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ALAN PARSONS BAND

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Alan Parsons Band biography
Alan Parsons - Born December 20, 1948 (London, UK)

Alan PARSONS began his career at Abbey Road doing tape duplication. Over the years he would climb the ranks from assistant engineer, to engineer and later to producer. Along the way he worked on albums like "Abbey Road" by The BEATLES, and "Dark Side of the Moon" by PINK FLOYD. In 1976, he started his own group, the very famous Alan PARSONS PROJECT. When Eric WOOLFSON chose to leave The Alan PARSONS PROJECT to pursue a career in musical theatre, Alan didn't feel comfortable continuing to use the Project moniker. Albums are credited to Alan PARSONS, but when they tour the marquee flashes The Alan PARSONS Band.

See also: The Alan Parsons Project

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ALAN PARSONS BAND discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ALAN PARSONS BAND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.44 | 70 ratings
Try Anything Once
1993
2.96 | 60 ratings
On Air
1996
2.34 | 54 ratings
The Time Machine
1999
2.56 | 79 ratings
A Valid Path
2004
2.92 | 31 ratings
The Secret
2019

ALAN PARSONS BAND Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.07 | 24 ratings
The Very Best Of Live
1994
3.82 | 19 ratings
Eye 2 Eye
2010
4.00 | 2 ratings
LiveSpan
2014

ALAN PARSONS BAND Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.63 | 8 ratings
Alan Parsons live in Madrid
2005
4.56 | 9 ratings
Eye 2 Eye
2010

ALAN PARSONS BAND Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALAN PARSONS BAND Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.16 | 6 ratings
All Our Yesterdays
2010
2.39 | 5 ratings
Fragile
2013

ALAN PARSONS BAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Secret by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.92 | 31 ratings

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The Secret
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by tdfloyd

4 stars Alan Parsons pulls a Pink Floyd and releases an album well after there was any real prospect of a new studio recording. Whereas Floyd went 22 years, Parsons went 15 between releases. Both groups looked to the past for the inspiration. PF dug up tapes from the aborted ambient album and leftover material from the Division Bell as its base, Parsons latest label (Frontier Records) asked him to go back to the sounds of the Alan Parsons Project. Not all the way back to Tales and I Robot, but Eye in the Sky , Turn of a Friendly Card and Vulture Culture. Also, there is no trace of the techno that AP infused into his last studio album, A Valid Path.

To clear the air quickly, there is only a hint or two of prog on this album. I know this is a prog site but but you have to rate this a a pop / soft rock album, that also has a bit of Broadway and other favors thrown in, otherwise the rating would be N/A.

There are plenty of guests as usual on his disks and they do not disappoint. Steve Hackett adds guitar to beef up the AP take on The Sorcerers Appentice, a track mostly associated the Disney's Fantasia. Sadly, it's the only instrumental on the album. There are tracks were you will be able to spot the reference of a hit gone by , but they are different enough to keep it interesting.

There is the theme of magic throughout many of the tracks and several also relate to the passage of time. But Alan Parsons calling card has always been the immaculate sound and that is where The Secret really shines. The orchestra has returned and while it is not called on for any intricate pieces outside of The Sorcerers Apprentice, the sound is gorgeous and the swells are welcome return. The lead vocalist all fit their tracks and even Alan himself takes the lead on As Light Falls. Lou Gramm does an excellent job on the power ballad Sometimes. The backing vocalists on this album are also stunning. Alan Parsons may be 70, but he hasn't lost his ear.

After A Valid Path sank like a rock even though there were some really good cuts on that album including, Return to Tunguska which featured some excellent guitar work from David Gilmour, looking back is the only way forward for a man his age. Youngsters today, like every generation, want their own musical heroes and are not going to gravitate in large numbers to a man whose heyday was 40 years ago. On The Secret, Parsons returns to the the people who listened to him in his heyday. I find this album captivating and it's been a month and I keep returning to it.

A very strong 4 stars as long as you know going in that this is not a prog album.

 The Secret by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.92 | 31 ratings

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The Secret
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Fifteen years on from the last Alan Parsons studio release, 2004's electronica-influenced `A Valid Path', the man and his revolving door line-up of musical collaborators return with `The Secret', a themed album based around the art of magic, a long-time fascination for the artist. Although hardly some full-blown prog-rock concept piece, what we have here is an impeccably produced and absolutely reliable selection of soft rock/pop tunes and elegant ballads with tasteful vocals, soothing harmonies and grand orchestration, all in the classic Alan Parsons Project tradition.

Parsons and his assembled musical cohorts play their prog card right from the start; Hoping to make you instantly forget of Mickey Mouse and Disney's `Fantasia', former Genesis guitarist playfully rips through an adaption of `The Sorcerer's Apprentice' with plenty of pomp and spectacle, almost sounding as if it's wandered off one of Clive Nolan's theatrical projects! Pop singer Jason Mraz sings `Miracle', a harmless tune that sets much of the standard formula here, sounding like plenty of Alan Parsons Project tracks and albums past, being a mid-tempo pop-rocker with chiming electric guitars, melodic soloing, a memorable chorus and contemplative lyrical themes.

Alan himself takes the lead vocal on `As Lights Fall', a pleasant soft-rocker that reminds of plenty of Steve Hackett solo discs and could have easily fit onto the early Eighties Camel albums. Based around the moon landing, spoken word samples and dramatic orchestration ripples through the more epic `One Note Symphony', helping make it one of the `proggier' spots of the disc. `Sometimes' is one of those big and swooning emotional ballads that were always a Project trademark, with Foreigner's Lou Gramm's dignified voice filling the role that Project mainstay, the late Eric Woolfson, would have delivered years back.

Exquisitely sun-kissed, multi-part harmonies throughout its chorus makes `Soiree Fantastique' one of the absolute standout tracks of the set, and the nasally snarl to guest singer Mark Mikel's voice on the dreamy `Fly to Me' will make many listeners instantly think of the Beatles (lovely shimmering guitar solo on this one too). The rollicking `Requiem' is peppered with sax and horn blasts, `Years of Glory' is another sighing ballad, and `The Limelight Fades Away' is a simple rocker enlivened by a catchy chorus. Closer `I Can't Get There from Here' is a rousing piano and orchestration-lifted ballad to send every listener away in a great mood.

The album could easily have done with a couple of longer vocal-free sections or even another purely instrumental piece, but if you've always dug the Project and now Alan Parsons `solo' discs, `The Secret' fits in nicely alongside many of the LP's in their back-catalogue, essentially picking up right where 1984's `Vulture Culture' left off. So while the prog-rock touches are minimal, you get a collection of classy tunes with confident vocals that make for an undemanding and pleasing background listen, all wrapped in the studio polish expected of Mr Parsons.

Three stars, but Parsons/Project fans should absolutely adore it and can add a whole other star.

 The Secret by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.92 | 31 ratings

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The Secret
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It will be pointless to measure or rate both, the Alan Parsons Project or Band, according to the ever existing closeness his albums and artistic goals have with mainstream Pop music and the real distance with Prog music.

In fact he only has some Progressive Electronic songs (which this release has none) or symphonic oriented arrangements buried under tons of Pop / mild-Rock albums. Of course some of his his cover artworks were all Prog but that is another matter.

He, a master of repeating the same formulas and coming up with new disguises, releases under his Bandīs discography (or under these archives listings), The Secret (2019).

An 11 track album with a wholesome list of vocalists & collaborators to add some punch to his ever recurring musical ideas (cheesy ones included).

Music composition wise it is an unsurprising mixture between his style, The Beatlesī & Peter Gabrielīs Pop side, some semi classical symphonic arrangements here and there and a cover of "The Sorcererīs Apprentice" (composed by Paul Dukas) which together conform the overall mood of this work.

Now as for rating Pop/mild Rock albums in a Progressive Music site is quiet funny to say the least, but Pop or not I wouldnīt hold on to this one but I can bet his fans will be delighted...

2.5 PA stars.

 A Valid Path by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.56 | 79 ratings

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A Valid Path
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

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 mind at all hearing techno and electronica on this album. The studio work and engineering is top-notch as on any other of his albums.

The album sounds fresh and contemporary although a far cry from progressive rock. The album will please fans of intelligent electronic and pop music. Fortunately and maybe due to the album sound, most of the tracks are instrumental (well, only the guitar may be the only classic instrument here).

The two sung tracks are average pop tracks slightly below the average of Alan Parsons pop songs. The highlights are the long instrumental tracks. "Return to Tunguska" is a noteworthy electronic studio experimentation.

"L'arc en Ciel" has a powerful rhythm and bass line narrowing a breakbeat/drumnbass territory. "Chomolungma" has a pleasant contemporary vibe and documents Parson's qualities as modern engineer. The setback are two tracks: a re-make of "Mammagamma" and "A recurring dream within a dream".

Not many former 70's progressive rock masters and producers could pull off an album like that and I have a respect for that. On a progressive rock note, 2 stars are deserved, otherwise 3.

 Eye 2 Eye by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Live, 2010
3.82 | 19 ratings

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Eye 2 Eye
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by franp

3 stars Nice to ear some old Parsons tubes in a fresh way. Alan Parsons is always good and neat rock, not so progressive in the last years (since the departure of Eric Woolfson actually), and this concert in Madrid is more on the rock vein than on the progressive direction. The choice of tunes is not the best possible in my humble opinion, but that is a question of tatse. At least, most of the tunes are from the Alan Parson Project era, while only one is taken from the Alan Parsons Band era. Production is perfect but the concert lacks fantasy, musicians sticking to the original scores. Nothing to run from, nothing to run for.
 Fragile by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
2.39 | 5 ratings

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Fragile
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by davemuttillo

5 stars Fragile, with its accompanying video, is an excellent new production from the Alan Parsons Band, their first new music in four years. While releases have been slow in coming, the end products have all been first class. Fragile is a beautifully layer ballad in the Alan Parsons Project/Alan Parsons Band tradition blending the long running elements of Parsons traditional sound with influences from the past. One easily picks up the Pink Floyd elements in the vocal lines while the keyboard elements and guitar work are squarely centered in the Parsons tradition. Fragile seamlessly blends these two elements together to create another must have Parsons classic. The Cd version comes with two versions of Fragile, as well as, a live version of Luciferama. Definitely worth the small purchase price.
 Fragile by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
2.39 | 5 ratings

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Fragile
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars Let's make a song that sounds like Pink Floyd's greatest hits!

After the split with Eric Woolfson in the early 90's (or the late 80's depending on whether you count Freudiana as an Alan Parsons Project album) Alan Parsons continued under his own name. Between 1993 and 2004 Parsons released four studio albums, but during the last ten years he has released only a couple of live albums and a couple of singles. In 2010 came the single All Our Yesterdays and in 2013 the present one called Fragile.

The digital version of Fragile that I have (available on Spotify and iTunes among other places) features only a single track (hence, no B-side). There is however a CD version that holds two further tracks, one of which is a radio edit of the same song and the other a live version of Luciferama taken from the upcoming live album LiveSpan.

Clocking in at under four minutes, Fragile is a rather straightforward, acoustically driven song. The overarching goal of Fragile seems to be to sound as much as Pink Floyd as possible. Think Comfortably Numb or Wish You Were Here (the song). Fragile is not a bad song as such, but it comes across as a somewhat blatant attempt to mimic these of Pink Floyd's most popular and accessible tunes (of course, Parsons is already strongly associated with that band in virtue of being the sound engineer on Dark Side Of The Moon) and thus maximizing the hit potential. It is too safe a bet really.

If there had been an original B-side on this single, perhaps an instrumental like there was on the All Our Yesterdays single, and not only some radio edit or familiar live track, then I would probably give two stars. But as it stands, this lone track is not interesting enough to justify investigation. Only completionists will need to get hold of this single.

 All Our Yesterdays by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
2.16 | 6 ratings

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All Our Yesterdays
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Project nostalgia

The Alan Parsons Project proper seized to be in the early 90's (or rather already in the late 80's as Freudiana is not strictly speaking by "the project"). Alan Parsons then continued under his own name, playing live as well as releasing further studio albums in 1993, 1996, 1999, and the latest (full-length) release to date in 2004. This is now ten years ago already and since then it has been quiet in terms of new material. This single from 2010 being an exception, containing two new tracks.

The A-side is called All Our Yesterdays and is a song that would not have been out of place on one of the project's albums. It is a catchy tune with hit potential that will appeal to fans of Parsons and the project, but it will not impress anyone expecting something adventurous or progressive. As the title implies, it is a backward-looking exercise, celebrating the golden days of the 70's and 80's.

The B-side Alpha Centauri is an instrumental that seems to be based on the blueprint of Sirius from 1982's Eye In The Sky. While it hardly breaks any new ground, it is nice to hear that he's till got it. I like it more than the A-side really, but together the two tracks captures very well two different sides of the project. Needless to say it is impeccably produced.

Even without Eric Woolfson, Parsons has here created something that is very much in the style of The Alan Parsons Project and fans of that band will not be disappointed. There is no sign that this single foreshadows a new album though.

 A Valid Path by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.56 | 79 ratings

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A Valid Path
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

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

 A Valid Path by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.56 | 79 ratings

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A Valid Path
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by Stellar Jetman

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, given that it's techno, there's little in the way of substance underneath the endless layered synthesizers, drums, and sound effects. An impressive technical exercise, and one of the more interesting techno songs that I've heard, but hardly something that I'd associate with Alan Parsons.

Apparently, David Gilmour contributed the electric guitar accompaniment in this track. It's good, but it isn't nearly as interesting or structurally important as it needs to be. They could have had anybody do it, and it wouldn't have made much difference.

"More Lost Without You"

Cheap pop drivel. Coming from the man behind "Eye in the Sky" - possibly the best pop song ever recorded - this is just embarrassing. What was Parsons thinking here? He was far past his early-'80s glory days; there was no way that this was going to make it to Top 40 radio. And, if it somehow had, it wouldn't have measured up to even that mediocre standard of music.

"Mammagamma 2004"

One of two remixes on this album, this version of "Mammagamma" (the original being a track on Eye in the Sky) is almost completely unrecognizable as such - which is odd, considering that the original was already a techno song. The original melody is all but buried under excessive synthesized harmonies and drums, with a strange, clucking sound playing over the whole thing. If I hadn't been actively looking for the tune, I wouldn't have noticed the "Mammagamma" connection at all.

"We Play the Game"

More techno-pop, but with the slightest hint of The Turn of a Friendly Card to give it some character. Again, though, that shouldn't be the case if it's supposed to be by the guy who made that album!

"Tijuaniac"

Techno, but boring. I don't know what it is about it, but this song puts me to sleep.

"L'Arc en Ciel"

This instrumental tries to create the atmosphere of a rainbow after a storm (hence the title's French meaning), but that doesn't go far beyond sampled drops at the beginning. I like the way that the drops start to fall in a sort of rhythm before they're replaced by the song proper, but it still doesn't compare to the genuine imagery of "The Fall of the House of Usher: Arrival" (from Tales of Mystery and Imagination), another song that used the idea of calm after (or, given the context, during) a storm, and one which pulled it off far more effectively. (As nice as those raindrops sound, they're far closer to simple drops than they are to rain.) A guitar pops up after a while, but it isn't enough to really distinguish it from the thousands of other techno songs out there.

"A Recurring Dream Within a Dream"

Speaking of Tales of Mystery and Imagination (an album that I would very much prefer to be thinking about), here's the other remix. Opening up with a dishearteningly promising narration, it combines "A Dream Within a Dream" and "The Raven" into one techno-flavored track with none of the vibrant atmosphere of either original song, completely lacking the lushness of the first and the energy of the second. It ends up being little more than a weird, anachronistic mash-up of 21st-century synthesizers and '70s tunes, and it doesn't work at all. What was the point of this song? Out of everything in The Alan Parsons Project's extensive musical output, they picked the one album that would benefit least from a techno remix. Why do something if there's no way to do it right?

"You Can Run"

Pop. Yawn.

"Chomolungma"

Yet more techno, and somewhat in the vein of "Return to Tunguska". Again, well-engineered (the finale will push the limits of most sound systems' clarity), but musically uninteresting, even with the weird, Asian chants and sound effects that suffuse it. The tune, such as it is, is a pair of arpeggios that sporadically surface from the mass of harmonies and effects, and it's little more than a device to keep the song from growing stale as it builds for seven straight minutes. There's a weird little monologue by John Cleese at the end, followed by scattered dog barks; both feel tremendously out-of-place at the end of a song with such ostensibly mystic aspirations, and they would be far more appropriate on, say, a Pink Floyd album. The song is nice enough as far as techno goes, but it doesn't have an ounce of the traditional Alan Parsons character.

Overall assessment:

Ugh. Parsons brought in several techno groups on this outing to help update and reinvent his signature sound, but he went too far - I can't hear anything but techno on this album! I like techno as much as the next guy, but it isn't exactly one of music's better genres - if Parsons wanted to go electronic this time around, he should have done something more in line with Vangelis or Jean-Michel Jarre (shades of which do shine through on the opening track); he certainly had the talent for it, and it would have been much more worthwhile than what we ended up with.

A Valid Path is a terrible Alan Parsons album, and the pop numbers and Tales of Mystery and Imagination remix spoil what could have at least been a decent techno album. What's left is a pitiful collection of songs with exactly three bright spots, and those only in comparison to the garbage that they neighbor. Two stars, because I'm feeling exceptionally generous.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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