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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)

3.46 | 78 ratings
Try Anything Once
1993
3.00 | 69 ratings
On Air
1996
2.39 | 60 ratings
The Time Machine
1999
2.57 | 85 ratings
A Valid Path
2004
2.98 | 44 ratings
The Secret
2019

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

3.07 | 26 ratings
The Very Best Of Live
1994
3.87 | 21 ratings
Eye 2 Eye
2010
4.50 | 4 ratings
LiveSpan
2014

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

4.70 | 10 ratings
Alan Parsons live in Madrid
2005
4.60 | 10 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
2.47 | 6 ratings
Fragile
2013

ALAN PARSONS BAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Secret by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.98 | 44 ratings

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The Secret
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The previous Alan Parsons album, Valid Path (2004), sounded to me so bad that I only gave it one quick listening years ago. Surely I wasn't expecting much of it anyway (I was familiar with the first Project-less album Try Anything Once, which was fairly ok if rather forgettable), but electronica-oriented Valid Path sounded totally wrong and worthless and uninspired. Now the legendary producer is s back with a recent album that I've heard is some sort of return to form -- albeit not in a sense that it would be much progressive like the early albums of The Alan Parsons Project are. So, let's see how this pop album manages to impress me, free of any false prog-expectations.

The instrumental opener 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' is an orchestrated and pretty cleverly rocked-up version of Paul Dukas' orchestral poem known from the Disney film Fantasia. It certainly has its merits, but it's too pompous to be compared to the atmospheric openers on the APP albums. 'Miracle' is a decent, chorus-repeating pop song comparable to the mediocre Mike + the Mechanics stuff, with vocals by Jason Mraz. 'As Lights Fall' is sung by Parsons himself; the steady bass pulse takes my mind back to the Eye in the Sky era, but nor is this middle-of-the-road song very interesting for repeated listenings.

'One Note Symphony' features the album's main vocalist Todd Cooper (who's well in line with the voices that the Project used to have) to do the robotic one-note vocals. At least this piece steps aside from the dull safety zone! 'Sometimes' is an orchestrated soft rock ballad sung by slightly rasp-voiced Lou Gramm (FOREIGNER). Pleasant. Quite good in fact. The next, calm and slightly melancholic song with beautifully harmonised vocals by Cooper and Parsons, is even better. I also enjoy laid-back 'Fly to Me' in which Mark Mikel has a Lennon-like voice. 'Requiem' has a bluesy/jazzy atmosphere and Todd Cooper is very good on vocals.

'Years of Glory' is a tender ballad with romantic string arrangement and good vocals of P.J. Olsson, the best Colin Bluntstone substitute that Parsons has used. But wait, also Jared Mahone on the final tender song 'I Can't Get There from Here' sounds a bit like Bluntstone. All in all, The Secret pretty well fulfils the expectations of the listener who enjoys well produced and arty soft pop with orchestral ingredients. Despite some forgettable songs, I must admit that my overall impression is on the positive side. If you have liked Alan Parsons [Project] also without notable prog elements, you'll find this album fairly pleasant.

 The Secret by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.98 | 44 ratings

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The Secret
Alan Parsons Band Prog Related

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars This is the first album from Mr. Parsons in some fifteen years, and far longer in my mind since Project was indispensable. Most lovers of good solid music will have at least one of his first four albums in their collection, while many of us have all (can it really be forty years since 'Eve'?), but over the years he has moved continents, experimented with different musical style including electronic, but in many ways this is a look back to the soft rock prog style he enamoured us with all those years ago. I really wish he hadn't started with the instrumental "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", as although it is a fine rendition and Steve Hackett (who is highlighted as guest guitarist for the album but in fact only plays on this) is obviously enjoying himself, but for me this will always be Mickey Mouse and mops carrying buckets. Parsons is using his orchestral arrangement skills here, and it is pleasant but not earth shattering and quite at odds with the rest of the album.

Guitarist Ian Bairnson (who played on all the APP albums) is back working with Alan again, who also brought in the normal revolving door of guests including singers Jason Mraz and Lou Gramm. It would have been interesting to hear Parsons attempt more of his vocals, as the soft rocker "As Lights Fall" on which he features is one of the highlights in a Camel-esque manner. But, the vast majority of the album is middle of the road and pleasant while never being earth- shattering. It is a very long time since I first heard "(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether", and I still much prefer that over anything here, but it is a solid release and fans will be pleased he has again released something in a similar vein to the old days.

 The Secret by PARSONS BAND, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.98 | 44 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
2.98 | 44 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
2.98 | 44 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
2.57 | 85 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
3.87 | 21 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
2.47 | 6 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
2.47 | 6 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.

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

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