A long, wonderfully relaxing, floaty tune by Orbital. The origins of this song are well known. It is a reference to the of P & P Hartnoll's mother's dependednce on the prescription tranquiliser Halcion. This drug was withdrawn from the market when it's long-term effects became clearer:
a "rather crazy adolescence", not helped by their mother being on the (later withdrawn) prescription tranquilizer Halcion (hence the song of the same name)

"Halcyon + On + On" was in fact a response to the drug used for seven years by the Hartnolls' own mother

Live, Orbital used to drop in cheesy 80s rock-lite tunes, such as Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven is a Place on Earth", or Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer", before dropping the beats back in, and getting funky again

Actually, the bits thrown into the live version of this track always (well, in all the live versions that I have heared), come from two specific cheesy tunes: Belinda Carlisle's Heaven is a Place on Earth, and Bon Jovi's You give love a bad name. The cool thing is that they play them over each other and still keep it in time and sounding melodic.

The live Orbital gig that I saw in 2000 was outstanding, and when I realised that they were about to break into Shot to heart, and you're to blame, darling you give luurve/ooh baby do you know what that's worth/ shot to the heart/ ooh heaven is a place on earth/ and you're to blame ... well, I jumped for joy.

Halycon + On + On by Orbital, from their Brown Album. (released May 1993)

The central pillar and most instantly-recognisable element of this track are the cleverly sampled vocals of Kirsty Hawkshaw from Opus III's It's A Fine Day. (a really quite pathetic New Age House anthem) Chopped, spliced, reversed, and time-stretched, her frivilous 'la di da' is transformed into a lush and almost soulful stream of sound. They pay particular attention to her breathy gasps which add to the complex aural timbre of the song.

Simple but nice synth chords pervade throughout the tune from the beginning. After a couple of minutes of vocals, synths, and a light piano melody, a bassline that sounds suspiciously like something from New Order is introduced. Followed quickly by a pitch-bent synth pluck melody that leads to a very fitting rhythm section, the track pushes on for a grand total of 9:27. (on the Brown Album version, at least.)

While it would seem that Halcyon would make a good ecstasy anythem, it was actually inspired by the Valium-like chemical Halcion. Far from a celebration, it was in fact a tribute or heedence to the Hartnolls' mother who had taken the tranquiliser for several years and suffered it's depressive side-effects.

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