In the early seventies Ian teamed up with David Paton, Billy Lyall and Stuart Tosh to form the band Pilot spawning the smash hits “Magic” and “January” together with three albums for EMI Records and one for Arista.
During this time members of Pilot worked on the first Alan Parsons album “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” released in 1976. 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. It is for this reason that Ian’s guitar work is part of the foundation of The APP sound.
When The Alan Parsons Project came to an end Ian was instrumental in helping write the next chapter of the “Alan Parsons” sound, playing and providing four songs on the 1993 album “Try Anything Once”. He was also a major part of the follow-up albums “On Air” and “Time Machine”, contributing musically and also writing the bulk of the songs on both albums.
In the nineties, the music of Alan Parsons was performed live for the first time and understandably Ian was a key member of the Alan Parsons Live Project. Outside of The Project Ian has also toured extensively with the likes of John Parr, Barbara Dickson, Michael McDonald and Beverley Craven and has composed music for television including the programs “The World’s Strongest Man” (BBC), “As It Happens” (Channel 4) and “Driving Force” (BBC).
Throughout his career Ian has been an active studio player, appearing on Paul McCartney’s “Mull of Kintyre” and on the Kate Bush albums “The Kick Inside” (notably, his Wuthering Heights guitar solo) and “Lionheart”. Other artists benefitting from Ian’s expertise include Chris De Burgh, Mick Fleetwood, Sting, Tom Jones, Jon Anderson, Art Garfunkel and Bucks Fizz for whom he also co-wrote the UK hits “If You Can’t Stand the Heat” and “Run For Your Life”. Ian’s playing has also been in demand with artists in Germany, such as Harold Faltermeyer and Herman Weindorf, and Japan, including Akira Inoue and Sugi Masamichi.