Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


The Alan Parsons Project

Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Alan Parsons Project The Definitive Collection album cover
3.57 | 30 ratings | 4 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (74:45)
1*. (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether (4:20)
2*. The Raven (3:57)
3. I Robot (Instrumental) (6:06)
4. I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You (3:19)
5. Breakdown (3:50)
6. Don't Let It Show (3:50)
7. Voyager (Instrumental) (2:24)
8. What Goes Up vocal (3:31)
9. The Eagle Will Rise Again (4:38)
10. Can't Take It With You (5:05)
11. Pyramania (2:45)
12. Lucifer (Instrumental) (5:08)
13. Damned If I Do (4:53)
14. If I Could Change Your Mind (5:49)
15. The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Part I)(2:38)
16. Snake Eyes (3:10)
17. Games People Play (4:14)
18. Time (5:08)

* - omitted on European and Australian versions

CD 2 (72:39)
1. Sirius (Instrumental) (1:53)
2. Eye In The Sky (4:36)
3. Psychobabble (4:51)
4. Mammagamma (Instrumental) (3:34)
5. Old And Wise (4:51)
6. Prime Time (5:03)
7. Don't Answer Me (4:11)
8. You Don't Believe (4:26)
9. Let's Talk About Me (4:22)
10. Days Are Numbers (The Traveller) (4:02)
11. Stereotomy (7:15)
12. In The Real World (4:17)
13. Standing On Higher Ground (5:02)
14. Too Late (5:55)
15. Turn It Up (5:32)
16. Re-Jigue (Instrumental) (2:49)

Total time (US version): 147:24

Total time (European and Australian versions): 141:13

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Parsons / keyboards (synthesizers, Rhodes piano), cathedral organ, vocals, guitars, autoharp, recorders, sequencers, samplers, programming, drum machine

- Eric Woolfson / keyboards (clavinet, piano, jangle piano, electric piano, organ, harpsichord, clavichord, virginal, DX7 Rhodes synthesizer), vocals (CD 1 (18), CD 2 (2, 6, 7)), backing vocals, sampler
- Andrew Powell / bass, synthesizer, autoharp, orchestra and choir arranger & conductor
- Richard "Trix" Cottle / keyboards, sequencer, saxophones
- Christopher North / keyboards
- Billy Lyall / piano
- Haydn Bendall / keyboards
- Duncan Mackay / synthesizers

- David Pack / guitar
- David Paton / bass, acoustic guitar, vocals, backing vocals
- Ian Bairnson / bass, electric and acoustic guitars, guitar synthesizer, backing vocals
- Joe Puerta / bass
- Laurie Cottle / bass
- Stuart Elliott / drums, percussion
- Burleigh Drummond / drums
- Stuart Tosh / drums, percussion
- Mel Collins / saxophone
- John Wallace / piccolo trumpet
- Graham Preskett / fiddle, mandolin
- John Leach / cimbalom, kantele

- Lenny Zakatek / vocals
- Elmer Gantry / vocals
- Dean Ford / vocals
- Jack Harris / vocals, backing vocals
- Lesley Duncan / vocals
- Geoff Barradale / vocals
- Colin Blunstone / vocals
- Allan Clarke / vocals
- Leonard Whiting / EMI vocoder
- Chris Rainbow / vocals, backing vocals, keyboards
- Chris Thompson / vocals
- David Townsend / vocals
- John Miles / vocals, guitar
- Jacqueline Copeland / backing vocals
- Hillary Western / soprano vocals
- Mr. Laser Beam / narration

- The English Chorale / choir
- Bob Howes / choirmaster
- The New Philharmonia Chorus / choir
- Munich Chamber Opera Orchestra / orchestra
- Sandor Farcas / conductor (Munich Chamber Opera Orchestra)

Releases information

2CD Arista, BMG 74321 51746 2 (1997, Europe and Australia, 32 tracks)
2CD Arista 07822-18962-2 (1997, US, 34 tracks)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT The Definitive Collection Music

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT The Definitive Collection ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (7%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT The Definitive Collection reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A good summary

An excellent two CD collection of many of the best tracks by the Alan Parson's Project, and indeed Alan Parsons (post Eric Wolfson) . The albums covered range from the first ("Tales of Mystery and imagination") right through to "Try anything once". The tracks appear in chronological order with all the albums being well represented.

As with any compilation which seeks to summarise a band's work, the choice of tracks included and excluded can be questioned. The following are my own thoughts here:

- Only two tracks included from what is widely regarded as one of APP's finest albums, "Tales of Mystery and Imagination". Of these "Dr Tarr.." appears to have been chosen as the opener due to it's upbeat style, but for me it was a comparatively weak track.

- A good selection from "I Robot" is present, but it is a shame room was not found for "Day after day".

- The lovely ballads "Shadow of a lonely man" from the "Pyramid" album, "Silence and I" from "Eye in the sky" and "Limelight" from "Stereotomy" are all missing.

- The prog flavoured "La Sagrada Familia" from "Gaudi" is also missed off.

To make way for some of these, I would have omitted some of the mid-paced pop related material such as "Let's talk about me", and "I wouldn't want to be like you".

What the compilers appear to have done is to attempt to create a balanced collection, with ballads, light pop and instrumentals. Whether this is the best approach to take when compiling a definitive collection album is a matter for debate. Nevertheless, this is an excellent extended collection of some of APP's best tracks.

Review by Matti
2 stars If my previous reviews on Kansas and VDGG were examples of a good compilations up to my taste, this - and each APP compilation I've seen - only reminds of the awful commercial single hit point of view, as opposed to my approach where 'the best' are hardly ever single- potential songs. All in all a large deal of Alan Parsons Project is more or less dull 'engineer- music' and many of its pop songs come closer to disco than prog, and yet it has three nearly excellent albums plus some partly enjoyable albums. If I had my way, I'd absolutely avoid those monotonous pop tunes such as 'You don't believe', 'Snake eyes', 'Prime time' etc and concentrate especially on the first three albums and choose better tracks from later albums (if there ARE at all any good ones in e.g. Stereotomy or Vulture Culture, I don't know).

If I had come to APP via these compilations, I'd probably never got interested to listen more of it - and I would have lost some fine music. My favourite APP album is Tales of Mystery and Imagination (the Poe theme helps the fact!) but the edition of this 2-cd collection I borrowed yesterday has none from it. The representation of Pyramid album comes closest to meet my taste, even without the lovely 'Shadow of the Lonely Man', but also its worst tracks have been included.

I think APP have chosen their regular singers badly: I almost hate Lenny Zakatek and Chris Rainbow, and Eric Woolfson himself is also a weak singer (these singers dominate this collection).

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This 2 CD compilation "The Definitive Collection", containing the works of Alan Parsons Project, is a terrific introduction to the band showcasing excellent snippets from all of the studio albums from "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" to "Gaudi", plus some extras. A decent selection from the debut includes (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether and The Raven, (of course that track had to be here) opens the compilation. Then we move into the best tracks from "I, Robot", the wonderful title track, pop favourite I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You, Breakdown, and Don't Let It Show.

After this some excellent tracks from "Pyramid" follow, the first three album tracks that are mesmirising are here, Voyager, What Goes Up, and The Eagle Will Rise Again. Also there are Can't Take It With You, and Pyramania. These are okay but I always prefer the instrumental tracks on side two especially the brilliant Hyper Gamma Spaces. This track is on other compilations so I guess the compilers were trying to add something different here but seemed to focus on the pop singles which are not necessarily the best examples of APP.

From "Eve" there is Lucifer, Damned If I Do, and If I Could Change Your Mind. They seem okay though I have not heard the whole album. The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Part I) is taken from the album with the same name, along with Snake Eyes, Games People Play and Time. Games People Play is one of the first APP songs I heard as a teenager, and it certainly is memorable with some great keyboards and infectious chorus.

Disk Two is not as strong as I guess the albums became even more poppier. Sirius opens proceedings with an instrumental, and then the title track of the next album showcases the band at their best on Eye In The Sky. There is a decent selection fro that famous album with Psychobabble, Mammagamma and Old And Wise.

From "Ammonia Avenue" comes Prime Time, Don't Answer Me, and You Don't Believe. It was evident the band were becoming radio oriented primarily here. Following this from "Vulture Culture" is Let's Talk About Me and Days Are Numbers (The Traveller). From "Stereotomy" is the title track and In The Real World. From "Gaudi" is Standing On Higher Ground, and Too Late, though it would have been nice to have had a more progressive track such as La Sagrada Familia.

The compilation closes with some tracks from "Try Anything Once", that was not an Alan Parsons Project album as such but his first solo project released in 1993. The tracks here are Turn It Up and the instrumental Re-Jigue. It caps off a fairly comprehensive compilation of the band that is perhaps represented on these 2 CDs well enough for a newcomer to the group, and it certainly led me to some of their more impressive albums.

Most of the singles are here for those who are interested in the radio friendly side of the group, namely (The System of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether, The Raven, I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You, Don't Let It Show, Pyramania, What Goes Up, Lucifer, Damned If I Do, Games People Play, Time, Snake Eyes, The Turn of a Friendly Card, Eye in the Sky, Psychobabble, Old and Wise, You Don't Believe, Don't Answer Me, Prime Time, Let's Talk About Me, Days Are Numbers (The Traveller), Stereotomy, and Standing on Higher Ground.

If one were to remove all the singles there would only be 10 tracks left on the album. Herein lies the problem for me as the band have some strong progressive tracks but they are all but ignored on this compilation. It would be a far more apt description to call this the singles collection rather than "The Definitive Collection". "Freudiana" is not represented on the compilation perhaps because it is thought to be more of an Eric Woolfson solo album, The compilation is a mere taster of the project as there are certainly many omissions that deserved to be heard over many of these choices. In any case it is one of the better compilations from the Alan Parsons Project.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A great introduction to the Alan Parsons Project. This set is a great introduction to the progressive rock band Alan Parsons Project. It samples a couple of tracks from each album and makes them easily accessible. The only downside is that each APP album was put together as a whole, and samplin ... (read more)

Report this review (#140116) | Posted by Tarkus31 | Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT "The Definitive Collection"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.