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The Alan Parsons Project

Crossover Prog

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The Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky album cover
3.41 | 533 ratings | 49 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sirius (1:48)
2. Eye in the Sky (4:33)
3. Children of the Moon (4:49)
4. Gemini (2:09)
5. Silence and I (7:17)
6. You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned (4:50)
7. Psychobabble (4:50)
8. Mammagamma (3:34)
9. Step by Step (3:52)
10. Old and Wise (4:52)

Total Time 42:34

Bonus tracks on 2007 remaster:
11. Sirius (demo) (1:53)
12. Old and Wise (Eric Woolfson vocal) (4:31)
13. Any Other Day (studio demo) (1:41)
14. Silence and I (Eric Woolfson early vocal) (7:33)
15. The Naked Eye (10:48)
16. Eye Pieces (Classical Naked Eye) (7:51)

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Parsons / Fairlight CMI programming (1,2,8), keyboards & backing vocals (6), Linn drum machine (8), producer
- Eric Woolfson / Wurlitzer (2), piano & organ (10), keyboards (1,3-5,7,9), lead vocals (2,5)

- Ian Bairnson / acoustic, electric & pedal steel (4) guitars
- Haydn Bendall / keyboards (1)
- John Wallace / piccolo trumpet (3)
- Mel Collins / saxophone solo (10)
- David Paton / bass, lead vocals (3)
- Stuart Elliott / drums & percussion
- Chris Rainbow / lead (4) & backing vocals
- Lenny Zakatek / lead (6,9) & backing vocals, vocal Fx (9)
- Elmer Gantry / lead vocals (7)
- Colin Blunstone / lead vocals (10)
- Jack Harris / backing vocals (7)
- Andrew Powell / choral & orchestral arranger & conductor (1,3,5,7,8), piano (5), brass band conductor (10)
- The English Chorale / chorus vocals (3,7)
- Bob Howes / chorusmaster

Releases information

Artwork: Hipgnosis/ APB/ Colin Chambers

LP Arista ‎- AL 9599 (1982, US)

CD Arista ‎- 610 004 (1983, Germany)
CD Arista ‎- 82876815272 (2007, Europe) Remaster by Alan Parsons & Dave Donnelly w/ 6 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Eye in the Sky ratings distribution

(533 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Eye in the Sky reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars This Project was commercial from the start : it's just that the public started to notice it from Eve on. I may repeat myself , but stick to the first three albums . In here I am certainly not attacking the production or the sound of the record , but it is clear that a formula had been reached by the second album and every new album was based on it . So , in theory , this has as much value as Robot or Pyramid , but I got sick of APP after the third .
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Radio friendly

"Eye in the sky" is one of the better albums by the prolific Alan Parsons Project, since it has a couple of truly memorable tracks.

While the album is generally fairly lightweight, with little which could fairly be described as prog, there is a consistent quality to the album which makes it worthwhile. The musicianship, production and orchestration are as you would expect from APP, the music having a very radio friendly melodic pop orientation.

After the brief instrumental opening of "Sirius", "Eye in the sky" takes us gently soaring skywards on a mid-paced song with a simple structure, and pleasant vocals.

"Silence and I" is the first of the albums stand out tracks. It is a slow ballad, beautifully sung and orchestrated with an underlying power, a quality which is all too often absent in much of APP's work.

"Old and wise" is the other key track. Colin Blunstone's vocal talents can make virtually any song sound good, but when he matches up with a fine song such as this, the results are truly impressive.

When Alan Parsons is in ballad mode, he is capable of coming up with some excellent stuff. When on the other hand he is producing mid-tempo pieces of melodic rock, such as most of the remaining tracks here, the results are generally predictable and lacking in identity.

A solid if unremarkable album, boosted by a handful of tracks which stand well above their peers.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is one of the ALAN PARSONS's most pop, fresh and accessible album. Not very progressive. The songs have catchy and clean symphonic arrangements. This record has not extremely sophisticated composition; it's rather the production and the quality of the recording that are sophisticated. The voice is outstanding! The instrumental tracks are well made and it is always a pleasure to listen them. Actually, there are no bad songs on this record.
Review by daveconn
4 stars A wondrous wilting over Egyptology, astrology and psychology. With punk's fifteen seconds past, '80s audiences were actually returning to the calm sounds of APP, THE MOODY BLUES and STYX. "Eye in the Sky" is a remarkably soothing record, floating on a suffusion of warm currents like some intergalactic glider. As usual, THE PROJECT rouses itself from its own sleepiness for a few funkier tracks like "Psychobabble" and "Step By Step," but generally the album stays within the title track's field of vision. The first side of music surrounds the listener like a warm cocoon, directed by the airy vocals of ERIC WOOLFSON and CHRIS RAINBOW (only DAVID PATOn's twangy voice on "Children of the Moon" breaks ranks). The second side is funkier by design, featuring LENNY ZAKATEK and ELMER GANTRY. The opening "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" is pedestrian, but "Psychobabble" and "Step By Step" are brisk-paced and pleasant. COLIN BLUNSTONE closes the album out with the orchestrated "Old And Wise," returning the record to its gentle beginnings. Like THE MOODY BLUES (whose Long Distance Voyager was equally masterful), THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT were now writing spaced-out concept albums for people whose recreational drug of choice was a wine cooler. And like wine coolers, symphonic pop soon fell out of vogue.

"Eye in the Sky" was the band's last platinum record, and after Ammonia Avenue they wouldn't see precious metal again. Thus this is seen as something of a last hurrah, the final in a string of well conceived and well received records that served as a sort of decompression chamber connecting prog rock and pop music.

Review by Proghead
3 stars This is where my interest in the ALAN PARSONS PROJECT ends. After that they started going more mainstream pop, and the progressive rock had pretty much vanished, and the instrumentals became less remarkable. "Eye in the Sky" was their first digital recording (the album says so), but to me, the music still sounds stuck in the '70s, and this was 1982. Doesn't sound much like the Yamaha DX-7 and drum-machine happy digital recordings that were common as dirt in the mid 1980s. The synthesizers perhaps played the least role on an APP album since Tales of Mystery and Imagination, although they got themselves a digital Fairlight (early digital sampler).

The album opens with "Sirius". If you watched your share of NBA basketball games, it's been used during those games (I think it was the Portland Trailblazers, but then I'm not a sports fan). The song then segues in the the well-known title track, being a big hit. It's a soft-rock ballad dominated by Eric Woolfson's vocals. Bascially a song if you never heard, then you probably weren't around in the 1980s, listen to the BACKSTREET BOYS, or never listened to the AM and FM dial. "Children of the Moon" is a wonderful cut. It's the ALAN PARSONS PROJECT sound at their best. Then you get the vocal experiment with "Gemini", nice and laid-back. Then you have the orchestrated "Silence and I" which might have been an attempt at progressive rock, but doesn't seem to quite work, in my book. "Psychobabble" is another attempt at progressive rock, and it works so much better (it was even a minor hit). I think it was Elmer Gantry handling the vocals here. I just love the middle part with the sirens and orchstration. Lenny Zakatek (who obviously didn't write the song) gives us "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" is definately the album's low- point. Zakatek had definately sung better songs. "Mammagamma" is another instrumental piece, pretty much sticks to the same thing throughout. It's not bad, but there are better instrumentals. "Step by Step" is the other vocal cut with Zakatek, at least works a bit better. Then you have "Old and Wise", vocals by ex-Zombies member Colin Bluntstone. This is another orchestrated ballad that seems appropriate for closing the album. Not a bad album, even if there are a couple songs I can do without.

My rating: 3 1/2 stars

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Probably the best album since Pyramid and arguably his last excellent effort aside from a compilation or two. ' Sirius' the opener and the highly commercial' Eye in the sky' are very effective in getting the album off on a intriguing kilter.' Silence and I' and ' Mammagamma' the better of the other songs but overall a very strong album from 1982, not to be eclipsed again.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A few months before the end of 1981 APP released "Eye in the Sky", which in my humble opinion (and many others') is their last very good recording in their whole career. Almost instantly the opener 'Sirius' and the segued title track became APP classics: the former as incidental music for sports teams and TV programs, the latter as yet another winning single. Now, let's take into account that from their "Eve" album onwards their compositional ideas and arranging strategies had become somewhat unabashedly formulaic, and this very same thing happens in many parts of "Eye in the Sky": for instance, the intro to 'Children of the Moon' is virtually a twin brother of that of 'Snake Eyes'; the weird effects on 'Step by Step' seem to have been sampled from the 'Games People Play' interlude; and the acoustic ballad 'Gemini' is a bit reminiscent of 'The Eagle Will Fly Again'. Now, the scheme may have worn out quite a bit, but the fact is that Parsons and Woolfson are still capable of coming up with effective songs and arrange them with full grandeur and cleverness. The aforementioned 'Children of the Moon' is actually a good example of this: a mid-tempo rocker that is taken to a proggier dimension thanks to Andrew Powell's exquisite orchestral arrangements. It is a fact that the rock band's fine performance (featuring Bairnson's guitar precise riffs and exciting solos) is perfectly compatible with the academic pretensions of the orchestra - not unlike JT's partner David/Dee Palmer, Powell serves as the ultimate guardian of artistic richness for the APP material. Nowhere in this album does it become so obvious as in the ravishingly beautiful symphonic ballad 'Silence and I', a 7-minute epic well rooted in APP's vintage prog side, where Woolfson's chant for inner isolation and strict secrecy is fluidly complemented by a bombastic interlude and a climatic, dramatic final string-brass-woodwind section, whilst Bairnson's melodic solo sends shivers down the listener's spine. APP's old flame keeps on shining and burning brightly, at least for a bit longer. More conventional, but equally beautiful and moving, the grateful dying man's hymn 'Old & Wise' closes down the album in a magnificent outbreak of sheer emotion with a touch of crystalline class. Concerning the adult oriented rockers, I don't feel quite impressed by them (tracks 6 & 9), thought they might as well be enjoyed (with an ounce of guilt in the listener's heart) as mood lifters, or something to play during a friendly conversation with guests, or even having lunch with mum and dad. But, on the other hand, 'Psychobabble' goes to farther places: the sonic neurosis created by layers of sinister synths and added guitar effects works as the very nucleus of the song, making the sung parts and the guitar solo bridge revolve around it to fit into the overall structure - a fine example of APP's ability to enhance their good musical ideas via very good arrangements. 'Mammagamma' is another famous APP instrumental: the combination of Fairlight-driven Euro techno-pop and hard rock works very well, indeed. Overall balance: a good item in any good prog collection, not as brilliant as most of their previous releases, yet still comprising a lot of good stuff - my personal faves are tracks 3,4, 5 & 10.
Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
4 stars Alan Parsons is a great writer of music, and this album shows it and shows it strong. The album starts off with Sirius a fantastic, although overplayed, song. Then it leads into the very good Title track. After Eye in the Sky, the album goes though its weakest points, Children of the moon and Gemini. After those two songs the album is gold. A fantastic awe- inspirering Silence and I comes next. A very good and progessive song. Then comes the very popish You're gonna get your fingers burned. Then comes the utterly great and "parsonish" psyhcobabble. A great track. Then the odd and mysterious Mammagamma, followed by the ordinary Step by step. The album ends with The elegant and beautiful Old and wise. The vocals on this track are supurb. All in all this is a solid album, worthy of any prog. collection, and one of TAPP best albums.
Review by andrea
3 stars Well, in 1982 when "Eye In The Sky" was released the Halcyon days of prog were just part of the past. Nonetheless, this is an excellent pop album, well recorded and performed, where you can find some amazing commercial hits (for instance the title-track and "Mammagamma"). Of course, for me it's hard to find here the "prog vein". The best and slightly "proggy" tracks in my opinion are "Silence And I" and "Old And Wise" while the rest is just clever and well crafted pop. On the whole I think that this album is definitely a non-essential one in a progressive rock collection.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Till this far you might finally know that The Project music is a combination of thematic intentions and good music textures. Some people consider that the music of the band must be enjoyed in a whole with all components: the music, the concept, the approach as well as the lyrics which sometimes resemble a certain storyline at album level (refer to debut album "Tales Of Mystery and Imagination" and "The Turn of A Friendly Card"). Peaking at number three on Billboard's Top 40, this album is a good example of how nice melody combined with rock style using the exploration of guitars, keyboards and orchestration - including the use of brass section to accentuate the melody. Conceptually, the album talks about the future on how our lives will be constantly monitored and human rights for freedom and choice. The album tries very hard to satisfy the need of album theme as well as presenting good music for the listeners.

"Sirius" opens the album with cosmic, atmospheric textures using ups and downs which bring the album to the album's hit "Eye In The Sky" - a nice pop rock song. "Silence And I" is a well crafted composition with varied styles combining great orchestration and excellent pop rock song. Oh, this song has powerful and memorable melody and sung perfectly by its vocalist. "Psychobabble" is another good track with simple bass lines that lead the music into the vocal line. "Mammagamma" is an excellent track with Pink Floyd nuance on its keyboard sounds. It's an excellent track. The album concludes with a killer song which has a killing melody "Old and Wise".

It's an excellent album but don't expect something prog. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars There are a few things I remember about this album when it was released in 1982. First, nearly everybody I knew was pretty much sick of punk at this point, and a well- produced album with very high-quality packaging and tasteful artwork was quite appealing, even before listening to it. Second, that damn eyeball sketch ended up being graffiti-painted on just about anything that wasn’t moving in my neighborhood (as well as a few trains and busses that were). And finally, I lived in Chicago for a while a few years after this released and got completely sick of hearing “Sirius” every time I watched the Michael Jordan-led Bulls basketball team take the field. Other than that, this turned out to be a pretty decent album.

I will say that my standards were not very high in 1982 considering the general state of music, and that may have played a part in taking a liking to this piece of very shallow but extremely well-constructed pseudo-symphonic music. As an art and symphonic rock fan of the seventies I was tentatively returning to the fold with baby steps after being led astray by both MTV and Jello Biafra. The prog du jour was the Moody Blues’ ‘Long Distance Voyager’, ELO’s ‘Time’, Roxy Music’s ‘Avalon’, and Asia. Pretty tame stuff, but at least it was heading back in the right direction after a few years of misdirection. I think prog fans of my age who had tired of the tome-like dirges of ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’ and ‘Thick as a Brick’ were finally ready to reinvest our energy in prog-like materials, fluffy-light though they may have been. And as always, Mr. Parsons was ready to oblige with just enough tasteful art to hook us.

Prior to becoming permanently allergic to ‘Sirius’ thanks to the Chicago Bulls, I thought this was a very well-done instrumental, and the most prog-related thing Parsons had done in quite some time. The short but interesting guitar riff over the catchy keyboard rhythm and seamless fade into “Eye in the Sky” was an auspicious beginning and raised my hopes for this album the first time I heard it. Eric Woolfson appears as lead vocalist once again and does an admirable job of carrying the mellow notes against a backdrop of a repetitive but pleasant-enough guitar chugging away. The nebulous theme of astral whimsy is rather non-committal but is enough to keep the listener’s attention for the full four minutes or so that the song runs.

I’m not sure if the theme for “Children of the Moon” is the exodus story from the Bible, but it is definitely a condemnation of some sort of similar historical event:

“Follow the pilgrim to the Temple of the dawn; the altar's empty and the sacrifice is gone.

We let the Madmen write the golden rules, we were no more than mortal fools - nothing to live for.”

Pretty harsh methinks, but the orchestral backing (much of it synthesized I suspect) is much better than the previous couple of albums, and the horns offer some interesting variety. This would not have been out-of-place on a late 70’s art-rock album.

“Gemini” sounds like something that might have inspired one of Spock’s Beard’s later cheesy barber-shop harmonies. Pretty much filler and nonsense lyrics, but doesn’t really take anything away from the album.

Woolfson returns on vocals for “Silence and I”, and I find this to be an excellent neo- prog ballad of the highest order. The mood is brooding but not morbid, and the lyrics are vaguely meaningful enough to inspire some appealing speculation as to their meaning. This has a dated feel to it that is kind of charming today.

The tempo kicks up a bit on “Gonna’ Get Your Fingers Burned”, and this is really more of an 80’s pop-rock number that borders on sounding like one of those new-age gospel bands like Newsboys or something, although I gather the lyrics are speaking about deception of some sort. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a radio single attempt by Parsons.

The slightly mad Elmer Gantry returns after a couple years’ hiatus on “Psychobabble”. This is another pretty cool tune with some simple but effective bass/keyboard sequences that evoke an anxious mood. I really latched on to this one back in the early 80’s, but it hasn’t aged well and the cheesy keyboards and shout-response backing vocals sound pretty dated today.

“Mammagamma” is one of those electronic-funk instrumentals that Parsons was so good at putting together, but true-to-form it sets the listener up with anticipation of something more substantial but fails to deliver and peters out far too soon. It’s pretty clear by the time this album rolled around that Parsons was far better at finding catchy riffs than he was at developing them into full-blown, mature progressive works, but it’s a nice little ditty anyway.

Parsons tries to end the album with a deep-thinker ballad in the finest Moody Blues tradition, and he partially succeeds. “Old and Wise” is a touching, sentimental farewell song that I suspect a lot of young people dedicated to friends as they entered adulthood and moved on during those days. The symphonic backing and mild saxophone are touching, and the lyrics are sentimental enough to get to you if you let them. For those who are taken in by the sappy sentiments of Klaatu and their ilk this is a keeper:

“I wanted you to know you've always shared my deepest thoughts, you follow where I go. And oh, when I'm old and wise bitter words mean little to me, autumn winds will blow right through me.

And someday in the mist of time, when they asked me if I knew you –

I'd smile and say you were a friend of mine.”

I was going to give this three stars but I just played that last track in the quiet of the evening and feel the need to bump that up by one. I might revisit that later in the cold light of day but it’s four stars for now. So I’m sentimental – sue me.


Review by Chris H
3 stars Built for the radio!

Even though The Alan Parsons Project is commonly referred to as one of the most commercial artists in progressive rock history, his 1982 release, "Eye In The Sky", just may be the most commercial he ahs ever gotten. Even though the album was intended to be commercially suitable, I think that "Sirius" has taken on a life of it's own shortly after the release. Nowadays, you can't go to a sporting event without hearing "Sirius" before every game.

One thing that draws me, and I'm sure many others, to an album by Alan Parsons is the musical diversity. Sure the keyboards will always be there, but it's always an interesting surprise to see who is enlisted in to vocal categories. For this album, Parsons put together a motley group consisting of David Paton, Chris Rainbow, Lenny Zakatek, Elmer Gantry, and Colin Blunstone, along with Eric Woolfson who provides to the vocals for two songs.

Woolfson's two songs are far and away the favorite vocal tracks of the album. The title track, "Eye In The Sky", features some nice and slow, rhythmic guitar in the background while Woolfson croons away. Anytime you want to hear this song, you can just turn on your local oldies radio station and I guarantee it will be on in the next 20 minutes. His other song, "Silence And I" is another excellent track. It can almost be compared to a primitive blueprint of early neo-progressive music, with it's painful melodies and meaningful lyrics.

Chris Rainbow lends his pipes to "Gemini", which is a god-awful song comprised of filler lyrics and terrible rhythms. David Paton's moment, "Children Of The Moon", is an interesting attempt. It has a very 70's feel to it, and that might be caused by the synthesized orchestra in the background. however the horns add a fresh sense that was lost a few albums back. Elmer Gantry's crazy "Psychobabble" is a song built on a rhythm section, plus the addition of pounding keyboards. "Old & Wise" just may be the exact opposite, however. Colin Blunstone's vocal performance is on a gentle, thinking man's ballad with some great saxophone work.

I think Parsons had recruited Lenny Zakatek for one purpose. Score a hit single. "Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" is a very cliché 80's rock n' roll song. Just straightforward, no diversity at all. The same can be said about Zakatek's other contribution, "Step By Step". Almost no variety there. Finally, my favorite song on the album, "Mammagamma". One of Alan Parsons's finest moments, this instrumental combined funk and jazz with some powerful keyboard riffs.

Do you like pop music or synthesized orchestras? How about songs made for hit singles? Well then I can highly recommend this album to you. If you want some good instrumentals, I can recommend checking out "Mammagamma", but if you want real progressive to the core, stick your nose elsewhere.

3 stars, some good pop music.

Review by Chicapah
2 stars By the time this album hit the shelves in 1982 the MTV revolution was in full swing, systematically reducing popular music to being soundtracks for three-minute cavalcades of crap visuals designed only to titillate and provide a mind-numbing diversion from reality. Unfortunately, much of this recording reflects that mindset as Parsons and Woolfson seem to be trying to follow trends instead of blazing trails, a pattern they had been establishing slowly but surely since the release of their groundbreaking debut.

Once again, however, they start things off on a promising note with the intriguing instrumental "Sirius" that has a progressive slant to it. It segues seamlessly into the radio hit "Eye in the Sky" that is another one in a string of chart-climbers that still resonates today on AOR stations across the world. Ian Bairnson's tasteful guitar work is a highlight. Next up is the best tune here, "Children of the Moon," that has an unusual melody and a somewhat prog chord progression where Ian provides yet another interesting solo.

If things would have "progressed" in that vein then you might have something special here but that's not the case. With "Gemini" they settle back into their comfort zone, dishing out forgettable ditties that really have little substance. "Silence and I" follows and it's an okay tune that transitions into an interesting instrumental segment before returning to the original verse and chorus. Billy Joel was a big time player in the pop world at that time and "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" is a direct mimic of his style. Only it's just not very good.

"Psychobabble" displays everything that was going south in popular music in the early 80s. Totally forgettable ten seconds after it's over. "Mammagamma" is an instrumental in which they could have been a lot more adventurous musically but it never goes anywhere. Another missed opportunity. "Step by Step" is more of the empty fluff that the MTV virus was causing to be manufactured by the trainload so you might want to skip this one altogether. "Old and Wise" finishes the album and it's not bad at all in an Elton John-ish sorta way. Too little too late, though.

What was happening to this group was happening to almost every artist around the globe at the time so it's almost unfair to pick it apart like this but it is what it is. A product of the era. There's very little prog here so it will only truly appeal to the die-hard fan of the APP in general. 2.4 stars.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars With the success of The Turn of a Friendly Card (both album-wise and the singles released from it), the Alan Parsons Project aimed for a more commercial output with Eye in the Sky, their sixth studio album. Like its predecessors, it has a general theme throughout the album. This time the concept was surveillance, with the title of the album inspired by the "eye in the sky" cameras used in airports, banks, and casinos. The album also explores life and the universe and maybe lost values and makes reference to George Orwell's 1984.

Eye in the Sky was the best selling album APP ever made and it gave them one of their most popular singles, the title track (with Eric Woolfson providing the vocals). Leading into this song is the intro track, an instrumental called "Sirius." This short intro may be APP's most well known piece of music as it has been often used as theme music for various sporting entrance events, including the Chicago Bulls basketball team, the American collegiate football teams Nebraska Cornhuskers and Iowa State Cyclones, the NFL's Detroit Lions, and pro-wrestler Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Other slightly successful songs that got airplay included Psychobabble and You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned, plus the interesting instrumental Mammagamma.

Again, the music is chiefly pop rock with some ever-so-slight "progressive tendencies." Or, if you prefer, "pop prog." In my opinion, this is just slightly a notch lower in quality compared with The Turn of a Friendly Card. Most APP fans consider it their best album and should be a must-have for them. If you're not interested in "pop prog," you should probably avoid. Instead seek out their debut first. Three stars. Good, but not essential.

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Eye in the Sky" is a very accessible, commercial soft-rock/art-rock album that is easy to enjoy, though at times also easy to forget.

The music contained in this album is, as said before, a combination of soft-rock with a very strong commercial flavor, with some art-rock elements, all given extra shine by the mighty engineering hand of Alan Parsons, who makes everything sound crystal clear and absolutely perfect. Every little detail, every little figure done by the guitars or the keys is totally distinguishable for the ear of the listener.

The music is never completely exciting, though. Most of the time, is played at a mid-tempo that tends to make the whole album listening experience a rather flat one. Most of the songs are typical radio-ready verse-chorus-verse tracks with little innovative elements or special musicianship, even though they're all nicely crafted and very polished. While one will never be dazzled by the musicians doing incredible things or the songs going into uncharted territories, one will never also feel unsafe or in discomfort with "Eye in the Sky": it's an experience built to work, to entertain without taking big compromises, and at that, it is remarkably efficient.

Many of the tracks are not that memorable, but a few manage to rise above the rest: "Silence and I", the longest one, with its very prog-related (if a little Hollywood-esque) middle-instrumental section; "Mammagamma", a spacey instrumental that, while repetitive, it's very entertaining while it lasts (even though we feel it could've been developed much further); "Sirius", the minute opener that has become a staple of many different events; and, of course, the magnificently-beautiful title-track, a testament and proof as to the real possibility of writing fantastic pop-rock songs, with a melody and mood that's certainly perfect.

All in all, "Eye in the Sky" is a decent album, nothing extraordinaire but in general very efficient. No track is really bad, and a couple are actual standouts (with the title-track towering over them all; yes, commercial songs can be great, too.) 3 stars seems like the right rating for me.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Electric eye

Many people here seem to think that the Alan Parsons Project debuted with their best album and then continued to make worse and worse music with each subsequent album. I would rather say that their recording career went a bit up and down and down and up, etc. with Turn Of A Friendly Card having been a return to form after the lackluster Eve and Pyramid albums. The present album continues a positive trend and is one of the better albums of the Project. The opening instrumental leads directly into Eye In The Sky, which is a minor Pop Prog classic in a way. (It is funny that Judas Priest opened their album Screaming For Vengeance - that was released in the same year - also with an instrumental (Hellion) that led directly into a song about an "eye in the sky" (Electric Eye). Strange coincidence! Both are strong ways to open an album, I think. (No comparisons above this though!)).

Children Of The Moon and Gemini are both much more interesting than most songs from albums like Eve and Pyramid. Other good songs here are Old And Wise, that closes the album, and Psychobabble. If you know what Alan Parsons Project sound like, you will know pretty much what this album sounds like since this is a very typical Alan Parsons Project album in many ways. However, this one is a bit stronger and more consistent than many other of their albums. Vocals duties are still divided between several different people. This usually leaves an album incoherent and disjointed. Here it does not have that damaging effect to the album as a whole. I think this might be because these singers are not radically different from each other.

The seven and a half minute, Silence And I has a surprising and very Symphonic and progressive section in the middle that leads into a good guitar solo finale, before the original melody of the song returns. One of the few real progressive moments on this album.

The overall quality of the songs here is very good. However, there are also a couple quite awful songs as usual on Alan Parsons Project albums. This time it is the Boogie Rock 'N' Roll of You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned and the even worse Step By Step.

Overall, a very good Alan Parsons Project album with some very good stuff and some lesser stuff. But the worst bits are better hidden here than on most of their other albums.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Eye In The Sky is one of the few CDs by Alan Parsons Project that I haven´t have heard at the time. In fact I only knew a couple of songs until few weeks ago. So I was not really sure if I should write a review. But now I found the experience of hearing such CD for the first time quite an enlighteening experience on the subject why so many progheads hate APP. When I first listened to the CD it sounded to me like a bland, ordinary collection of pop songs. And I guess not too many people did have the trouble to go deeper.

That might would be my case too if I haven´t decided to listen to it again paying more atention to every track. And I was quite surprised how much I liked this album after some spins. Ok, this is nothing as strong as their earlier works, but still is a fine work. Anyone with some musical sensibility wil recognise the very well crafted songs and harmonies, the exquisite and symphonic orchestrations, the tasteful arrangements, the fantastic musicanship of all players. Even if you don´t like some of the songs (that was my case with You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned) you can´t simply discard them as bad. It is just a matter of personal taste. As usual, the production and engineering are perfect.

There are a number of fine tunes on this album, and my favorites are the beautiful Silence And I and the very poignant Old And Wise. I used to like the title track but it got too much play so I got a little fed up with it. If you´re looking for a fine progressive pop/rock music that is actually much more interesting than 95% of what is being played on the radio, this is a good choice. Eye In The Sky is not as strong as their previous effords but it is still pleasant and well made. 3 stars.

Review by Sinusoid
2 stars I not willing to get into the debate on whether or not APP is prog. For whatever reason, APP simply sounds too much like mainstream pop for me to really enjoy. What caused me to buy this particular album was the interesting ''Sirius/Eye in the Sky'' combination; the instrumental beginning is something I've heard at random sporting events and caused intrigue to flow through my brain, and the poppier title track wasn't too bad. Unfortunately, the rest is basically the explanation I gave earlier in the review as to why I don't care for APP. Only the Star Wars-like instrumental goof-off-ery in the middle of ''Silence and I'' holds any interest to me. Fans of pop-prog or neo-prog might be more in line to like this kind of album, but I really think the prog here is minimal at best, paving the way for just another pop album.
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars APP's music never quite moved me (not even their acclaimed debut). And ultimately, I can only say that rhe worse ("Eve") was mixed with the weak ("Turn of a Friendly Card").

This one just lying in between (at best). An ultra popular hit with the title track and some pleasant pop melodies to listen to ("Children of the Moon"). Now, to tell you that these belong to the prog Walhalla would be quite in excess. Just average, and bear in mind that they do count amongst the "best" ones featured here.

The major problem is when the "project" would like to sound more complex like during the pompous "Silence And I", I would have wished more silence?This is some kind of poor attempts on a more developed song.

If you would like to experience the worse from this album (which is plenty), you'll just have to avoid the press next exercise while listening to the dreadful "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" (but "Psychobabble" is just on par unfortunately). Gosh! What an experience!

The major problem when you are pointing some poor tracks, is that it is almost a neverending story ("Mammagamma" etc.).

Actually, this album leans severely with the one star rating as far as I'm concerned. But 57% of the reviewers do rate this album as either a masterpiece of PROG music or an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

My HHO is that it only worth two stars. And I'm generous in terms of prog here.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I count "Sirius," "Eye in the Sky," and "Silence and I," among my favorites from this group, as all three exhibit three different sides about what makes The Alan Parsons Project a remarkable band, especially in the context of their time. Eye in the Sky is an incredibly uneven collection of songs that fortunately leans toward the side of good progressive pop music.

"Sirius" This introductory instrumental offers an immediate feeling of anticipation, and as such, became a staple of sporting arenas, perhaps most notably the famous championship era of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s during which Michael Jordan was in his prime. The piece utilizes a simple clean guitar riff and powerful drums.

"Eye in the Sky" Perhaps the most popular song from The Alan Parsons Project, "Eye in the Sky" is one of my favorites from them. It is completely catchy, and has lyrics reminiscent of Big Brother from George Orwell's 1984, a very popular subject for many progressive rock bands. It follows seamlessly from the previous instrumental, with clean guitars bringing out the soft rhythm and delicate electric piano filling out the sound. The vocal melody throughout is amazing.

"Children of the Moon" To my ears, this is somewhat similar to the 1980s John Elefante-led Kansas. It is a decent song with a somewhat quirky introduction.

"Gemini" Soft vocals drift over a sleepy electric piano.

"Silence and I" Gentle piano, subtly blending classical and jazz influences, begins the lengthiest and most progressive work on the album. After a brooding string passage, a Renaissance-like bit takes over, featuring cheerful brass and a charging rhythm. The electric guitar solo is a fitting climax for this stirring movement

"You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" Whereas the previous track was a glorious symphonic pop song, this one is straight-up 1980s rock and roll. While the song is decent, it's quite generic, with only a fantastic guitar solo to salvage it from complete cheesiness.

"Psychobabble" Sparse bass and piano open this one. It's a cheesy rocker, way more so than the previous one because it attempts to add a bit of white-boy funk here, as well as a questionable keyboard theme.

"Mammagamma" This second instrumental keeps a straightforward beat and a sound. It's similar to "Sirius," but has a real disco groove.

"Step by Step" "Step by Step" is a pleasant song with further disco sensibilities. The counterpoint vocals are the highlight, however.

"Old and Wise" The orchestral opening is stunning, as is the piano and vocal section that follows- very lovely. The album closes with an appropriate saxophone solo.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Perhaps the last of the non-self-paradying APP albums, the music is by now sounding very formulaic and very familiar. Had Alan and Eric used up all of their fresh ideas? Were they just popping out variations of things previously published? Had the pop scene their main target audience? This album seems to lead me into thinking "yes" to all of the above. The melodies, soundscapes, vocals, and even lyrics seem to be so familiar and so overdone. Still, were I to come from Mars and encounter this as my first APP album I'd have to admit that it's good, it's not terrible, it's got plenty of catchy hooks and pleasant sounds--even a few brainworms of ear candy to feed off of for days ahead. It's just not leading edge, risk-taking progressive rock anymore (was it ever?)

2.5 stars rated down for lack of freshness, lack of progressiveness.

Review by Matti
3 stars To me Alan Parsons Project represents relatively good hi-tech pop ("Prog-Related", if you like) music of its era, from the mid-seventies to mid-eighties. I have listened to their albums since my late teen years (23 years), never very actively but never having been totally bored with them either. Two best albums are no doubt the Poe-inspired debut and Pyramid (1978), then maybe comes I Robot, Gaudi or this one, all tastefully produced and containing some very nice tracks but in the end perhaps a bit uninnovative and too commercial-sounding, and including some very dull (usually radio-friendly) songs. The same can be said of all the other albums as well, only the amount of interesting stuff gets smaller and smaller, and they started to repeat themselves badly.

Eye In The Sky is quite a typical APP album. There are two instrumentals (the opener 'Sirius' is short but great) and several vocalists. Lenny Zakatek and Elmer Gantry are regular APP vocalists, and naturally, as always, Eric Woolfson (Parsons' writing partner), who I don't really consider that good singer. His 'Silence And I' is nevertheless among highlights, though the James Bond-esque fast orchestral section is a bit banal. Also the soft voice of Colin Blunstone was heard already on Pyramid ('Eagle Will Rise Again'); here he sings equally dreamy and sentimental 'Old And Wise'. I like it, but it lacks the glory of the earlier song. Chris Rainbow, if my memory serves, sings the mellow 'Gemini'. (Wasn't he, by the way, also guesting on CAMEL's Single Factor...?)

There are a also couple of songs I never liked. But on the whole this is a fairly good and safe Parsons album, if not the very best of them.

Review by stefro
4 stars Whilst the first two studio albums from The Alan Parsons Project('Tales Of Mystery & Imagination' and 'I, Robot') blended slickly-produced progressive rock compositions with a catchy pop sensibility, follow-up efforts 'Pyramid', 'Eve', 'Turn Of A Friendly Card' and this 1982 release mined a much more accessible, streamlined pop-rock style that would prove commercially-successful throughout mainland Europe and, for a brief while, across the USA. The oddity that is the Alan Parsons Project was, of course, much more than just a rock band, with the core duo of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson handling the writing and production abilities and a handful of trusted musicians - mainly from the Parson-produced groups Pilot, Cockney Rebels and Ambrosia - brought into to translate the duo's ideas into musical reality. Whilst Woolfson was, like Parsons, very much a behind-the-scenes kind-of- a-guy, he in fact did contribute the fragile lead vocals that adorn the hit single 'Eye In The Sky' despite the fact that Parsons had originally vetoed the idea(!). Both 'Eye In The Sky' the single and 'Eye In The Sky' the album would count amongst the Project's most popular releases, a fact which lead to Woolfson becoming a much more prominent singer on future albums and the outfit treading a much more overtly radio-friendly path in the years to come. Fans of progressive rock in the truest sense of the word may grumble when confronted with the Project's later works, and whilst albums like 'Eye In The Sky' may lack the innovative experimentation and vivid sonic landscapes conjured up by the likes of Robert Fripp's King Crimson or symphonic stalwarts Yes, they more than make up for it with the project's warm and emotive palette of harmonies and the expert production abilities of Parsons(who engineered Pink Floyd's breakthrough album 'Dark Side Of The Moon' amongst many others). 'Eye In The Sky' is probably the purest evocation of the Project's crystal-clear sound, and also the album which opened the group up to a wider audience in the post-punk days of the early-eighties. Tracks such as the crisply-realised synth-prog opus 'Mammagamma' add a touch of keyboard-based prog to the carefully--filtered mix, whilst the funky gusto of 'Psychobabble' and the The Beatles-esque 'Old & Wise' showcase the confident Parsons- Woolfson writing dynamic at it's zenith. As is now standard in Alan Parsons Project albums, 'Eye In The Sky' starts with a moody instrumental piece whose theme and structure is repeated at various brief intervals throughout, giving the whole a 'concept' feel that belies the duo's pop-rock ambitions. Considering that Parsons, Woolfson and their team of musicians are performing one hell of a balancing act in attempting to produce slick-edged, pop-styled symphonic rock for the masses, this technologically-enhanced studio album works surprisingly well. The classically-tainted, synth-prog-pop formula has been used with varying degrees of success since the Project's1975 debut 'Tales Of Mystery & Imagination was released to an unsuspecting public, yet it is on this beautifully-assembled fifth album that the ingredients truly fit. Their earlier efforts may be infinitely more progressive, yet in the grand scheme of things it is 'Eye In The Sky' that proves to be the definitive release from this most innovative of groups. Crisp, tasteful and highly-emotive, this is the Alan Parsons Project in full, glorious flow. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
Review by Warthur
4 stars To give Eye In the Sky its due, it starts out really well - the capably performed synthesiser-led instrumental Sirius giving way to the dark, bass-driven, paranoid title track, which applies the cold, stark production values of the Project to intriguingly murky material.

It doesn't last, however; the rest of the album shifts into a decidedly different mode, which it took me a long time to warm to because I was expecting and hoping something more in keeping with the style of their early albums. However, if you see The Turn of a Friendly Card as the end of their "pop-tinged prog rock" phase, and Eye In the Sky as the start of their "rock-inflected prog pop" phase, material like Gemini or Psychobabble suddenly lands much better.

Some parts I do question, though. Parsons has the gall to include a track entitled Mammagamma on the album - the title being a slang phrase from similar sources to Ummagumma. To see the Project milking its Pink Floyd connection when this many albums into its career the band really should have been carving out its own identity is, to me, really quite irritating.

Still, the album is a great case study in how sensitive, careful production can take even simple material and add something extra to it. As the blueprint for the rest of the band's career, it's understandable that it's become an important landmark in their discography, but don't expect something rooted in their 1970s approach.

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, well, well, this is somehow a Pyramid part two. And it's better. The best thing the Project did after "I Robot". No doubt for me.

From the hypnotic bright star of "Sirius" which fades into the super hit "Eye in the Sky", to the closer "Old and Wise" this album is almost impeccable, extremely well crafted. Deep, romantic and sad as the closing number, it forces the listener to sail alone with his own thoughts into a vast musical interstellar space.

"Silence and I" is the most memorable track. Aching and brilliant with sumptuous orchestra. The swan song of the Project.

The galactic exploration flies over the moon ("Children of the Moon") and points to the "Gemini" constellation. "Mammagamma" is a sort of "Sirius" part two with the addition of a disco groove and strings... excellent.

"As far as my eyes can see, there are shadows approaching me...".

The final evaluation is a matter of heart.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars My review is based on the version with the bonus tracks. I never really gave this a chance at the time, having felt that the Project's mega success represented by the title track and the prior hit "Time", was contingent upon an ever mellower formula. It's true that some of this sounds frighteningly like what CHICAGO, TOTO or AMERICA were doing at the time. As much as I wanted to give this a thumbs down, and as kitschy as it gets, this actually delivers competently as progressive tinged pop.

The instrumentals in particular cross FLOYD and TD, and in fact were familiar to me without knowing the author. Even the way "Sirius" segues into the title track causes me to reconsider the validity of that overplayed representative of the early 1980s. But "Silence and I" shows Parsons/Woolfson still aiming for the more elaborate even under reconfigured ambitions, and the orchestral touches seem to have influenced the work of SAGRADO CORACAO DA TERRA who came along later in the decade from Brazil. This is particularly apparent on "Old and Wise", which also includes a stirring sax solo from Mel Collins.

The rest of the original material is more uneven, with the best probably being "Psychobabble" which retools the formula of "The Voice" and "Snake Eyes", although it's never quite as entrancing the third or fourth time around. Hence without the bonus material I would feel inclined to rate this as a strong 2 stars, but the extra tracks are lovingly compiled and sequenced, and appear almost as an elaborate suite with themes, particularly "Sirius", looped about the extended, instrumental and alternate versions. These underscore the perfectionism of the artists involved, and give a gently guided glimpse into how an album is compiled by shrinking down the available material rather than by adding up all the pieces, fit or otherwise. That so much of it is excellent is all the more remarkable.

Far from a masterpiece and tarnished somewhat by mass success and period weaknesses, "Eye in the Sky" can now be looked upon with a somewhat more forgiving eye, especially in the expanded form.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I wasn't actually planning on reviewing another Alan Parsons Project release any time soon since I've already previously talked about their first two albums. Their debut album is the one that gets most critical praise, which is quite understandable since the album introduced the project's style and, most importantly, the album format that will be set in stone for years to come. So why am I actually reviewing Eye In The Sky, the project's sixth release? The shortest answer is --- Colin Blunstone! Here is the whole story:

I've been a huge fan of the pop group The Zombies and especially their brilliant 1968 release Odessey And Oracle for nearly two years now. This love has nothing to do with nostalgia, since I've actually never listened to the band up until the recent years. We're talking about unconditional love that can only be brought upon by a truly spectacular experience! I highly recommend The Zombies to anyone who has not yet heard this great band... but let's get back to the topic at hand. Two days ago, I finally got the chance to see The Zombies perform live. Actually the real name of the band that I saw was The Zombies featuring Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent, the two of the more prolific members of the band who both have had successful careers after the original band had called it a day back in 1968. During the show, the band played quite a few classic The Zombies tracks but they also mixed in quite a few covers from the two members solo careers. One of these songs just so happened to be an Alan Parsons Project cover that Blunstone just so happened to be featured on back in the day. I'm referring to the magnificent composition called Old And Wise, a song that I've heard on quite a few occasions previously but have never actually connected it to neither Colin Blunstone nor Alan Parsons Project!

With my new (re)discovery, I simply had no choice but to listen to the rest of Eye In The Sky just to see if it might actually be on the same level as the band's debut album or, my personal favorite, I Robot. Well, I can safely say that I was both impressed and disappointed by my experience of this album since it did happen to feature quite a few excellent moments, but the overall experience felt a bit lackluster. The album can roughly be divided into a great side one which opens with the memorable instrumental Sirius and an even better title track, featuring Eric Woolfson on vocals. After a slight drop in quality on Children Of The Moon, we're treated to a memorable track duo of Gemini and Silence And I. The latter is easily one of the most progressive pieces that the project has ever recorded, thus making this release worthy of its Crossover Prog title.

Side two is where this album completely loses any momentum that it previously had with tracks like You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned, Psychobabble and Step By Step all being standard pop songs that don't impress me one bit. Even the otherwise interesting instrumentals aren't up to the usual standard on Mammagamma which just passes me by completely without any notice. Luckily, the album is saved right in the last moment with the very strong ballad Old And Wise. Colin Blunstone does an amazing vocal performance, the orchestral arrangement really fits the composition like a glove and let's not forget the last moment saxophone solo that brings back the memories of Dark Side Of The Moon, thus making this composition the most memorable one off this album!

Even thought Eye In The Sky is far from an excellent album, it's still worth a spin or two just because of the few tracks that actually make this into the good, but non-essential release that it is.

***** star songs: Eye In The Sky (4:36) Old And Wise (4:55)

**** star songs: Sirius (1:55) Gemini (2:10) Silence And I (7:20)

*** star songs: Children Of The Moon (4:51) Psychobabble (4:52) Mammagamma (3:34) Step By Step (3:54)

** star songs: You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned (4:22)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "I am the Eye in the Sky looking at you, I can read your mind, I am the maker of rules dealing with fools, I can cheat you blind, and I don't need to see anymore to know that I can read your mind (looking at you)".

This catchphrase will likely jam itself into your brain after hearing the monster single from The Alan Parsons Project's much heralded "Eye In The Sky" album. The single certainly is melodic and infectious and of course captures the signature AOR sound of the early 80s radio airplay. I had heard this on the radio playing in the background as a teenager and I remember thinking who the heck are those wimpy crooners? Of course back then I was too busy to listen to soft rock or AOR as I was obsessed with my Kiss, Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, Ultravox, Pink Floyd and Sweet albums. The radio sound never interested me and I am still ummoved by radio hogs these days with a similar radio friendly sound.

But people change and so do their tastes in music. I still love Kraftwerk, Numan, Sweet, Ultravox and Pink Floyd (not so much Kiss) but I have opened my ears to the sounds of The Alan Parsons Project, particularly their first 3 albums. My ears are now atuned to the infectious melodies of "Eye In the Sky" and the single sung so well by Eric Woolfson, following on so brilliantly from Sirius, the standard instrumental APP opener. Sirius has become synonymous with sporting arenas over the years, such as the Chicago Bulls games, and was even well used on TV. Ricky the Steamboat used it as he made his way to the arena in Wrestling arenas, then it would be played again if he won the bout, and I always wondered where the heck that music came from. It is similar to ELP's Fanfare for the Common Man in the way it has been used to accompany sports events.

Children of the Moon is another melody driven catchy thing, and has some high quality production with ratatat marching percussion and a killer hook musically. APP do not leave any space to contemplate on the depth of the lyrics or to admire songs on their own merit, as the album flies by in mere moments, every song seamlessly moving into the next and soon before you know it you will be caressed by Gemini. It is a sweet sugary sound but it appeases the ears and I couldn't help thinking how much better this album is than the disappointing "Eve" or "The Turn of a Friendly Card".

The next track drifts along on a feather weight musicscape of strings, flute and very soft processed vocals. Silence and I seems to have a lot to say about isolation and loneliness and it does so in a way that is not so much depressing as uplifting thanks to some delightful woodwind. Mel Collins is always a delight on saxophone and Eric Woolfson is unbeatable when his keyboard is allowed to dominate. The orchestra conducted by Andrew Powell is simply beautiful and stirring to the emotions. The track builds with a crescendo of symphonic majesty, a plethora of orchestrated melodies that change time signature and move into classical music dramatis. Then the lead guitar break augments the sound; a masterpiece of music that is then joined by another verse. The early demo vocals of Woolfson are worth listening to on the bonus tracks also. Silence and I was certainly a journey clocking 7:17 and I was quite astonished at the quality of such a track after hearing the mediocrity of "Eve" and "The Turn of a Friendly Card" recently. This type of music on "Eye in the Sky" is definitely from another universe; at polar opposites to the 2 previous albums prior to this release.

The next track You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned, is a solid rocker, not the high point of the album but it has a decent rock feel and breaks up the ambience and symphonic layers on previous tracks. Ian Bairnson's lead guitar work is excellent and the track flys by quickly with an AOR feel. Next up is Psychobabble, a tantalising title, and it has a strong bassline and electric piano intro. The vocals are echoed and forceful as it builds with an uptempo beat into a melodic chorus hook. It sounds like the early 80s of course but it drives along with some inventive diversions on keyboards.

Mammagamma is another absolutely brilliant APP instrumental, and as soon as it began I knew it from somewhere, as I listened to a lot of synth albums over the years. You know the ones where a synth player plays a bunch of famous covers such as Equinoxe, Oxygene Part IV, Toccata and er? Mammagamma. This tune sounds like my more preferred Hyper Gamma Spaces of course, but I can never get enough of Eric Woolfson's inimitable keyboard style; he never disappoints in his instrumentals. The way he plays here with staccato key stabs and a blazing guitar accompaniment is awe inspiring. It sounds similar to the rock side of Jean Michel Jarre or Mike Oldfield, but definitively APP all the way. Again it is the instrumentals that really draw me to the band more than anything else. This track is found on most APP compilations along with Eye in the Sky.

Back to vocals and a straight forward AOR sound follows with Step By Step, with a cool keyboard motif and catchy chorus well performed by the harmonised singers. Next up is Old and Wise and it was a delight to return to the flute and symphonic orchestra again. The song softly crooned and has lovely piano and gentle melodies. The ballad sounds similar to ethereal Pink Floyd vocally but that suits me fine. The saxophone work of Collins is mesmirising, lifting up the sound with emotional resonance. It is a melancholy way to end the album, but it works to cap off one of the greatest releases from The Alan Parsons Project.

The bonus tracks are endearing on their own merits. Sirius (Demo) is similar to the album version though has raw edges, but it is great to return to those haunting melodies. Old And Wise is interesting with Eric Woolfson's vocals, and a more pronounced piano treatment, and no orchestra or sax, though misplaced on the album as it has been too soon since we heard this song on this release so it gets a little dull to hear it again at this stage; it would have been better to place this at the end of the album. Any Other Day (Studio Demo) is very rough without vocals, and a bad studio mix, but interesting to hear how it developed from this version to the final album release. Silence And I is a piano driven version, though has the fretless bass, solid drumming, and very nice vocals from Woolfson, but you kind of miss the studio version, with multilayered vocals and full blown orchestra.

The Naked Eye is almost 11 minutes of new material that is always welcome as a bonus track, though it actually a medley of all the album tracks given an instrumental treatment. As such it is like the karaoke version of the album, and I could recognise the music from the actual album without vocals. Mammagamma is there too though without Woolfson's keyboard lead, joined by orchestra, making it sound very different in comparison, but quite interesting. There is also a lead solo and some other unused material worth checking out including acoustics and dramatic distorted guitar, and another saxophone solo to delight in. Eye Pieces (Classical Naked Eye) ends proceedings with 8 more minutes of unheard material during the making of the album, in this case the orchestral sections by themselves. They sound very ethereal without the rock elements or vocals but it is relaxing music and well executed by the orchestra; showcasing the awesome quality of the music on the album.

Overall this album was perhaps the last great Alan Parsons Project, certainly the last time they received any glowing accolades such as a Platinum record. The Hipgnosis designed gold embossed Egyptian eye cover art is recognizable and I remember it well during the 80s proudly displayed in record stores, an album that I tried to ignore, though it wasn't easy as that image was everywhere. It is difficult to rate this album now 30 years on, as it is a product of the times, but the 80s were so lean of prog that it has to be commended that at least APP injected some prog elements into their music on such albums. It was definitely designed for radio airplay, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that, and this will have some prog reviewers reaching for the skip button no doubt. However, held on its own merits, "Eye in the Sky" delivers some great music and boasts at least 4 classic tracks worthy of attention. Though not quite up to the standard of the first 3 albums, it buries "Eve" and "Turn of a Friendly Card," so 4 stars is warranted.

Review by FragileKings
3 stars Alan Parsons Project and the album "Eye in the Sky" have an important place in my personal history of popular music appreciation. Somewhere around the ages of ten or eleven, I began listening to popular music and deciding that I actually liked some of the songs. It was no longer background music for me. I remember asking for Christmas to get a cassette called "Rock '82" that contained, among others, latest hits by Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rick Springfield, Kim Carnes, REO Speedwagon, .38 Special, and Rush. A friend of mine had a similar compilation that included a very beautiful song called, "Time" by a band called Alan Parsons Project. Coincidentally, shortly after I heard it, the same band released a very catchy song called, "Eye in the Sky." I liked the song a lot, but once I heard it played on a rock radio station together with the instrumental, "Sirius" I was really hooked. My friend managed to record it onto cassette from the radio for me.

Soon, however, I was into heavy metal, first with AC/DC and then soon after came Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and lots of other big acts of the early eighties. It was the time of staying up late to watch "Friday Night Videos" and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "Good Rockin' Tonight" on Saturdays, hoping that after Michael Jackson, Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper, The Thompson Twins, Wham!, Madonna, Prince and other top 40 fluff, I might get to see a Motley Crue or Quiet Riot video. Some artists and songs weren't so bad. The Police, Genesis's "Mama", "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes, Asia, Toto, and a few others were alright. But I never bought their albums because I was into metal.

It took a few years before I got round to becoming a fan of Pink Floyd, and that got me thinking about Alan Parsons Project and "Eye in the Sky". If I could appreciate a non-metal artist such as Pink Floyd ("A Momentary Lapse of Reason" quite impressed me and I went to see the concert in Vancouver), then why not go out and buy "Eye in the Sky" on cassette. This in turn was for me an important stepping stone toward getting into The Moody Blues. Thus, Alan Parsons Project and "Eye in the Sky" (I also bought "I, Robot" and "Turn of a Friendly Card") were key players in getting my interests shifted towards prog early on, though I had never heard the term "progressive rock" and had no inkling of artists doing anything other than creating their kind of music.Some songs were simple, others were more complex. My first encounter with the term was while watching an Austin Powers movie. Dr. Evil talks about his laser that he has called the "Alan Parsons Project" and Scott chides, "The Alan Parsons Project was a progressive rock group in the eighties." Progressive rock? I guess. Their music was different. It was somehow more intelligent, more sophisticated than much of the pop music out there. The next time I would encounter the term was when I read the Wikipedia article about Rush in 2010.

So, how about this album then? My impression is that it is still a very sophisticated album though not without pop tendencies. The opening instrumental, "Sirius" is not particularly complex but it is very effective at setting a mood. It's no wonder that the sporting world has picked this tune in many instances as a theme for arriving power and impending excitement. "Eye in the Sky" is basically a pop song but that melody and Eric Woolfson's vocals never fail to capture my emotions. I still love that song 32 years later!

"Children of the Moon" delivers the kind of progressive music you can hear on older APP albums. A liberal use of piano and synthesizer, a horn section, ooh-ooh harmony vocals, and some proggy beats allow the band to shift away from the standard pop/rock song structure. "Gemini" uses vocals to greater effect here with a soft, relaxed atmosphere. I always liked side one of the album because of the diverse approaches to each of the songs.

The real stand out track of side one is "Silence and I". It's a beautiful slow song with strings and an oboe and Woolfson's laid back, soothing vocals. In the middle we get a contrasting musical ride with an exciting and vibrant piece performed by an orchestra of horns, strings, and various percussion instruments. This is perhaps where the progressive music reaches its apex on the album.

Side two begins with a simple pop rock song, "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" with Lenny Zakatek on vocals, and I have to say that, even though he does a good job for the style of music, this song and his other lead vocal track, "Step by Step" are the least enjoyable songs on the album, being nothing more than standard pop rock fare.

"Psychobabble" and "Mammagamma" are more interesting with the former having a cool piano and bass intro and short musical interlude that sounds like part of a soundtrack for a suspense movie, while the latter is another simple but effective instrumental on keyboards and guitar with a steady beat on electric drums that I find unusually enjoyable. The bassline deserves mention, too.

Another highlight for me here is the album closer, "Old and Wise". I never realized that this album has six lead vocalists contributing, and it is Colin Blunstone who takes the lead vocal here with great suitability to the music. I used to try to emulate his singing style when I was younger when I sang along to the cassette, or later to the CD in the nineties. This is a beautiful song for string orchestra and piano, with the rock band only joining in at the end, and a sax solo (the first one I ever appreciated) takes the song out with the fade. A very powerful piece.

The 2007 reissue comes with bonus tracks that include demos and early takes on songs. I am surprised at how clean and powerful the sound is. It is almost a shame that a few demos that were not meant to be good enough for the album have such a clean and rich sound. "The Naked Eye" is a little interesting because it's a patchwork of music from the album not always it the exact same form as on the album and in between there are also bits of music that didn't end up on the album. The final bonus track is a medley of the orchestral music used on the various songs.

Once again, this is for me a very important album and one that has remained a delight to listen to now and again for nearly 30 years. I'd give it a very solid four stars for myself. However, I am aware that Alan Parsons Project was writing even more sophisticated prog earlier in their career and that there is also much more advanced progressive music out there. I therefore give it three stars for this site.

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Eye In The Sky" was released in 1982, around the time that many prog giants were turning to pop. Yes, King Crimson and ELP alumni had debuted as Asia and Alan Parsons Project had found itself releasing an album of music in a similar vein. The music on "Eye In The Sky" is primarily keyboard-based pop and soft rock, though there is still prog present. And unlike on "Asia", the prog content is a lot more deliberately delivered.

While the vast majority of the album's content is pop, strong moments still abound. After a dull instrumental start with "Sirius", several catchy, hum-able soft rock songs give way to the ballad "Silence And I", which is one of the strongest works in the Alan Parsons catalog. Featuring emotive instrumental performances and sophisticated orchestral arrangements, this is a crossover prog gem. The remainder of the album is done largely in the same fashion as the first half, with another masterpiece rounding out the record. "Old And Wise" is a wonderful ballad, melancholy and nostalgic, moving and powerful. The vocal performance is delivered very expressively and the final saxophone solo is one of those ones that gets me emotionally every time.

While there's a lot of uninteresting material to wade through to get to it, "Eye In The Sky" does have its moments as a quality prog album. And being an Alan Parsons Project album, the production is top-notch. An accessible, well-done 3 star album, I'd highly recommend this to anyone who is starting to get into prog but isn't looking for anything too complex just yet.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
3 stars Well, The Alan Parsons Project wasn't always the most proggiest or experimental band back in the 70s, in fact I'd say they were just straight up prog pop like ELO or Supertramp, so what they got going for them with Eye In The Sky isn't quite surprising to me.

This is the band's most popular album, with, I think, I Robot and The Turn Of The Friendly Card being close behind. Unlike those albums, Eye In The Sky is more or less a standardized artsy?poppy soft rock album for the 80s. Now admittedly, I am actually fine with this direction Alan Parsons Project takes here, they definitely already had a knack for pop music so this isn't bad to me, but you can definitely tell these songs were kinda made for the radios and single sales.

The best way to describe this album in my opinion is that it is a good pop album, but not really the best Alan Parsons Project album. I think the best aspect of the album is obviously Alan Parsons production, as expected with anything he has a hand in, and also the first side of the album. I think Sirius through Silence And I are some of the best music the band has created, with the more fun pop comings of Eye In The Sky and Gemini, to the more overtly art rock Children Of The Moon and Silence and I. Silence and I is especially my favorite track off this album, due to its power and emotion that builds throughout its 7 minute run.

However, the album definitely showcases its potholes with the second side. Unlike the moody, and more artistic first side, side B is a lot more basic (for lack of a better term) in terms of music, having a lot of songs that are kinda your usual soft rock flair from the 80s. I am not that offended by the second side, mostly since I grew up in a more pop loving household so the sound is a bit more well known for my tastes, but some of these songs I feel just aren't really that good, especially You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned and Step by Step. I also feel like compared to the first side it just doesn't stack as well. I mean how are you gonna compare the slightly lackluster instrumental Mammagamma with the pretty and somber Gemini?

I would be a lot more forgiving if this wasn't an Alan Parsons Project album, but since it is, and since this band has made some really great music especially on their second sides (IE The Fall Of The House Of Usher suite and The Turn Of The Friendly Card suite) I feel like I can give this album it's dues and critiques, especially since after this album the band kinda starts to sound like they are constantly trying to do what this album does, instead of trying new and fresh ideas like they did before. Well, the second side isn't all that bad, Old and Wise is on it and that song is a fantastic closer in my humble opinion.

Again, this is not a bad album, but for Alan Parsons Project standards it is kinda lukewarm. There are definitely a lot of good moments on here, but the very top heavy song structure, plus the very middle of the road songs on the second side just doesn't get me wanting to return to it all that much. If you like the more pop stylings of Yes or Genesis in the 80s then this isn't a bad record to put on your shelf, but if you want something more proggy like what this band did before, you'd best be looking somewhere else.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is the most commercially successful album coming from the Alan Parsons Project, led together with Eric Woolfson by the man who was an engineer on The Beatles' "Abbey Road" and Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side Of The Moon"! It contains many of their big hits such as "Sirius", "Eye In The Sky" and ... (read more)

Report this review (#2851670) | Posted by Henroriro_XIV | Friday, November 11, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The 80s let prog liquefy, so an APP to see if there isn't still a little liquid in it! 1. Sirius... how to transcribe this intro which was broadcast on the airwaves, one of the few more... at the top left well perched this da dig dong, and right in the middle the riff, the pad behind central and ri ... (read more)

Report this review (#2374578) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, April 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After Alan Parsons came out with their conceptual masterpieces: "iRobot" and "Tales of Mystery and Imagination-- Edgar Allen Poe", I got to say that I was a bit disappointed with "Eye in the Sky". Much like Genesis, I feel like Alan Parsons Project's music got worse as they shifted into the new, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2132106) | Posted by gdogcentaur | Monday, January 28, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Alan Parsons Project waited two years from "The Turn of A Friendly Card" to 1982 with doing a new record. Then came their sixth disc "Eye In The Sky" which became a quite powerful statement that the band where still fit for fight. The year was 1982 and the record was very green, a light green co ... (read more)

Report this review (#1280694) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Sunday, September 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 8/10 I really felt very tempted to praise this album with a rating of 5 stars, considering how good it has been to listen to him these days. But this time I will respect the ratings of PA and give it 4 stars, as I recognize that this album is not progressive in its whole. However, if he were ... (read more)

Report this review (#1159641) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Alan Parsons is best known to me for his work with Pink Floyd, but he is a successful artist in his own right and "Eye In The Sky" is the album that proves it, at least commercially. Parsons forged what I believe to be an 80s type of progressive music - geared more toward electronic, computerized mu ... (read more)

Report this review (#890123) | Posted by PinkYesGongMachine | Tuesday, January 8, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The eye on the ground! The eye in the sky is about the all seeing eye, which is the symbol of god in old Egypt. I used to like this record a lot when I was not so deep into the progressive rock yet. With the Alan Parsons Project I get more and more problems to accept the cheesy vocals and the ... (read more)

Report this review (#667402) | Posted by the philosopher | Monday, March 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Eye In the Sky may not be their most engaging work musically, but it's actually one of their stronger lyrical efforts. Throughout, there are plenty of near-profound statements that are uncommon to unheard of in music that stays as close to the pop/rock sound as this album does, namely in the ... (read more)

Report this review (#548592) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars "Eye in the sky" by Alan Parsons is probably his most famous record, containing his biggest hit: the song with the same. All in all is a really average album, since in terms of innovation it brings very few, all the songs own a lot to previous APP efforts: for instance "Silence and I" melodic lin ... (read more)

Report this review (#262953) | Posted by Malve87 | Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Eye In The Sky is a much better ALAN PARSONS PROJECT album than most people give credit to. I see that most people do not have the highest regard for this album. I think that it does deserve a bit more credit. The first two songs flow very well in to each other. The first song Sirius is an inst ... (read more)

Report this review (#258695) | Posted by gorgi321 | Thursday, December 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars One of the APP essentials, I think, along with the previous album, this is the one worth buying, the rest are just for true fans. Alan Parsons Project introduces a mainstream style of progressive rock. The plalying is good as it always is, everything is made with professional touch and very accurate ... (read more)

Report this review (#176903) | Posted by Passionist | Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is not a bad pop album..... and if you like the earlier Albums by the Project you will probably not mind this too much..... but ... there is almost no prog here at all.... The album starts off well with 'Sirius'....and then we get the title track....which is an excellent pop song.... ... (read more)

Report this review (#163978) | Posted by digdug | Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars More a pop album with progressive tendancy than anything, "Eye In the Sky" was the Alan Parsons Project's commercial high-point. "Sirius"/"Eye In the Sky" is the most popular part of the album, but I give "Old and Wise" the nod for best song. The problem is neither is particularily progressive. No ... (read more)

Report this review (#151493) | Posted by chimpster | Saturday, November 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is the 4th Alan Parsons' Project album to which I have listened, and it's decidedly the last "new" album I plan on hearing for quite a while. The entire disc is completely soaked in 80s pop sounds, characterized by the boring one-or-two-hit drum-beats typical of that era and generic "synthy" ... (read more)

Report this review (#130032) | Posted by ClassicRocker | Monday, July 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars TAPP's music, aptly classified as "prog-related", has a certain characteristic, that makes it somewhat impossible to become a "masterpiece of prog". It may become a masterpiece of music in general instead. May I justify by claiming that this album, considered one of TAPP's best work, achieved the ... (read more)

Report this review (#86451) | Posted by Ampersand | Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Genarally, I would say i'm not a fan of the 80s prog sound, but the more you hear this album, the more there is to love. Wonderful orchestral arrangements and a fine collections of musicians. There is not a weak song on the album and if fact are two or three exceptional songs which I would rec ... (read more)

Report this review (#51777) | Posted by | Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars one of the best alan parsons project albums, although it seems a little commercial as songs are not that progressive in style, but songs like "silence and i" are just one of the best in the genre, i think this album is a must have for every prog rock fan. Other than many thought to be commerci ... (read more)

Report this review (#5631) | Posted by DoomHammer | Sunday, June 20, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Eye In The Sky" is many times criticized to be a commercial album. It's true that it has many commercial songs but that's not a reason to say that this is a mediocre album. It starts with one of Alan's best instrumental works followed perfectly well by the classic song "Eye In The Sky" ("I ca ... (read more)

Report this review (#5630) | Posted by Eclipse1977 | Saturday, May 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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