The Alan Parsons Project set standards in progressive rock during its active period between 1975 and 1987. The eponym Alan Parsons had been a sound engineer for a long time and had worked with such absolute luminaries as the Beatles and Pink Floyd. For the latter, he was already working as a producer. The step was not far away to start releasing music himself, especially as Alan Parsons wanted to become more visible in public anyway.
The Alan Parsons Project – Sound of the 80s
When he met Eric Woolfson, who had made a name for himself as a music manager and songwriter for other artists, the idea of a joint project was quickly implemented. In addition, Eric Woolfson had a great soft spot for the lyrics of Edgar Allan Poe, which he wanted to bring to life musically.
Although Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson remained the only two permanent members for the entire duration of their existence, they were not the only ones to be elected. But to realize their ideas of just very progressive music, they got a long list of other musicians, who acted as guest musicians on their albums. Among them was Andrew Powell, an orchestral conductor, which is another strong indication that they seriously wanted to break new ground, which they did.
Biography and career of the project
The first album of The Alan Parsons Project is called “Tales of Mystery and Imagination – Edgar Allan Poe” and was released in 1976. The work was designed as a concept album and received very favourable reviews. The mixture of rocky basis in the mix with symphonic sounds was actually still completely new at that time and did not miss its effect. The Alan Parsons Project was also characterized by at least one instrumental piece per album.
In total there were 10 studio albums of The Alan Parsons Project, whereby the division of labour was almost always such that Eric Woolfson wrote the songs himself, Alan Parsons was then responsible for the arrangement. At the same time, Alan Parsons was also the producer of these 10 studio albums, both of which were still in demand as studio musicians for bands of the 80s.
Over the years, however, the style of this band developed a bit away from the original progressive rock, which some also called art-rock. The music went more in the direction of pop-rock, and they said goodbye to the demand to make a concept album out of each album. Rather, the pieces from the beginning of the 1980s – as with many bands of the 80s – were rather a collection of individual pieces, which were only loosely thematically linked, if at all.
Critics and commercial successes
The single “Eye in the Sky” was the first Top10 single hit. What is remarkable about the album of the same name is that it was one of the first albums worldwide to be recorded completely digitally. In addition, his arrangements were increasingly oriented towards “Adult Orientated Rock“, a current that had a lot of fans among the bands of the 80s and composed accordingly.
Despite very good reviews in the beginning, The Alan Parsons Project did not achieve such a great response with the music critics later because of this change. This was all the more successful with the audience, who can still sing along to many of the greatest hits today. This is especially true for the German (television) audience. For a long time, the title melody of the Germany-wide well-known political show “Monitor” consisted of the song “Lucifer” from the album “Eve”. The song is still used in this show as a theme melody, but now in a cover version.
The Greatest Hits of The Alan Parsons Project
The biggest single hits of the project are “Lucifer“, an instrumental piece, “Eye in the Sky” and “Don’t Answer Me“. While a real top hit as a single was denied, their albums were among the most successful of the bands of the 80s – at least for the German-speaking countries.
Gleich vier ihrer Alben erreichten die Nr. 1 der Albumcharts in Deutschland, immerhin eines in Österreich. Doch auch in Kanada, Spanien, Frankreich und später auch noch in Italien feierte man große kommerzielle Erfolge. Die vier Alben, die in Deutschland Platz 1 erreichten, sind: “Eve” (1979), “Eye in the Sky” (1982), “Ammonia Avenue” (1984) und “Vulture Culture” (1985).
At the end of the 80s the project finally broke up, whereby the one head of this music history written project is now deceased. Eric Woolfson died in 2009. In recent years, Alan Parsons has increasingly performed live with his works, old and new, while The Alan Parsons Project used to be a pure, as the name suggests, studio project.
It is fair to say that the above-mentioned hits of The Alan Parsons Project have become classics of modern rock and pop music. That’s why it’s not unlikely that you’ll hear one of their hits on the radio or at parties. But there are also numerous fans who know complete studio albums, as the high sales figures show.
Booking 80’s Bands – How we can help you
Are you planning a progressive event around the 80s? Contact us without obligation and we will help you from brainstorming to booking 80s bands.
Stefan Lohmann (Artist Booking)
Stefan Lohmann is a Hamburg-based Talent Buyer and Artist Relations Manager. His service portfolio includes the placement of artists as well as the creation of comprehensive live entertainment concepts for concerts, festivals and events. With his live entertainment network of artists and creative people, he also represents market-leading show productions in the entertainment field of aerial shows, drone shows, video projection mapping, dance shows … “We create for our customers what is not available on the market,” says Stefan Lohmann about his company philosophy.
The Alan Parsons Project Booking Contact:
Booking The Alan Parsons Project – A band with the sound of the 80s for your event
The creation of music concepts together with the customer is one of the specialities of the live entertainment expert Stefan Lohmann. With Sustainable Event Solutions he also offers support for climate-neutral, sustainable events and tours.
Stefan Lohmann – Talent Buyer & Booking Agent
“As Artist Relations Management & Live Entertainment Network, I offer a transparent and efficient solution to channel and professionalize live entertainment handling while reducing costs and increasing artist selection.”
“We place international Stars, Shows, Orchestra, Celebrity Speakers, Hosts, Performer …. and create Live Entertainment Concepts with WOW-factor”