Ian Bairnson was born August 3, 1953 in a town called Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.
While we've come to know this premier guitarist as Ian, he was actually born with a different name. "I was christened Ian. It was traditional to name every male in the family John, my father was John also. When Pilot first started I had the chance to change my name to something else. It wasn't that important and I'm also the last of the Bairnsons."
At the beginning of his career, Ian played in a number of bands, including: East West, and Ears. In the early seventies, Ian joined forces with David Paton, Billy Lyall, and Stuart Tosh and together they became the band Pilot. In 1974, the single "Magic" burned up the charts, and this would lead to the albums "Second Flight" (1975), "Morin Heights" (1976), and "Twos A Crowd" (1977).
During this period Pilot would get the call to work on the first Alan Parsons album. Ian and the band appeared on the 1976 album "Tales of Mystery and Imagination". Over the years, The Alan Parsons Project featured many guest musicians, but aside from Alan and Eric Woolfson, Ian was the only musician to appear on every Project album. Its for that reason that Ians guitar work is part of the foundation of The APP sound.
For more than twenty-five years, Ian has been a very active player as a session musician. You can hear him on Paul McCartney's "Mull of Kintyre" and on the Kate Bush albums "The Kick Inside" and "Lionheart". The list of artistes that Ian has worked with seems almost endless, including: Chris DeBurgh, Michael McDonald, Mick Fleetwood, Sting, Tom Jones, Jon Anderson, and many more.
Session work has also teamed Ian with players from all over the globe, including Germany artistes (Harold Faltermayer, and Herman Weindorf) and Japanese artistes (Akira Inoue, and Sugi Masamichi).
Of course when anyone from The Project needed a hand, you could be sure that Ian would help out. Andrew Powell called him up for both the "Ladyhawke" soundtrack and his "Best of the APP". Vocalists Lenny Zakatek and Chris Rainbow ("White Trails") also knew who to call when they were doing their solo albums. When the short-lived Keats band was formed, who better to call when you need a versatile guitarist?
Ian has also composed music for television, including the programs "The World's Strongest Man" and "Driving Force". On the other side of the camera, he appeared in the film "Paper Mask" playing... a musician in a band!
When The Alan Parsons Project came to an end, and Alan was looking to start over, Ian was instrumental in helping write the next chapter of the Parsons sound. On the 1993 "Try Anything Once" album, Ian not only played, but contributed four songs including "Siren Song" and the live concert favourite "Turn It Up".
In the nineties, the music of Alan Parsons was performed live for the very first time, and Ian was a key member of the Alan Parsons Live Project. Off the road, Ian was a big part of the follow-up albums "On Air" and "The Time Machine". Not only did Ian contribute musically (with guitars, sax, bass, and much more), but he wrote a bulk of the tracks for both albums. From up tempo songs like "Fall Free" to the deeply moving "Brother Up In Heaven", Ian is able to cover different styles with skill.
Following the break-up of The Alan Parsons Band, Ian has been busy with a number of projects. At the top of the list, Ian has re-united with David Paton to re-visit Pilots "Twos A Crowd" album.
Ian shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon!
For more about Ian Bairnson, see Issues Four and Five of The Avenue. Or www.IanBairnson.com
|Work With Other Artists|
|1974||Pilot||Pilot (From the Album of the Same Name)||Guitar|
|1976||The Alan Parsons Project||Tales of Mystery and Imagination||Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric)|
|1976||William Lyall||Solo Casting||Guitar, Guitar (Electric)|
|1976||Chris De Burgh||Spanish Train & Other Stories||Guitar|
|1977||The Alan Parsons Project||I Robot||Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Vocals|
|1977||Pilot||Two's a Crowd||Guitar|
|1978||The Alan Parsons Project||Pyramid||Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric)|
|1978||Kate Bush||Kick Inside||Guitar, Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Bottle|
|1978||Kate Bush||Lionheart||Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals|
|1978||Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel||Hobo With a Grin||Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric)|
|1979||Chris Rainbow||White Trails||Guitar|
|1979||The Alan Parsons Project||Eve||Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric)|
|1979||Lenny Zakatek||Lenny Zakatek||Guitar, Vocals|
|1980||Kate Bush||Never for Ever||Guitar, Bass (Vocal), Vocals|
|1980||The Alan Parsons Project||The Turn of a Friendly Card||Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric)|
|1980||Jon Anderson||Song of Seven||Bass, Guitar, Vocals|
|1982||Kate Bush||Dreaming||Guitar, Vocals (bckgr)|
|1982||Panorama||Can This Be Paradise||Guitar, Vocals|
|1982||The Alan Parsons Project||Eye in the Sky||Guitar|
|1984||Keats||Keats||Guitar (Acoustic), Bass, Guitar, Piano, Guitar (Electric), Vocals (bckgr)|
|1984||The Alan Parsons Project||Ammonia Avenue||Guitar|
|1985||The Alan Parsons Project||Vulture Culture||Guitar|
|1985||Kenny Rogers||Heart of the Matter||Guitar|
|1986||The Alan Parsons Project||Stereotomy||Guitar|
|1986||The Alan Parsons Project||Gaudi||Guitar|
|1987||James Reyne||James Reyne||Guitar|
|1990||Various / APP||Freudiana||Guitar|
|1991||Tom Jones||Carrying a Torch||Guitar|
|1991||David Paton||Passions Cry||Guitar|
|1993||Beverley Craven||Love Scenes||Guitar (Electric)|
|1993||Alan Parsons||Try Anything Once||Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Pedal Steel, Vocals (bckgr)|
|1995||Alan Parsons||Very Best Live||Guitar, Assistant Producer|
|1996||Alan Parsons||On Air||Guitar (Acoustic), Bass, Guitar, Executive Producer, Synthesizer Bass|
|1996||Tam White||Keep it Under Your Hat||Guitar|
|1999||Alan Parsons||Time Machine||Guitar, Keyboards, Saxophone|
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