Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT forum topics / tours, shows & news


THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT forum topics Create a topic now
THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "the alan parsons project"
Post an entries now

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT

Buy THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Music



More places to buy THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT music online

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)

4.05 | 706 ratings
Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
1976
3.80 | 529 ratings
I Robot
1977
3.41 | 380 ratings
Pyramid
1978
2.74 | 306 ratings
Eve
1979
3.52 | 431 ratings
The Turn Of A Friendly Card
1980
3.35 | 460 ratings
Eye In The Sky
1982
2.98 | 263 ratings
Ammonia Avenue
1984
2.34 | 224 ratings
Vulture Culture
1984
2.77 | 224 ratings
Stereotomy
1985
3.06 | 238 ratings
Gaudi
1987
2.71 | 61 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
3.93 | 18 ratings
Live In Colombia
2016

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

3.85 | 8 ratings
Live in Colombia
2016

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

2.62 | 48 ratings
The Best of Alan Parsons Project
1983
2.84 | 27 ratings
The Best of the Alan Parsons Project Vol. II
1988
2.76 | 33 ratings
The Instrumental Works
1988
4.19 | 7 ratings
Anthology
1991
3.54 | 25 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
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Collection
2010
4.53 | 6 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 | 3 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
3.00 | 6 ratings
Hyper-Gamma-Spaces
1978
4.00 | 1 ratings
Pyramania
1978
2.50 | 4 ratings
Lucifer
1979
4.00 | 1 ratings
Damned If I Do
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lucifer
1979
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Turn of a Friendly Card / May Be a Price to Pay
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Gold Bug / Snake Eyes
1980
5.00 | 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
4.05 | 2 ratings
Old and Wise
1982
5.00 | 1 ratings
Eye in the Sky / Gemini
1982
4.00 | 1 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
 I Robot (Legacy Edition) by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
4.53 | 6 ratings

BUY
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.

 Old and Wise by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1982
4.05 | 2 ratings

BUY
Old and Wise
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Project's sixth album Eye in the Sky (1982) is a pretty enjoyable soft rock release with only a little bit of prog elements, and its last track 'Old and Wise' is the only single by The Alan Parsons Project to feature the lead vocals of Colin Blunstone. This beautiful-voiced former vocalist of The Zombies had sung on the very lovely APP song 'The Eagle Will Rise Again' (Pyramid, 1978) and would appear also on the albums Ammonia Avenue (1984) and Vulture Culture (1985). By the way, an early version, without orchestration or the saxophone solo, was sung by Eric Woolfson and is included as a bonus on the 2007 remastered edition of Eye in the Sky.

The song is very mellow and romantic. Some will undoubtedly find it syrupy, but to me it has become a fond classic, or should I say everGREEN. Not that I would listen to it regularly, instead it often starts playing in my *head* when I'm riding my bicycle in a beautiful surrounding with trees and grass. I must have developed this Pavlovian music memory nearly 30 years ago as a young student amidst his (mostly long-distance) first love -- and first heartache. I used to play cassettes in a Walkman on a beautiful lakeside park route from university to my tiny room. I guess I felt the song and its lyrics strongly at that time.

Also the B side comes from Eye in the Sky: 'Children of the Moon' is a brighter, not so deeply emotional song with lead vocals of the bassist David Paton. Another good and accessible pop song from The AP Project.

 Lucifer by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1979
2.50 | 4 ratings

BUY
Lucifer
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Luciferama

Lucifer is the instrumental track that opens the poor Eve album. The track itself is not bad however and is by far the best that album has to offer. It was also released as a single to promote the album, and it works well in this format. I have a liking for instrumental singles.

The single version is an edit, but nothing is really lost in my opinion. To the contrary, this is one of those rare occasions when less really is more. The shorter version is more direct and does not overstay its welcome.

The b-side is I'd Rather Be a Man, also taken from the forgettable Eve album. Frankly, I'd rather listen to Lucifer on repeat than to hear anything else from Eve again.

 Hyper-Gamma-Spaces by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1978
3.00 | 6 ratings

BUY
Hyper-Gamma-Spaces
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Top of the pyramid

I have always found that the most interesting parts by far of any Alan Parsons Project album are the instrumental tracks. Recently I have revisited some of these instrumentals with fresh ears, mainly because I have become a big fan of keyboard player Duncan Mackay who contributed to some of the Project's early albums as a session man. I suppose I didn't pay much attention to the synthesiser-driven Hyper-Gamma-Spaces before, hidden away as it is towards the end of the weak Pyramid album, but this track has now become a bit of a favourite of mine. I usually don't rate singles unless they offer something different from what can be found on a full-length album, but I will make an exception on this occasion as I think Hyper-Gamma-Spaces stands out as single, and is a lot more interesting than the dull album from which it is taken.

The version of this single listed here has The Eagle Will Rise Again as its B-side, a boring vocal track also taken from Pyramid that frankly does nothing for me. Other versions has other tracks as B-sides, including the awful Pyramania and in some cases In the Lap of the Gods. The latter is another instrumental that is far behind Hyper-Gamma-Spaces in quality but still the best choice I suppose.

 To One In Paradise by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1976
5.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
To One In Paradise
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by HarmonyDissonan

5 stars A GORGEOUS SONG AND A CHILLER!

Hi. First I would have to say that I agree with MATTI's review. But I would personally add that To One In Paradise is a favorite of mine. Just an out and out gorgeous song with hauntingly beautiful lyrics. One of the stand out lines, among many for me would be the lines, 'I've been through times when no one cared, I've seen clouds in empty skies, When one kind word meant more to me, Than all the love in Paradise.' As the sometimes coolness of religious dogma can't compete with the down-to-earth love contained within the human touch generated in it's most basic form of kind words. Without a doubt it is my favorite Alan Parsons Project song, but also my second favorite 'mellow' popular song ever. My favorite mellow tune is by someone who isn't represented on PA, the song is Gypsy Soul from Tommy Bolin's album Private Eyes. It is my favorite 'electric' album as well. For anyone interested, my personal favorite 'acoustic' albums are also not represented here on PA either, but all three are great albums worth looking into. The 'acoustic' albums are Al Stewart's Past, Present and Future followed closely by America's debut album.

Well, take care and enjoy God's gift of music.

 To One In Paradise by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1976
5.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
To One In Paradise
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

5 stars When rating singles, I've often had certain criteria for the full rating: in addition to containing great music, an ideal single has at least one interesting non-album song to increase the release value. Well, both songs on this 7" are taken from The Alan Parsons Project's excellent debut album Tales of Mystery and Imagination, based on the classic horror stories -- and, to a lesser extent, poetry -- of Edgar Allan Poe. But they happen to be my favourite tracks, so I can only give this single five stars!

'To One in Paradise' is a lovely, peaceful and probably generally too forgotten album closer, not directly based on a short story but, if I'm not mistaken, instead featuring some verses of Poe that Leonard Whiting reads at the end of the song. In that sense it lacks the power of the story-telling level that graces most of the album, but it's fully compensated by its beautiful mellowness that so nicely balances the album whole. The main vocalist Terry Sylvester is backed by female backing vocals.

'The Cask of Amontillado'. Wow, goosebumps of pleasure. Of course it helps that I was impressed by the wonderful story already in my youth. Definitely among the finest Poe wrote. "By the last breath of the four winds that blow / I'll have revenge upon Fortunato. / Smile in his face, I'll say 'Come let us go / I've a cask of Amontillado'..." The suspense of this horrifying story of revenge is wonderfully captured by the dual vocals, deceitfully calm on the surface, and the more intensive instrumental sections featuring Hitchcockian strings. John Miles as the protagonist who chains his fellow in the wine cellar is actually my all time favourite AP Project vocalist (his other highlight performances include 'Shadow of a Lonely Man' on Pyramid, 1978).

If you haven't yet listened to Tales of Mystery and Imagination, take this review as a suggestion to do so. And if you enjoy short stories, I also advice you to find a selection of Poe's stories.

 The Best of Alan Parsons Project by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1983
2.62 | 48 ratings

BUY
The Best of Alan Parsons Project
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by OLD PROG

4 stars After 6 studio albums released by Arista It's the time of "The Best Of Alan Parsons project", a good compilation. First of all, it must be said that the style is a sort of truly intriguing Progressive POP because the writing is fresh and engaging. There are no virtuosity or moments when the phrase "look how I'm great to play" comes to mind. This is due to the fact that the songs seek more the pleasure of listening.

This compilation is really well done. It has no tired moments or fillers. Rightly "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" is put at the beginning, being a little funky and contrasts with "Eye In The Sky" which follows because the latter is very sweet, like sound and atmosphere. "Games People Play", the thid song, it is, instead, a more Rock and almost not Progressive piece (and not much Art Rock). The rest of the compilation is all about these frequencies. It's therefore very interesting because it's made up of excellent compositions.

In short, the Alan parsons Project were a band that created atmospheres, rather than viruosity (otherwise absent) to conquer the listener. Alan Parson, history says so, is an extraordinary producer and engineer. In this sense he is very good at amplifying the emotional part of the songs. And, with a band that plays on emotions, an immortal mix was born

 Eve by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.74 | 306 ratings

BUY
Eve
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by mhernand3

3 stars After three excellent productions, no one should be disappointed that The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT (TAPP)'s fourth album has not reached such high levels of quality and inspiration. Without being really bad, by comparison, it shines very little ... although, honestly, I've heard dozens of worse records that have sold more copies than this one! After exploring the future and the past on the two previous albums, creative duet PARSONS/WOOLFSON embarked on a concept as fascinating as it is problematic: women, and more specifically, relationships between men and women, with songs sung by (more) men and (less) women. Following the exact same recipe that worked so well on "Pyramid," pop songs are interspersed with a couple of instrumentals, all tied by the central concept. The album starts with an instrumental theme that would soon become a classic: 'Lucifer,' which immediately sets the tone for the entire first part of the album. There is little point in trying to make controversial with what TAPP meant by naming the opening track of an album dedicated to women with such a name, right? Two very memorable songs follow 'Lucifer': 'You Lie Down With Dogs' which is by far the most misogynistic song Eric WOOLFSON has ever written, and 'I'd Rather Be A Man' which it barely lags a little behind. But these compositions do not impress me because of the violence of the lyrics, nor because of the hate contained in their message, but because of the atmosphere so well achieved that it is created with music, ominous and perverse; the playful rhythm with which Lenny ZAKATEK and David PATON sing (I personally like Lenny's timbre in the first one more than David's in the second), and the instrumental solos, which lead to a terrifying climax: not even in moments. Darker than "Tales of Mystery and Imagination," the Project had sounded so poisonous ... The album continues with other songs less interesting than those two, armed with the typical warm and monotonous melodies, and the well-known vocal harmonies that TAPP quickly accustomed us to. The apparent intention is to face the feelings of men and women in the typical battle of the sexes; for example, in 'You Won't Be There,' sung melodramatically by Dave TOWNSEND, it talks about male insecurities, while the theme in 'Winding Me Up' is the female ability to dominate your partner (interesting detail: notice at the initial sound of the music box mechanism breaking?) The bitter 'Damned If I Do' is a more traditional song, with a style that anticipates the pop music of the next decade, with its synthesizer arrangements and catchy choruses. The bitter 'Damned If I Do' is a more traditional song, with a style that anticipates the pop music of the next decade, with its synthesizer arrangements and catchy choruses, although more emotional than much of the New Wave music later produced in England. The female point of view appears until the end of the album: Clare TORRY sings 'Don't Hold Back,' about the malice and intellectual ability of the erroneously called "weak sex." At the same time, Lesley DUNCAN takes over 'If I Could Change Your Mind,' which does not need further clarification, as the title is quite eloquent. - Martín HERNÁNDEZ
 Tales Of Mystery And Imagination by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.05 | 706 ratings

BUY
Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
The Alan Parsons Project Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars To be truthful, I've always viewed the APP as something like "prog lite" when compared to contemporaries like Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, etc., but this album is a bit of a gem in that it's mostly pop prog with a quasi concept. And who doesn't appreciate Mr. Poe, his spooky poems and the myriad of horror flicks staring the one and only Vincent Price?

The musical template of the APP is very much in place on Tales Of Mystery, and not too dissimilar to the radio hits that would follow this album. However, this album is put together with so much love that it simply outshines all others in the group's future output. That a pop group like Pilot can be employed to make such engaging music along with pop singers like Terry Sylvester (of the Hollies!) is quite an eye opener. But the songs still a have to be substantial in order to shine and that they do. "The Raven", "The Tell- Tale Heart", "The Cask Of Amontillado" and "(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether", in particular, work well without being pretentious. The eerily symphonic 5 part suite that makes up the instrumental "The Fall Of The House Of Usher" really sells the somber concept of this album and is the album's highlight.

The bottom line is that Tales Of Mystery And Imagination, if not particularly earth shattering prog rock, is a fun and engaging listen, just the way music should be. 4 stars.

 The Turn Of A Friendly Card by PARSONS PROJECT, THE ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.52 | 431 ratings

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

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Alan Parsons Project albums are concept albums, although the concepts are always diffuse enough to accommodate hit singles. In this case, that's a good thing, since The Turn of a Friendly Card includes not only the catchy "Games People Play," but the all-time classic "Time."

The album's theme is explained on the-alan-parsons-project.com as follows: "Inspired by the theatricality of casino gambling as exemplified in Las Vegas and Monte Carlo. The concept of 'risk' at the gambling tables has obvious parallels to the risks we take in life." A substantial mental-gymnastics routine is required to fit the songs to each other; I wonder if anyone reading the song lyrics would guess the album theme.

But Alan Parsons Project albums are really more about the sound than the words or the concept, and this is the area in which The Turn of a Friendly Card excels. Parsons himself is perhaps the most celebrated audio engineer in rock history, untangling tape on on Abbey Road, producing The Year of the Cat, and, most famously, engineering the recording of The Dark Side of the Moon. As usual, on The Turn of a Friendly Card Parsons all but ensures a good-sounding album just by surrounding himself with talent and doing his thing behind the mixing board. The bonus is his collaboration with Eric Woolfson, who's responsible for half of the composition and production, as well as playing most of the keyboards. I'll also point out the great guitar work of Ian Bairnson, especially the fantastic guitar solo on "Games People Play."

I've always liked "The Ace of Swords," one the album's instrumental cuts. The opening harpsichord part gives the intro a Renaissance feel, which gives way to the TV-sports vibe of its the two main sections, the second of which (beginning at 1:30) employs a very stereotypical Alan-Parsons-Project sound. Andrew Powell's orchestral arrangements are impressive throughout, but especially in the final minute. The other instrumental, "the Gold Bug," isn't as invaluable as its name implies; it sounds like an outtake with the vocals removed. Nonetheless it was a chart hit in Austria and Germany, while "Ace of Swords" was released only as the b-side of "Games People Play."

"May Be a Price to Pay" is another sleeper, for some reason released as an a-side only in France (as a 3:25 edit), and as the b-side of "The Turn of a Friendly Card" in several countries. A quintessential APP tune, "May Be a Price to Pay" is the only song sung by Dave Terry (a/k/a "Elmer Gantry") - - maybe it wasn't released because of potential consumer confusion. As it is, the two hit singles (in the US and Canada) were already sung by two very different singers, and Terry's voice is unlike either Lenny Zakatek, who sings "Games People Play," or Woolfson, who sings "Time." A third single, "Snake Eyes" was a minor U.S. hit; Chris Rainbow's vocal style on this one is somewhat similar to Zakatek's, although given its bouncy piano undercarriage, it must've been mistaken more than once for a Supertramp song.

Musically, the album holds together well, with enough variation in mood, instrumentation, and tempo - - but not too much. The song which strays the most from the formula is "Time," but who could blame the group for including it on The Turn of a Friendly Card, even it was a bit of an outlier? In my book, "Time" is easily the best Alan Parsons Project song I've heard. Musically, it's quite complex, though it flows so smoothly that I didn't notice for years. And given how good Woolfson sounds singing it, it's a wonder that he hadn't been the lead singer of any song from any of the group's prior albums. Nor is it surprising that the three biggest Alan Parsons Project hits ("Time," "Eye in the Sky" (1982) and "Don't Answer Me" (1984)) were all sung by Woolfson.

Beyond the first three songs and "The Ace of Swords," The Turn of a Friendly Card is solid, though nothing terribly special. But it's a three-star album on the strength of Side One, especially "Time."

====

P.S. The 2008 Expanded Edition of The Turn of a Friendly Card has very good sound, and the bonus tracks are interesting, even if they don't add too much to the canonical album.

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

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

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