Tired of the music on the inflight audio channels? Well, we have the ultimate inflight playlist, over 100 songs that’ll last a transatlantic flight from New York to London, or Paris to Washington.
Musicians have long been fascinated by flying, from the days of Charlie Barnet’s big band and ‘Skyliner’ and Lionel Hampton’s ‘Flying Home’, to when jet travel came along and inspired Frank Sinatra to sing, ‘Come Fly With Me’ and a few years later the Byrds sang of ‘Eight Miles High’, and Jefferson Airplane of their, ‘High Flying Bird’.
We’ve got songs about jets, flight attendants, fighter planes, passenger planes, wooden planes, 747s, DC7s, and songs that have you ‘caught between the moon and New York city’. Peter Allen who co-wrote the song with Carole Bayer Sager, Burt Bacharach and Christopher Cross was inspired when coming into land to see the moon out of one window and the city out the other window as the aircraft banked.
And in case you’re wondering how some make the list, Gretchen Peters’s ‘Idlewild’ is the old name for JFK Airport, The Letter, quotes, “Give me a ticket for an aeroplane…” while ‘Herb Alpert’s ‘Rotation’ is a little more obscure – aircraft ‘rotate’ as part of their take-iff routine.
Some gems to point you at. David Gates (the ex-Bread man) put ‘Suite: Clouds, Rain’ on his debut album and it is one of the most poignant songs about life on the road, as is CCR‘s ‘Travelin’ Band’. The Bible’s, ‘Skywriting’ is an overlooked classic, as is Art Garfunkel’s song of the same name. Check out Eric Clapton‘s homage to the joys of “hand-baggage only”. John and Beverley Martyn’s, ‘Auntie Aviator’ is lovely, as is Hall & Oates, ‘Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song).
Anyway, it’s music for listening too, not writing about, so load up your phone for the next time you take a flight somewhere…