Orbital's 1993 track, "Halcyon + On + On" was 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 two vocal samples from earlier international hit singles.
1) The first sample is a backmasked vocal sample by Kirsty Hawkshaw from "It's a Fine Day" by Opus III (1992).
"It's a Fine Day" was originally a song written by English poet and musician Edward Barton. It was recorded as a cappella in 1983 by Jane – that is, Jane Lancaster, Barton's girlfriend. Later Opus III recorded it with a full instrumental accompaniment, and used only the first verse and chorus of the original song's lyrics. This version was a major international hit in 1992.
2) The second is a vocal harmonies sample in the song "Leave It" from the 1983 album 90125 by the progressive rock band Yes. There is no co-writing credit for the Yes sample.
The beats were produced by a Roland TR-909 rhythm machine.
The original form of Halcyon 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 as a slightly more upbeat and melodic remix of the original song. In contrast to the original, this 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.
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