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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: 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)

4.06 | 741 ratings
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
1976
3.81 | 568 ratings
I Robot
1977
3.44 | 406 ratings
Pyramid
1978
2.75 | 328 ratings
Eve
1979
3.54 | 462 ratings
The Turn of a Friendly Card
1980
3.36 | 489 ratings
Eye in the Sky
1982
2.99 | 285 ratings
Ammonia Avenue
1984
2.38 | 245 ratings
Vulture Culture
1984
2.76 | 239 ratings
Stereotomy
1985
3.05 | 256 ratings
Gaudi
1987
2.72 | 68 ratings
The Sicilian Defence
2014

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

2.17 | 11 ratings
Extended Versions
2004
3.93 | 18 ratings
Live In Colombia
2016

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

3.90 | 10 ratings
Live in Colombia
2016

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

2.63 | 49 ratings
The Best of Alan Parsons Project
1983
2.84 | 27 ratings
The Best of the Alan Parsons Project Vol. II
1988
2.75 | 33 ratings
The Instrumental Works
1988
4.24 | 8 ratings
Anthology
1991
3.54 | 26 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
4.11 | 18 ratings
The Essential Alan Parsons Project
2007
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Collection
2010
4.56 | 7 ratings
I Robot (Legacy Edition)
2013
4.40 | 5 ratings
The Complete Albums Collection
2014

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

4.91 | 4 ratings
To One In Paradise
1976
4.00 | 3 ratings
(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether
1976
4.67 | 3 ratings
The Raven
1976
4.00 | 5 ratings
I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
1977
3.07 | 8 ratings
Hyper-Gamma-Spaces
1978
4.00 | 3 ratings
Pyramania
1978
2.57 | 6 ratings
Lucifer
1979
2.50 | 2 ratings
Damned If I Do
1979
5.00 | 1 ratings
Lucifer
1979
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Turn of a Friendly Card / May Be a Price to Pay
1980
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Gold Bug / Snake Eyes
1980
3.13 | 5 ratings
Games People Play / The Ace of Swords
1980
2.60 | 5 ratings
An Eye Opener 7'' flexi
1981
3.83 | 10 ratings
Time
1981
3.51 | 15 ratings
Eye In The Sky (single)
1982
4.00 | 4 ratings
Old and Wise
1982
4.00 | 2 ratings
Eye in the Sky / Gemini
1982
3.50 | 2 ratings
Psychobabble
1982
4.00 | 1 ratings
You Don't Believe / Lucifer
1983
3.00 | 2 ratings
Prime Time
1984
2.00 | 3 ratings
Days Are Numbers
1984
2.71 | 7 ratings
Let's Talk About Me
1985
1.00 | 1 ratings
Stereotomy
1985
3.00 | 2 ratings
La Sagrada Familia
1986
2.00 | 1 ratings
Standing On Higher Ground
1986

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vulture Culture by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.38 | 245 ratings

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Vulture Culture
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Saimon

3 stars Review #16: Vulture Culture

Despite being a big fan of Alan Parsons and his seventies discography, I must admit, even if someone doesn't like it, that this album is more of the same Alan Parsons in the 80s.

I hope I'm not misunderstanding anyone, Vulture Culture is a good album, but Alan's progressive essence and his seventies artistic mediations became tedious as he gradually presented works that stopped delving so much into the ambiguous and concentrated on attracting a larger audience that was more commercially oriented. The resonances generated in this album are already becoming.... "bland".

Vulture Culture, eighth album of "The Alan Parsons Project", is an eighties album with a more dynamic and dynamic atmosphere in terms of song lengths and "simpler" instrumentation. Within Parsons' discography, this is the only album that does not feature Andrew Powell's orchestration.

Originally, the album was intended to be the second LP of a double album, Ammonia Avenue being the first. After the records were split into separate albums, Vulture Culture received a more modern (for the time) studio treatment with heavier drums and dynamics. "Sooner or Later" was described by Parsons himself as "the third attempt at trying to get another hit with the guitar line" Eye in the Sky "-esque chugging -" Prime Time "from Ammonia Avenue was the second, which I thought was a little more successful in that regard."

I tend to listen to pop records, disco, etc... I really like the genre. Those 3 stars, are simply because this album is NOTHING progressive as far as respects, both Crossover Prog, and Prog itself. If this site was a ratings/reviews site for albums of all genres, I think I would add another star (with this I don't want to discredit or generate anything against the administrators of Progarchives, this site has been simply wonderful since I knew it and a great way to invest my time in knowing new progressive stuff).

But anyway. It seems to me that Alan Parsons had his great works, and that after Ammonia Avenue Alan Parsons was finished, even if it pains me to say it that way.

For anyone who wants to dig into Alan Parsons, I recommend "Tales Of Mystery & Imagination (Edgar Allan Poe)", from 1976, and "I Robot", from 1977.

Let's Talk About Me: 3/5

Separate Lives 3/5

Days Are Numbers (The Traveller) 4/5

Sooner or Later 2/5

Vulture Culture 2.5/5

Hawkeye 2.5/5

Somebody Out There 3.5/5

The Same Old Sun 4/5

6/10. 3 stars.

 Pyramid by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.44 | 406 ratings

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Pyramid
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Mspy1

3 stars Alan Parsons Project / Alan Parsons Project

Pyramid, The Project's third album, was released in 1978 and went on to chart at #26 on Billboard, building on the popularity of I Robot.

Starting with the meditative ambient instrumental 'Voyager,' the album moves smoothly (segues) into their single 'What Goes Up,' which features David Paton and Dean Ford on lead vocals. Even though the segue builds up a strong opening, the single being insistently repetitive makes some listeners flee. Especially those who are familiar with metronomes can easily guess where the album is going. Furthermore, this album is declared by many as a formulaic pop/rock album.

Considering their repeating themes of the Middle East, Egypt, and the Pyramids themselves, the following three songs can indeed be thought of as a trilogy. Moreover, the introduction to 'In The Lap Of The Gods,' a grandiose and bombastic instrumental that bursts into life with an orchestra and choir at the finish, kind of kicks things off.

Exquisite production is still in place, in addition to; superb musicianship, and mediocre tunes, as one would expect from Alan Parsons' production, and it is no surprise. Issue with this album is that it has a few bad songs in it. These bad songs are in my opinion are literally formulaic fillers, and they have no progressive value even though they are well produced. This album has the onerous task of following up on what was undoubtedly a career high with the magnificent "I Robot," and the standards are unmet in many respects, which is upsetting. Pyramid has a few treasures, a bevy of nice pop songs, and sadly, it also has garbage in it.

 The Turn of a Friendly Card by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.54 | 462 ratings

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The Turn of a Friendly Card
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Maurus9

4 stars Considering the more progressive beginnings of Alan Parsons, the eighties sound of this album does not detract from the fact that it is a jewel that is not very well known but quite accessible to any audience. The Turn of a Friendly Card, fifth album by The Alan Parsons Project, is a concept album about gambling, in which we notice a more 80s disco/pop style. Even if it's not the most progressive thing we can notice in the discography of this band, it doesn't take away the excellent quality of instrumentation and catchy rhythms such as "Games People Play" or "Snake Eyes", or the sentimentality of "Time" and "The Gold Bug". If you like this album and want to get to know the band better, I recommend listening to "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" and "I Robot".

8/10, 4 but well deserved stars to this eccentric album.

 Pyramid by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.44 | 406 ratings

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Pyramid
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Argentinfonico

5 stars The most underrated album I've ever heard. I understand the rating it receives on this page as it is not a totally progressive album, but the way the conceptuality is carried out throughout this fantastic trilogy is more than memorable. Three songs divided into three parts that shelter the listener in a musical paradise full of wisdom and wonderful harmonies. Voyager is a fantastic beginning (the name implies what awaits you) and then introduces the second part, which has fantastic lyrics ("How can you be so sure that the wonders you've made in you life will be seen by the millions who'll follow to visit the site of your dream?"). The Eagle WIll Rise Again is the highest point when it comes to meaning: A hopeful message through a melancholic, sad and religious melody. The second song starts with One More River, a remarkable song with a magnificent and very strong sax solo. Can't Take It With You follows as the second part, being a kind of place to rest after so much force. The third part of the second song, In The Lap Of The Gods, is an instrumental with oriental overtones with a majestic power, ideal to close the middle of the album. The third part starts with Pyromania, a lively, danceable and fun piece but at the same time with little hidden wise messages sung happily. Hyper-Gamma-Spaces is an unremarkable instrument although not bad for that. Sounds really nice. The album closes with "Shadow Of A Lonely Man", a majestic work, learned in experiences and suffering. Almost depressing piano progressions and a voice and lyrics that beautifully reflect the feeling of loneliness and his imperative way of staying in the spirit despite being surrounded by so many people and so much material. An absolutely wonderful album that does not deserve to be forgotten.
 Games People Play / The Ace of Swords by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
3.13 | 5 ratings

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Games People Play / The Ace of Swords
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the disappointing album Eve (1979) the Project released The Turn of a Friendly Card (1980), which is much more rewarding. To my surprise it even has higher rating here than Pyramid (1978), one of my personal favourites. The theme of gambling and the effects of gambling addiction covers most of the album, most notably on the five-part title suite. At least three singles were taken from the album, this one being the first of them, released in December 1980.

'Games People Play' is in my opinion rather mediocre uptempo pop song, sung by the sharp-voiced Project regular Lenny Zakatek. Anyway it was well received commercially and it peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single version features two edits, one during the instrumental section preceding the guitar solo, and another shortening the guitar solo. It is also sped up slightly.

On the B-side is one part of the mentioned 'The Turn of a Friendly Card' suite, the instrumental third part called 'The Ace of Swords'. This is a fairly good and representative track when speaking of the essential instrumental side of the project. Orchestral and dramatic without getting too pretentious. I like the harpsichord intro. A nice choice for a single's B side, and for that reason I'll give three stars.

 I Robot by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.81 | 568 ratings

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I Robot
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Mspy1

4 stars I Robot / Alan Parsons Project

It's tough to imagine that The Alan Parsons Project followed up debut album "Eye in the Sky" with such a powerful album, if not powerful, followed up with something equally powerful... however in a different manner.

The tracks on this album are more approachable; several have already been played on the radio. "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You," "Don't Let It Show," and "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)" are the album's three singles and they all have been played on radio. The album's track "Breakdown" was heavily played on AOR stations and is still being played on classic rock radio.

Irrespective of its ease of access, this album is a fun and very thrilling to listen to from beginning to end. Every song sounds noticeably different, therefore the music's stylistic demeanor fluctuates, giving us a little bit of everything. "I, Robot" is funky and synth-textured song, "Day After Day" has a sorrowful ballad vibe to it, Nucleus has an atmospheric crescendo vibe to it, and so on.

Some tracks may get monotonous ( after numerous listenings, and a few may be irritating in general, however the album itself has a very full and even (equal) feel to it.

My favourite track would be Genesis Ch.1. V.32. The reason for that would be; Ch.1 V.32 refers to the bible, however; that verse does not exist in Bible. So, this song's meaning was meant to be a little secret, suggesting that there was an unrevealed verse in Bible representing the future or the idea that God had created the earth, and then he created men, and then men created Robots, and thus the Genesis Ch.1 v.32 is the last song after Total Eclipse which represents end of men and Genesis Ch.1 v.32 represents creation of Robots. That's the thought behind it.

"I Robot" is a formulaic pop/rock album with proggy elements in it, it gets 4/5 from me.

 Days Are Numbers by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1984
2.00 | 3 ratings

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Days Are Numbers
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I've actually never listened to this single's source album Vulture Culture (1984) in its entirety, but several tracks have become familiar from e.g. compilations. A trivial fact I didn't know is that originally Ammonia Avenue (1983) and Vulture Culture were thought to form a double album. As commercial as their material is, it hardly would have been a good idea in any sense. After the decision to make Vulture Culture an individual album, Alan Parsons gave it a more modern (for the time) treatment, which results for example as harder hitting drums (*sigh*). At least here on PA Vulture Culture is considered the weakest album of the Project. It's also the only one not to feature any orchestrations of Andrew Powell. This single gives a clear, representative idea of Vulture Culture.

'Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)' is a soft and a bit syrupy ballad from the Parsons-Woolfson assembly line. Chris Rainbow's lead vocals are nicely backed up with harmonies, and the song's very hummable melodies are not plain bad, but also sonically this tender pop ballad is far from the finest Alan Parsons touch as a producer and engineer. The saxophone addition finishes the cheesiness. Of course compared to much of the mid-80's commercial pop, this still is pretty fine and sophisticated.

'Somebody Out There', another Vulture Culture track, I hadn't heard before. That it's sung by Colin Blunstone, the ex- Zombie whose voice graces many beautiful APP songs such as 'The Eagle Will Rise Again' and 'Old and Wise', made me expect more of it. Well, his vocal contribution is just average here, and the song itself is, after the fairly promising beginning, dead boring in its "dramatic" pop hit approach. And those sharp, cheap synth sounds, they're something that never should have come out from Parsons' hands. A disappointment.

 I Robot by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.81 | 568 ratings

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I Robot
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars I Robot is Alan Parsons Project's 2nd album. Like their first album, I Robot was originally going to be based around the stories of another famous author, this time being Isaac Asimov. That's how it was conceived originally at least. Asimov was even going to be a part of the album, reading certain selections throughout the album. The songs were going to be based upon scenes from the series. Asimov was actually quite excited about participating. However, that plan unfortunately got squashed. Whether it was Parsons or the record label that discouraged that idea is unclear. What we ended up with instead is a loosely based concept with songs about robots in general, not the sci-fi universe of Asimov. This is really too bad because we probably would have ended up with an amazing album like their debut album "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" was.

However, the end result was still pretty good. Yes the prog ended up being quite lite compared to the previous album, but it still managed to be excellently produced with a pristine sound and a good variety of songs. The things that did stay consistent with their debut album is that the songs were sung by several different vocalists (this, of course, would be the usual formula for The APP), there were a couple of instrumental tracks, and the music was high quality. Yet, the album would also feature more accessible music and no epic tracks. There would be a more minimal use of orchestra this time, but there would also be more use of two chorale style groups.

"I Robot" is one of the band's best instrumentals and utilizes The English Chorale to give it an effectively sweeping sound. It does somewhat harken back to the atmospheric feel of "The Raven" from the debut album. This is followed with a somewhat mediocre track "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" which was released as a single, but "Some Other Time" is a bit better and also reflects the sound that fans would fall in love with, a slower ballad with a nice symphonic feel. Even though "Breakdown" wasn't released as a single, it still managed to become the most famous song on the album, and rightfully so as it is a heavier rocker, though it doesn't approach the heaviness of "Dr Tarr & Professor Feather" from the previous album. The use of the choir at the end of "Breakdown" is an excellent touch and really helps with the final payoff of the track. "Don't Let it Show" is a nice ballad, but feels a bit schmaltzy, but it's still nice to hear once in a while.

"The Voice" is another of the best tracks on the album, and probably the closest thing to a progressive rock track on the album with the dark feel during the verses and the sudden change in tempo and meter with the addition of orchestra in the rousing middle section. "Nucleus" is a nice, atmospheric and mostly electronic instrumental that sounds a bit futuristic. "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)" is a much more satisfying ballad which might remind you a bit of the band's big hit "Time" that would come a few years later. That segues into the most experimental track on the album "Total Eclipse" which is a thick, dark and dissonant wordless chorale piece with orchestra done again by The English Chorale. This one is very spooky and almost disturbing with it's strong dissonant sung chords and ominous orchestra and tense atmosphere. This finally resolves into the lovely (mostly) instrumental epilogue "Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32" which ends with a melodic theme accented by The New Philharmonia Chorus and ends the album with a nice, yet satisfying ending.

This album wins more because of the production and the overall layout of the tracks and the presentation of the material. Yes, it might not be strong with the progressive aspect, but it is still a favorite of mine. The album would end up inspiring other bands to explore art-pop. It would also be a template for many APP albums to come. In the end, you can hear the quality of the production that also has some echoes of "Dark Side of the Moon" which Parsons helped with earlier. This is still an album that I consider essential at least for my own record collection even if it doesn't reach the heights of the projects first album.

 I Robot by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.81 | 568 ratings

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I Robot
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by progtime1234567

4 stars I Robot comes from the short story collection of the same name by science-fiction grandmaster Isaac Asimov. This is what caught my attention with this album, and this band. The Alan Parsons Project isn't as much of a band as it is a collective of musicians who come together to record music. Alan Parsons is pretty much the mastermind, playing only a few instruments and singing on a few songs on his albums he conceives. With I Robot, good, clean progressive and art rock was created.

The concept of the album has nothing to do with the short stories written by Asimov in his book I, Robot. The idea revolves around robots in general than characters and plot points in Asimov's universe. The music sounds more like art rock than progressive rock in my opinion but to some people progressive rock and art rock are the same thing. All the different musicians add their own sound to the album, keeping it from being repetitive and keeping it from having all the songs sound the same.

The Alan Parsons Project is a band I want to dive deeper into. Isaac Asimov is one of my favorite authors, and the whole idea behind the band, or collective in general is very interesting. They also have an album about Edgar Allan Poe's stuff, this band was destined for me. I Robot is a great album and it was a good start for me for this band. I still expected more synthesizers, it's called I Robot!

 I Robot (Legacy Edition) by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
4.56 | 7 ratings

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I Robot (Legacy Edition)
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

5 stars I just can't see the point with the bonus material added to this and other releases by The Project. To me, they sound like incomplete, unfinished or failed parts discarded in the final assembly of the real songs. The album itself is, of course, a whole different matter.

And perfection is the name. The combination of electronics with choral eeriness in the opener reaches fantastic levels of depth, contrast and pristine clearness with this upgrade in sound quality. The vocals by Lenny Zakatek and the funky touch by the Tosh & Patton rythm section needs no introduccion really, let's just say that they shine brightly, for example, in "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You". If you are looking for heavy choral architecture, but in a truly epic scale, go for "Breakdown". Are you into the contemporary-classical stuff, with a penchant for experimentation & atonalism? Just listen to "Total Eclipse", so reminiscent of Gyorgy Ligeti, that you will be searching for a black monolith to adore, in a second.

Yes, the same, but even better.

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

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