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THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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The Alan Parsons Project picture
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)

4.04 | 651 ratings
Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
1976
3.79 | 488 ratings
I Robot
1977
3.40 | 352 ratings
Pyramid
1978
2.73 | 283 ratings
Eve
1979
3.51 | 388 ratings
The Turn Of A Friendly Card
1980
3.32 | 419 ratings
Eye In The Sky
1982
2.94 | 235 ratings
Ammonia Avenue
1984
2.31 | 200 ratings
Vulture Culture
1984
2.75 | 203 ratings
Stereotomy
1985
3.03 | 216 ratings
Gaudi
1987
2.77 | 53 ratings
The Sicilian Defence
2014

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

2.20 | 11 ratings
Extended Versions
2004
3.96 | 15 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)

2.55 | 45 ratings
The Best of Alan Parsons Project
1983
2.83 | 26 ratings
The Best of the Alan Parsons Project Vol. II
1988
2.76 | 33 ratings
The Instrumental Works
1988
4.24 | 8 ratings
Anthology
1991
3.52 | 23 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
3.04 | 4 ratings
Works
2002
4.00 | 6 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
3.60 | 5 ratings
I Robot (Legacy Edition)
2013
4.50 | 4 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 | 2 ratings
To One In Paradise
1976
4.09 | 3 ratings
(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether
1976
5.00 | 2 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
4.00 | 1 ratings
Pyramania
1978
2.05 | 3 ratings
Lucifer
1979
4.00 | 1 ratings
Damned If I Do
1979
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Turn of a Friendly Card / May Be a Price to Pay
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Gold Bug / Snake Eyes
1980
4.00 | 1 ratings
Games People Play / The Ace of Swords
1980
3.00 | 5 ratings
An Eye Opener 7'' flexi
1981
3.89 | 9 ratings
Time
1981
3.51 | 13 ratings
Eye In The Sky (single)
1982
4.00 | 1 ratings
Old and Wise
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Eye in the Sky / Gemini
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychobabble
1982
4.00 | 1 ratings
You Don't Believe / Lucifer
1983
4.00 | 1 ratings
Prime Time
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Days Are Numbers
1984
3.14 | 7 ratings
Let's Talk About Me
1985
5.00 | 1 ratings
Stereotomy
1985
4.00 | 1 ratings
La Sagrada Familia
1986
5.00 | 1 ratings
Standing On Higher Ground
1986

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lucifer by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1979
2.05 | 3 ratings

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Lucifer
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This single contains two tracks from The Alan Parsons Project's fourth album Eve (1979); it also shares the same cover picture with the album, which has an underlying theme of women and the problems they face in the world of men. Thinking of the Biblical title, it feels appropriate that the album's opening instrumental piece is called 'Lucifer'. [As the listeners of this "band" probably remember, they had a tradition of opening their albums with an instrumental, and I think in most cases those pieces are excellent, and summarize the whole essence of The Alan Parsons Project.]

'Lucifer' became a hit in Europe. How often do you see a rock instrumental in the charts? I guess not very often. Together with the strong title, the catchy, rhythmic music creates a dramatic (if not quite Satanic) atmosphere very effectively. In comparison to e.g. 'Voyager' (Pyramid, 1978) 'Lucifer' is a rather straight-forward composition from start to finish, with no ambience-oriented slow intros or notable progressive nuances. In other words, it COULD have been worked into a more exciting proggy instrumental -- but then again, it hardly would have been released as a single and become a hit in that case.

The B-side has 'I'd Rather Be a Man' which is sung by David Paton. Now as I'm listening to it on YouTube I'm not wondering at all that I had no memories of it. I have listened to the Eve album some long long time ago, as a library loan, and this uncomfortably noisy song didn't please me enough to have a second listen. And it sure doesn't please me now either. It's a good reminder why Eve is generally seen as a weak APP album, especially as a follower of such fine album as Pyramid.

Strange that the beautiful ballad 'If I Could Change Your Mind' sung by Clare Torry (yes, the voice gracing Pink Floyd's 'Great gig in the Sky') didn't make it into a single, not even as a B-sider... 'Lucifer' is a fairly good piece but this single is pretty useless.

 Live In Colombia by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Live, 2016
3.96 | 15 ratings

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Live In Colombia
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by BrianS

4 stars This is "Alan Parsons Project after Woolfson" who was their main vocalist (although most albums have a number of singers) and constant composer. (Through the years the most common composition credit is E. Woolfson/A. Parsons, indeed that is the credit given for all tracks on this album.). There are no new tracks here so his compositional abilities aren't really missed. Indeed this is one of the better live "symphonic" albums, so somebody (Parsons?) knows how to transpose music for an orchestra.

P.J. Olsson does a good job on the vocals of most of the tracks (there are a couple where he's not completely covering the range of the song). A live performance is always a little unkind to singers and magnifies minor faults but overall he does well. With over 20 tracks. I'm not going to cover every one, just short mentions.

The concert opens with an unbelievable version of I Robot. The Orchestra and backing vocals are simply superb. 5/5

The Raven (track 5) is the first time I feel Olsson falls short of the mark but the performance is saved by some really skillful acoustic piano playing that has been added to the piece. 3/5

La Sagrada Familia (track 8) is the standout piece of the whole concert. I was totally blown away by this, far more proggy than much of their work, and absolutely luscious to listen to. The orchestra, the vocals, the arrangement, all perfect. 5/5 (I went and bought "Gaudi" because of this track; and boy was I disappointed; the studio recording is a pale reflection of the live performance.)

The next few tracks are side two of "Turn Of A friendly Card". Has some pleasant orchestration but again Olsson struggles with a couple of songs. 4/5

What Goes Up... opens CD2 and is another track that is well-handled, Olsson strains but gets there. The orchestration is very restrained here and are not really heard until the 2 minute mark. A very polished piece of work. 5/5

Luciferama is another symphonic instrumental triumph. 5/5

Silence and I is Olsson's worst performance, not sure why they included it 2/5

Games People Play closes the concert and is performed pretty straight, with the whole band supplying vocals. It has really top class guitar and sax solos. 5/5

If you like The Alan Parsons Project this album is a must. I would buy it just for La Sagrada Familia (and probably for I Robot and Luciferama as well). They have updated a number of tracks and made them a little more proggy, while retaining ballads like Silence and I & Old and Wise. There is very little crowd noise during the Concert (which I consider a plus). Overall 4/5

 I Robot by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.79 | 488 ratings

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I Robot
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by dougmcauliffe

4 stars Really 4.5 Stars

I love this album front to back. I really cant think of any dull moments. It's not a super prog album but it def has its moments and is a fantastic listen either way

I-Robot 7.5/10 a really cool opener, but the best is yet to come

I Wouldn't Wanna Be Like You 9/10 just a freakin cool song, a sick song to drive to.

Some Other Time 10/10 My Favorite song off the album, just super cool and almost chilling at times

Breakdown 8/10 one of the first AP songs I heard, here we have hollies vocalist and a simple bassline. Another super solid song, I love the choir section

Don't Let it Show 9/10 A really beautiful song. One that I never get tired of.

The Voice 7/10 i love the robot voice and the vocals in general, the interlude with the clapping is a little silly but an enjoyable song

Nucleus 8/10 an instrumental precursor to the next song that is just so damn cool, not something you would listen to on its own though.

Day after Day 10/10 absolutely stunning song, the vocals really shine here. One of my favorite AP songs

Total Eclipse 7/10 A really interesting choir focused song to lead into the next song. Similar to Nucleus, not meant to be a standalone track

Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32 9/10 such a sick closer. AP does a great job adding little details in all the songs to keep you coming back

A really great album I cant recommend enough.

 Anthology by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1991
4.24 | 8 ratings

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Anthology
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by tdfloyd

5 stars A very good compilation from the Alan Parsons Project. It has the biggest hits, a pair of its instrumentals, songs that highlight their use of an orchestra and a choir. All of the Arista released albums are featured here, but that means their first album, 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination' is not. As with any single disc collection from a group with 9 albums to choose from, there is always so who will want to tinker with the track selection. I'm also in this group but I believe this a very good overview of the Alan Parsons Project.

A very solid 4 for the Alan Parsons Project.

 The Sicilian Defence by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.77 | 53 ratings

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The Sicilian Defence
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by tdfloyd

3 stars Released only as a bonus for fans who bought The 'Alan Parsons Project' box set which contained all of the official APP studio albums. 'The Sicilian Defence' is a classic chess opening and as such, it was a clever name for the album APP turned in after 'Eve'. They knew full well it would be rejected and they could now get down to serious negotiations for their next contract.

As an album, it is totally unlike the previous albums. There are no vocals, live drums, guitars, or orchestra. There are a few electronic workouts which are appealing, mixed between solo piano. Again, they are nice but none of this has much commercial appeal.

It must have worked as the Alan Parson Project went on to release six more studio albums and a bunch of compilations for Arista.

3 stars

 Eye In The Sky by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.32 | 419 ratings

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Eye In The Sky
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by gdogcentaur

3 stars After Alan Parsons came out with their conceptual masterpieces: "iRobot" and "Tales of Mystery and Imagination-- Edgar Allen Poe", I got to say that I was a bit disappointed with "Eye in the Sky". Much like Genesis, I feel like Alan Parsons Project's music got worse as they shifted into the new, pop "electronic age" of the 80's. The album is by no means bad though, I just expected more out of the audio engineers of the greatest album of all time ("The Dark Side of the Moon"). The entire album didn't seem very planned out, almost like all of the tracks were just experimenting with individual themes and ideas; sometimes a little bit boring.
 Stereotomy by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.75 | 203 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
2.31 | 200 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 | 235 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 | 388 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.

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

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