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The Alan Parsons Project - (The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

4.09 | 3 ratings

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4 stars "Poe was preoccupied with entombment. Many of his characters have been incarcerated in some form or other - in coffins, brick walls or under floorboards. We came up with the 'taped' man - a mummy-like figure who is wrapped, not in bandages, but in 2" recording tape. (...) the 2" tape appropriately suggests that the album is done by a producer in a studio, as opposed to a band recording material they will play on stage. Although the clients were intrigued by this idea they did not desire a pictorial cover but preferred instead a precise graphic representation. The narrow strip of illustration shows a long shadow of the taped man." - Storm Thorgeson of Hipgnosis.

The taped man appears properly on the cover of this single, one of the three that were taken from the wonderful debut album Tales of Mystery and Imagination, in which all music is inspired by the horror tales and poems of Edgar Allan Poe. I'd say it's not only by far the best achievement of The Alan Parsons Project, but one of the finest rock albums of its time. '(The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether' is the most rocking song in it, sung by John Miles (my favourite A.P. Project vocalist, who also appears on 'Cask of Amontillado'). The story is set in a mental institution where the roles of the patients and the staff have been turned upside down. Due to the heaviness and a relatively repetitive structure the song is not among my personal faves, but it definitely works like hell on the album and increases the pure rock energy.

For the B-side was chosen the instrumental 'A Dream Within a Dream' that serves as a perfect opener for the album. Four stars must be given. As a separate release this single -- which reached No. 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 62 in Canada -- is not strictly necessary, because one really has to get the whole album.

Matti | 4/5 |


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