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THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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The Alan Parsons Project biography
Formed in 1975 - Somehow active until 1990 (last record release in 1987)

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 Band

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THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT discography


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

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

4.03 | 637 ratings
Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
1976
3.79 | 478 ratings
I Robot
1977
3.40 | 349 ratings
Pyramid
1978
2.73 | 280 ratings
Eve
1979
3.51 | 380 ratings
The Turn Of A Friendly Card
1980
3.32 | 411 ratings
Eye In The Sky
1982
2.94 | 232 ratings
Ammonia Avenue
1984
2.30 | 197 ratings
Vulture Culture
1984
2.74 | 201 ratings
Stereotomy
1985
3.03 | 213 ratings
Gaudi
1987
2.71 | 49 ratings
The Sicilian Defence
2014

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

2.10 | 10 ratings
Extended Versions
2004
3.85 | 13 ratings
Live In Colombia
2016

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

3.83 | 5 ratings
Live in Colombia
2016

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

2.54 | 43 ratings
The Best of Alan Parsons Project
1983
2.80 | 24 ratings
The Best of the Alan Parsons Project Vol. II
1988
2.75 | 32 ratings
The Instrumental Works
1988
2.83 | 6 ratings
Anthology
1991
3.50 | 22 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
2.95 | 3 ratings
Works
2002
3.80 | 5 ratings
Anthology
2002
3.33 | 3 ratings
Silence and I: The very Best of
2003
4.07 | 16 ratings
The Essential Alan Parsons Project
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection
2010
3.25 | 5 ratings
I Robot (Legacy Edition)
2013
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Complete Albums Collection
2014

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
To One In Paradise
1976
4.00 | 1 ratings
(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether
1976
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Raven
1976
4.08 | 3 ratings
I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
1977
2.91 | 4 ratings
Hyper-Gamma-Spaces
1978
2.50 | 4 ratings
An Eye Opener 7'' flexi
1981
3.85 | 8 ratings
Time
1981
3.48 | 12 ratings
Eye In The Sky (single)
1982
2.83 | 6 ratings
Let's Talk About Me
1985

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Stereotomy by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.74 | 201 ratings

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Stereotomy
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars Stereotomy is not more catchy and pop-oriented than "Vulture Culture"; it goes less into mainstream. However, songwriting crisis is inevitably to be heard here. The first long track looks promising with its 7:30 minutes, however there is not much beneath the surface apart from a good melody and a few instrumental ideas. "Urbania" is one of the best APP instrumental tracks with soaring guitar and keyboard "riffs", any progrock band would happily have such track in 1985. "Where is the walrus" stands by as another prime instrumental composition.

"Limelight" is a highlight sung by the great Procol Harum leader Gary Brooker. He gives another dimension to the decent melody and synth layers. "In the real world" is a non-distinguishable 80's throwaway track. Ballads are not particularly strong on this album "Limelight" and "Light of the world" are decent but not too memorable.

Despite more willingness to experiment, I can't give more than two stars to this record.

 Vulture Culture by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.30 | 197 ratings

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Vulture Culture
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars Downstream goes on! APP couldn't save going downhill on this record. Instead of waiting for better ideas to come, two more albums came out in a short time, Vulture Culture and Stereotomy. Out of two, Vulture Culture is inferior. "Talk about me" is only interesting because of yet another influence - the traces of Supertramp can be found here. "Separate lives" is an underdeveloped APP track with typical sound but not very strong invention. "Days are numbers" is a too generic 80's ballad unrecognizable from others. "Sooner or later" with Eric Woolfson borrows equally from Beatles and ELO - it is catchy and easy to chew but not with a large depth beneath. The title track belongs to the weakest ones on the album. At last "Hawkeye" and "The same old sun" save the album to deserve 2 stars.
 Ammonia Avenue by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.94 | 232 ratings

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Ammonia Avenue
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars Ammonia Avenue is a pleasant pop album with enough compositional quality from Alan Parson and Eric Woolfson. However, there is hardly any progressive element left even though the studio quality remains top.

Some tracks rock harder than in the 70's and keyboards are not always prominent as they used to be, which is suprising for this period of the 80's. Good pop tracks are "Prime time" and "One good reason". Great sentimental ballads include "Since last goodbye" and "Don't answer me" with its excellent saxophone solo. Another ballad, "Ammonia avenue" is an attempt at grandiose arrangements and the timing at the end of the album fits it. "You don't believe" is fully compliant to the New Wave movement with its electronic drums, bass and textures. The only instrumental track and a pretty average one, is "Pipeline" - it does not bring anything new in comparison to the old better ones. Certainly not one of the best ones from APP in the 80's.

 The Turn Of A Friendly Card by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.51 | 380 ratings

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The Turn Of A Friendly Card
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars "The turn of a friendly card" was a step forward after a misfit with "Eve". Not only is this one of the best APP albums but is belongs to the highlight of any art-pop music catalogue between 76-82. The tracks are well composed, structured and executed. The first poppy track "May be a price to pay" is a mixture of classic APP sound and Electric Light Orchestra influence. "Games people play" highlights a pleasant guitar solo towards the end of the song. "Time" is one of the most haunting ballands penned by APP, sung by who else then Mr. Woolfson who adds another dimension to it. "The gold bug" is a not very creative and laid-back instrumental track. The only standout is a saxophone solo. The one and only long epic composition a la second side of Abbey Road starts and lasts for over 16 minutes. What can we expect here? The two first parts are very catchy, followed by a symphonic and slightly progressive instrumental break. Eric Woolfson comes back with a reflective folkish number. Unusual hard guitar-based instrumental section that evokes the main motive follows. The remainder of the composition is characterised by repeating of the haunting melody that gains on its dynamics.

Overall, this is a very well crafted piece of music and albeit not very progressive, this might be exactly something for a girl of a proghead! The long 16-minute piece is fantastic regardless other tracks.

 Pyramid by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.40 | 349 ratings

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Pyramid
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Each APP album went gradually more pop-oriented but remained at least a conceptual topic to be linked to. Pyramid is a decent album with a few progressive moments but it is foremost a catchy and pop-oriented record. The ability to compose tracks highly exceed the ability to create complex instrumental parts.

The start is promising and the second Beatles-oriented track does not expectations things down. "The eagle will rise again" is a typical APP ballad, powerful and effective. "One more river" goes a step closer to the late 70's prog-rock - instrumental changes, the break-up atmosphere. "In the lap of the gods" is the most complex track in terms of arrangements as it mixes strings, chorals and rhythm changes. Going through the next throwaway poppy track we come to one of the most famous instrumental APP tracks - "Hyper- Gamma-Spaces" - this one is the only progressive electronic echo on this record. As it became a habit on some APP records, the last song is dedicated to a melancholic heartbreaking ballad, this one could be even better than the "The eagle will rise again". Close your eyes and think of all your previous losses ;)

 I Robot by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.79 | 478 ratings

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I Robot
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars One of the best and still well progressive additions to Alan Parsons repertoire. There are instrumentals, electronic music, pop music and influences of disco on this record which shows the versatility of AP. "I Robot" is a fully progressive electronic track with no objections. The second disco-oriented track can be skipped to arrive at a haunting pop-melody but nicely synth coloured sung track "Some other time" - there are hints of late Genesis too - I could imagine Collins singing here.

"Breakdown" is a typical AP track with nice chorus and a simplified instrumentation followed by the pastoral "Don't let it show". For those willing to hear summer disco funky vibes, you might like "The voice". "Nucleus" is one of the few instrumental tracks fully compliant with late 70's prog rock. The last two instrumental tracks are also highlights and there is a balance between music execution and compositional quality.

Overall, this is a recommended AP album to show a more accessible progressive rock-tinged music.

 Hyper-Gamma-Spaces by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1978
2.91 | 4 ratings

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Hyper-Gamma-Spaces
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Pyramid was the third album of The Alan Parsons Project, and this single -- recycling also the album's cover art by Hipgnosis -- contains two tracks from it. 'Hyper-Gamma-Spaces' is a typical APP instrumental of the second league. That is, the ones that open the albums (such as 'Voyager' on Pyramid) are always more impressive than those that come later on, such as this one. At least for me, they tend to have a slight album filler feel about them, as they concentrate on the technical production values instead of compositional values. The sounds are excellent but the piece itself is going nowhere and lacks emotion.

Curiously it's the B side that has a gorgeous vocal track -- which hopefully was at the time reached by radio listeners too. 'The Eagles Will Rise Again' is sung very beautifully by the ex-Zombies vocalist Colin Blunstone, heard also on 'Old & Wise', a better known APP ballad. This is in my opinion equally fine song. Or actually just a bit more exciting and cinematic. Not a bad single at all to have on a local jukebox, but it's the whole album that has more appeal to us.

 I Robot by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.79 | 478 ratings

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I Robot
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

2 stars After a fairly disappointing and lacklustre debut, Alan Parsons and his project are back once more for some pop- inspired progressive rock with this, 'I Robot', a fairly disappointing and lacklustre follow-up.

Much like its predecessor, 'I Robot' is a concept album, this time based upon the popular science fiction novel of the same name. However, regardless of the quality of the source material, the music here is still pretty boring. Following in the same vein as before, this is 'progressive rock', except a lot more stripped down and less ambitious than other giants of the genre, such as Yes, King Crimson and Genesis. As a result, there's less focus on musicianship and more focus on the song itself, the atmosphere and the story that the album tells.

But unfortunately, other than two exceptions, it just doesn't really translate into engaging and exciting music. The two highlights, you ask? 'I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You' and 'Some Other Time', two of only a handful of actual songs. Most of the album plays out like the soundtrack to a science fiction b-movie, with orchestrations, ambience and some God- awful cheesy keyboard effects setting the atmosphere.

I'm fairly sure I do like The Alan Parsons Project, or at least, at some point in time I did. So far, two albums in, and I'm not enjoying what I'm hearing. I guess this could be considered an acquired taste? But it's certainly not working for me. Onto album three!...

 Tales Of Mystery And Imagination by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.03 | 637 ratings

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Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by WFV

4 stars For me, this is an album I have to be in the right mood to access properly. The overblown arrangements on some of the tracks can unnerve my senses and kill my mood.

That said, in the right mood, this album can blow me away. I can see how this is the favorite of some and loathsome in the eyes of others.

I've come to appreciate the style I call poprog, and this album belongs at the top of that list. I'm not very familiar anymore with anything but the outline of the most famous Poe stories, but this production is obviously lovingly detailed and functions as a great concept album for the initiated and the neophyte. Highlights for me include the first two tracks and Dr. Tarr on side A, and Pavane on the flip. Dr. Tarr is a great poprog single and points the way to Parsons best, most accessible work in the poprog realm.

I'm lucky to have the 3CD 40th anniversary edition that adds skeleton tracks and unreleased tracks to the first disc, as well as a short radio spot with orson welles and a seperate interview with Parsons and Woolfson. I'm not so into Woolfson's songwriting processes on Disc II, but disc III with all the tracks in their initial phases is sublime.

 Tales Of Mystery And Imagination by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.03 | 637 ratings

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Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

2 stars The Alan Parsons Project is not a typical band per se, but more of an in-studio collaboration lead by music producer Alan Parsons, working with a huge array of different musicians as and when possible. It wasn't a touring outfit, and the style of music varies from song to song. While the "group" are often loosely considered progressive rock, the music in this, their debut, is mostly straightforward rock or symphonic music.

First and foremost, 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination' is a collection of songs based upon works by renowned author Edgar Allan Poe, of which, I must say, I have absolutely no knowledge or interest in. I can only judge this album based solely on the quality of the music, of which it's a fairly mixed bag.

The record is mostly divided into two parts. The first, being some rather standard rock songs, is easily the highlight for me, with 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and '(The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether' being the only two songs I like. They're rocking and catchy, with some infectious vocal melodies and hooks.

The second half is a prog-inspired symphonic piece called 'The Fall of the House of Usher'. It's broken into five individual parts, and to be honest none of them really do anything for me. There's some big, orchestral sounding parts, and sections that sound reminiscent of Mike Oldfield's work, but other than the odd melody here-and-there, there really isn't anything going on that interests me.

And that's pretty much all there is to it! I'm a fan of Alan Parsons (and his project), but this debut release is fairly lacklustre to me. Maybe I'd appreciate it more if I was a fan of the source material, but I'm not. Onto the next album!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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