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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Alan Parsons Project August 11, 2018

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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A very welcome guest post from Lamneth…

If you were a teenager in Ireland in the era of MT USA on TV every Sunday afternoon then you would have been familiar with at least one Alan Parsons Project song; Don’t Answer Me. Featuring a cartoon video depicting a film noir private detective’s attempt to protect a browbeaten gangster’s moll, the song kicked off musically with a nod to The Ronettes’ Be My Baby drumbeat, then settled into a crisp, melodic and slightly melancholy mid-tempo ballad.

‘Well-crafted’ somehow always sounds like a back-handed compliment, but over half a dozen or so previous albums, Alan Parsons and his manager Eric Woolfson had created a niche corner of progressive rock that, whilst name-checking the likes of Poe and Asimov, ignored the complex time signatures and twenty minute song suites of King Crimson and Yes in favour of concise and quite commercial songs and instrumentals.

When they first met in 1974, Woolfson was a session musician and songwriter with a hankering to make an Edgar Alan Poe concept album and Parsons was fresh from his career-defining role as The Man Who Engineered Dark Side Of The Moon for Pink Floyd. They gathered a repertory company of musicians from many of the acts Parsons was producing at the time (including Cockney Rebel, Pilot, John Miles and The Hollies) along with orchestral arranger Andrew Powell and off they went.


Incremental success in America peaked with Eye In The Sky, their 1982 album and by far their best known, though in truth it was definitely a case of the public catching up with them rather than the other way around, as the album’s mix of epic ballads (Old & Wise, Silence and I) spacey instrumentals (Sirius, Mammagamma) and melodic rockers was just as present in previous albums.


Comments»

1. WorldbyStorm - August 11, 2018

Eye in the Sky is a classic, I’m always a bit surprised when I see it came out in 82. For some reason it seems to be more of the late 70s. But then again the smoothness (not a criticism) of the synths in Sirius is very early 80s. One thing I really like about it is the guest spots for vocalists on it – some lineup.

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2. John Crisps - August 12, 2018

That Eve album from 1979 was a bit of a rock folly as “concept” albums go(look it up) , though Secret Garden off it is excellent. I Robot is really good though. All those French acts from the last two decades listened to plenty of APP.

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WorldbyStorm - August 12, 2018

Ain’t that the truth. Air to start with, M83 etc. And another band who listened was Turbonegro who clearly loved Sirius no end and replicated at least twice on two different albums.

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