The Alan Parsons Project released ten albums between 1976 and 1987 which sold millions of copies, yet the group never performed live during that time. They were the studio creation of engineer Alan Parsons and songwriter/composer Eric Woolfson. While they used a different lead singer on most of the tracks, bassist David Patton and guitarist Ian Bairnson would play on most of the albums.
The Arista/Legacy Label through Sony Music has just issued re-mastered and expanded versions of six of their albums. Pyramid (1978), Eve (1979), The Turn Of A Friendly Card (1980), Ammonia Avenue (1984), Stereotomy (1986), and Gaudi (1987) have all been re-released with a large number of bonus tracks.
The two albums being reviewed here, Pyramid and Eve, were the first two in the series of releases. When comparing the sound to the vinyl editions in my collection, I find it significantly improved. The lyrics and the instrumentation are crystal clear and have a crispness that the original issues never had. Each comes with seven bonus tracks. They are mostly early demos of material contained on the albums and provide an interesting look into the development of their songs.
Pyramid was a cohesive and mysterious concept album. It looked at the past as I Robot had foreseen the future.
“The Eagle Will Rise Again” is one of the best songs that The Alan Parsons Project would create. It is a lovely ballad with a lead vocal by Colin Blunstone of The Zombies. Other highlights include “What Goes Up” with sarcastic lyrics about making monuments to yourself, and “Can’t Take It With You” which is about King Tut not being able to take his treasure with him.
There are two instrumentals that are excellent. “In The Lap Of The Gods” and “Hyper-Gamma-Spaces” both have a soaring quality and cosmic feel.
Pyramid remains one of the better examples of the style and creativity of the Alan Parsons Project and one of the better examples of seventies music. It is still worth a listen today.
Eve was a different affair from Pyramid. It explored the power of women and in places contained some uncomfortable and controversial lyrics. The music however, is some of the best pop that the group would create.
“You Lie With Dogs” has a wonderful and catchy pop feel. “Damned If I Do” contains some brass and strings that just lull the listener. “You Won’t Be There” is a slow tempo song that may be the best song on the album. Two of the final three tracks contain lead vocals by females including Clare Torry of Dark Side Of The Moon fame which help to bring the theme of the album to a satisfying conclusion.
Eve is another fine example of the music of the seventies and is a worthy addition to any rock collection of that era.