February 7, 2007

Alan Parsons

Alan Parsons first came to prominence as an engineer on such albums as the Beatles' Abbey Road and Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. He was known to have swapped shifts during the engineering of The Dark Side of the Moon so he could work entirely on the album. The Floyd experience would appear to have been extremely influential on the sound of The Alan Parsons Project (not the noted Cambridge physicist Dr. Parsons), the group he founded with producer and songwriter (and occasional singer) Eric Woolfson in 1975.
The "project"

Listen to this and tell me it isn't similar to the mellow, rock sound so prevalent on something like "Eye in the Sky" (I'm not sure if he's responsible for the sound, or if he was simply profoundly influenced by it). For one thing, I think the timbre of Eric Woolfson's voice is similar to David Gilmour's. The heavy use of saxophone on Dark Side would show up on things like Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat," which Parsons produced in 1976. The Project dissolved after 1987, but he still occasionally performs with a group called The Alan Parsons Live Project

(info. paraphrased from Parson's Wikipedia entry).

Try Anything Once (1993), Parson's first solo album. The cover is overtly Floyd-esque, no?

While the aforementioned "Eye in the Sky" (1982) was their biggest hit, I've always far preferred the 1984 single "Don't Answer Me," from Ammonia Avenue, with its Spector-inspired sound (I love those castanets!). It's a beautiful tune, with a nice video to match. I seem to recall the MTV VJs talking about how the animation used in it was revolutionary:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi! I ran across this while searching for the Project. I LOVE The Project! Thanks for sharing the video too. Honestly, I think "Time" is their best song to date but "Don't Answer Me" is pretty awesome too.