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Alan Parsons Ambrosia Brilliant Mix

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Forum Name: Proto-Prog and Prog-Related Lounge
Forum Description: Discuss bands and albums classified as Proto-Prog and Prog-Related
Printed Date: June 23 2018 at 02:54
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.01 -

Topic: Alan Parsons Ambrosia Brilliant Mix
Posted By: philhepple
Subject: Alan Parsons Ambrosia Brilliant Mix
Date Posted: January 31 2006 at 14:25
The mix by Alan Parsons on the debut album by Ambrosia is truly brilliant and one of the best things that Alan has
ever done, and that is saying alot. The album was recorded at a small studio in North Hollywood called Mama Jo's. Ambrosia had a few years earlier become friends with Gordon Parry the chief classical recording engineer for Decca records, so no expense was spared in the recording. They flew microphones in from all over Europe,
and even completely dismantled the control room to move it to Royce Hall at UCLA to record the pipe organ for one of the great Prog rock songs of all time "Drink Of Water." When the album was just about finished they thought about who they would get to mix it.
Only one name came to mind, Alan Parsons, who had just finished engineering "Dark Side Of The Moon."
But how would they get in contact with Alan. They knew he worked alot at Abbey Road studios, so one day they just called Abbey Road expecting to maybe find a way to contact him. Alan answered the phone. He had been working late and was just passing the receptionist's desk on his way to dinner and heard the phone ringing and picked it up. After hearing about the pains taking recording process that had gone into this debut album he was very much intrigued and wanted to hear some of the tracks before deciding whether or not to mix it. He loved what he heard and he did an amazing job piecing together
all of the multitracking that had been done. The album was nominated for a Grammy as best recorded album of 1975. A review of this masterpiece can be found at

Posted By: gr8dane
Date Posted: January 31 2006 at 22:54
Did not know that part.I love Ambrosia.

Posted By: pero
Date Posted: February 01 2006 at 06:56

Posted By: philhepple
Date Posted: February 01 2006 at 11:47
Because you don't like Alan's Alan Parsons Project albums
does NOT take away from the FACT that he is a GENIUS

Posted By: jcleary
Date Posted: February 02 2006 at 12:35
Great Story! Yeah the first Ambrosia album is great.
"Drink Of Water", "Mama Frog", "Make Us All Aware",
"Time Waits For No One", and "Nice Nice Very Nice"
are all Classic Prog Rock masterpieces! Prog rock
fans that have not heard this album will be blown
away. It is truly America's answer to the English Prog

Posted By: philhepple
Date Posted: February 02 2006 at 19:02
The song "Drink Of Water" is indeed great and has the
best use of a Pipe Organ in a Prog song.Ambrosia has a
truly maniacal organ player in Christopher North. He has
broken more keys on his Hammond with his bare hands than
Keith Emerson has with knives.

Posted By: jcleary
Date Posted: February 03 2006 at 12:58
I was fortunate to have seen Ambrosia and especially
Christopher North in their prime. I remember him attacking
his B3 like an animal trying to escape his cage. Truly
amazing keyboard player. This is one of my favorite albums.
Brilliant work indeed!

Posted By: oliverstoned
Date Posted: February 03 2006 at 13:04
Ambrosia is too gentle, rather neo prog but i must admit that the musicians are far more skilled than on APP, i.e compared to the first APP of the same year (75/76), but there's not the equivalent of the orchestral piece : "The fall of the house of Usher".

At least on Ambrosia, drum is decent, which is not the case on APP.

BTW, here's APP drummer:

Hifi        Last hifi upgrade: rhodium power sockets

Posted By: philhepple
Date Posted: February 07 2006 at 19:53
One interesting thing about Ambrosia is the Pink Floyd
connection. Alan doing the first two albums and then
James Guthrie doing the last studio album Road Island,
which is a return to their Rock and Prog roots. Road
Island has just been rereleased. It contains a Prog Rock
Gem in the song Ice Age. If you haven't heard Ice Age you
are truly missing a great song. The drums sound like War
Gods. I would suggest picking up the CD.

Posted By: jcleary
Date Posted: February 08 2006 at 12:17
Yeah I love the song Ice Age. It is definitely a great Prog
tune. Not many songs start off with a Saber Toothed Tiger
Growl! I have to laugh at the comment that Ambrosia are too
gentle. If he heard the song Ice Age he would fall off his chair. It's not only Prog it's Metal/Prog. Great song and
Road Island is a good album.

Posted By: oliverstoned
Date Posted: February 08 2006 at 13:13
I have it. Yes it's not bad, but not very original.
Quite pleasant and the original recording/mixing is excellent indeed.

Hifi        Last hifi upgrade: rhodium power sockets

Posted By: philhepple
Date Posted: February 09 2006 at 14:02
One of the most amazing things about the first Ambrosia
album is that the synthesizer that was used was built by
Mike Granger, an electronics wiz friend of theirs. He
said that it was a cross between a moog and an arp, and
that the band named it a Grangertron. It sure got some
great sounds on Mama Frog. There is a story about it on
their web site as
well as a picture.

Posted By: jcleary
Date Posted: February 10 2006 at 13:25
Thanks for the link. Great story and picture of the Grangertron! The first two Ambrosia albums have amazing keyboard work.

Posted By: mjf85maf
Date Posted: February 10 2006 at 15:57
I also had the good fortune to see Ambrosia in their prime, as well as in a small club a few years ago before Pack left again.  North is absolutely amazing.  As for Ambrosia being to gentle, "Ice Age" and some others on Road Island certainly do shatter that misconception.  Pack's guitar on "For Openers (Welcome Home)" and "Still Not Satisfied" just kill.

Posted By: jcleary
Date Posted: February 10 2006 at 19:49
My Ambrosia Album Rankings:

1) Ambrosia Self Titled Debut

2) Somewhere I've Never Travelled

3) Road Island

4) Life Beyond LA

5) One Eighty

6) Live At The Galaxy

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