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Alan Parsons A Valid Path album cover
2.60 | 99 ratings | 24 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Return To Tunguska (8:48)
2. More Lost Without You (3:20)
3. Mammagamma 04 (5:05)
4. We Play The Game (5:35)
5. Tijuania (5:10)
6. L'arc En Ciel (5:22)
7. A Recurring Dream Within A Dream (4:06)
8. You Can Run (3:52)
9. Chomolungma (7:07)

Total Time: 48:25

Bonus DVD from 2006 DualDisc edition:
1. Full album mixed in 5.1 surround sound (both DTS and Dolby Digital) and PCM Stereo
2. Track-by-track commentaries by Alan Parsons
3. Interviews with Alan, David Gilmour, The Crystal Method and other guests
4. The complete Alan Parsons discography
5. Lyrics
6. Website links
7. DVDLauncher feature
8. Footage from Alan Parsons Live In Madrid
9. Easter Eggs - "Turn it Up" video, "The Time Machine" video

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Parsons / keyboards (3,4,6-9), guitar & bass (4), lead vocals (4,7), slide guitar & vocoder (7), processed backing vocals (1), backing vocals (2), software programming (8), producer

- David Gilmour / guitar (1)
- Alastair Greene / lead guitar (4,6)
- David Pack / guitar & keyboards & lead vocals (8)
- Shpongle (Simon Posford and Raja Ram) / software programming & processed backing vocals (1)
- Michele Adamson / processed lead vocals (1)
- Lisa Parsons / processed backing vocals (1)
- P.J. Olsson / software programming (2,4,5,8,9), lead & backing vocals (2)
- Jeremy Parsons / software programming (3,7-9)
- The Crystal Method (Ken Jordan, Scott Kirkland) / programming & keyboards (4)
- Nortec Collective (Bostich, Fussible, Hiperboreal, Panoptica) / programming (5)
- Timothy "Uberzone" Wiles / software programming (6)
- Orson Welles / narration (7)
- "Deep E" / ? (8)
- John Cleese / narration (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Curzon and Storm Thorgerson with Dan Abbott

CD Eagle Records ‎- EAGCD221 (2004, UK)
CD + DVD Immergent ‎- 284111-2 (2006, US) Both media on a single hybrid disc

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ALAN PARSONS A Valid Path ratings distribution

(99 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (17%)

ALAN PARSONS A Valid Path reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Muzikman
5 stars "Time Machine" (1999) was the last Alan PARSONS album recorded before "A Valid Path" came out this year. You can count me amongst the group of folks that looks forward to this man's music. I have always loved his work. Before launching his own projects, he was well known for his engineering work on the classic albums "Dark Side Of The Moon", "Let It Be" and "Abbey Road". Not a bad resume before kicking off a recording career.

PARSONS has talent such as David GILMOUR, The Cyrstal Method and the Nortec Collective help him on this crisp and polished production. I listened to this album repeatedly. I can say with respect to his legacy that this collection of songs is as good as any I have heard. He has managed to take a bit if the past and today's modern studio techniques to forge a fresh blend of rock, techno and progressive-rock. Probably the best example of that would be "A Recurring Dream Within a Dream" which samples from the classic track "Raven" ("Tales Of Mystery And Imagination" 1975). As usual, PARSONS is positively brilliant melding the classic tune into his new track. A track that stands by itself, miles away from the style and approach of the album in the sum of its parts is "More Lost Without You." It is a sure bet for a hit single.

Those unexposed to the PARSONS cache of recordings will most certainly find this to be a revelatory listening experience and the old guard diehards (like me) will find sheer delight time after time hearing the pulsating rhythms and compelling mixes of each track on this CD. I am one that is always saluting those that can rely on basic tools of the trade to create a great album. I need to rethink my stand on the use of technology, sampling, and voice processing because of what I heard on this CD. Another masterpiece is awaiting your hungry ears now.

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Digital sampling, sequencing, fancy computer trickery and David Gilmour's trademark guitar merge on Return To Tanguska, the first track on A Valid Path which sets the scene for this solo album from Alan Parsons. Its basis is in techno, a synthetic form of music awash with sterile beats and clever sounds all achieved through mastery of software rather than traditional instruments. Other than vocals on several tracks, guitars are just about the only 'analogue' sound to be heard and even some of the 'vocals' are played as samples. On the plus side Parsons and his assorted partners have created a fairly organic sound on tracks which could have turned into industrial hell, like L'Arc En Ciel with its nice fat bassline.

Sadly, this treatment masks the fact there are actually a couple of decent songs here: More Lost Without You is a good song with a nice melody while Parsons plays guitar and sings to good effect on We Play The Game. Other than that, the album is littered with good ideas somewhat ruined by the techno production, like the final track Chomolungma which has a hypnotic rhythm and deep chanting voices. This was not at all what I expected from Parsons. He has always made use of these techniques as part of a wider sound palette but it will take a broadminded view to find any Progressive Rock lurking in these nine tracks, let alone consider it to be a Prog masterpiece.

Review by ClemofNazareth
1 stars I’m not even sure exactly why I bought this album. As a completer piece more than anything I suppose. In reality Alan Parsons ceased to be anything resembling even a pseudo-prog artist after ‘I Robot’ (if not before), and really quit putting out even decent pop music by 1982. The whole Alan Parsons ‘Band’ thing sans Eric Woolfson isn’t even a half-hearted attempt at anything artistic; those albums generally fall into either a nostalgia bucket, or are blatant club-mix affairs. This one falls into the latter category despite a couple attempts to play the nostalgia card with “Mammagamma ‘04” and “A Recurring Dream within A Dream”, the latter being a dance-mix version of the original “The Raven” off the Project’s “Tales of Mystery & Imagination” debut some thirty years ago.

This thing is just embarrassing. If Parsons isn’t ashamed for himself, then I will be that for him. I didn’t think this guy would ever bother to put anything out again after the painful-to-stomach ‘Gaudi’, but of course he was far from done and managed to even attach his name to ‘Freudiana’ before alienating Woolfson and wandering off to schlep more albums under this ‘Band’ moniker.

The whole album is all techno-electronica tripe with endless programmed digital sequences, sequenced drum machines, and other computer wizardry. Sure, Parsons has always been known for mixing digimusic with the real thing, but the totality of the immersion in artificial sounds on this album is shocking to old fans (or to me at least).

Beyond the two blasphemies of early Project classics are several other tracks that would not be at all out of place on a DJ sampler’s platter in a nineties meat-factory dance club: “L'Arc En Ciel”, “You Can Run”, and especially “Chomolungma”. All three of these sound like they were recorded in 1992, not 2004, and were intended for an audience that is about as diametrically opposed to progressive rock as you could imagine.

On “More Lost Without You” it sounds as if even the vocals have been digitized and stretched across a mixing board to make them sound closer to a rapping robot than an actual artist.

And finally, I usually reserve comparisons to one of my favorite bad-music whipping boys (Icehouse) for only the most deplorable music. Imagine my surprise when I first heard “We Play the Game” and realized that Alan Parsons himself was singing and actually pulling off a better imitation of Icehouse then that band could probably even manage themselves! Not possible you’d think – but you’d be wrong. A dead-on- clone of Icehouse’s first two albums. Or for an even more obscure comparison, try finding the debut album by a band named Alda Reserve and tell me if this doesn’t come off as just as techno-poppy as those guys. Fortunately both of those bands quit making this kind of tripe over twenty years ago. Unfortunately that’s about when Parsons quit trying to make good music and started pushing the same kind of stuff out.

This is not a good album. If the last eight or ten Parsons albums hadn’t convinced you he is done as a legitimate artist, this one surely will. Don’t bother. One star.


Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A well trodden path to Ibiza

"A valid path" is as close as Alan Parsons is likely to come to a change of direction. With virtually all of his ties with the Alan Parsons Project now cut, he treads a more overtly electro "path" with dance type rhythms replacing more traditional melodic rock ones. That said, Parsons' ear for a good tune is still in good shape, as are his talents in the production field.

The opening "Return to Tunguska" is an instrumental running to almost 9 minutes. The offbeat rhythms create a slightly disjointed feel, but this is more than counterbalanced by the guest appearance of David Gilmour on guitar. Gilmour's guitar phrases here bear a passing similarity to those on "Shine on you crazy diamond".

PJ Olsson's vocals on the following "More and more lost without you" are uncharacteristic for a Parsons album, the lightweight song having a distinctly pop feel. In a surprise move, Parsons revisits a couple of Alan Parsons Project instrumentals, resulting in a writing co-credit for his erstwhile partner Eric Woolfson being given. The first of these is "Mammagamma (2003)", a track which originally appeared on the "Eye in the sky" album. The version here is infused with programming and sequencing by Jeremy Parsons, Alan's son. The result is an Ibiza type sound, but thankfully the original melody is preserved. The following "We play the game", which features The Crystal Method, maintains the disco type rhythms and sounds, but I have to admit the track is actually highly enjoyable. Parsons takes on lead vocals himself here, and makes a pretty good fist of it.

"Tijuaniac" is a laid back instrumental with drifting sounds and keyboard washes, the sequencing effects being suppressed in favour of a more restrained atmosphere. This is immediately followed by another instrumental "L'Arc en Ciel", featuring Uberzone. This piece complements the previous "Tijuaniac" nicely by raising the tempo while retaining a similar relaxed feel. Sampled female vocals add a delightful, trance like contribution.

The other track which retraces old footsteps is "A recurring dream within a dream", which brings together two tracks, "A Dream Within A Dream" and "The Raven" from APP's first, and for many best, album. While some may take exception to this tinkering with a couple of songs which were perfectly fine to start with, this adaptation, which again features the work of Jeremy Parsons, is carried out respectfully and tastefully. I cannot say in all honesty that the results are an improvement, but they are worthwhile nonetheless, the two tracks knitting together well.

The final vocal track Is "You can run" featuring Deep E and the voice of David Pack. This finally is a song too far as far as the new direction is concerned, with lyrics such as Cuz I can feel ya, yeah I can feel ya trying to pull me down" scraping the barrel of pop clichés. Unfortunately, the melody is prosaic and utterly forgettable too.

The album is brought to a close by the instrumental "Chomolungma", composed and performed by Alan Parsons with Jeremy Parsons and P.J. Olsson. The track features a guest appearance by comedian John Cleese right at the end, but is otherwise inoffensive Ibiza style muzak.

In all, while it is good to see Parsons exploring avenues (or paths), which offer a natural development of his usual style, the results are mixed. There is certainly plenty here to enjoy, and if you scratch the surface prog elements can be frequently found. The dance rhythms may be rather in your face at times, but this album is rooted in the same qualities which made previous APP albums so enjoyable.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars Recycle, remix, release

This is the last Alan Parsons album to date, and given that we would get more of what is featured here, let's hope that it remains his last ever! This is, in my view anyway, possibly his worst ever release. I'm not even sure I would consider it a proper original studio album as it contains some Techno/dance remixes of some earlier Alan Parsons Project songs in addition to original material.

As usual Alan Parsons doesn't rely entirely on his own talents but hire a cast of often famous people to help him out. One of the world's most famous guitarists in David Gilmour is here and one of the world's most famous comedians in John Cleese! However, these great people don't exactly save this album from almost complete disaster.

The opening number Return To Tunguska is the best of the lot, it is something of a Trance track with nice electric guitar lines. Quite interesting! However, it is downhill from here. More Lost Without You is a typical Alan Parsons Project Pop song that feels quite out of place after Return To Tunguska. Or to be honest, it is Return To Tunguska that is really out of place on an Alan Parsons album. We then have some dance remixes of popular songs from Tales Of Mystery And Imagination and Eye In The Sky. These are completely unnecessary and bring nothing of value compared to the originals.

I am not going to comment on all the songs, but the closing number sounds a bit like Kraftwerk! Need I say more? At the very end of the album we hear John Cleese complaining about that the music just "goes on and on and on". A more accurate description is hard to find! At least it proves that Parsons has a sense of humour and doesn't take his music too seriously. Or maybe he should?!

Not recommended unless you want to complete your Alan Parsons collection

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Last to time Alan Parsons album was a pleasant surprise for me. From his very early works I liked his catching melodies, great sound and pleasant music with touch of progressive sound. Somewhere in eighties I just missed him from my memory.

After many years, somewhere in 2005 or 2006 I saw him live in Trieste, big concert in Piazza Unita, central town's square. To be honest, concert itself wasn't as good as possible, but I heard some old songs and my memory was refreshed. So I just purchase his newest possible album at first possibility.

Yes, it's different music from his older works, and it's for good. Not too many musicians from old generation could change something in their music. Alan Parsons just does it.

Very melodic album of electronic sound. Old pop-rock and art rock is successfully mixed with modern electronic sound, including some techno rhythms and samplers. But in difference from many modern electronic musicians, I can feel rock roots there. Electronic sounds are used very economically, no overproduction at all. Plenty of vintage rock nuances are presented under the electronic skin. David Gilmour added his guitar on great universal.

This album isn't masterpiece ( no Parsons' album was). But it is good example of naturally refreshed music by professional musician. His music always was a pleasant soft- rock, or pop-rock, with some touches of art-rock. Same is now. But on the modern level.

Don't think this album will be interesting for prog purists ( but for me it's difficult to think about Alan Parsons as pure prog artist). But everyone who liked his melodic music in 70- s or 80-s,will be pleased with this work as well (just open your ears!).

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I am not a great fan of Alan Parsons even though I like his music and I made a set of collection of his album - studio and live. One thing I always find in common about Alan Parsons albums is that there must be something that I like - especially the soundscape. Well, he is basically an engineer-turned-musician. For sure he is an excellent engineer with a significant contribution to The Beatles' seminal album 'Abbey Road' as well as legendary prog album Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of The Moon'. His music is basically leveraging his talent and expertise in sound engineering which I think he is really smart in doing it. He might not be a great musician but he teamed up with musicians that could help him make a good music. I salute him on his approach. At the end, I enjoy his music especially under the Alan Parsons Project. The Alan Parsons BAND is more on focusing his own way in doing music, especially this 'A Valid Path' album where the music is basically is his own.

The album opener 'Return To Tunguska' (8:48) is really an excellent instrumental and it's positioned correctly as opener. The music is really packed with digital and spacey / ambient nuances with the touch of Gilmour guitar work. It's a great experience playing this track outloud using a well decent stereo set where you can enjoy all subtleties in the music. I do enjoy and pay high respect his sound engineering expertise as well as musicianship. I can say two thumbs up for this track and I alway replay it especially after having known that all tracks with vocals are not good and boring. You can sense it right away after the excellent opening the music suddenly drop to a lackluster 'More Lost Without You' (3:20). I don''t think people even with background of pop music would like this track. 'Mammagamma 04' (5:05) is another instrumental which sounds quite OK even though it's not as good as opening one - too much dancing or disco rhythm performed her - something like House Music, I think. 'Tijuania' (5:10) is a better instrumental than track no. 3. 'L'arc En Ciel' (5:22) is another good instrumental especially I like the bass recording and guitar solo. Yes there are dancing rhythm but it's quite OK overall. 'The Raven (from A Recurring Dream Within A Dream)' (4:06) is something like retroactive of previous work and it sounds boring. 'You Can Run' (3:52) is a pure R&B music. The album conclude with another instrumental with dancing rhythm 'Chomolungma' (7:07)

It's not quite strong musically as an album but it's also not bad. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Latest members reviews

2 stars One of the last studio outputs of Alan Parsons. First of all, I have a great respect for who up to date and inspired Alan Parsons keeps himself - as a former studio engineer, he has the ability to absorp new trends and keep what suits his music. Contrary to other reviewers or tastes, I don't ... (read more)

Report this review (#2119027) | Posted by sgtpepper | Thursday, January 17, 2019 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Track-by-track analysis: "Return to Tunguska" Odd, Middle Eastern-tinged techno that opens up with a female voice somewhere between Plavalaguna's wailing from The Fifth Element and Neo's scream from the "liquid mirror" scene in The Matrix. Has a rather neat sound and atmosphere, but, give ... (read more)

Report this review (#416087) | Posted by Stellar Jetman | Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is the kind of album that makes me feel conservative. Progressive Rock is, of course, meant to be looking forward and searching for new ideas. But if this is progress, I prefer the more reliable Alan Parsons project I knew from the 1980s and to some degree, the 1990s. Not many of their albums ... (read more)

Report this review (#159344) | Posted by sanjuansueco | Sunday, January 20, 2008 | Review Permanlink

1 stars When I first played this album, I was, to say the least,baffled by what I had heard. At first I thought that the wrong CD had been placed in the case. Of course this was not the case. I hope Mr Parsons does not think that this mix of techno and computer generated rubbish is "A Valid Path". I muc ... (read more)

Report this review (#141446) | Posted by Aristilus | Tuesday, October 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars To be sure there is some good music here, but I can relate to the comments about not wanting to feel like a robot. Something about listening only to techno or instrumentals that make me feel something is missing (especially the last track). I know that Alan Parson's has a lot of great instrumen ... (read more)

Report this review (#125120) | Posted by msdelarosh | Friday, June 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

1 stars The most appropriate word needed to describe my feeling after listening to this album is "disappointment". The only dilemma is whether give it one or two stars. Why? Well, from the very start of it, to the very end, I was asking myself is it really an Alan Parsons album or some DJ dance tribut ... (read more)

Report this review (#84415) | Posted by cedo | Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Surely not an easy album at all.In my opinion It could be good news if this album remained a sort of experimentation by Alan dealing with odiern PC possibilities in a musical context; a way of discovering the relationships between machines and music. It's understood that this album is an un ... (read more)

Report this review (#69469) | Posted by Malve87 | Wednesday, February 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After "Time Machine" Alan Parsons Band definetely change forever, this album is a good record of Electronic-Art-Rock music but a weak Alan Parsons album. The remix of "Raven" is bad located on this record and lyrics seems to be vanishing. Lot of instrumental songs with a less guitar-bass-drums ... (read more)

Report this review (#44124) | Posted by Ekzodo | Wednesday, August 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars it is a fair record, some new sounds, some old things... etc. I'm not a Parsons fan, and this record was a gift, however i'm pleased, because i'm hearing quaity music with good performances. I know that so many fans may argue the direction he's taking, but we must understand that ALAN PARSONS is ... (read more)

Report this review (#32092) | Posted by arqwave | Monday, May 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As a long time Parson's fan (dating back to the late 70's), I have to say I liked Valid Path, but then I've always been partial to his instrumentals, which this disk mostly seems to consist of. When I first heard it, the presumably "prog" elements (I'm not exactly sure what "prog" means) stru ... (read more)

Report this review (#32091) | Posted by | Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I'd rate this a 4 overall but only a 3 because it's not a prog album. Anyone who dislikes it based solely on the fact it's not prog is missing the point. It's supposed to be something different....and it is. It's a good overview of different electronica styles so is a really good introducti ... (read more)

Report this review (#32086) | Posted by | Friday, October 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Ugh....what happened? This ain't the Alan Parsons I remember. Reminds me of the bad techo-pop cover tunes I used to hear blasting out at Siam Square in Bangkok. Right up there with Abba Teens. David Gilmour's wonderful guitar could have been put to better use elsewhere. Come on Alan, you can d ... (read more)

Report this review (#32085) | Posted by | Friday, September 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I have been a fan of Alan Parson since day one. I have every album and have never been dissapointed with any of them. I have always thought that you could buy a Parson's CD site unseen and enjoy it. Until now I was right.... this CD offers no Parson fan anything to sink their teeth into. Add t ... (read more)

Report this review (#32083) | Posted by | Monday, September 13, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 1.Return to Trunguska. Can't get enough of this dark, smoldering instrumental! With this piece Parsons reaffirmed the loyalty of his existing fans and probably gained a few new ones. Innovating, through and through. The rhythm is complex and subtle. There's a little bit of euro/techno - j ... (read more)

Report this review (#32081) | Posted by | Saturday, September 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I can smell the same spice i did in all parsons albums so far but i hate to say that this self- repetition is getting the canon off of its deserved place. Alan knows he has to catch up with the trendy musical tricks, but personally i prefer his own old sounds. There is a solid number of Parson ... (read more)

Report this review (#32080) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 31, 2004 | Review Permanlink

2 stars As a long time collector and fan of The Alan Parsons Project i also found this album by far the weakest.On the previous albums although sound scapes and studio effects are well used, there has always been great melodies and strong musicianship in evidence.But here he seems to have run out of i ... (read more)

Report this review (#32079) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 31, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Prog-Rock grows up and joins the modern world. In his first album since splitting with the by-now regular line up of the Alan Parsons band, A Valid Path shows that whilst his old pal Eric Woolfson (Poe) and old line-up have failed to learn any new tricks to keep themselves contemporary, the sa ... (read more)

Report this review (#32077) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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