Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #25

Just about anyone from my generation who became a teenager in the 1970s is going to be extremely familiar with today’s Sunday Big Note artist. Indeed, the debut solo effort by this group – Tales of Mystery and Imagination, released in 1976 – is considered to be a classic album. Of course, I’m speaking of The Alan Parsons Project.

While their subsequent releases never achieved anything close to blockbuster status, The Alan Parsons Project did develop a loyal cult following. Myself, I had many copies of their albums, first on vinyl, cassette, then compact disc, I listened to them so often (not to mention the odd theft from my collection).

What came extremely late from The Alan Parsons Project was the live album, The Very Best Live, a live compilation of highlights from their 1995 tour. While a great live compilation, for me it lacked the audience energy which performers feed from to rise to that next level of performance.

Today’s Sunday Big Note has that energy in abundance (an essential element, for me, when I choose an artist for these SBN listening sessions, followed by eclectic performances and lots of banter – otherwise, one might as well just listen to their albums, yes?). I bring you an FM soundboard broadcast of The Alan Parsons Project performing at the Court Centrale Estadio, Santiago, Chile, 29 October 1995 (with bonus tracks from Madrid, Spain, 2004):

Sirius
[audio:SBN_20110501_01 Sirius.mp3]

Eye in the Sky
[audio:SBN_20110501_02 Eye in the Sky.mp3]

Turn It Up
[audio:SBN_20110501_03 Turn It Up.mp3]

What Goes Up
[audio:SBN_20110501_04 What Goes Up.mp3]

Luciferama
[audio:SBN_20110501_05 Luciferama.mp3]

Old and Wise
[audio:SBN_20110501_06 Old and Wise.mp3]

Take the Money and Run
[audio:SBN_20110501_07 Take the Money and Run.mp3]

Tell Tale Heart
[audio:SBN_20110501_08 Tell Tale Heart.mp3]

Can’t Take It With You
[audio:SBN_20110501_09 Can’t Take It With You.mp3]

Wouldn’t Wanna Be Like You
[audio:SBN_20110501_10 Wouldn’t Wanna Be Like You.mp3]

The Raven
[audio:SBN_20110501_11 The Raven.mp3]

Limelight
[audio:SBN_20110501_12 Limelight.mp3]

Time
[audio:SBN_20110501_13 Time.mp3]

Money Talks/La Sagrada Familia
[audio:SBN_20110501_14 Money Talks _ La Sagrada Familia.mp3]

Prime Time
[audio:SBN_20110501_15 Prime Time.mp3]

Standing On Higher Ground
[audio:SBN_20110501_16 Standing On Higher Ground.mp3]

Games People Play
[audio:SBN_20110501_17 Games People Play.mp3]

Psychobabble
[audio:SBN_20110501_18 Psychobabble.mp3]

Don’t Answer Me
[audio:SBN_20110501_19 Don’t Answer Me.mp3]

You’re The Voice
[audio:SBN_20110501_20 You’re The Voice.mp3]

You’re Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned
[audio:SBN_20110501_21 You’re Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned.mp3]

Bonus (Plaze Mayor, Madrid, Spain, 14 May 2004)

I Robot (instrumental)
[audio:SBN_20110501_BONUS_01 I Robot.mp3]

Damned If I Do
[audio:SBN_20110501_BONUS_08 Damned If I Do.mp3]

More Lost Without You
[audio:SBN_20110501_BONUS_09 More Lost Without You.mp3]

Don’t Let It Show
[audio:SBN_20110501_BONUS_10 Don’t Let It Show.mp3]

(The System Of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether
[audio:SBN_20110501_BONUS_13 The System Of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether.mp3]

Line-up (Chile):

Alan Parsons – guitar, vocal, keyboards, percussion, woodwind
Ian Bairnson – guitars
Stuart Elliott – drums
Richard Cottle – keyboards, saxophone
Peter Beckett – vocals, keyboards
Chris Thompson – vocals, percussion, guitar
Felix Krish – bass
Andrew Powell – keyboards

Line-up (Madrid):

Alan Parsons – acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals
P.J. Olsson – acoustic guitar, vocals
Godfrey Townsend – lead guitar, vocals
Steve Murphy – drums, vocals
Manny Focarazzo – keyboards, vocals
John Montagna – bass guitar, vocals

7 Responses to “Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #25”

  1. SOFA - Philostopher/Chef says:

    I thought “I Robot” was their initial release… It was the first I purchased, anyway, before “M & M”.

  2. Hermann Schindler says:

    sorry guys, but familiar as it might be, it is pretty boring and lame: rhythm, harmonies, lyrics, overall message are about the most contrary to what zappa stood for. that’s stuff for making a weather panorama feed less somniferous.

  3. Dark Clothes says:

    As a youngster, I had a cassette of Pyramid and was fond of that. Alas, my interest in Alan Parson’s Project has dwindled. He used to be Pink Floyd’s sound engineer, didn’t he? Some of this reminds me of the last two Floyd albums, without Roger Waters. Pleasant enough, but without the crucial edge.

  4. Slap says:

    [quote comment=”28703″]As a youngster, I had a cassette of Pyramid and was fond of that. Alas, my interest in Alan Parson’s Project has dwindled. He used to be Pink Floyd’s sound engineer, didn’t he? Some of this reminds me of the last two Floyd albums, without Roger Waters. Pleasant enough, but without the crucial edge.[/quote]

    The lack of “edge” was always my main problem with these folks. Sonically, for the time, the records have few peers — I always thought I, Robot was a great “speaker test” album. (It was one of my three “go-to” records for testing — the others were Supertramp’s Crime of the Century and Dire Straits’ Love Over Gold….) Never had any problem with Parsons’ ear for detail — in fact, I admire it greatly. The content never moved me much.

  5. urbangraffito says:

    Admittedly, after 1981’s ‘Eye in the Sky’, Alan Parsons lost their critical edge, but one really cannot disagree that their first handful of albums – Tales of Mystery and Imagination, I Robot, Pyramid, Eve, and The Turn Of A Friendly Card were among the best albums Alan Parsons ever made. Just as Supertramp’s albums prior to Breakfast in America were among their best, and Dire Strait’s first few albums stand up as well today as when they were first released – particularly their 1978 self titled debut album.

  6. Hugh says:

    Funny enough, after watching the “Eye In The Sky” vid, it caused a three day long earworm! 🙂

  7. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”28832″]Funny enough, after watching the “Eye In The Sky” vid, it caused a three day long earworm! :)[/quote]

    Sorry, Hugh! That’s a mighty long earworm!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shb0_Tr5Mt4

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