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


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

4.06 | 665 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Excellent debut of this important "project" from the 70's!

The two main minds behind this band were the producer and engineer Alan Parsons himself, and the talented musician and composer Eric Woolfson... Together, they tried to recreate the dark world of the great american writer Edgar Allan Poe in a short but very intense album, with some fails, but with a lot of virtues too.

The main of the problem this album has, is that the Poe spirit was not really represented through the album... Maybe the songs are too soft, and too luminous sometimes to make a good approaching to the genious's dark imaginary. This happens with more intensity in the singed tracks, while The Fall of the House Usher suite, with its cinematographic and symphonic feeling, catches this dark sentiment with more intensity.

Nevertheless, the quality of the music is undeniable... Alan Parsons kwew how to produce and mix an album (he was the main enginer of albums like "Abbey Road" and "The Dark Side of the Moon") and gave a cristal clear sound to the songs. The 80's remix, with the brilliant addition of two Orson Welles monologues and a new drums tracks, made the album's sound even better. It still sounds fresh today!

This first Alan Parsons Project's album, is also their most symphonic and darker... The Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" influence is here, and also the symphonic experiments of bands like the early Deep Purple and The Moody Blues, but with a more cohesionated mix between rock and classical elements, with a coherent dramatic orientation wich helps to introduce the listener (although not completely...) in the Edgar Allan Poe's world. This good ideas, together with the contribution of later classic studio members like the great Ian Bairnson on guitars and John Patton on bass, make "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" a worthy album.

Best tracks: every song of the albums has its interest... But I specially like The Raven, The Tale-Tell Heart, and the intense rock track (The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Pfofessor Fether. The symphonic suite The Fall of House Usher also deserves a special mention.

Conclusion: maybe Alan Parsons Project did not the best prog or symphonic rock in the years they were active... But they released some worthy albums, being "Tales of Mystery and Imaginations" one of their finest, if not the best. Maybe Parsons and Woolfson failed in capturing the dark essences of the bizarre and necromatical stories and poems of Allan Poe, but they achieved to make a very worthy contribution to the 70's symphonic rock, wich had also its influence in movements like the later Neo-Prog. Strongly recommended, and maybe the best place to start if you are a newcomer to Alan Parsons Project!

My rating: ****

The Crow | 4/5 |


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