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ALAN PARSONS PROJECT

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Alan Parsons Project biography
The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT is a "project" of acclaimed English producer Alan PARSONS, best known for his works with The BEATLES's "Abbey Road" and PINK FLOYD's "Dark Side of the Moon". Along with songwriter Eric WOOLFSON, PARSONS created a series of 10 (and counting) albums of progressive rock, employing a rotating cast of session musicians to do most of the performing. (PARSONS does play keyboard and sings on some tracks.). He creates the concept, writes some of the music and hires the artists, while WOOLFSON writes the lyrics, some of the music and sings on many tracks. Additionally, Andrew POWEL joined the project in 1976 as musical arranger.

"Tales of Mystery and Imagination" (1975): The theme of this album is inspired by he works of Edgar Allen Poe.
"I Robot" (1977): The story of the rise of machine and the decline of man, which paradoxically coincided with his discovery of the wheel.
"Pyramid" (1978): "Pyramid" examined the power of ancient myths.
"Eve" (1979): "You can't live with them. You can't live without them."
"The Turn of a Friendly Card" (1980): "a reflection of something that was going on in my subconscious. It's tied up with Monte Carlo, gambling there and taking risks generally."
"Eye in the Sky" (1982): "a cautionary tale about the loss of individualism."
"Ammonia Avenue" (1984): The title track was inspired in part by a Petro-Chemical plant in Middlesborough, England.
"Vulture Culture" (1984): "an unsparing look at modern society, at contemporary relationships and the business of popular culture."
"Stereotomy (1985)": The word Stereotomy comes from Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue".
"Gaudi" (1987): This album was inspired by the life and works of Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926), a Catalan architect whose grand conception, The Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona.
"Freudiana" (1990): PARSONS and WOOLFSON planned an album called "Freudiana", about the psychiatrist Sigmund Freud.

See also:
- Eric Woolfson

Alan Parsons Project official website

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ALAN PARSONS PROJECT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ALAN PARSONS PROJECT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 504 ratings
Tales of Mystery and Imagination - Edgar Allan Poe
1976
3.75 | 362 ratings
I Robot
1977
3.32 | 257 ratings
Pyramid
1978
2.67 | 204 ratings
Eve
1979
3.44 | 284 ratings
The Turn Of A Friendly Card
1980
3.30 | 314 ratings
Eye In The Sky
1982
2.93 | 172 ratings
Ammonia Avenue
1984
2.25 | 152 ratings
Vulture Culture
1984
2.72 | 153 ratings
Stereotomy
1985
2.98 | 158 ratings
Gaudi
1987
3.46 | 98 ratings
Freudiana
1990
2.74 | 28 ratings
The Sicilian Defence
2014

ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.08 | 6 ratings
Extended Versions
2004

ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.51 | 35 ratings
The Best of Alan Parsons Project
1983
2.85 | 19 ratings
The Best of the Alan Parsons Project Vol. II
1988
2.57 | 21 ratings
The Instrumental Works
1988
3.20 | 5 ratings
Anthology
1991
3.45 | 20 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
2.95 | 3 ratings
Works
2002
3.80 | 5 ratings
Anthology
2002
3.00 | 2 ratings
Silence and I: The very Best of
2003
3.95 | 20 ratings
The Essential Alan Parsons Project
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection
2010
3.25 | 5 ratings
I Robot (Legacy Edition)
2013

ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.67 | 3 ratings
An Eye Opener 7'' flexi
1981
3.81 | 7 ratings
Time
1981
3.44 | 11 ratings
Eye In The Sky (single)
1982
3.00 | 5 ratings
Let's Talk About Me
1985

ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Turn Of A Friendly Card by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.44 | 284 ratings

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The Turn Of A Friendly Card
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Mr. Gone

4 stars It seems that a fair number of folks here believe that APP's first three albums (Tales of Mystery and Imagination, I, Robot and Pyramid) are the band's best three, probably in declining order of quality. It would also seem that a fair number of people feel that of all material following those three, The Turn of a Friendly Card is likely their best work. And I would actually largely agree with all these assessments. Certainly, of all the material they've put out since those "big three", this is the one I've gone back to the most.

What does a huge amount of this for me is the album's opening track, "May Be a Price to Pay". This is the first Project album not to open with an instrumental; however, the extended intro in this song might be interpreted as something of a nod to that idea. And it's quite cool. A bit disco-y in spots with its synth strings and funky bassline, but I like it. Add in Elmer Gantry's "angry Gary Brooker" vocals and a rather savage recurring arpeggio, and it's a very powerful, singable track. True prog? Not really. But just proggy enough.

The next two songs are the album's biggest hits. "Games People Play" is a fairly decent track sung by Lenny Zakatek, but I've heard it a bit much and it's not memorable enough to hold up. "Time" is Eric Woolfson's first foray into lead vocals. I've seen others here compare it to Pink Floyd's "Us and Them", and I would agree. It's a very pretty track, and on that basis remains enjoyable if a bit slight.

"I Don't Wanna Go Home" - meh, not all that memorable. Not terrible, but not something I consider essential.

Side two opens with "The Gold Bug", one of those bubbly instrumentals the band seems to have at least one of on most albums. Enjoyable and a nice lead-in to the epic title track.

"The Turn of a Friendly Card" is broken into five parts. The opening "Part 1" is a fairly orchestral number sung by Chris Rainbow. It's quite lovely and sets a good tone. "Snake Eyes" is a somewhat funky bit also sung by Rainbow. It harkens back a bit in sound to "I Don't Wanna Go Home", but it's better-written and executed. "The Ace of Swords" is an orchestral instrumental which starts off with a medieval feels but segues into something with almost a rock opera feel. It's quite catchy and enjoyable. "Nothing Left to Lose" is another Woolfson vocal (Rainbow in the background). Mostly slow and gentle but almost Beach Boys-ish in a way. Nice but not essential. Then - "Part 2", which returns to the theme of "Part 1" while embellishing it nicely, particularly in the stunning outro.

Is this a perfect album? Far from it. It's not even particularly progressive. It's more pop with orchestral overtones. But it's enjoyable, often catchy and holds your attention. And in my mind it is their best material beyond the "big three". Four stars.

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 Freudiana by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.46 | 98 ratings

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Freudiana
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Wow, what an incredible end of this great band's discography! "Freudiana" is Alan Parsons project's eleventh studio album and it was released 1990. I am convinced this is the band's second best album and I believe it is underrated. Why has so few rated and reviewed it here. Perhaps it's beacuse some don't consider it to be an APP' record. But even if the name isn't the is the line up and everything similar with the band and its characteristics. It has a fine cover and a line of of Eric Wooldson, Richard Cottle, Stuart Elliott, Ian Bairnson, Laurie Cottle, Alan Parsons, Leo Sayer, Graham Dye, The FLying Pickets, Kiki Dee, Eric Stewart, Frankie Howerd, Marti Webb, Gary Howard, Chris Rainbow, Andrew Powell and John Miles.

Long albums could be anoying, but not when they are as good as this one. You could perhaps call it more progressive than other releases of the band but what I feel most clearly here it that the album is simialr to musicals and rock operas. I compare it with Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables and other fantastic musical and Woolfsosn here could have done a musical of this. I like everything on the album but it has its highlights. Three tracks are so wonderful that I give them the highest rating(10/10). "I am a mirror" with Leo Sayer on vocals is a wonderful rock sond with both great instrumantation and vocals. "Sects therapy" - sung by Frankie Howerd is so typical English and fits an old classical and noble world of dances and the lyrics are so funny. Funny is also "Funny you should say that" which seems to be inspired by Zappa but it's much better than him and it is a powerful and very funny piece of music. The lyrics are extraordinary and the players singing it do it great. Then we have the rock opera "No one can love you better than me" which is theatralic and very interesting(9/10) with vocals from Kiki Dee, Marti Webb, Gary Howerd and Eric Woolfson. I am also so glad to hear Eric Stewart which I like from 10cc, singing "The ring"(8/10) and "Upper me"(8/10). Eric Woolfson sings great in "Freudiana"(8/10) too! The little sixites pop song "Little Hans" sung by Grahan Dye (8/10) is as lovely as "Don't let the moment pass"(8/10) with vocals of Marti Webb. The album ends very well with "There but fot the grace of god" with vocals of John Miles which is a powerful song and concludes this perfectly.

All the other songs are good so the evenness of the album is evident! The least interesting song is "Dora" which I rate to (6/10). If we think about how even this record is and how many great and interesting songs, lyrics and craftsmanship it contains I would almost give it five stars. But that would be wrong so a smashing four have to be my answer. My journey through Alan Parsons Project's carreer has come to an end and I'd rank the album's is this way: 1. Tales of mystery and imagination - Edgar Allan Poe(76)- 5/5, 2. Freudiana(90)-4/5, 3. Eye in the sky(82)-4/5, 4. The turn of a friendly card(80)-4/5, 5. I robot(77)-3/5, 6. Ammonia avenue(84)-3/5, 7. Pyramid(78)-3/5, 8. Gaudi(87)-3/5, 9. Stereotomy(85)-3/5, 10. Eve(79)-3/5 and 11. Vulture Culture(84)-2/5. What do you think?

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 Gaudi by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.98 | 158 ratings

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Gaudi
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Well, it's time for me to review an album of Alan Parsons Project again and now the time has come for their tenth one and the final with the Alan Parsons Project name, even if it's not the final album. I think the album in many ways is characteristic for the band's whole career. As total they have done many albums which hold a high quality and shows good music for many tastes but the real hightlights are few. Until now I have heard three albums of them I can recommend warmly and a lot of other good things and not many bad things at all. "Gaudi" from 1987, eleven years from their debut is just as many other APP record well produced and a bunch of decent songs. The cover is very pink and modest such as the music tends to be sometimes. The staff are Laurie Cottle, Stuart Elliott, Ian Bairnson, Richard Cottle, Eric Woolfson, Bob Howes, David Cripp, John Heley, John Miles, Lenny Zakatek, Geoff Barradale, Chris Rainbow, Andrew Powell and The English Chorale.

Just as "Stereotomy" does the record start with the album's best and most powerful song: "La Sagrada Familia" (8/10) a varied, long and both interesting and exciting song about the church by the Catalan architect Gaudí which the whole album is inspired by. Beside this one I like the closing instrumental "Paseo de Gracia" very much(7/10). The other songs hold a high standard, they are sung by qualified singers and performed in an model way. "Money talks" shows a rocky and mighty voice of John Miles and "Closer to heaven" is also a sweet and pleasant experience(6/10). The least interesting tracks are "Standing on higher ground" and "Inside looking out". I have not many things to complain about for this record. It feels like it's so well organized that it is written in the book about how to produce music. Perhaps it's a little too much commodified. The band should have challanged itself and done more adventurous compositions. But then, the band shouldn't have been the same so why complain. This is absolutely nice enough for three stars!

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 Stereotomy by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.72 | 153 ratings

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Stereotomy
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars "Stereotomy" from 1985 is Alan Parsons Project's ninth studio album and twenty-nine years has gone since its release. It follows the very pop-oriented Vulture Culture and is a blue record with a light blue bull head as cover sign.

It features many of those musicians who have worked together for many years: David Paton, Stuart Elliott, Ian Bairnson, Richard Cottle, Eric Woolfson, Alan Parsons, John Miles, Chris Rainbow, Gary Brooker, Graham Dye and Steve Dye. It's now very clear it's not the seventies and especially the drumming sounds very modern unfortunately.

Though does the record start strong with its title track "Stereotomy", a powerful rock song with fine vocals and a feeling of strong chours. It both starts and ends the album(7/10). Otherwise aren't there especially strong songs even if the quality is high and I like what I hear almost everywhere. "Light of the world" has some lovely aspects but is a little weak(5/10) but the instrumental "Urbania" is a good composition with modern ingredients(6/10). Other decent songs are "Beaujolais"(5/10), "Limelight"(5/10) and "In the real world"(5/10). The instrumental "Where's the Walrus" is the only thing I feel is so boring you shouldn't listen to it. Otherwise is the record rather decent.

I wouldn't call it progressive but thatis never a criteria when I rate records. It's strong title track, the fine work of the musicians and my good mood make me rate this to a weak three. I'd especially recommend "Stereotomy" and "Urbania" but rather listen to another Alan Parsons Project' record.

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 Vulture Culture by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.25 | 152 ratings

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Vulture Culture
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars Now have I come to Alan Parsons Project's eighth studio album "Vulture Culture" and now for the first time with this band I feel forced to kind of let the album down. Compared with other APP albums this is quite mediocre. The red cover shows an ancient find, a snake biting its own tail. The musicians were David Paton, Stuart Elliott, Ian Bairnson, Eric Wooldson, Richard Cottle, Alan Parsons, Chris Rainbow, Lenny Zakatek and Colin Blunstone. The record was released the same year as their earlier "Ammonia avenue" but it holds not the same class.

Vulture Culture starts with a quite nice song "Let's talk about me" which has something of Supertramp in it but in some ways I find it deficient(5/10). I have almost the same thoughts about "Separate lives"(5/10) but "Days are numbers" is inferior unfortunately(4/10). "Sooner or later" then is the album's best song a very melodic and harmonic song with a great flow and a lovely texture(6/10). In the title track the saxophone is amongst the only things I actually liked(4/10). The instrumental "Hawkeye" is second best here(6/10). I like its laziness and the saxophone. "Somebody out there" is a rocky and decent song (5/10) but "The same old sun" feels like something reused and enough uninteresting for me(4/10).

Over all must I say this is Alan Parsons Project's least interesting piece so far. It is not a bad record but I can't place it amongst relevant records. I recommend these songs: "Hawkeye" and "Sooner or later" which are representing the greatness of this band: its ability to combine pop rock music with intelligence and clever song making. But otherwise there are better records to listen to.

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 Ammonia Avenue  by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.93 | 172 ratings

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Ammonia Avenue
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars I continue my journey through the universe of Alan Parsons Project and have come to 1984 and another bright sounding record of the band. "Ammonia Avenue" is their seventh studio album and a good one. The cover is very industrial and interesting in its own way. It took me two listenings to get enough impressions from it for me to write something. Here the vocalists Eric Woolfson(also keyboards), Lenny Zakatek, Chris Rainbow and Colin Blunstone participate together with guitarist Ian Bairnson, synthesizer player and saxophonist Mel Collins, drummer Stuart Elliot, keyboardist Alan Parsosns, bassist David Paton and bassist Ken Zidar.

The result is in many aspects lovely. This is as I said, a totally bright album. Despite its industrial appearence the music is positive. Perhaps the band looks towards the future with optimism, perhaps am I totally wrong. Some songs and musicians stands out as I think. The starter "Prime time" is very powerful and has a great flow that wants to take you with it. Here Woolfson sings very well. The guitar is worth praising in "Let me go home" and the track "Don't answer me" is so lovely I want to here it again and again. Here and on "Pipeline" Mel Collins' saxophone is totally awesome. The vocals of Colin Blunstone on "Dancing on a highwire" is also something of the best here, it's one of my favourite tracks too. The title track is soft and warm and feels authentic.

Over all holds this music a high standard even if some songs are rather average. I think it is a bit underrated. It's not a very progressive album, but it is a fine part of the Alan Parssons Project discography. It is a safe three star record according to me and some songs are actually very good such as: "Prime time", "Don't answer me", "Dancing on a highwire" and "Ammonia Avenue". Recommended.

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 Eye In The Sky by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.30 | 314 ratings

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Eye In The Sky
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Alan Parsons Project waited two years from "The Turn of A Friendly Card" to 1982 with doing a new record. Then came their sixth disc "Eye In The Sky" which became a quite powerful statement that the band where still fit for fight. The year was 1982 and the record was very green, a light green colour with an easy sign which matched several other eighties covers with a stripped design such as Genesis and Yes' albums at the same time. Just as on earlier attempts Alan Parsons Project is a lot of talanted musicians such as Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson, Mel Collins, Chris Rainbow, Lenny Zakatek, David Paton, Stuart Elliott, Ian Bairnson, Elmer Gantry, Colin Blunstone, Andrew Powell and The English Chorale. Togtether they did a lovely collection of songs I liked to hear. This stands absolutely up to the level of the precursor.

"Sirius" an instrumental and decent one starts everything and them comes the lovely hit "Eye in the sky" which has a great melody and the instruments do it very well. "Children of the moon" follows is as good as the more light "Gemini" which is so fine. "Silence and I" is also one of the best tracks, really powerful. Two songs are more usual pop songs: "You're gonna get your fingers burned" and "Step by step" don't I like as much. In "Psychobabble" I like the seventies-guitar and the instrumental "Mammagamma" isn't bad at all. "Old and Wise" is the name of the closing song which starts calm and ends with a saxophone from heaven(Mel Collins).

As a full album I do like the result, quality shines through it all. It doesn't match their debut record, but I can recommend it for a september afternoon. The title track and "Silence and I" are my favourites from here. Four stars(3,55)!

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 The Turn Of A Friendly Card by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.44 | 284 ratings

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The Turn Of A Friendly Card
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Alan Parsons Project impressed me with their first studio record "Tales of Mystery and Imagination - Edgar Allan Poe" but then I haven't appreciated their later efforts as much until I now have listened through their fifth album "The Turn of A Friendly Card" some times. I was released 1980 and is their fifht record in five years. Just as many other prog bands they seem to be inspired by medieval times and card games. The cover is artistiv with a church window of shining light which is a play card. Just as on other Alan Parsons Project record this one is very well produced. The music has big orchestral approach and on many places you could consider it symphonic. The music on this record should be placed somewhere between art rock and rock or art pop. It's clear that the band had high pretentions. This serious easy listened music should be enjoyed also by prog nerds. Musicially it holds a high standard with great performances on guitar and keyboards as well as bass and drums. The vocals are mostly done by Lenny Zakatek.

Both potential hit songs and sweet instrumental parts have their place on this record. The final though is the composition "The turn of a friendly card" which has a lovely main theme with a symphonic medieval melody and a vocal twist which I like. The music on the record is varied and it's not easy to just place the music in a genre. But the professionaly shines through it all. I like the full album too and think that the parts together make a very well fitted whole. The thought of a concept album feels very present here. I am happy to have heard "The turn of a friendly card" which I liked immediately. I had harder to understand the three earlier Alan Parsons Project albums. Here though have Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson, David Paton, Stuart Elliot, Ian Bairnson and the others done a great job that deserves at least four stars!

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 Eye In The Sky by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.30 | 314 ratings

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Eye In The Sky
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Alan Parsons Project and the album "Eye in the Sky" have an important place in my personal history of popular music appreciation. Somewhere around the ages of ten or eleven, I began listening to popular music and deciding that I actually liked some of the songs. It was no longer background music for me. I remember asking for Christmas to get a cassette called "Rock '82" that contained, among others, latest hits by Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rick Springfield, Kim Carnes, REO Speedwagon, .38 Special, and Rush. A friend of mine had a similar compilation that included a very beautiful song called, "Time" by a band called Alan Parsons Project. Coincidentally, shortly after I heard it, the same band released a very catchy song called, "Eye in the Sky." I liked the song a lot, but once I heard it played on a rock radio station together with the instrumental, "Sirius" I was really hooked. My friend managed to record it onto cassette from the radio for me.

Soon, however, I was into heavy metal, first with AC/DC and then soon after came Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and lots of other big acts of the early eighties. It was the time of staying up late to watch "Friday Night Videos" and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "Good Rockin' Tonight" on Saturdays, hoping that after Michael Jackson, Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper, The Thompson Twins, Wham!, Madonna, Prince and other top 40 fluff, I might get to see a Motley Crue or Quiet Riot video. Some artists and songs weren't so bad. The Police, Genesis's "Mama", "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes, Asia, Toto, and a few others were alright. But I never bought their albums because I was into metal.

It took a few years before I got round to becoming a fan of Pink Floyd, and that got me thinking about Alan Parsons Project and "Eye in the Sky". If I could appreciate a non-metal artist such as Pink Floyd ("A Momentary Lapse of Reason" quite impressed me and I went to see the concert in Vancouver), then why not go out and buy "Eye in the Sky" on cassette. This in turn was for me an important stepping stone toward getting into The Moody Blues. Thus, Alan Parsons Project and "Eye in the Sky" (I also bought "I, Robot" and "Turn of a Friendly Card") were key players in getting my interests shifted towards prog early on, though I had never heard the term "progressive rock" and had no inkling of artists doing anything other than creating their kind of music.Some songs were simple, others were more complex. My first encounter with the term was while watching an Austin Powers movie. Dr. Evil talks about his laser that he has called the "Alan Parsons Project" and Scott chides, "The Alan Parsons Project was a progressive rock group in the eighties." Progressive rock? I guess. Their music was different. It was somehow more intelligent, more sophisticated than much of the pop music out there. The next time I would encounter the term was when I read the Wikipedia article about Rush in 2010.

So, how about this album then? My impression is that it is still a very sophisticated album though not without pop tendencies. The opening instrumental, "Sirius" is not particularly complex but it is very effective at setting a mood. It's no wonder that the sporting world has picked this tune in many instances as a theme for arriving power and impending excitement. "Eye in the Sky" is basically a pop song but that melody and Eric Woolfson's vocals never fail to capture my emotions. I still love that song 32 years later!

"Children of the Moon" delivers the kind of progressive music you can hear on older APP albums. A liberal use of piano and synthesizer, a horn section, ooh-ooh harmony vocals, and some proggy beats allow the band to shift away from the standard pop/rock song structure. "Gemini" uses vocals to greater effect here with a soft, relaxed atmosphere. I always liked side one of the album because of the diverse approaches to each of the songs.

The real stand out track of side one is "Silence and I". It's a beautiful slow song with strings and an oboe and Woolfson's laid back, soothing vocals. In the middle we get a contrasting musical ride with an exciting and vibrant piece performed by an orchestra of horns, strings, and various percussion instruments. This is perhaps where the progressive music reaches its apex on the album.

Side two begins with a simple pop rock song, "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" with Lenny Zakatek on vocals, and I have to say that, even though he does a good job for the style of music, this song and his other lead vocal track, "Step by Step" are the least enjoyable songs on the album, being nothing more than standard pop rock fare.

"Psychobabble" and "Mammagamma" are more interesting with the former having a cool piano and bass intro and short musical interlude that sounds like part of a soundtrack for a suspense movie, while the latter is another simple but effective instrumental on keyboards and guitar with a steady beat on electric drums that I find unusually enjoyable. The bassline deserves mention, too.

Another highlight for me here is the album closer, "Old and Wise". I never realized that this album has six lead vocalists contributing, and it is Colin Blunstone who takes the lead vocal here with great suitability to the music. I used to try to emulate his singing style when I was younger when I sang along to the cassette, or later to the CD in the nineties. This is a beautiful song for string orchestra and piano, with the rock band only joining in at the end, and a sax solo (the first one I ever appreciated) takes the song out with the fade. A very powerful piece.

The 2007 reissue comes with bonus tracks that include demos and early takes on songs. I am surprised at how clean and powerful the sound is. It is almost a shame that a few demos that were not meant to be good enough for the album have such a clean and rich sound. "The Naked Eye" is a little interesting because it's a patchwork of music from the album not always it the exact same form as on the album and in between there are also bits of music that didn't end up on the album. The final bonus track is a medley of the orchestral music used on the various songs.

Once again, this is for me a very important album and one that has remained a delight to listen to now and again for nearly 30 years. I'd give it a very solid four stars for myself. However, I am aware that Alan Parsons Project was writing even more sophisticated prog earlier in their career and that there is also much more advanced progressive music out there. I therefore give it three stars for this site.

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 Time by PARSONS PROJECT, ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1981
3.81 | 7 ratings

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Time
Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Both songs from this single were taken from their "The Turn of a Friendly Car" album from 1980.

"Time", in my opinion, is one of the best songs from this band, and one of my favourites from them. It has very good orchestral arrangements, piano, acoustic guitars, drums, bass, very good lead vocals by Eric Woolfson, very good backing vocals (mainly by Chris Rainbow), and of course a very good recording and mixing (as always) by Alan Parsons. This song was a Hit single, and it is still played in some FM radio stations in my city. Despite Woolfson was not a very good lead singer, he sang several songs which became Hits from this band.

"The Gold Bug" is mainly an instrumental piece of music with some added vocals, good keyboards, drums, bass, and a sax played by Mel Collins. It has some similarities to other instrumental pieces of music from this band, particularly in the sounds of some keyboard parts (with "Lucifer" from the "Eve" album, for example).

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