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The Alan Parsons Project - The Definitive Collection CD (album) cover

THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION

The Alan Parsons Project

 

Crossover Prog

3.51 | 20 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars This 2 CD compilation "The Definitive Collection", containing the works of Alan Parsons Project, is a terrific introduction to the band showcasing excellent snippets from all of the studio albums from "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" to "Gaudi", plus some extras. A decent selection from the debut includes (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether and The Raven, (of course that track had to be here) opens the compilation. Then we move into the best tracks from "I, Robot", the wonderful title track, pop favourite I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You, Breakdown, and Don't Let It Show.

After this some excellent tracks from "Pyramid" follow, the first three album tracks that are mesmirising are here, Voyager, What Goes Up, and The Eagle Will Rise Again. Also there are Can't Take It With You, and Pyramania. These are okay but I always prefer the instrumental tracks on side two especially the brilliant Hyper Gamma Spaces. This track is on other compilations so I guess the compilers were trying to add something different here but seemed to focus on the pop singles which are not necessarily the best examples of APP.

From "Eve" there is Lucifer, Damned If I Do, and If I Could Change Your Mind. They seem okay though I have not heard the whole album. The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Part I) is taken from the album with the same name, along with Snake Eyes, Games People Play and Time. Games People Play is one of the first APP songs I heard as a teenager, and it certainly is memorable with some great keyboards and infectious chorus.

Disk Two is not as strong as I guess the albums became even more poppier. Sirius opens proceedings with an instrumental, and then the title track of the next album showcases the band at their best on Eye In The Sky. There is a decent selection fro that famous album with Psychobabble, Mammagamma and Old And Wise.

From "Ammonia Avenue" comes Prime Time, Don't Answer Me, and You Don't Believe. It was evident the band were becoming radio oriented primarily here. Following this from "Vulture Culture" is Let's Talk About Me and Days Are Numbers (The Traveller). From "Stereotomy" is the title track and In The Real World. From "Gaudi" is Standing On Higher Ground, and Too Late, though it would have been nice to have had a more progressive track such as La Sagrada Familia.

The compilation closes with some tracks from "Try Anything Once", that was not an Alan Parsons Project album as such but his first solo project released in 1993. The tracks here are Turn It Up and the instrumental Re-Jigue. It caps off a fairly comprehensive compilation of the band that is perhaps represented on these 2 CDs well enough for a newcomer to the group, and it certainly led me to some of their more impressive albums.

Most of the singles are here for those who are interested in the radio friendly side of the group, namely (The System of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether, The Raven, I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You, Don't Let It Show, Pyramania, What Goes Up, Lucifer, Damned If I Do, Games People Play, Time, Snake Eyes, The Turn of a Friendly Card, Eye in the Sky, Psychobabble, Old and Wise, You Don't Believe, Don't Answer Me, Prime Time, Let's Talk About Me, Days Are Numbers (The Traveller), Stereotomy, and Standing on Higher Ground.

If one were to remove all the singles there would only be 10 tracks left on the album. Herein lies the problem for me as the band have some strong progressive tracks but they are all but ignored on this compilation. It would be a far more apt description to call this the singles collection rather than "The Definitive Collection". "Freudiana" is not represented on the compilation perhaps because it is thought to be more of an Eric Woolfson solo album, The compilation is a mere taster of the project as there are certainly many omissions that deserved to be heard over many of these choices. In any case it is one of the better compilations from the Alan Parsons Project.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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