The Alan Parsons Songbook

From the liner notes...
The Alan Parsons Song Book is an album to give you the opportunity to enjoy the music of the Alan Parsons Project played by The Alex Bollard Assembly and to accompany these vital musicians on their trip to the exciting experience of unlimited sound possibilities.

Alan Parsons (1949) is one of England's most musical phenomenons [sic]. He was so blown away be [sic] hearing the Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album in 1967, that he applied for and successfully landed a job at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. Parsons worked with the Beatles on the "Abbey Road" album and continued his relationship with Paul McCartney, recording "Wild Life" and "Red Rose Speedway". He also was nominated for a Grammy Award for recording Pink Floyd's classic "Dark Side Of The Moon". In 1974 Alan Parsons met Eric Woolfson, who was soon to function as Alan Parsons' manager and shortly thereafter as his musical partner. Alan and Eric started The Alan Parsons Project and their explorations into the sound and structure of symphonic pop music led to several wonderful albums during the 1970s and the 1980s. The Project's first album was "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" which was recorded over a two year period. It met with good, though not overwhelming, public response. The "I Robot" album (1977) was a huge success. Some artists with new and innovative ideas run out of creative fuel after a time, but The Alan Parsons Project has continued to evolve and to take their own music higher and further.

Among the Project's best albums are "Eve" (1979), "The Turn Of A Friendly Card" (1980) "Eye In The Sky" (1982), "Vulture Culture" (1985), and "Gaudi" (1987).

All pieces in this "Alan Parsons Song Book" are spellbinding, mindbending, hypnotic. With all their variety - and there is a huge range of dynamics in the songs, written by Parsons and Woolfson - there is always a sense of unity and peace, nature and silence and personal thought. It is almost as if Alan and Eric had set out to produce only classics, masterpieces - and calmly went ahead and did just that.

The wonderfully rich, vibrant sound to The Alex Bollard Assembly never had more intrinsically superb material to apply itself to than on this compact disc. Together the 19 highlights from the Song Book of Alan Parsons form a collection of tunes that are indisputably outstanding.

There are multiple versions of this album...
  1. The first appears to be the Star Inc. release from Holland. The artwork on the liner notes as an aerial view of Egypt over the Nile river along some ancient Egyptian monument. There is also an image of a nude female torso intertwined a là the mummy artwork on ToMaI.

  2. The second is a Dutch release from CNR Music, as part of the Songbook Series. It specifically states that "this compilation [is] licensed by Star Inc. Music - Holland". The artwork on this liner note is an outer-space view, with a transparent prism with a beam of light emitting from the left side and exiting to the right in the full spectrum, a là Dark Side Of The Moon.

  3. The third is a German release from Arcade consisting of a different track ordering. The artwork on the front is a collage with a red pyramid on sandy dunes, a blue/black road down the left side with a gray sphere. The sky has swirling clouds, and in the center of a spiraling cloud is a blue eye (in the sky). This version does NOT have the liner notes as the other two (Star Inc.) releases. This is the only release which identifies the players.

  4. Some versions of this album are entitled "The Musical World Of Alan Parsons" (and also "El Mundo Musicale De Alan Parsons" thanks to a cunning reversible cover)

General notes...
The instrumental pieces are produced by Ed Starink (Star Inc.!). It is not known whether or not these pieces, which appear on the Synthesizer Greatest albums in less foreshortened forms, were performed solely by Ed Starink, or with the help of Alex Bollard Assembly members. Also, the Star versions incorrectly identify Ed Starink instead of Alex Bollard as the producer of track 2.

The second paragraph of the liner notes (above) seems to have been lifted almost directly from those to be found in The Best of the Alan Parsons Project.

This album is well worth having (IMO) and is also very cheap.

There is another cover album which seems to be based on this one. See The Songs of Alan Parsons.

This is the cover of the Arcade release, mentioned above.

If you have information, links or pictures which you believe could enhance this entry, please contribute.

Track Listing
Time Track Title Vocalist
4:43Eye In The SkyEdward Reekers
3:06Old And WiseEdward Reekers
3:41Don't Answer MeEdward Reekers
4:43TimeEdward Reekers
4:41Prime TimeEdward Reekers
3:19I Wouldn't Want To Be Like YouEdward Reekers
4:01Let's Talk About MeEdward Reekers
2:56The Gold Bug(instrumental)
4:30PsychobabbleEdward Reekers
4:25The Turn Of A Friendly CardEdward Reekers
3:14Snake EyesEdward Reekers
4:07Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)Edward Reekers
3:33The RavenEdward Reekers
2:57What Goes Up...Edward Reekers
4:07I Robot(instrumental)
2:57Genesis Ch.1 V.32(instrumental)
Producer [all except 5,9,13,16]: Alex Bollard
Producer [5,9,13,16]: Ed Starink
Performed by: The Alex Bollard Assembly
Synthesizers: Ed Starink
Guitars: Alex Bollard
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