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Alan Parsons Band - On Air CD (album) cover

ON AIR

Alan Parsons Band

 

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3.05 | 79 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Featuring John F. Kennedy on vocals

"On air" was the second album by Alan Parsons (without the "project"). It is a somewhat underrated concept album on the theme of flight and the history of aviation, from the hot air balloons on the cover picture through to space travel.

The music is generally of a softer nature and pace, with a number of mid-tempo ballads. There are suggestions of the music of Pink Floyd (DSOTM era) on several tracks, especially the Gilmour like guitar on "Cloud break", and the "Run like hell" start to "Apollo". The latter is a building instrumental which lists the vocalist as "John F Kennedy" (since it includes an extract from one of his speeches on the space race). "Too close to the sun" actually reminded me of the similarly titled Janis Ian song "The other side of the sun", but it also has echoes of APP's "Eye in the sky", and does include some very effective sax.

10CCs Eric Stewart takes lead vocals for the soft ballad "Blown by the wind", and the two "Blue blue sky" tracks which bookend the album. It's Neil Lockwood though who steals the show with his vocal performances on "I can't look down", and the delicate "Brother up in heaven". The former is not one to listen to just before boarding a flight, as it's all about the fear of flying. The lyrics include "I feel so sick with fear", and "what if the engine dies, these are no friendly skies, my head's spinning around".

"One day to fly" is a weaker track, with Graham Dye sounding rather like Billy Joel did on "Honesty". The soft, melodic ballad changes after about 3 minutes to become a bit of a plodder, while retaining the Billy Joel similarity.

As a whole, the album sees Parsons leaving erstwhile partner Woolfson's influence further behind, and moving into generally softer, but highly melodic areas. Recommended.

The CD version includes a second disk (except in Canada for some reason), which contains a CD-Rom programme. It is somewhat difficult to navigate, but does contain some interesting information about both the band, and about aviation.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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