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Alan Parsons Project
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Alan Parsons Project

Alan Parsons Project is a British pop-rock group of the late 1970s-early 1980s, founded by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson.

Most of their titles, especially the early work, share common traits (probably influenced by Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, on which Alan was the audio engineer in 1973): they were concept albums, started with an instrumental introduction fading in to the first song, had an instrumental piece in the middle of the second LP side, and concluded with a quiet/sad/powerful song.

The group was also unusual in that there was little continuity in personnel. In particular, the lead vocal seems to alternate between Woolfson (mostly for slow/sad songs) and a stream of guest vocalists seemingly chosen by their vocal style, to complement the style of each song.

Nonetheless, many feel that the true core of the Project consisted of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. Eric Woolfson was a lawyer by profession, but a classically trained composer and pianist as well. Alan Parsons was a highly successful producer. Both worked together to craft noteworthy songs with impeccable fidelity.

Andrew Powell (composer and organizer of orchestral music throughout the life of the Project), Ian Bairnson (guitar) and Richard Cottle (synthesizer and saxophone player) also became integral parts of the project's sound. Powell is also notable for having composed a film score project style for Richard Donner's film Ladyhawke.

Works

After those albums, Alan released other titles under his name, while Eric made a last concept album named Freudiana (about Sigmund Freud's work on psychology).

Although the studio version of Freudiana was produced by Alan Parsons, it was primarily Eric Woolfson's idea to turn it into a musical. This eventually led to a rift between the two performers. While Alan Parsons pursued his own solo career (taking many members of the Project out on the road for the first time in a successful worldwide tour), Eric Woolfson went on to produce musical plays influenced by the Project's music. Freudiana and Gambler were two musicals that had some Project hits like "Eye in the Sky", "Time", "Inside Looking Out" and "Limelight" worked in.

The live music from Gambler was only distributed at the performance site (in Cologne, Germany).

Personnel