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The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination CD (album) cover

TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION

The Alan Parsons Project

 

Crossover Prog

4.05 | 662 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
5 stars For a band that would become famous for it's art pop style, Alan Parsons Project's debut album "Tales of Mystery and Imagination", inspired by Edgar Allen Poe, was a definite risky release, but it did bring a lot to the band, and started the project with a impressive debut. Of course, several fans knew that Alan Parson was responsible for some excellent production and engineering having had his hand on so many progressive albums like (of course) "Dark Side of the Moon", "Ambrosia"s debut album and his work with The Beatles. By now, most music lovers know this, but at the time, his name was not so well-known yet, though some knew to expect a production as huge as this album.

There have been so many opinions already made on this album, but most seem to rate it around 4 - 5 stars, which it definitely deserves. I remember falling in love with the music right away, at least the tracks on the first side, and then later developing a love for the orchestral masterpiece "The Fall of the House of Usher", which is based on a combination of classical composition, especially from the early 20th century style, and instrumental, rock styles and it was all merged together so beautifully and convincingly. The thing that so many listeners had problems with is the amount of dissonance in the orchestral sections of the track, but the style is authentic, following along the lines of orchestral works by composers such as Grofe (Grand Canyon Suite), Stravinsky (The Firebird) and Prokofiev (Romeo & Juliet, Peter and the Wolf). That might have been a little much for the rock audience, but progressive rock lovers should have been able to understand the influence. It took me some time to fully appreciate this track, but I now recognize it as an amazing achievement.

Of course, the other tracks here are quite memorable too, and the theme of the album does justice to it's inspirational material. My love for this album started with the single "The Raven" and the flip side of it "Dream Within a Dream". When I first heard it on the radio, I was hooked, and then when I played the flip side, it totally supported the fact that I had to buy this album. These songs are dreamy and wonderful with just that hint of darkness. Then of course there was the dramatic feel of "The Tell Tale Heart", the amazing "The Cask of Amontillado" and the heavy pop/rock song "(The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether". There is also the lush beauty of "To One in Paradise" that is tucked away after the expansive and cinematic "....Usher".

Even now, after all these years, this album always amazes me. I find it just as strong as it was when it was new, timeless and exciting. Yes it leaned a bit towards the pop art style that they would finally completely embrace, but this album was done before they had been sold on that idea completely. Alan Parsons Project would never rise above the pinnacle of this album, though "I, Robot" came close, and other albums had hints of genius in them, they were overall too much immersed in the pop side of things, which is where they really got their notoriety. I have been familiar with the works of Poe for quite a while, even before the release of this album, I had read these stories, and always felt that the music does Poe's works justice. This is definitely a 5 star affair, and the strongest album APP would release.

TCat | 5/5 |

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