The “Lost” Alan Parsons Album…

I’m pretty happy with my collection of Alan Parsons albums. I’ve got all of the “Project” albums except the compilations (which I obviously don’t need), and I’ve got all the post-Project albums. I also have the soundtrack to Ladyhawke, which was a terrible soundtrack (the film’s editors had a hard time fitting it to the film, which is a bad sign right there) but an EXCELLENT piece of listening material.

Shortly after leaving Novell to pursue cartooning full-time, I bought Alan Parsons latest, “A Valid Path,” and that album will, for me, always help me remember the coupling of uncertainty and liberty that described my first month out of the corporate womb.

I thought my collection was complete. I always wondered about the six-year gap between “Gaudi” and “Try Anything Once” (which is, for me anyway, the very best of all Alan Parson’s albums, Project or no), but I’m not hard-core enough to Google it and find out what he was up to.

Well, I found out. I can’t remember the reference that caught my eye, but there was this album released in 1990 (three years after “Gaudi,” and three years before “Try Anything Once”) called “Freudiana,” which was also the last album in which Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson appeared together. Woolfson is the voice behind the classic Alan Parsons Project hits like “Eye in the Sky” and “Time.” His voice is so soft and smooth… it’s like one of those fuzzy-soft sweaters worn over a silk undershirt. I mean, his voice is AMAZING.

But I digress… “Freudiana” was sort of “The Eric Woolfson Project,” and Alan Parsons worked with him on it, as did several Project musicians, including orchestral arranger/director Andrew Powell and signature-sound guitarist Ian Bairnson. It was a STAGE MUSICAL centering around a journey through the works and world of Sigmund Freud. Needless to say, I had to have it. I found it through Amazon, bought a used copy, and it arrived yesterday.

Wow. I can hear licks that Powell ended up refining on “Try Anything Once,” and that first appeared in “Ladyhawke,” and that’s just the beginning. Parsons’ tunes (the ones that have his name on them) are completely and unmistakably worthy of his good name, and Woolfson’s songs (especially the title track) are every bit as good as the stuff he did on Project albums. There are a couple of tracks in there that don’t mesh with what I imagine the “sound” of “The Alan Parsons Project to be,” but hey, it’s a STAGE MUSICAL, and it’s not like the tracks are bad. There’s a piece on there that reminds me of the innocent days of The Beatles, and a couple of really wacked-out tracks by “The Flying Pickets” that I like more the more I hear them.

So… now that I have MY copy, you Alan Parsons addicts out there can armwrestle over the remaining “Freudiana” copies gathering dust at Amazon. MY collection is complete.

–Howard
p.s. Does anybody out there have a copy of “Lenny Zakatek” (produced by Alan Parsons, and featuring some Project musicians…) they want to part with?

19 thoughts on “The “Lost” Alan Parsons Album…”

    1. Hrrrmm… I don’t have a phonograph anymore, but I bet I could hunt down somebody locally who could a) play the record, and b) “rip” it to MP3 so I can listen to it.

      –Howard

      1. Interesting. I might be commenting back in here in a few days after I look through some stuff…

        If no one else grabs the honor, of course.

      2. That reminds me…

        The most recent Popular Science has a record cutter…

        Yes, you too can make your own recordings on obsolete media for the low low price of $15,000. (Plus cost of media)

      3. I’ve got a project like that I need to do. My dad gave me, among other things, his Technics turntable, and his collection – on vinyl – of every Sousa march known at the time. (A couple that aren’t on that set have since been recovered.) It’s something like nine LPs. One of these days, I need to bring the turntable into the office upstairs, hook it to the Griffin iMic I bought just for that project, use their Final Vinyl software (complete with RIAA curve processing) to rip it, and burn it all to CD.

  1. Alan Parsons/Eric Wolfsong update

    I just bought a new CD by Eric Wolfsong called “Poe: More Tales of Mystery and Imagination” Some of the cuts are Angel of The Odd, an instrumental, The Bells, Goodbye to All That and Freedom Train. Most of the tracks are excellent, but one or two don’t seem to fit very well, but are good listening anyway. It’s a British import, so it’s a little spendy, it was released last Sept as I recall. I can be purchased from Amazon.com. 🙂

    Starguard

    1. Re: Alan Parsons/Eric Wolfsong update

      That isn’t new; I’ve had it since before I got a CD player, on LP. Still have it in my parents attic somewhere.

    2. Re: Alan Parsons/Eric Wolfsong update

      Or wait … “more” tales … perhaps it is a followup to the old (marvellous) Poe album?

      1. Re: Alan Parsons/Eric Wolfsong update

        Yup it’s all new, you’re thinking of the original Alan Parsons Project album originally released in 1976. This is a new one and was just relesed last year

        1. Re: Alan Parsons/Eric Wolfsong update

          There are actually two versions of this album. The original 1976 version, which I have on cassette somewhere, and the 1987 rerelease. The 1987 version has some changes; most notable is Iain Bairnson playing a guitar solo during what used to be a slow bridge in The Raven.

          The most noticeable addition, however, is Orson Welles speaking at the beginning of each side of the album. If you’ve got Orson, you’ve got the 1987 version. 🙂

          I wish they’d release the original 1976 version on CD. IIRC, the 1987 version was sort of a “Hey, we’re gonna do all our stuff on CD now!” announcement.

          1. Re: Alan Parsons/Eric Wolfsong update

            True, actually there were 3, I have one with a blue cover and 2 with green covers, of the green covers one record has black vinyl and one has yellow vinyl and a sticker that says it’s a special edition as well as the 1987 re issue on CD. For the most part I think the re issue is an improvement, the drums sound better and the Orson Wells narratives are excellent.

  2. But the stairs are out, so I guess I’m gonna HAFTA JUUUMP!

    It’s time for Parsons bender, methinks. Let’s start with… Eve.

    Mmm… Parsons.

    Oh, geektrivia: Listening to “Lucifer” right now… the blippy rhythm in the back ground is dit-didididah-dit, or “. …- .”, which is Morse code for (you guessed it) “EVE”.

    Man this album reminds me of being fifteen.

    1. Re: But the stairs are out, so I guess I’m gonna HAFTA JUUUMP!

      Well, I’m sure that’s what they were trying, but it comes out sounding more like ESTE. 🙂

      1. Re: But the stairs are out, so I guess I’m gonna HAFTA JUUUMP!

        How could you esten suggest such a thing, Jay? 🙂

        Ok, I’ll osterlook your criticism of APP just this once. You get bonus cool points for a) clearly having listened to Eve, and b) probably having a ham license from back in the day before the no-code tests. “Este” is a subtlety you can’t pick up from reading a Morse Code manual. (TNX QSO 73 KB7CVC)

        Still on my bender. I’m listening to Stereotomy now. Consistently my least favorite album from them, but I still get a fearsome hankering for it about once every 2 years.

        1. Re: But the stairs are out, so I guess I’m gonna HAFTA JUUUMP!

          You get bonus cool points for a) clearly having listened to Eve,
          Yup. My top 25 most played list has the top 8 being Alan Parsons Project, and Lucifer is at #6.

          and b) probably having a ham license from back in the day before the no-code tests.
          I was first licensed in 1971 (two months before my 11th birthday) as WN5ENR. That answer your question? 🙂 I’ve held the call K5ZC since July 1977. Once upon a time, I could handle traffic at 30 WPM; I’m rusty now, and probably couldn’t cruise much above 20 without a lot of work to get back into the groove.

  3. I have a particular item that I am not at liberty to discuss in public forum. (No it isn’t illegal, just not for public consumption.) Drop me a line at blake dot white at gmail and I’ll let you know what it is and see if you are interested.

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