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Sunday, June 10, 2007


AL RESCATE DE LA ENTREVISTA
Esto lo encontramos surfeando en la internet hace algún buen tiempo. Alrededor de 1991, Matt Braun, trabajador de Motorola en Illinois, adquirió en una convención de coleccionistas una caja promocional para DJs de 5 vinilos que contiene dos entrevistas a Alan Parsons y a Eric Woolfson (en 3 discos) y los dos últimos álbumes de Alan Parsons Project hacia 1982; es decir, The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Arista, 1980) y Eye In The Sky (Arista, 1981). Matt se tomó el trabajo de transcribir dicha entrevista y colocarla en una página web cuya ubicación desconozco, pero tiene que ver con el club de fanáticos de Alan Parsons Project que está incrustado en Yahoo. Cualquier comentario a esta entrevista, o información adicional que quieran averiguar o brindar, por favor escribannos a buildingfactors@hotmail.com o a mbraun@urbana.mcd.mot.com
MENSAJE DEL ARQUEÓLOGO
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 91 22:30:05 CDT
From: mbraun@urbana.mcd.mot.com
Hi folks.
AT A RECENT RECORD COLLECTOR'S convention, I picked up a "DJ-only--NOT For Sale" boxed set of vinyl issued by Arista called "The Complete Audio Guide To The Alan Parsons Project." It is a 5 record set, containing two interviews with Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson (on 3 discs), as well as (vinyl) copies of "The Turn Of A Friendly Card" and "Eye In The Sky." I'm pretty sure that these were supposed to be the basis for "Do It Yourself" radio programs. I figured "what the heck," and I transcribed it all. Both interviews contain conversations with the Alan and Eric, as well as the music that they've worked on.
The first interview covers the careers of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson before the Project was formed, as well as their collaborative work up through the "Eve" album. (I believe that when the interview was conducted, "Eve" had just been released). The second interview is basically just them discussing selected songs from "The Turn Of a Friendly Card" (at the time, their previous album) and almost every song on "Eye In The Sky." The material in brackets [] has been added by me (I've tried to keep this to a bare minimum, usually just describing what songs are being played in the foreground or background.) Start to finish, listening to the 3 interview LPs (and the music included therewith) takes about 3 hours. Reading the interview isn't *quite* the same as listening to it, but on the other hand, this way, *you* don't have to suffer through Steve Harley singing "Judy Teen."
Enjoy!
Matt Braun -- Motorola, Urbana, IL Design Centre.
1996
LOS INICIOS Y LAS PRIMERAS PRODUCCIONES
[Interview 1: Sides 1-4]
[Intro: excerpt from "I, Robot"]
ALAN PARSONS: Getting into the recording business was something I really didn't imagine that I would ever do. Although I had all the basic qualifications necessary to do it, because I'd had a musical background of piano and flute at school, and, y'know, I played a bit of guitar, and played with local bands, and at the same time, I had an interest in electronics. I was always building radio sets, and electronic gadgets at home, but it didn't really hit me until after leaving school that I could combine these interests into one part, and make something worthwhile out of it.
After leaving school, I spent a short time in a research lab doing development work on television cameras. This was at EMI, in Hayes, Middlesex, and I was eventually moved into a tape production plant, which was devoted to the manufacture of mono quarter-inch tapes of commercially available albums, and this is really where I got interested in hi-fi, because this was the first time I had heard high quality sound systems, and One of the albums that I heard during my time there was Sargent Pepper, and having always been a great fan of the Beatles, I was totally knocked out by this album, and I was determined to find out how they got these sounds, and just how the whole thing went about, but the problem was that I'd heard that to get a job in the studios at Abbey Road was very competitive, and I'd have a very hard time. But, surprisingly enough, I just wrote a letter to the manager, and within 10 days I was working there.
[Song: The Beatles, "A Day In The Life", from the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", album]
ALAN PARSONS: After I'd had a bit of experience at Abbey road, operating tapes and running around for people, it wasn't long before my schoolboy dream was fulfilled, and that was of course, to meet the Beatles. And I was sent off to the Apple studios in Savil Row, where they'd been working on their "Let It Be" album, with Ben Johns engineering. They'd had some bad luck with their initial installation of their studio equipment, because it just wasn't performing how they hoped it would, and they rented some stuff from EMI, and I was basically sent down there just to make sure that everything was okay, and to help out on tapes. I never really got to know any of them particularly well at this stage, but I was just so in awe of the situation, of actually being around them, and finding out how they worked. I think it was evident there were problems within..within the group at this time, and the film to a certain extent brought this out. But, for me it was just a great experience to..to actually see them working and recording, seeing how their ideas accumulated. And most of all, the last performance that they ever did in public, on the roof of the Apple building.
[Song: The Beatles: "Get Back" from the "Abbey Road" album]
ALAN PARSONS: Although "Let it Be" was the last album by the Beatles, as a group, to be released, it was "Abbey Road" that was the last to be recorded. My involvement on the "Abbey Road" album, again, as tape operator/assistant engineer/what-have-you, I noticed that during the making of the album, you wouldn't often find all four Beatles there at once. Often it would just be Paul with George Martin, or George Harrison with George Martin. They'd each come in to do their own individual parts of their own individual songs.
I think I was enormously impressed by the way that they didn't just use normal conventional musical instruments to make a record, they'd use all sorts of strange ideas, or strange processes with instruments. But, I was just so surprised when I saw Ringo blowing through a straw into a glass of water to get the underwater effects in "Octopus's Garden." And, likewise on "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" the banging of the anvil for the hammering effect.
[Song: The Beatles, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" from their album "Abbey Road"]
ALAN PARSONS: Most other artists at this stage were recording under more conventional time scales. I mean a recording session used to last 3 hours, which usually was from 10:00 to 1:00, or from 2:30 to 5:30, whatever. And, I often didn't know from one day to the next, what I was going to be doing. I mean, I might spend the morning helping out on a classical orchestra session, and in the afternoon, doing a West End musical. And then, the following day, I might be working with some progressive blues band. But it was all very valuable experience to me, to have such a wide range of musical styles, being injected into me. It was this constant learning process, finding out how different people worked, and how different engineers and producers worked.
A great deal of Paul McCartney's first solo album was recorded at various locations, such as his own home, and his farm in Scotland. But he did come into Abbey Road to do a couple of songs. One of them was called "Every Night," and the other was, of course, the classic "Maybe I'm Amazed."
[Song: Paul McCartney, "Maybe I'm Amazed," from his album "McCartney"]
ALAN PARSONS: The "McCartney" album was soon followed by "Ram," and then the Wings' "Wildlife" LP, which he came to do at Abbey Road. And this was actually the beginning of my career as an engineer, as opposed to an assistant, because every so often he would disAppear with the band, and ask Tony Clark, or myself, to make tapes for him to listen to the next day so he could assess the situation, and decide what he wanted to do next. But one of the songs on the album, I actually mixed myself, just purely for his purposes, as a rough mix, so he could decide what he wanted to do with it. And, this was a song called, "I'm Your Singer," which I'm delighted to say ended up being used on the album--the rough mix that I'd done.
[Song: Paul McCartney, "I'm Your Singer," from his/Wings? album, "Wildlife"]
ALAN PARSONS: Presumably having made some impression on "Wildlife," Paul asked me to do some tracks on the following album, "Red Rose Speedway." Working with Paul as a producer, [as opposed] to engineer, was a whole different thing to just being the guy who sat at the back, rolling tapes backwards and forwards. As a producer, Paul was always slightly doubtful about every sound that was produced. He would say "Make the guitar sound better," or "make the drums sound better," but he wasn't actually able to describe in technical terms what he was after, which actually made the engineer's job very difficult. But at the end of the day, the results were always there.
During the making of the album, there was a short pause to go on a European tour, in Holland, Belgium, and Germany. And, I always remember the song "Hi, Hi, Hi" being played in a totally different way, to the way it ended up being recorded. I actually preferred the live version, believe it or not, but millions didn't.
[Song: Wings, "Hi, Hi, Hi," from their album "The Wings Greatest."]
ALAN PARSONS: Although there was some independent production work going on at Abbey Road, a great deal of the sessions that were taking place were actually in-house productions. Although the Beatles were considered an "in-house production," because George Martin was a staff producer for EMI. There were several other full-time producers, such as Peter Sullivan, John Burgess, and Ron Richards, who had success with the Hollies for a considerable time. I got involved with the Hollies around the time that Graham Nash left the group, and Terry Sylvester joined. Among the records that I worked with them on, of course, was the classic "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother." And one, that I actually felt was the best record they ever made, "The Air That I Breathe"
[Song: The Hollies, "The Air That I Breathe" from their album "The Hollies Greatest Hits."]
ALAN PARSONS: I think I got into the recording game at a very exciting time. Once upon a time, there was mono, then there was stereo, then there was 4-track, then there was 8-track, and 16-track, and then the Lord said, "Let there be 24-track," which is where we are now. But it was interesting not only to see the way that the studios evolved, but the way that the musicians evolved with the change. I think one of the bands that made the greatest impression on me in this particular direction would have to be Pink Floyd.
[Background Song: Pink Floyd, "Breathe," from their album "Dark Side Of The Moon."]
My first encounter with them was on the "Atom Heart Mother" album, which I was asked to mix for them. The album had actually been 8-track, but the amount of special effects and machines we had running--I just couldn't believe. It was like every machine in the whole building had been latched up, so that we could use every conceivable special effect. And, at the same time, it was probably the biggest challenge that I had ever been confronted with: to actually mix that--to mix a Pink Floyd Album. But thankfully, this led on to greater things, and probably the album that gave me the biggest boost to my career--"Dark Side Of The Moon."
The band had actually been playing the piece in concert for a considerable amount of time before we went into the studio to record it. But, there were, obviously, some changes made to it in the studio. A lot of the songs themselves stayed as they were, but they weren't recorded quite the same way as they sounded--I mean, we would often just start with just bass and drums, and add endless layers of guitars, and voices, etc. Which is the way virtually that The Floyd have become famous for.
I think one of the reasons that the album took so long to record, I mean it did take a whole year from start to finish, was the fact that we'd spend hours, and hours, and hours, just getting a particular sound effect exactly right. I mean, for instance on "Money," we had to get out a ruler, and measure sections of tape, each carrying a particular sound effect, such as a cash register, or a bag of money being dropped, or a piece of paper being torn. We had to join these up, forming a seven-in-a-bar loop, which then formed the basis for the backing track which the band played to.
[Song: Pink Floyd, "Money" from their album "Dark Side Of The Moon"]
ALAN PARSONS: When the band had been performing "Time" in concert, it simply started with Roger Waters playing the bass clicks which eventually come out of the introduction that's on the record. But, I came up with this idea for putting a load of clocks and timepieces which I'd recorded a few weeks previously, in a local clock shop. And the idea was that all of the clocks would tick together, which would be virtually impossible to record under normal circumstances, but with a multi-track tape, we managed to sync them all up, so that they would tick for a while and then all started chiming at the same time. And then, out of that came the bass lick, and then went into the tune.
[Song: Pink Floyd, "Time" from their album "Dark Side Of The Moon"]
ALAN PARSONS: I thought it was a little strange at the time, after the phenomenal success of "Dark Side Of The Moon," that The Floyd came in to do another album which was a complete departure from it. It was actually designed to be an album recorded totally without any musical instruments--or any conventional musical instruments. And, we started making this record with objects, such as rubber bands and tin cans, and blowing through bottles, and rubbing fingers 'round wine glasses, and things like this. But the whole thing was just so *painstaking*, I mean we must have spent about a month in the studio, at least, and came out with about two minutes of music. And everybody just said, y'know, "My brain's going! I can't possibly go on any further." So, it's a great shame the thing was abandoned, because it did have a potential to cause a complete revolution in recording, but the effort involved in making it would have just been extraordinary.
That was actually the last time I worked with The Floyd. They went on to do "Wish You Were Here" and "Animals" elsewhere. But at this time, I was beginning to get calls from people wanting to work with me as producer, as well as engineer. And one of the first to come along to ask for me as a producer, was Steve Harley. Steve had scored a fair success with first "Cockney Rebel" [???] album, but it was really the "Psychomodo" album that broke him in England, and the first single that was released, virtually the first thing I'd actually produced, actually made the Top 20 in England, and it's called "Judy Teen."
[Song: Steve Harley, "Judy Teen," from his single of the same name. :-) ]
ALAN PARSONS: It wasn't long before EMI came up with another act for me to produce for them. These were three guys from Scotland by the name of David Paton, Stuart Tosh, and Billie Lyall. They teamed together with another Scot called Ian Bairnson, and became known as Pilot. We made an album, and thankfully again, the single that was released from this album also scored very well, and completely broke them wide open in America. The record reached number two, if I'm not mistaken. The song was called "Magic."
[Song: Pilot, "Magic," from their self-titled album]
ALAN PARSONS: I was in a slightly awkward situation at this point, because I'd had two successful records with EMI, and I was also getting offers from companies outside EMI, which put me in a rather difficult position, because now that I'd been working for EMI for seven or eight years, it was a little hard to make the decision of whether I should go out and work as a producer for another company. Thankfully, things worked out, and one guy who particularly impressed me from the offers that came from outside EMI, was John Miles.
[Background song: John Miles, "Pull the Damn Thing Down," from his album "Rebel."]
I'd just felt that he was an incredible professional--a great voice, and an incredible sense of pitch, and also, probably one of the most underrated guitarists that I'd ever heard. The album we made was called "Rebel," and there was one song called, "Music" which was released as a single in most European countries, even though it was over five minutes long. But nevertheless, it established his name in most parts of Europe.
[Song excerpt: John Miles, "Music (reprise)," from his album "Rebel."]
ALAN PARSONS: I've been lucky enough in the last few years to have been nominated for a few Grammy awards, and while I was in Los Angeles picking up the nomination for "Dark Side Of The Moon," I was fortunate enough to meet a band by the name of Ambrosia, who played me some of their material, which impressed me enormously. I couldn't believe they were American, matter of fact, they had such a British tinge to their music. And before long, I was mixing their first album, which went on to do well, especially the single, "Holding On To Yesterday." And later I worked with them as producer on their second album, which was called "Somewhere I've Never Travelled."
[Song: Ambrosia, "Somewhere I've Never Travelled," from their album of the same name]
ALAN PARSONS: The most successful artist that, I think, I've been involved with, as producer is Al Stewart. I'd actually been familiar with his music for many years, having been a great folk music fan in the past. I spent a lot of time in the clubs of London, going to see people like Stephan Grossman, John Ranborne, The Pentangle, people like that. But it was long after that, of course, that I met Al, and heard some of his material.
[Background Song: Al Stewart, "End Of The Day," from his album "Time Passages."]
The "Modern Times" album kind of established his name for the first time in America, I mean very few people really knew his name then, and it helped develop a new style for him, which re-established him in England, and got him out of the Folk-hero kind of image that he always had. He always tended to base his music around acoustic instruments, mainly because of his folk background. In fact, the only departure from acoustic instruments at this point was to use the electric guitar up front, in solos, etc. But while we were making Al's next album, I made a suggestion to use an old friend of mine, Phil Kenzie, to put a sax solo on the LP's title track. And Al said he'd never heard a sax in his music before, but kind of went along with the idea. And the result was a song which virtually broke Al worldwide: "The Year Of The Cat."
[Song: Al Stewart, "Year Of The Cat" (album version) from the album of the same name]
ALAN PARSONS: Following the enormous success of "Year Of The Cat," Al decided to move to America, and spend a lot more time touring, doing concerts, etc. And I think, "Year Of The Cat" must have had some effect on Al, because he took on on Phil, the sax player, as a permanent member of the band, and two of the songs on the next album featured him quite heavily. One of them was "Song On The Radio," and also, the title track, "Time Passages."
[Song: Al Stewart, "Time Passages" from the album of the same name]
EL ENCUENTRO DECISIVO: WOOLFSON & PARSONS
ALAN PARSONS: In recent years, film directors, such as Ken Russel, and Stanley Kubrick have become stars in their own right, and they're almost more famous that the stars that Appear in them. A gentleman who felt that this idea could be Applied to the record industry, not only with the artists I was working with, but what was later to become the "Alan Parsons Project," was Eric Woolfson.
ERIC WOOLFSON: My musical background was very different from Alan's, but as it turned out, was not incompatible with the training that he'd had. At the time in Britain we're talking about, there had been two distinct rock-n-roll camps: one which had grown up around the Beatles, which Alan was involved with, and the other, which developed around the Rolling Stones. And it was through the Rolling Stones' Manager, Andrew Lou Golden, that I first came into the business. I had just come down to London from Glasgow, where I was born and brought up, and he signed me to a songwriting contract, and used me as a session pianist. I found myself in very good company: people like Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and later Eric Stewart, and Graham Gouldman. And I went on to become a record producer, myself, though not with any great degree of success. But my production activities brought me into the realm of Abbey Road which was the arena in which I first encountered Alan Parsons.
[Background song: "Dream Within A Dream" ]
I had had an idea about making an album about Edgar Allen Poe's work, for some time, but I didn't seem to have the necessary credibility as a producer or as a writer to carry the project through. However, when I met Alan, I felt his talents were certainly greater than mine in the production area, and he was somebody I might certainly be able to work with and collaborate with in achieving the realisation of this project. Fortunately, the idea Appealed to him, and Alan Parsons Project was born.
My original idea was that the album should be electronic, much in the lines of a Rick Wakeman album. But Alan believed, on the other hand, in order to do justice to Poe's work, we really would have to quote some of his poems and stories. The first track that we recorded, which was based on "The Raven," ironically enough, was sung by a machine.
[Song: "The Raven"]
ALAN PARSONS: I think I only realised when I got into making the "Tales Of Mystery" album the contribution that I was going to be making to it. I'd always felt slightly restricted in the past with other artists. I mean no artist likes having their songs pulled apart. But as the partnership with Eric developed, I found that I was being given much more freedom than I had been in the past. And I was contributing to the records not only as a producer, and injector of ideas, but also as a writer, though, not as a writer in the conventional sense. The album enabled me to get an enormous number of ideas off my chest. and just by--literally--toying with these ideas, I found that a composition would emerge, and combined with the freedom I was given with Eric's material, I think we created something which was totally new.
I think the musicians as well found that they were treading on new territory, because this was probably the first time that they'd performed on somebody else's album, as opposed to their own, and consequently, their careers didn't actually depend on it. And I found that just about everybody who Appeared on the album, most notably the Pilot band, who played most of the rhythm section material, were able to Approach the album with a freshness that they'd never been able to bring out before, because they weren't dictated by the musical styles that they'd been used to in the past. I mean, there could hardly be a greater contrast between `Oh-ho-ho it's magic" and closing track of "Tales of Mystery And Imagination," "To One In Paradise."
[Song: "To One In Paradise"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: We had intended just calling the album "Tales Of Mystery And Imagination," but the record company specifically asked us to have an artistic identification, so we called it "The Alan Parsons Project." And people in the industry and the public Appeared to think of this as being a band. This was quite fortuitous, because during the making of the album, we realised that there was more scope for this kind of musical venture, and we developed many other ideas for making albums, based on different themes. As Edgar Allen Poe had been described as `The Father of Science Fiction' it seemed reasonably logical that we should, perhaps, go into the science fiction area for the next album, and the result was the "I, Robot" album.
[Song: "I, Robot"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: For Alan and I, this was yet more unexplored territory, as we did not have an original work to base our songs or musical passages on, and we had to create our own themes, and our own interpretations of these themes. I'm a great lover of surrealism, and I try and inject this especially into the lyrics, so that you're never absolutely sure exactly what the message of the words is. In fact, Alan and I have a totally different perception of what the song "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" is about. I *thought* the song was meant to represent the point of view of a machine talking to a man. Alan, on the other hand, told me that he felt it was a man talking to a machine. And I suppose that both points of view are equally valid, or equally invalid.
[Song: "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You"]
ALAN PARSONS: I think a lot of recording artists generally are restricted, maybe by the fact that they have only one lead singer, or they have one particular style to follow. We've always been lucky, in that we can change with any particular musical trend, and also we're not stuck with one given set of people to perform on the records. I mean, for instance, on the song "Breakdown" in the "I, Robot" album, we go from the voice of Alan Clark singing to thousands of voices singing at the end.
[Song: "Breakdown"]
ALAN PARSONS: I think through the various albums that we've made as `The Alan Parsons Project,' we've established a couple of sounds that are identified with us, in particular the use of choir and orchestra. I think this identity was helped enormously by Andrew Powell, who has arranged and conducted all the orchestration on all of the albums. And his contribution to the projects has really been substantial, and we regard him as a third member of our team.
[Song: "In The Lap Of The Gods"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: I suppose I really should own up to the fact that although these albums, which are thematic albums, appear to be very carefully planned and set out, that's not always the case. We may start writing with a fixed idea in mind, but it never normally works out exactly the way we intended. In actual fact, although I don't believe an inanimate object can have a life of its own, the projects do have a way of taking their own direction in the recording studio. I certainly had no idea that we'd have a Gilbert and Sullivan type sendup of Pyramid Power.
[Song: "Pyramania"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: We've been accused, as writers, of contradicting ourselves, by both trying to put forward a point a view, for example Pyramid Power, and then sending it up. But in actual fact, we're not trying to preach or teach anything. We see ourselves as observers, and commentators.
[Song: "What Goes Up"]
ALAN PARSONS: It's actually interesting to note that other producers have followed in my footsteps, for instance Glen Johns with his "White Mansions," and more notably Jeff Wayne, with "The War Of The Worlds." And although "Tales of Mystery" did have a very definite concept to it, I think "I, Robot," and "Pyramid" were less clearly defined thematically. On the new album, "Eve," we've made the theme even more elusive. I think if I was pinned down, and asked what the "Eve" album is about, I'd have to say, "It's simply about women."
[Song: "Lucifer"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: When we embarked on the "Eve" album, our original idea was to take quotes from famous women, and build different tracks around these quotes. We did abandon that idea [chuckles] pretty shortly after we thought of it. But one idea we did stick with, was an intriguing quote which we think came from Jean Harlowe, who, when she was asked about the business of women making it in the Hollywood film business, and questions about the "casting couch," she came up with the comment, "You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas."
[Song: "Lie Down With Dogs"]
ALAN PARSONS: If there's such a thing as a `typical Project track,' I think "I'm Damned If I Do" from the "Eve" album would have to be one of them. It has the ingredients which we've used in the past, like french horns, [and] the voice of Lenny Zakatek--the one exception: I never thought I'd hear the words `I love you' on a Project song.
[Song: "Damned If I Do"]
ALAN PARSONS: I believe that right from the days of Abbey Road, and the Beatles right up to the Alan Parsons Project, my life has been one long learning experience. I've been lucky enough to learn from the best, and I think I'm still learning.
EL REVERSO DE UNA CARTA AMIGA Y EL OJO EN EL CIELO
[Interview 2: Sides 5 & 6]
[Background Song: "Maybe A Price To Pay"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: "The Turn Of A Friendly Card" album had the theme, obviously, of gambling, and risk taking. The eventual title, was only arrived at some considerable time after finishing the album. We had a series of working titles while we were making it. Basically, I think, we started out with the idea of calling it "The Game Players Of Titan," 'cause it was a different kind of game playing, we had in mind to start with. We moved on to something like "Options," which, although it's an unexciting word, in itself, it had the advantage of, like "Pyramid" and "Robot," of being an `international' word, which was easily translatable, or understood by other territories, and kind of conveyed the idea of taking risks. But in the end, the image that people seemed to be left with, the impression after having heard the album, was based on the fact that they remembered this phrase "The Turn Of A Friendly Card." And although it was clumsy, and didn't translate into foreign languages easily, it seemed to be the right label for the `product' and that's how we got the name.
[Song: "The Turn Of A Friendly Card"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: I've often, in common with many other writers, been inspired at the oddest moments. And, one of the things that did start the creative juices flowing was actually sitting in casinos in Monte Carlo, with the din going on of people with machines, people talking, people moving about, and all the hustle and bustle that goes on there. It stimulated the writing of the track in particular, "Turn Of A Friendly Card," and of course, there was a track called "Snake Eyes"
[Song: "Snake Eyes" ]
[During the instrumental portion of the song:]
ERIC WOOLFSON: The joke about the lyric of "Snake Eyes" is that he's betting on something that you can't possibly win, because snake eyes is a bet which loses if seven or eleven comes up, and seven or eleven is a bet which loses if snake eyes comes up. So he's yelling `Snake Eyes! Seven-Eleven!', he wants any one of the three, and any of the three is gonna wipe him out.
ERIC WOOLFSON: This album dealt with many other aspects of the gambling instinct, and the whole idea of "Games People Play" was based on a psychology book of the same name, which dealt with human relationships in terms of people playing games/playing roles. And, although the lyric has nothing to do with the content of the book, I've often been inspired by titles, by the idea...
[Song: "Games People Play"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: "Time" was yet another form of risk taking. To me, this could have been sung by either one of two people: This could have been sung by an ancient sea captain about to set off on a voyage of discovery, into uncharted territory, or equally, by a modern day astronaut setting off for some destination in space.
[Song: "Time"]
ALAN PARSONS: The "Eye In The Sky" album is, perhaps, an exception to all the other albums we've done in the past. Something that we've always, almost become recognised for is that we've always, is the fact that we've always had some form of theme running through the records we've done. And at the same time, I felt that it was time to break away from that, especially as we'd had so much negative criticism for being pretentious, if you like, for constantly making concept albums. So, this time, we felt, y'know, "Let's just go into the studio and make an album, and then decide at the end what it's all about." So that's what "Eye In The Sky" really ended up being--a conceptless album, but with a similar format to the past albums.
[Song: "Eye In The Sky"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: Children of the Moon is a political statement. The idea of being helpless pawns at the mercy of our political or religious leaders has always struck me. And I find that current political events in the world, make this song, as far as I'm concerned, all the more poignant.
[Song: "Children Of The Moon"]
ALAN PARSONS: For some time now, we've been employing the talents of Christopher Rainbow who has an extraordinary vocal range. And, I think perhaps we used it to its very best effect on a cut on the album called "Gemini."
[Song: "Gemini"]
ALAN PARSONS: The first side of the album closes with a song called "Silence And I," which is sung by Eric. And it was very exciting to make this particular song, because for the first time, we used a really giant symphony orchestra, 95 pieces, all playing at the same time, and it was tremendously exciting for all of us concerned, to have that number of people involved on one of our own efforts.
[Song excerpt: "Silence And I"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: Another trademark of the project is that if one side has an introspective feel to it, we try and make the other side rather more upbeat. And the second side of "Eye In The Sky" starts with one of our old standbys, Lenny Zakatek, singing lead on a song which is not typically Project, it's rather more rock-n-roll, and it's called "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned."
[Song: "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned"]
ALAN PARSONS: "Psychobabble" was the first song to be recorded on the "Eye In The Sky" album. It was actually started almost a whole year before any of the other stuff was. We called upon Elmer Gantry, again, to do the vocal on it, and as the title might suggest, for the middle section we used a lot of `musical cliches' normally associated with horror films.
[Song: "Psychobabble"]
ALAN PARSONS: I don't think a `Project' would be a`Project' if it didn't have a couple of instrumental cuts on it. "Mammagamma" is one such piece. What's interesting about it is that it's performed almost entirely by a computer. That doesn't mean to say that the talent of the writer is any way over-shadowed, because it took a great deal of effort to program the computer to play it. But just about every note you hear is entirely performed by a machine, as opposed to a musician.
[Song: "Mammagamma"]
ALAN PARSONS: "Step by Step" is a song that, I think, we all thought at the time we started it was going to be a very commercial-sounding cut. Again, it's Lenny Zakatek singing the vocal. And I think one striking thing about the song is the instrumental section in which Ian Bairnson, our guitar player gets a really interesting sound by direct-injecting the guitar into the mixing desk--no amplification--and the resulting sound is almost like a cross between an acoustic and an electric.
[Song excerpt, spotlighting the instrumental section: "Step By Step"]
ERIC WOOLFSON: The problem with writing songs like "Old And Wise" is that superficially, they might be interpreted as being downers. That really wasn't the intention here at all--the idea was to be uplifting. The pathos of the lyric actually leaves me with a feeling of contentment, rather than a feeling of despair.
[Song: "Old And Wise"]
end of interview

Post Entrevista: Emilio Cacao Recomienda
Discografía Básica
Para empezar a entrar al maravilloso mundo del sonido Parsons, nada mejor que:


The Best Of The Alan Parsons Project (Arista, 1983) es una excelente iniciación para aquellos oídos que aún no han sido impresionados por el sonido Parsons. Incluye "Games People Play", "Time", "Eye In The Sky", "Old And Wise" y "I Wouldn´t Want To Be Like You". 12 temas muy bien seleccionados y, como dijimos al comienzo, ideales como foreplay para el posterior encanto de ir coleccionando los álbumes de Parsons y Cía. Si están interesados, pueden adquirilo aquí.
The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Arista, 1980) es un excelente álbum conceptual de Alan Parsons sobre las chances y, junto con:
Eye In The Sky (Arista, 1981), es uno de los dos mejores momentos del sonido Parsons.
Year Of The Cat (1976) y Time Passages (1978), ambos discos lanzados por el sello Arista (ahora están bajo el sello EMI). Estupenda producción de Alan Parsons para el cantante Al Stewart. La canción "Year of the Cat" le dio el mayor éxito a Al en Estados Unidos y en Inglaterra. El álbum "Time Passages" incluye "Song On The Radio", una bella canción con un excepcional trabajo de Phil Kenzie en el saxo.
El catálogo de The Alan Parsons Project en Amazon.com está
aquí.
El de Al Stewart está
aquí.
El de Pilot está
aquí. Recomendamos altamente su disco From The Album Of The Same Title (EMI, 1974)





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