The Alan Parsons Project

Arista Records, 1978



As a fellow keyboardist, I have always had an interest in my fellow rock artists who displays their talents with the black and white keys. Ray Manzarek (The Doors), Elton John, Billy Joel, Rick Wakeman (to name a few) have always perked my interest (most recently, Wakeman), and producer/songwriter Alan Parsons has always showed his expertise on his Project albums. More orchestrated, Parsons has always displayed great works with synthesizers and instrumentation in their most popular hits ( "Sirius/Eye In The Sky" -- the song used for the Chicago Bulls introducing the players-- is APP's most famous hit.) 1978's Pyramid was Parsons' third album, long before my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Eye In The Sky was released, four years later. It shows Parsons as a gifted producer, arranger, and co-songwriter, where the songs on this album could classify as New Age, Rock, and Progressive Rock.

The first two songs, "Voyager" and "What Goes Up..." have a somewhat New Age Jazz sound mixed with Rock. Another interesting tune is the soft ballad "The Eagle Will Rise Again," a song that could easily fit most New Age Jazz formats. None of these 3 songs will bore the listener; it has a continuing blend of music that will keep the listener listening for more. "One More River" is definitely a rock sounding tune, and the vocalist has a resemblance to Elton John, with a much more Rock edge, than Sir Elton had performed in his heyday during the 1970s.

"Can't Take It With You" displays a Rock/Progressive Rock sound, likewise the instrumental "In The Lap Of The Gods" showcases a sense of mystery, and has great orchestration from start to finish. "Pyramania" has a Pop/New Wave approach (as in the music of XTC), where another instrumental, "Hyper-Gamma Spaces," has an upbeat, snappy, almost-Jazz sound, with expert synthesizers.

The last song has superb orchestration and vocals, "Shadow Of A Lonely Man" could classify as Progressive Rock, with a touch of Classical Music. A very impressive tune, this one will want the listener go back and listen to it again.

Pyramid displays the "high-tech" keyboard sounds Alan Parsons has always provided in his music. His vocalists included ex-Zombie Colin Blunstone, Dean Ford, David Paton, Lenny Zakatek, Jack Harris, and John Miles. (The CD didn't display who sang each song, that would have been nice...) What is interesting, in reading the information about this album, is that Parsons did NOT play keyboards on this album. He produced and engineered the album, and played acoustic guitar. The keyboards were performed by Parsons' lyricist/manager Eric Woolfson and Duncan Mackay. All of the songs were co-written by Parsons and Woolfson. An amazing album -- for those who are not familiar with Parsons' music, after listening to Pyramid, the listener will want to explore other albums by Parsons, especially the ones that did not have any major hits, like this album did.

Rating: A

User Rating: B+


© 2003 Eric E5S16 and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Arista Records, and is used for informational purposes only.