50/Fifty Coming Up: #02


Penultimate post for 50/Fifty Coming Up. And, at last, here’s Orbital. #1 coming this afternoon.

What to choose? Was tempted by Satan and it’s classic intro or Chime and its distinctive chords. But live it’s always been Halcyon (1992) for me. In its original recorded form it’s quite a chilled record. But live, with its Bon Jovi and Linda Carlisle samples it becomes something else. This version, from 2004, which added The Darkness to the mix is probably my favourite live version (but has a 5 min intro). For years, the only way to get the live version with the Bon Jovi/Belinda Carlisle samples was on a bonus disc with the US release of 1996’s In Sides.

Compare it to this MTV original version


Halcyon” is a trance music song written and performed by Orbital and dedicated to the Hartnolls’ mother, who was addicted to the tranquiliser Halcion (Triazolam) for many years. The song features a backmasked vocal sample by Kirsty Hawkshaw from “It’s a Fine Day” by Opus III (1992) (Hawkshaw played the mother who was ‘under the influence’ in the video, which was shot in the Hartnolls’ home). Ed Barton, the composer of “It’s a Fine Day”, receives a co-writing credit for the track. This original form of the song is relatively uncommon; it first appeared on the Radiccio EP, and was only in the U.S. release as a single under its own name. It did not appear on a full-length album until the compilation Work 1989-2002, and then only in its shorter “single edit”.

On Orbital’s second eponymous album the track “Halcyon + on + on” appears, a slightly more upbeat and melodic remix of the original song. In contrast to the original, the remix is far more widely known, and has been featured on several movie soundtracks (most notably Mortal Kombat, Hackers, CKY2K and Mean Girls). The title of the remix is inspired by a contemporary advertising slogan used by the Ariston washing machine company (“Ariston + on + on”). “Halcyon + on + on” is somewhat shorter than the original, at 9 minutes and 27 seconds long.

~ by acidted on January 20, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: