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The Alan Parsons Project

Crossover Prog

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The Alan Parsons Project The Best of the Alan Parsons Project Vol. II  album cover
2.84 | 31 ratings | 5 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prime Time (3:48)
2. Let's Talk About Me (3:37)
3. Standing On Higher Ground (4:22)
4. Stereotomy (4:26)
5. Don't Answer Me (4:10)
6. Limelight (4:38)
7. I Robot (6:00)
8. What Goes Up... (3:24)
9. Days Are Numbers (The Traveller) (4:08)
10. Ammonia Avanue (6:32)
11. The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Part II) (3:20)

Total Time: 48:25

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT The Best of the Alan Parsons Project Vol. II ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT The Best of the Alan Parsons Project Vol. II reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Stingy

Volume one of the "Best of" the Allan Parsons Project creamed off the most obvious selections from a commercial point of view. Volume 2 is therefore slightly more interesting in that through necessity, the compilers have actually had to put some thought into which tracks to include.

The result is a reasonably passable cross section of songs from each of their albums. Once again though, presumably for contractual reasons, "Tales of mystery and imagination.." is completely overlooked.

The title tracks from "Stereotomy" and "I robot" are both decent representations of those albums, and "Limelight" is one of the Project's finest ballads. The music is rather too sugar coated at times, drifting towards the easy listening, but Parsons and Woolfson have good ears for a fine melody. At only 48 minutes, the compilation is rather stingy, with plenty of room remaining for further selections.

The acid question for any compilation is, is it a good representation of the band. By and large, the answer here is "yes", but I would still recommend going for the original albums rather than any APP compilation.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
2 stars The second "best of" compilation from the Alan Parsons Project seems more like an appendix to their first "best of" compilation that was released in 1983 rather than a continuation like most greatest hits albums that are labeled "vol. 1, vol. 2, etc." The major reason for this was probably because they did not have enough material to fill the album from what was released between 1984 and 1987. Eight of the eleven songs were from that time period, some hits, some not (at least not that I was aware of). It also includes the I Robot instrumental (which was sorely lacking from the first compilation), What Goes Up (from Pyramania), and The Turn of a Friendly Card Part II (better known as Snake Eyes). Since they took the time to add stuff that was missing from their first compilation, again nothing is represented from their debut (maybe because their debut was not released by Arista??).

These weren't the most popular singles released by APP and in many ways it pales in comparison to their first "best of" selection. After all, APP had been in a decline since their 1982 apex with the release of Eye in the Sky. The music is chiefly pop rock with a slight mixing of pop prog in places. Although the addition of the I Robot instrumental was nice, it wasn't enough to bring this album out of the "collectors only" zone. Two stars is about as high as I can go on this.
Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Released five years after the volume I, this compilation is slightly better then the first, for obivous reasons: they had to fill the spaces without the benefit of the greatest hits that were already used on the first. Still you canīt hardly say it is their best. As I warned on my previous review of the vol I, this title is very misleading: the tracks you have here are far from whatīs best from APP. there are good moments, of course: the instrumental I Robot is one of them, and I really love the beautiful melody line of Days Are Number (probably one of the best pop hits ever). Limelight and Prime Time are also good songs. But at 48:25 they could have inlcuded at least five more tracks.

But even if you put those two compilations together, like I did in the early 90īs (for lack of options at the time), youīll get frustrated. Especially if you heard one of APPīs full album. The Project always had fine stuff that was not played on the radio, and that was true for most of their best ones. So I canīt recommend any of those. If you want a real good APPīs collection take my advice: get all their albums and select you own favortie songs. This CD is one of the cases when the Best Of title works against the artist. APP did much better than whatīs shown. Iīll give two stars because the tracklist is a little stronger than the first, but still it barely made it.

Review by lazland
3 stars Having spent the best part of the last couple of weeks converting a pile of old vinyl into digital, and also going on a ridiculous spending spree for new stuff, I dug out this old curiosity this evening.

This is the second of a compilation of tracks from the project started by Alan Parsons, of Pink Floyd engineering fame, and the late, great Eric Woolfson, and if the purpose of such compilations is to goad the listener into exploring more fully the deeper annals of such bands, then I think that this one succeeds admirably. I, for one, will be expanding my collection with originals from this band.

A variety of artists were used on the project, and Chris Rainbow's vocals are standout on a couple of tracks here, most especially Since The Last Goodbye, although, to these ears, the emotional intensity of Woolfson's vocals are the true hallmark.

The title track, Limelight, is a standout ballad, with vocals dripping with intensity.

Another standout for me is Ammonia Avenue, with exceptional Woolfson vocals, this is the title track from the album of the same name which generated good commercial success. It is reminiscent of what many would call American AOR, but is no worse for that.

The instrumentals show the proggier side of a band who, in fairness, just qualify as Crossover prog on this site. Mammagamma and I Robot are especially enjoyable, the latter basically a simple keyboard riff overlaid with an almost disco type of rhythm.

There are a couple of tracks here which I would describe as throwaway, and certainly make this good, but non essential. Hawkeye is one such track. Pleasant enough as an instrumental, with saxophone and light keyboards dominating, but it never really grabs enough. Light fare, basically, which I believe is the main criticism of many contributors on this site to the Project as a whole.

This is a good selection of tracks, and if you enjoy, as I do, the simpler side of prog in terms of composition and instrumentation, melded with some quite exquisite vocal performances, then you could do a lot worse than to check this out.

A strong three stars for a very worthy compilation.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Guilty Pleasure. I was listening to this while working out and felt inpired to share a recommendation. I recommend this for a prog fan who does not have the urge or desire to invest largly in this group but can appreciate the essence of what Alan Parson's Project was as both a prog-related a ... (read more)

Report this review (#88234) | Posted by mapman | Saturday, August 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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