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The Alan Parsons Project - what genre?

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Dan Locke View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 01 2010 at 22:34
People always classify them as progressive rock, but I'm not seeing it.  They had moments where they approached it, but Tales of Mystery and Imagination is the only full album that I can actually call an example of the genre, and that's really only because of "The Fall of the House of Usher" and the overarching concept-album structure.
 
So, what were they?  As far as I can tell, they did pretty much everything - heck, I Robot even had disco on it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scatterplot1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2010 at 23:13
I think APP was half prog/half pop(until a certain point). "Turn of a Freindly Card"(the long song, not the whole album) was prog fer sure. The entire side 1, I did not care for, that was pop. "The Gold Bug" opening side 2 had to be prog. The next LP, Eye in the Sky.......well, it's high-tech pop now. Their instrumentals both prior to "Card" and after.....Some nice, some just plain corny("In the Lap of the Gods")....but cute. I don't equate "Cute" or "Corny" with Prog. The thing about instrumentals like "Los Endos"(Genesis)....There's nothing cute about it. You rock to it, tap yer feet and say "Wow" when it's over. But Alan will never be dismissed, as he was one of the slickest producers in rock history. Let's not forget what he did for Al Stewart. RIP Mr. Woolfson. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blacksword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 10:15
You've answered your own question, as far as I'm concerned. Bands that do 'pretty much everything' are arguably progressive by definition.

That said, I know what you're driving at. They are a kind of cross over, arty rock band, who didnt want to prog out too extremely, but did want to do something with a bit of depth. Personally, I can take or leave them, although I do like I Robot quite a lot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 11:53
Disco was the first thing that popped into my mind before I read the opening post. LOL  I only have the first two and I find APP to be reasonably crossover.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 12:31
Love them. A great mix of prog tendencies with pop sensibilities. Most definitely fitting in nicely in cross over prog.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote himtroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 12:52
I consider Tales of Mystery and Imagination and I Robot to be prog rock albums.  Turn of a Friendly Card the song is progressive, the other side has prog moments at most.  But I Robot is a fantastic album, and was a key album for getting me into prog.  I think it's more progressive than Tales of Mystery and Imagination is definitely.
The songs I Robot and The Voice (that crazy breakdown in the middle of the song) are both pretty progressive.  The entire second half of the album is pretty spacey and Total Eclipse is absolute madness .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote genbanks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 16:55
Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:

Love them. A great mix of prog tendencies with pop sensibilities. Most definitely fitting in nicely in cross over prog.
 
That's a good definition of Alan Parsons Project. That's just crossover prog as many others bands or solo artists in this site. Some of them are even less prog than Alan Parsons (Roger Hodgson for example).
 
I think that A valid path has some prog elements too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GY!BE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 17:02
I think APP had a lot of pop influences in certain albums but they always had this prog particularities proper to them,,,great band by the way...A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 18:39
Hi,
 
For the time it came out, it was nice stuff and ... well ... progressive in that it was different and nice, not because it had anything musically that was totally innovating and different out there. It started out more progressive and it became conventional in my book.
 
But nice stuff. Nothing great. I'm not sure I would consider this "progressive", since it's most important feature really was that it was very well recorded, not that the works themselves were that important.
 
I call this the Orange Juice or Apple Sauce Genre!


Edited by moshkito - February 02 2011 at 20:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snow Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 18:46
.

Edited by Snow Dog - February 05 2011 at 04:21
Coldness doth get away with the badness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Deleuze Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 21:20
lol, even pop bands in the 70' had prog influences, Idk why u guys are always seeking genres...just enjoy the music :p
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 22:25
I think that their first two albums (which i really love) were prog, with pop tendencies. Their next albums were progressivley more pop, with prog tendencies, until there remained only pop.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kestrel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2010 at 17:55
I just put them in "Prog Lite" with Styx and Supertramp's Breakfast in America
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tamijo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2010 at 07:30
Originally posted by Kestrel Kestrel wrote:

I just put them in "Prog Lite" with Styx and Supertramp's Breakfast in America
Somethnig like that, ya, but the thing is who cares.
Either you like it or you dont, shouldent change anythong if they are consideres Prog lite, Prog related, or even not prog.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote POTA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2011 at 21:31
I'm a big APP fan. Their music is dark, soothing and atmospheric. I've always considered them prog. They fit in nicely in a playlist of Camel and Barclay James Harvest. Also, listening to the first two minutes of The Raven loudly in a pair of big, cushy headphones is indescribable. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2011 at 02:01
They were always AOR to me and had very little to do with prog BUT recently I have been enjoying some of their songs. I put that down to age.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2011 at 03:20
Loved them up to Eye in the Sky.....after that they kind of fizzled from a consistent standpoint. As for genre labels, crossover/AOR   IMO. Woolfson was the driving force from Turn Of A Freindly Card....but good quality productions which is what you would expect from the engineer of DSOTM.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote halabalushindigus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2011 at 03:51
great disco band

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote halabalushindigus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2011 at 03:57
seriously, the band drummer Stuart Elliot hasd those tight chops that were always on time real slow. Engineering was always a-plus. Ian Bairnson guitar was always chromactically well conceived. Alans use of different vocalists from Lenny Zakatek to Chris Rainbow and, of couse, Eric Woolfson was soft, well spoken. Their music wasn't so much progressive but Alan Parsons sequencing elements definetly put him in a class by himself

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2011 at 11:32
Originally posted by halabalushindigus halabalushindigus wrote:

seriously, the band drummer Stuart Elliot hasd those tight chops that were always on time real slow. Engineering was always a-plus. Ian Bairnson guitar was always chromactically well conceived. Alans use of different vocalists from Lenny Zakatek to Chris Rainbow and, of couse, Eric Woolfson was soft, well spoken. Their music wasn't so much progressive but Alan Parsons sequencing elements definetly put him in a class by himself
Well said!, liked Zakatek..
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