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Alan Parsons Project

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Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination [1977 RE 20th Century Records T-539] (1976)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

Tales Of Mystery And Imagination

Released: 1976
Label: 20th Century Records
Catalog: T-539
Genre: Progressive Rock
NOTE: 1977 reissue of T-508
T R A C K L I S T:
01 A Dream Within A Dream
02 The Raven
03 The Tell-Tale Heart
04 The Cask Of Amontillado
05 (The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether

06 The Fall Of The House Of Usher

(i) Prelude
(ii) Arrival
(iii) Intermezzo
(iv) Pavane
(v) Fall

07 To One In Paradise
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Album Review

by Mike DeGagne [allmusic.com]

Tales of Mystery and Imagination is an extremely mesmerizing aural journey through some of Edgar Allan Poe's most renowned works. With the use of synthesizers, drums, guitar, and even a glockenspiel, Parsons' shivering effects make way for an eerie excursion into Poe's well-known classics. On the album's 1987 remix, the instrumental "Dream Within a Dream" has Orson Welles narrating in front of this wispy collaboration of guitars and keyboards (Welles also narrates "Fall of the House of Usher: Prelude"). The EMI vocoder is used throughout "The Raven" with the Westminster City School Boys Choir mixed in to add a distinct flair to its chamber-like sound. Parsons' expertise surrounds this album, from the slyness that prevails in "(The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Feather" to the bodeful thumping of the drums that imitate a heartbeat on "The Tell-Tale Heart." "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a lengthy but dazzling array of musicianship that keeps the album's persona intact, while enabling the listener to submerge into its frightening atmosphere. With vocalists Terry Sylvester, John Miles, and Eric Woolfson stretched across each track, this variety of different singing styles adds color and design to the album's air. Without any underlying theme to be pondered upon, Alan Parsons instead paints a vivid picture of one of the most alluring literary figures in history by musically reciting his most famous works in expert fashion.


Alan Parsons Project: Tales Of Mystery And Imagination (1976)

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ITEM# SR-20THCRT739
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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

Tales Of Mystery And Imagination

Released: 1976
Label: 20th Century Records
Catalog: T-739
Genre: Progressive Rock
NOTE: 1977 reissue of T-508
T R A C K L I S T:
01 A Dream Within A Dream
02 The Raven
03 The Tell-Tale Heart
04 The Cask Of Amontillado
05 (The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether

06 The Fall Of The House Of Usher

(i) Prelude
(ii) Arrival
(iii) Intermezzo
(iv) Pavane
(v) Fall

07 To One In Paradise
Submit a review.

Album Review

by Mike DeGagne [allmusic.com]

Tales of Mystery and Imagination is an extremely mesmerizing aural journey through some of Edgar Allan Poe's most renowned works. With the use of synthesizers, drums, guitar, and even a glockenspiel, Parsons' shivering effects make way for an eerie excursion into Poe's well-known classics. On the album's 1987 remix, the instrumental "Dream Within a Dream" has Orson Welles narrating in front of this wispy collaboration of guitars and keyboards (Welles also narrates "Fall of the House of Usher: Prelude"). The EMI vocoder is used throughout "The Raven" with the Westminster City School Boys Choir mixed in to add a distinct flair to its chamber-like sound. Parsons' expertise surrounds this album, from the slyness that prevails in "(The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Feather" to the bodeful thumping of the drums that imitate a heartbeat on "The Tell-Tale Heart." "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a lengthy but dazzling array of musicianship that keeps the album's persona intact, while enabling the listener to submerge into its frightening atmosphere. With vocalists Terry Sylvester, John Miles, and Eric Woolfson stretched across each track, this variety of different singing styles adds color and design to the album's air. Without any underlying theme to be pondered upon, Alan Parsons instead paints a vivid picture of one of the most alluring literary figures in history by musically reciting his most famous works in expert fashion.


Alan Parsons Project - Pyramid [Arista AB 4180] (1978)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

Pyramid

Released: 1978
Label: Arista
Catalog: AB 4180
Genre: Progressive Rock
NOTE: Includes insert


T R A C K L I S T:
01-Voyager
02-What Goes Up...
03-The Eagle Will Rise Again
04-One More River
05-Can't Take It With You
06-In The Lap Of The Gods
07-Pyramania
08-Hyper-Gamma-Spaces
09-Shadow Of A Lonely Man
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Alan Parsons Project - Eve [Arista AL 9504] (1979)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

Eve

Released: 1979
Label: Arista
Catalog: AL 9504
Genre: Progressive Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Lucifer
02 You Lie Down With Dogs
03 I'd Rather Be A Man
04 You Won't Be There
05 Winding Me Up
06 Damned If I Do
07 Don't Hold Back
08 Secret Garden
09 If I Could Change Your Mind
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Album Review

Mike DeGagne [allmusic.com]

For the most part, 1979's Eve is somewhat overlooked as being one of the Alan Parsons Project's finest work, when in fact it involves some of this group's most intricate songs. The album's concept deals with the female's overpowering effect on man. Each song touches on her ability to dissect the male ego, especially through sexual means, originating with Eve's tempting Adam in the beginning of time. Not only does this idea gain strength as the album progresses, but a musical battle of the sexes begins to arise through each song. The gorgeous "You Won't Be There" spotlights man's insecurity. Sung by Dave Townsend, its melodramatic feel sets a perfect tone. The classically enhanced "Winding Me Up" follows suit, based on a woman's ability to dominate her mate and opening up with sound of a wind-up doll being cranked. Other gems include the bitter but forceful "Damned If I Do" sung by Lenny Zakatek, and the dominating fury of "Lucifer," a powerful instrumental. Even the loutish "You Lie Down with Dogs" bears wit with its gender inclined mud-slinging. The female vocalists, Lesley Duncan and Clare Torry do a splendid job of representing the females point of view throughout the album. Not only does Eve solidify its main idea, but the songs are highly entertaining with catchy rhythms and intelligent lyrics. Musically, the tempo appealingly switches back and forth from slow to quick, as does the temperament of the album. Somehow, Eve is dismissed as one of this band's greatest efforts, when in fact it's one of their finest marriages of both concept and music.


Alan Parsons Project: The Turn Of A Friendly Card (1980)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

The Turn Of A Friendly Card

Released: 1980
Label: Arista
Catalog: AL 9518
Genre: Pop / Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
01 May Be A Price To Pay
02 Games People Play
03 Time
04 I Don't Wanna Go Home
05 The Gold Bug

The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Suite)

06 I. The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Part One)
07 II. Snake Eyes
08 III. The Ace Of Swords
09 IV. Nothing Left To Lose
10 V. The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Part Two)
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Album Review

by Mike DeGagne [allmusic.com]

With two of the Alan Parsons Project's best songs, the lovely ballad "Time" and the wavy-sounding "Games People Play," The Turn of a Friendly Card remains one of this group's most enjoyable albums. Parsons' idea, the subject of the album's six tracks, centers around the age-old temptation of gambling and its stranglehold on the human psyche. On "Games People Play," vocalist Lenny Zakatek sounds compelling and focused, giving the song a seriousness that aids in realization of the album's concept. With "Time," it is Eric Woolfson who carries this luxurious-sounding ode to life's passing to a place above and beyond any of this band's other slower material. The breakdown of human willpower and our greedy tendencies are highlighted in the last track, entitled "The Turn of a Friendly Card," which is broken into five separate parts. "Snake Eyes," sung by Chris Rainbow, is the most compelling of the five pieces, and ties together the whole of the recording. As in every Parsons album, an instrumental is included, in this case an interesting number aptly titled "The Gold Bug." Like most of the band's instrumentals, its flow and rhythm simulate the overall tempo and concept of the album, acting as a welcome interlude. Although short, The Turn of a Friendly Card is to the point and doesn't let down when it comes to carrying out its idea.


Alan Parsons Project - Eye In The Sky (Japanese Arista 25RS-162) (1982)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

Eye In The Sky [Japanese Import]

Released: 1982
Label: Arista
Catalog: 25RS-162
Genre: Rock / Progressive Rock
Note: includes bilingual Japanese-English lyric insert
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Sirius - Instrumental
02 Eye In The Sky
03 Children Of The Moon
04 Gemini
05 Silence And I
06 You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned
07 Psychobabble
08 Mammagamma - Instrumental
09 Step By Step
10 Old And Wise
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Album Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine [allmusic.com]

Eye in the Sky provided the Alan Parsons Project with their first Top Ten hit since 1977's I Robot, and it's hard not to feel that crossover success was one of the driving forces behind this album. The Project never shied away from hooks, whether it was on the tense white funk of "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" or the gleaming pop hooks of "Games People Play," but Eye in the Sky was soft and smooth, so smooth that it was easy to ignore that the narrator of the title track was an ominous omniscient who spied either on his lover or his populace, depending on how deeply you wanted to delve into the concepts of this album. And, unlike I Robot or The Turn of a Friendly Card, it is possible to listen to Eye in the Sky and not dwell on the larger themes, since they're used as a foundation, not pushed to center stage. What does dominate is the lushness of sound, the sweetness of melody: this is a soft rock album through and through, one that's about melodic hooks and texture. In the case of the spacy opening salvo "Sirius," later heard on sports talk shows across America, or "Mammagamma," it was all texture, as these instrumentals set the trippy yet warm mood that the pop songs sustained. And the real difference with Eye in the Sky is that, with the exception of those instrumentals and the galloping suite "Silence and I," all the artiness was part of the idea of this album was pushed into the lyrics, so the album plays as soft pop album -- and a very, very good one at that. Perhaps nothing is quite as exquisite as the title song, yet "Children of the Moon" has a sprightly gait (not all that dissimilar from Kenny Loggins' "Heart to Heart"), "Psychobabble" has a bright propulsive edge (not all that dissimilar from 10cc), and "Gemini" is the project at its dreamiest. It all adds up to arguably the most consistent Alan Parsons Project album -- perhaps not in terms of concept, but in terms of music they never were as satisfying as they were here.


Alan Parsons Project - The Best Of (Arista AL8-8193) (1983)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

The Best Of

Released: 1983
Label: Arista
Catalog: AL8-8193
Genre: Rock / Progressive Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
01 I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
02 Eye In The Sky
03 Games People Play
04 Time
05 Pyramania
06 You Don't Believe
07 Lucifer [Instrumental]
08 Psychobabble
09 Damned If I Do
10 Don't Let It Show
11 Can't Take It With You
12 Old And Wise
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Album Review

The Best of the Alan Parsons Project is a 1983 greatest hits compilation by the Alan Parsons Project. As well as featuring several previously released songs, it also contained a new song "You Don't Believe", which was included in the next APP album, Ammonia Avenue. In 1986, it had become the first album of the group to be released in the Soviet Union, although the song "Psychobabble" was removed from it. [wikipedia.org]


Alan Parsons Project - Ammonia Avenue [Arista AL8 8204] (1984)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

Ammonia Avenue

Released: 1984
Label: Arista
Catalog: AL8 8204
Genre: Pop / Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Prime Time
02 Let Me Go Home
03 One Good Reason
04 Since The Last Goodbye
05 Don't Answer Me
06 Dancing On A Highwire
07 You Don't Believe
08 Pipeline [Instrumental]
09 Ammonia Avenue
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Album Review

by Mike DeGagne [allmusic.com]

One of the most interesting aspects about the Alan Parsons Project is the band's ability to forge a main theme with each of its songs, while at the same time sounding extremely sharp and polished. Much of this formula is used in Ammonia Avenue, only this time the songs rise above Parsons' overall message due to the sheer beauty of the lyrics partnered with the luster of the instruments. The album touches upon how the lines of communication between people are diminishing, and how we as a society grow more spiritually isolated and antisocial. But aside from the philosophical concepts prevalent in the lyrics, it is the music on this album that comes to the forefront. The enchanting saxophone of Mel Collins on "Don't Answer Me" adds to its lonely atmosphere, while the briskness of Eric Woolfson's wording throughout "Prime Time" makes it one of the Project's best singles. On "You Don't Believe," the seriousness of the lyrics works well with the song's energetic pace. The subtlety of the ballad comes to life on the elegant "Since the Last Goodbye," which focuses on a failed attempt at a relationship. With Ammonia Avenue, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole product, which can't be said for all of the Alan Parsons Project's albums. Vocalists Eric Woolfson, Chris Rainbow, Lenny Zakatek, and Colin Blunstone equally shine, placing their talents above and beyond the album's main idea.


Alan Parsons Project - Vulture Culture (Arista AL6-8419) (1984)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

Vulture Culture

Released: 1984
Label: Arista
Catalog: AL6-8419 (CRC issue of AL8-8419)
Genre: Rock / Pop Rock
NOTE: CRC [Columbia Record Club edition]
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Let's Talk About Me
02 Separate Lives
03 Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)
04 Sooner Or Later
05 Vulture Culture
06 Hawkeye [Instrumental]
07 Somebody Out There
08 The Same Old Sun
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Album Review

Mike DeGagne [allmusic.com]

Vulture Culture's theme is another in which the fallacy of humankind is front and center. This time Parsons' message concerns the fact that everyone lives in a parasitic society, where it's every man for himself. Those who can't fend for themselves simply won't survive in a world where the kindness of the human spirit is rapidly deteriorating. On this album, though, the songs are weaker and are less effective in bringing out the album's complex idea. As it does have its moments, Vulture Culture lacks in cohesiveness and strength both lyrically and, to a lesser extent, musically. "Let's Talk About Me" addresses the theme in its words, but the choppy rhythm takes away the attractiveness that could have been. The instrumental "Hawkeye" adds life and contrast to the album at just the right time. The most appealing song, "Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)" with vocalist Chris Rainbow at the helm, combines simplicity with a timeless chorus making for a truly beautiful ballad. Even though Parsons' theme is revealed, it's done so with less clarity and doesn't quite hit home. Without the usual balance of absorbing lyrics and well-maintained music, Vulture Culture remains one of this band's less prolific albums.


Alan Parsons Project - Stereotomy (Arista AL9-8384) (1985)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

Stereotomy

Released: 1985
Label: Arista
Catalog: AL9-8384
Genre: Rock
Note: Re-release cover art / no outer filter sleeve
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Stereotomy
02 Beaujolais
03 Urbania [Instrumental]
04 Limelight
05 In The Real World
06 Where's The Walrus? [Instrumental]
07 Light Of The World
08 Chinese Whispers [Instrumental]
09 Stereotomy Two
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Album Review

Stereotomy is the ninth studio album by The Alan Parsons Project, released in 1985.

Although sometimes considered better musically than its predecessor, Vulture Culture, it was not as successful commercially, perhaps due to many fewer vocals from Eric Woolfson (he only appears on a small section of the title track). The album is structured differently from earlier Project albums, containing three lengthy tracks (one the longest instrumental the Project ever made) and two-minute-long songs at the end. It is a full digital production and both the LP and CD releases was encoded using the two-channel Ambisonic UHJ format.

The cover artwork features an image of the demon "rainman". The original vinyl packaging of the album was different from all the reissues: it featured somewhat more elaborate artwork of the paper sleeve supplied with a special color-filter oversleeve. When inserted, the oversleeve filtered some of the colors of the sleeve artwork, allowing four different variations (2 per side) of it. That was supposed to symbolize visual stereotomy. In the reissues, only one variant remained.

The word "stereotomy" is taken from "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Edgar Allan Poe. It refers to the cutting of existing solid shapes into different forms; it is used as a metaphor for the way that famous people (singers, actors. etc.) are often 'shaped' by the demands of fame.

Despite its commercial underachievement, Stereotomy earned a grammy nomination in 1987 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance - Orchestra, Group, or Soloist for the track "Where's the Walrus?"[wikipedia.org]


Alan Parsons Project - Gaudi [Arista AL 8448] (January 1987)

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Artist:

Alan Parsons Project

Title:

Gaudi

Released: January 1987
Label: Arista
Catalog: AL 8448
Genre: Rock, Prog Rock, Experimental


Matrix / Runout (Side A):
STERLING AL 8 448 SA RCA 3

Matrix / Runout (Side B):
STERLING AL 8 448 SB RCA 5
T R A C K L I S T:
01 La Sagrada Familia
02 Too Late
03 Closer To Heaven
04 Standing On Higher Ground
05 Money Talks
06 Inside Looking Out
07 Paseo De Gracia (Instrumental)
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Album Review

Mike DeGagne [allmusic.com]

Even though 1987's Gaudi was inspired by architect Antonio Gaudi, its songs seem to lack the assertiveness or the instrumental endowments that usually occur within the Alan Parsons Project's work. With a leaner, edgier sound that is best represented on ''Standing on Higher Ground,'' the easiness and touch that should have enveloped this album is noticeably absent. While not a complete failure, the album does reveal some passion with the last track, ''Paseo de Graciad,'' a finely orchestrated instrumental done exquisitely in full Parsons style. The usual lineup of Miles, Woolfson, Zakatek, and Rainbow share the singing duties, with Geoff Barradale taking over on ''Standing on Higher Ground.'' The songs on the album have difficulty supporting any imagery or symbolism concerning the album's main character, which was done masterfully more than ten years earlier with Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a musical voyage through Edgar Allen Poe's work. Here, the songs stand up well individually, but Parsons is a conceptual virtuoso who usually ties together his main idea through the use of each separate song. Although Gaudi isn't without some minor merit, its lasting impression doesn't leave much regard for its central character.

Alan Parsons' Biography

by All Music Guide [allmusic.com]

Engineer/producer Alan Parsons and his colleague, songwriter and lyricist Eric Woolfson, formed the Alan Parsons Project in 1975. Throughout their career, the Alan Parsons Project recorded concept albums (including adaptations of Poe and Asimov books), with a revolving cast of session musicians. 1982's Eye in the Sky was their greatest success; the title track charted in the Top Ten on the pop charts and the album went platinum. Although they weren't able to repeat that success, the group maintained a devoted cult audience.
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