Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

ALAN PARSONS

Prog Related • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alan Parsons picture
Alan Parsons biography
Alan Parsons - Born December 20, 1948 (London, UK)

Alan PARSONS began his career at Abbey Road doing tape duplication. Over the years he would climb the ranks from assistant engineer, to engineer and later to producer. Along the way he worked on albums like "Abbey Road" by The BEATLES, and "Dark Side of the Moon" by PINK FLOYD. In 1976, he started his own group, the very famous Alan PARSONS PROJECT. When Eric WOOLFSON chose to leave The Alan PARSONS PROJECT to pursue a career in musical theatre, Alan didn't feel comfortable continuing to use the Project moniker. Albums are credited to Alan PARSONS, but when they tour the marquee flashes The Alan PARSONS Band.

See also: The Alan Parsons Project

ALAN PARSONS forum topics / tours, shows & news


ALAN PARSONS forum topics Create a topic now
ALAN PARSONS tours, shows & news Post an entries now

ALAN PARSONS Videos (YouTube and more)


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

Buy ALAN PARSONS Music



More places to buy ALAN PARSONS music online

ALAN PARSONS discography


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

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

3.52 | 96 ratings
Try Anything Once
1993
3.07 | 82 ratings
On Air
1996
2.46 | 69 ratings
The Time Machine
1999
2.60 | 96 ratings
A Valid Path
2004
3.07 | 60 ratings
The Secret
2019
2.45 | 31 ratings
From the New World
2022

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

3.09 | 30 ratings
The Very Best of Live
1994
3.90 | 22 ratings
Eye 2 Eye
2010
3.53 | 6 ratings
LiveSpan
2014
3.97 | 9 ratings
The Neverending Show: Live in the Netherlands
2021
3.96 | 6 ratings
One Note Symphony: Live in Tel Aviv
2022

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

4.64 | 11 ratings
Alan Parsons live in Madrid
2005
4.64 | 11 ratings
Eye 2 Eye
2010

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

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

2.22 | 8 ratings
All Our Yesterdays
2010
2.54 | 7 ratings
Fragile
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fragile / Do You Live at All
2015

ALAN PARSONS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Very Best of Live by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Live, 1994
3.09 | 30 ratings

BUY
The Very Best of Live
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by JulesRules

3 stars This is a decent best-of compilation, but a mediocre live album. The missed opportunity is obvious when you look at the 1994 setlists and becomes even more glaring when you listen to the one audience recording there is (from the first show). Why did Parsons leave out all the new songs? "Try Anything Once" was a very good start to his "solo" career (which was still reliant a lot on other writers, obviously, just not Eric Woolfson anymore), and the band performed seven songs from it - "Turn It Up", "Oh, Life, "Breakaway", "I'm Talking To You", "Dreamscape", "Back Against the Wall" and "Wine from the Water". Other songs that also got axed are "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" from "I Robot", "The Eagle Will Rise Again" from "Pyramid" (Gary Howard sang this one exquisitely - what a loss to leave it out) and "In the Real World" from "Stereotomy".

So aside from "Vulture Culture" and "Freudiana" (which was never relased under the Project name and was pretty much buried in the advertising for "Try Anything Once", but it has some fine songs and IMHO beats a lot of the Project's output after "Eye in the Sky"), every Parsons album released til that point actually was represented in the setlist.

This editing also affects the flow of the album, which is pretty much nonexistent now ("Old and Wise" should not be in the first half of anything, let alone a live show), and makes Parsons' announcement of "going back to the Eye in the Sky album" nonsensical since the track before was also from "Eye in the Sky". In concert it made sense, since they had played a number of new songs before. This issue was at least fixed on the US release, which however still doesn't represent the live order particularly well.

Aside from all that, it's hard to fault the album. Chris Thompson especially did a great job with the vocals (but why Parsons didn't have him play guitar too mystifies me, since Ian Bairnson has to shoulder a lot of weight here), while Gary Howard's singing varies a bit more - as mentioned in another review, he does Eric Woolfson's songs with a bit too much theatricality, but "Old and Wise" is spot on. You can hear that the band wasn't particularly well-oiled; there are no obvious "mistakes" but some solos don't sound too convincing, Richard Cottle's two sax solos being the most egregious offenders. Parsons' current sax player Todd Cooper is in an entirely different league, and as much as it pains me to say, the whole American band that he has now plays with more gusto than this group of people that still represented, partially, the original Alan Parsons Project. Again, this effect is not as obvious when listening to the audience recording - there are more mistakes in that one but the feeling of performance comes across better despite the subpar sonics. Maybe this is also because Parsons had (to my knowledge) never produced a live album before.

The added studio tracks are not bad at all ("Take the Money and Run" consists of three different ideas that don't quite gel as a whole, but are all very good taken on their own), but the fact that they have never been officially released in Europe is a disgrace. But at least they give the album a bit more purpose than "here's some of the greatest hits played live".

Summary: If Parsons ever came out with a Director's Cut featuring an entire setlist from this tour, I'd snap it up in a heartbeat. As it is, the album - especially in its original European version - is frustrating.

 From the New World by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2022
2.45 | 31 ratings

BUY
From the New World
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by Four Corners Guy

3 stars I wanted to rate this at 4 stars, as it gets off to a wonderful start. However, the energy seems to run out a bit as the album progresses. It's not that the songs aren't good, but they do tend to fall short when compared with many of Alan Parson's other albums. Sadly, I have to agree with other reviewers when it comes to the last track on the album. I found it unnecessary and redundant (heard it before) and it does nothing for the quality of the album overall. That said, I still enjoyed hearing this new album from one of my favorite musical artists and am happy to have it in my collection. It is typical Alan Parsons, it has a few gems on it, and I recommend it to any fan of the band.
 From the New World by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2022
2.45 | 31 ratings

BUY
From the New World
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

2 stars The latest album from Alan Parsons features most of his band plus assorted guests such as guitarist and singer Joe Bonamassa, Tommy Shaw of Styx, vocalist David Pack (Ambrosia), and vocalist James Durbin. This means we have nine lead singers across the 11 songs, and Bonamassa adds a guitar solo on a couple of the tracks. The burning question about this album can be boiled down to just one word, "Why?". This is solid middle of the road stuff with no songs which can be said to be any more than that although a couple towards the end are even worse. Of course, it has been produced within an inch of its life, and of course the vocals are great throughout, but there is virtually nothing here to get anyone excited. I have been a fan of Alan's work since I first came across 'Tales Of Mystery And Imagination' not long after it had been released. I was still at school then and was fully enamoured by the complexity of the arrangements and how it all fitted together. But, the big difference is that that was full of songs whereas this feels as if it has been put together by committee, with no-one having the final say.

It was pretty average (apart from the production) up to near the end, but then the last two songs just sank it. The only positive which can be said about the 100-year-old "Goin' Home" is that it is way better than the version of The Ronettes' "Be My Baby". This really is for fans only.

 One Note Symphony: Live in Tel Aviv by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Live, 2022
3.96 | 6 ratings

BUY
One Note Symphony: Live in Tel Aviv
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars On June 4th, 2019, Alan Parsons and his band appeared at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, which was recorded and has now been made available in multiple formats. Why record a live album just a month on from the last one? Because this time they were performing alongside the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, that's why. There has been a rather mixed history of bands performing alongside classical musicians, as sometimes it can be truly inspired while at others it can be incredibly flat with both sides feeling at odds when working with the other. However, with Alan it makes perfect sense as he aims to reproduce his studio efforts very closely with little room for improvisation or musicians going off at tangents, so in many ways it feels like they are working to a score anyway.

The strange thing is that not only does the use of the orchestra add both depth and lightness to the performance, but the band also themselves seem more relaxed than in the other live album, to which the audience respond and it must be said this is rather more enjoyable because of all of this. The sax solo in "Don't Answer Me" is lifted by having the strings to play against, while Alan has also amended the set to allow for the orchestra to shine so we get their take on "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" which opened their last studio album, 'Secrets'. It is of course best known for appearing in 'Fantasia' and was composed by Frenchman Paul Dukas. The crowd definitely get into it when the guitar kicks in and moves it into a more rock direction, which is then taken up by the horns.

I only have the audio version but of course this has also been made available in Blu-ray, which I am sure is worth seeing as there is most assuredly far more life in this performance than in 'The Neverending Show: Live In The Netherlands', and the use of orchestra takes to the next level with some wonderful arrangements care of keyboard player Tom Brooks, who used former Alan Parsons Project conductor Andrew Powell as inspiration for the scores of some of the other songs included in the show. This captures Parsons at his best, and the two closing numbers of "(The System of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether" and "Games People Play" are superb.

 The Neverending Show: Live in the Netherlands by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Live, 2021
3.97 | 9 ratings

BUY
The Neverending Show: Live in the Netherlands
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars If Alan Parsons had never performed, he would still be highly acclaimed in the music world for his work on both 'Abbey Road' and 'Dark Side of the Moon', yet with Eric Woolfson he created Alan Parsons Project whose early albums are wonderful. After Woolfson left, he changed the name of releases just to Alan Parsons and put out three albums in the Nineties and another in 2004. There was then a long gap, but over the last few years there has been a flurry of activity with a new album, 'The Secret', in 2019 as well as a new one in 2022, 'From The New World', and some touring which has resulted in at least two live albums. The first of them is this one, which was recorded live on May 5th, 2019, and showcases the performance of the Alan Parsons Live Project at the Tivoli in Utrecht, Netherlands.

To me, Alan's works have always been less of a band and far more of a revolving series of session musicians, some of whom have stayed longer than others, but it worked well for Steely Dan and one advantage is that he is always able to pick and choose who he wants to work with. This leads to a very high level of musicianship, and with many of the people in this band playing on the most recent studio release (only P.J. Olsson was there for 2004's 'A Valid Path') this comes across as a very polished performance indeed. Given it was recorded on the last night of the tour they all have their vocal harmonies and tightness sorted out (and given Parsons is a master producer I am sure he could have fixed it in the mix anyway), but in many ways it just feels too clean. There are nine people in the band, and they all sing, with the result being very clever indeed, but there is also a lack of live energy as they are doing their very best to replicate what took place in the studio and somehow missing the angst at the same time. I was thoroughly looking forward to hearing "(The System of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether" which comes near the end, as that has always been one of my favourite tracks, but I could have just played the original from 'Tales Of Mystery And Imagination'.

There is no doubt that Parsons is very clever indeed at what he does, and that this album will delight a great many fans, but it is just too clean and there is not enough sweat and live fun for me. That being said, it still must be rated highly as there is no doubt it is has captured an excellent performance, but I am not the desired audience.

 From the New World by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2022
2.45 | 31 ratings

BUY
From the New World
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

1 stars The super commercial side of Alan Parsons´ Project, Band or whatever......

This is horrible like Styx´s most horrible moments but even worse! I Have almost expected something of his music, but there is always, the money side and this release, really fits into that. Forget all... this should never be considered Prog!! This guy or band or whaterver, has a lot of more ambitions, money wise of course. A huge deception like decadence into your ears. Its´s being a long time but Alan´s or whatever turns out is as mellow and boring... than sour grapes. If this is a new world...leave me out!!!!!!!!!!!! What to do ? Money is money, what a shame.

 From the New World by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2022
2.45 | 31 ratings

BUY
From the New World
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars After the video release of Uroboros (first single taken from this album), displaying in close succession iconic images referring to the cover art of almost each beloved record of the Alan Parsons Project, we had every right to expect a "return trip" to that sound.

And if we don't expect an exact repetition of the recipe, we won't be dissapointed, because this is more a new incursion in that atmospheric world of delicious songs fleshed out with the particular type of orchestral (and sometimes also choral) arrangements, that once were part of the APP trademark, and now are back. There are also those ambivalent guitars floating between tonal areas, and the vocalists who know their parts, but still seem to succumb to that same slight and sweet dizziness. Close enough to, but not touching the original Project sonic paradigm, the first three tracks present the listener with the old magic: Fare Thee Well is the symphonic ouverture preparing for the journey, The Secret gears up to a typical mid-tempo APP number, like Children Of The Moon (they even quote the title), and Urobouros grows a bit of rocking teeth for a more agressive sound.

After that, they fold down to a more restrained performance, in the fashion of their previous release from 2019, The Secret. Even so, the orchestral contributions are much more focused this time around, and the compositions form a more coherent set, helped by the guests contributions, specially Tommy Shaw's vocals, and Joe Bonamassa's electric guitar solos, which add variety and energy to the overall sound.

Oddly enough, Alan chose to close the album with a couple of non-originals: Goin' Home is a 1922 song by an Antonin Dvorak's student, which inspired Symphony No. 9's Largo movement, and the Ronettes' Be My Baby closes the album in the lowest point, if considered from a strictly progressive point of view.

 The Neverending Show: Live in the Netherlands by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Live, 2021
3.97 | 9 ratings

BUY
The Neverending Show: Live in the Netherlands
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars Right after the release of The Secret, in 2019, Alan Parsons got back to musical activity with new mixes for three albums of Al Stewart, the announcement of a new studio album for 2022, and of course this new live double cd record.

And I'd dare to say that it's a worthy comeback: the APB is in fine form, and a new found variety in the lead vocal spot suits them well. There are also an unusual edge in several electric guitar parts and solos, which definitely adds to the listener's excitement and sheer fun (listen, for instance, The Raven). The start with One Note Symphony is just great to my ears, since it's my favorite tune from The Secret, and it gets a nice and powerful rendition from group & orchestra. Another good number from that album, featuring Alan Parsons himself as lead vocalist, is As Lights Fall.

I could complain about the unnecessarily prolonged break in the middle of Psychobabble, if I was in a cranky mood (which I'm not), but such a minor detail can't spoil a very good concert.

 LiveSpan by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Live, 2014
3.53 | 6 ratings

BUY
LiveSpan
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by Heart of the Matter

3 stars This double live set features performances taken from two concerts of the Alan Parsons Band at the Stuttgarter Beethoven-Halle (Germany), providing the listener with a career-spanning overview of the Alan Parsons Project recorded output, which includes as its highlight the entire suite occupying the second half of The Turn Of A Friendly Card (5th beloved album of the Project).

OK, downside first: this register pales in comparision to Live in Colombia, where the instrumental host were augmented nothing less than by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Medellin ..., and believe me, it shows. Besides, the vocalist P.J. Olsson, even not being bad, falls a bit short on several occasions (to my taste, at least, having attended myself another concert of this APB).

But there's a brighter side to this affair, and it can't be more obvious: Mr. Parsons' music still shines here, no matter what. Since "I Robot" introduces the proceedings, the symphonic environment takes place, and is awesome. There's no demanding metric shifts here, but instead a true sense of musical purpose conveyed by the players with skill and no need to show-off their undeniable abilities. Don't misunderstand me, I'm a true fan of Mahavishnu and King Crimson, for example, and enjoy their intricacy as well, but this is a different occasion, and it's very likable in its own terms. As a treat to the audience, a rarity is included: "Fragile", taken from a 2013 single credited to Alan Parsons.

 The Secret by PARSONS, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.07 | 60 ratings

BUY
The Secret
Alan Parsons Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The previous Alan Parsons album, Valid Path (2004), sounded to me so bad that I only gave it one quick listening years ago. Surely I wasn't expecting much of it anyway (I was familiar with the first Project-less album Try Anything Once, which was fairly ok if rather forgettable), but electronica-oriented Valid Path sounded totally wrong and worthless and uninspired. Now the legendary producer is s back with a recent album that I've heard is some sort of return to form -- albeit not in a sense that it would be much progressive like the early albums of The Alan Parsons Project are. So, let's see how this pop album manages to impress me, free of any false prog-expectations.

The instrumental opener 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' is an orchestrated and pretty cleverly rocked-up version of Paul Dukas' orchestral poem known from the Disney film Fantasia. It certainly has its merits, but it's too pompous to be compared to the atmospheric openers on the APP albums. 'Miracle' is a decent, chorus-repeating pop song comparable to the mediocre Mike + the Mechanics stuff, with vocals by Jason Mraz. 'As Lights Fall' is sung by Parsons himself; the steady bass pulse takes my mind back to the Eye in the Sky era, but nor is this middle-of-the-road song very interesting for repeated listenings.

'One Note Symphony' features the album's main vocalist Todd Cooper (who's well in line with the voices that the Project used to have) to do the robotic one-note vocals. At least this piece steps aside from the dull safety zone! 'Sometimes' is an orchestrated soft rock ballad sung by slightly rasp-voiced Lou Gramm (FOREIGNER). Pleasant. Quite good in fact. The next, calm and slightly melancholic song with beautifully harmonised vocals by Cooper and Parsons, is even better. I also enjoy laid-back 'Fly to Me' in which Mark Mikel has a Lennon-like voice. 'Requiem' has a bluesy/jazzy atmosphere and Todd Cooper is very good on vocals.

'Years of Glory' is a tender ballad with romantic string arrangement and good vocals of P.J. Olsson, the best Colin Bluntstone substitute that Parsons has used. But wait, also Jared Mahone on the final tender song 'I Can't Get There from Here' sounds a bit like Bluntstone. All in all, The Secret pretty well fulfils the expectations of the listener who enjoys well produced and arty soft pop with orchestral ingredients. Despite some forgettable songs, I must admit that my overall impression is on the positive side. If you have liked Alan Parsons [Project] also without notable prog elements, you'll find this album fairly pleasant.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team 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.