Running 1:48, this instrumental opens the Eye In The Sky album, leading into the title track.
The main instrument on this track is a clavinet, a kind of electronic keyboard Stevie Wonder used on "Superstition." Parsons used a Fairlight CMI sampler to create a loop of the clavinet that became the bedrock of "Sirius."
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. When asked by Songfacts how he chose the title, Alan Parsons replied: "It relates to the star in the sky, which I felt was spacey and planetary, so we just chose it."
This song has become widely used at sporting events, particularly as opening-lineup themes for basketball teams. That's thanks to the Chicago Bulls of the NBA, which started using it around 1987. After drafting Michael Jordan in 1984, the team started playing Michael Jackson's "Thriller" when introducing their starting lineups, giving Jordan top billing by introducing him last. At the time, most teams were still using organists for music during games, and introductions were a formality that could be missed - like the previews at movies.
But the Bulls wanted to get fans into the arena early and pump them up for the game. Their public address announcer, Tommy Edwards, was the right man for the job: he was the midday host at the Chicago radio station WLS. Edwards helped the station install cart machines (like 8-track tapes with one track) that radio stations used in the arena, allowing him to play music and sound effects. He also put some flair into his vocals, creating the famous "from North... Carolina" introduction for Jordan.
The new introductions worked well, especially when they would turn off the lights in the arena, which they did before before big games. By Jordan's third season, he was the leading scorrer in the NBA and the most exciting player in the league, warranting any hype he was given.
Edwards heard "Sirius" when it was playing at a movie theater as background music before the film. He knew the song from playing it on WLS, so he decided to try it as the new intro music for the Bulls; the team has been using it ever since.
The song timed out perfectly, with the guitar section hitting just as Jordan was announced. Edwards talked over songs for a living, so he knew how to hit the marks. The Bulls kept improving, but in 1990 Edwards left to take a job in Boston programming a radio station. His replacement, Ray Clay, used the same style. In Clay's first full season as announcer (1990-1991), the Bulls won the first of their six championships with Jordan.
As for Parsons, when he was told by an American friend that his song was being used as intro music for Michael Jordan, Parsons replied, "Who's Michael Jordan." He is not a basketball fan.
Suggestion credit: Brian - Edmonton, Canada
Since the Chicago Bulls started using this song, many sports teams have appropriated it, including the Melbourne Rebels rugby team, the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA, and the New Orleans Saints of the NFL, who came out of the tunnel to the song at the Super Bowl in 2010, which they won.
Alan Parsons and his collaborator Eric Woolfson are the credited songwriters on this track. Unlike songs that are used in commercials or movies, they didn't get a huge windfall from the ubiquity of "Sirius" at sporting events because public performance royalties are tiny. Its use did bring a lot of attention to The Alan Parsons Project and got it on the tracklist of the 1995 album ESPN Presents: Jock Rock, Volume 2, where, fittingly, it is the album opener.
For better or for worse, this song changed the culture of the NBA. When the Bulls started using the song, they also beefed up their halftime shows and between-action entertainment, keeping the crowd amused with performers, games and other features during the games. Other teams followed suit, and eventually it got to the point where every break was filled with some kind of music or performance. Then teams started playing music during game action, filling any dull moment.
This is far from the first song called "Sirius" - Coleman Hawkins, Duncan Mackay and Stockhausen all beat Parsons to it. In 1987, Clannad named their album Sirius, and in 2002 a satellite radio service launched with that name. When they started, the satellite radio service was called "CD Radio," but "CD" is a dated concept that does not evoke the vast possibilities of "Sirius," later known as Sirius XM after a merger.
This has been used in the following movies:
Flubber - 1997 Beerfest - 2006 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - 2009 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - 2016 Blockers - 2018
And in these TV series:
The Sopranos ("Where's Johnny?" - 2004) One Tree Hill ("The Worst Day Since Yesterday" - 2005) Family Guy ("The Book of Joe" - 2014) The Simpsons ("Friend with Benefit" - 2015)
This is a popular song for commercials, used in ads for Best Buy, the NBA 2K11 video game, and Nissan.
At some weddings, usually those of Chicago Bulls fans, the wedding parties are introduced with this song in the style of the NBA introductions. Ray Clay, who was the Bulls' announcer from 1990-2002, has offered his services for couples looking for the authentic experience.
Raudo from ItalyIt was also used back in the 80's by the WWF wrestler Ricky the Dragon Steamboat as his intro song.
Sydney from Dallas, TxThis song remindes me of Sirius Black. I profusely appoligize to the hary Potter fans that I may have offended.
Tom Duncan from Memphis, TnPerfect lead-in to "Eye In The Sky." One of the Top 50 on my list.
Bob from Nebraska, Nethis is used on "Tunnel Vision" one of Nebraska Cornhuskers largest Football Traditions
Ken from Louisville, KyThis is an instrumental-only track that leads directly into "Eye In The Sky", with no break. Many rock radio stations play them back-to-back as a single 8 minute-plus track.
Matthew from Milford, MaJust kidding, I know what they're referring to. I just couldn't help but crack a few lame puns. ;)
Matthew from Milford, MaOh, the guy who owned the Omni Cube? Ack, wrong Sirius again. *gets blown up by Bomberman*
Matthew from Milford, MaBlack... oops, wrong Sirius. *gets bricked by Harry Potter fans*
Joseph from Bowling Green, KyUse to be a theme song for the UK Wildcats. The music and the flashing lights were intense. Go Wildcats 05-06!
Patrick from Conyers, GaThis song is used at Stone Mountain Park in their Laser Show, right before advertising some of the local teams.
Jim from Hanover, PaI Am A Big Alan Parsons Fan. A Friend Of Mine (Lisa Griffeths) Just Married Alan A Few Weeks Ago. My Daughter Attended The Wedding In Santa Barbara, Ca. We Get To See Alan Once In A While When They Come Back Here To Town To Visit Lisa'S Family.