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On Air
On Air (Alan Parsons album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by
Released24 September 1996 (1996-09-24)
RecordedDecember 1995 – June 1996
GenreProgressive rock
ProducerAlan Parsons
Alan Parsons chronology
Try Anything Once
On Air
The Time Machine
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
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

On Air is the second solo studio album by English rock musician Alan Parsons. The album's chief creative force was the Alan Parsons Project's long-time guitarist, Ian Bairnson. Its concept revolves around the history of airborne exploration.

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


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]


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.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalistLength
1."Blue Blue Sky"Ian BairnsonEric Stewart1:38
2."Too Close to the Sun"Alan Parsons, Bairnson, Stuart ElliottNeil Lockwood5:04
3."Blown by the Wind"BairnsonEric Stewart5:25
4."Cloudbreak"Bairnson, Parsons, Elliottnone4:39
5."I Can't Look Down"BairnsonNeil Lockwood4:37
6."Brother Up in Heaven"BairnsonNeil Lockwood4:02
7."Fall Free"Bairnson, Elliott, ParsonsSteve Overland4:21
8."Apollo"Elliott, Parsons, Bairnsonnone (spoken words by John F. Kennedy)6:06
9."So Far Away"BairnsonChristopher Cross4:07
10."One Day to Fly"Elliott, Scott EnglishGraham Dye6:16
11."Blue Blue Sky"BairnsonEric Stewart4:24
Bonus track on Japanese release[3]
12."Apollo Ambient Mix (Moon Boots)" (Remix by Solar Quest)Elliott, Parsons, Bairnson7:59



Chart performance for On Air
Chart (1996) Peak
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[4] 22
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[5] 61
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[6] 54


  1. ^ DeGagne, Mike. On Air at AllMusic. Retrieved 11 February 2013 (2013-02-11).
  2. ^ "Alan Parsons – Brother Up In Heaven". Discogs. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Alan Parsons – On Air (CD, Album)". Discogs. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Alan Parsons – On Air" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Alan Parsons – On Air" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Alan Parsons – On Air". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 December 2020.

External links[edit]