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The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

4.03 | 616 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars (The system of) Doctor Parsons and Professor Woolfson

This was the first album by The Alan Parsons Project and like all the albums they did later this one too is based around a theme or concept. The concept here rather obviously revolves around the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. While the core of The Alan Parsons Project is Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, like on all their subsequent albums, they invite a cast of other musicians and vocalists to contribute. One notable celebrity here is Arthur Brown who sings lead vocals on The Tell Tale Heart, the rockiest song on the album. The song fits Brown very well. Orson Wells provided some narration, but I have now learned that this was only for the 1987 remix of the album and Wells did not feature on the original 1976 release.

One problem that I often have with Alan Parsons albums is just that they always rely on too many outside people, particularly vocalists. I feel that having different vocalists on different tracks makes the albums sound like compilations of independent songs and not as unified albums. The fact that the songs are tied together by a common theme does not remedy the incoherence created by having several vocalists. All of the songs on the first half of the album are good Pop/Rock songs, but not much Prog is in sight. The second side is dominated by a long orchestral piece that I also wouldn't call Prog at all.

Many hold the present album as the Project's best, but I don't think it is. Good, but certainly not essential!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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