The Alan Parsons Project – La Sagrada Familia

May 7, 2009

Today’s MSMOTD

The Alan Parsons Project – La Sagrada Familia (from 1987′s “Gaudi”)

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Let’s begin with the bad news:  There’s no way in hell that I can do justice to this group with a simple blog post and a few selections of music.  Alan Parsons is huge.  HUGE.  The Alan Parsons Project isn’t really a band in the regular sense… Instead it’s a series of concept albums helmed by producer/composer Alan Parsons. If you’re a big Pink Floyd fan, you may recognize the name, since Alan Parsons is the genius who engineered their Dark Side of the Moon album, along with a few others (including The Beatles’ “Abbey Road”). He and Eric Woolfson are the driving force behind the Alan Parsons Project and the only constant contributors. The rest of the group is a rotating set of instrumentalists and vocalists who lend their talents to the various songs and albums created for the Project.

Erik Woolfson and Alan Parsons - Musical genius incarnate.

Erik Woolfson and Alan Parsons - Musical genius incarnate.

The music itself could be described as anything from classic rock to prog/art rock to funk to pop to electronica… In fact, every album is fairly different with a unique and identifiable style. This goes along with the concept for each album. Their first album, released in 1975, is about the works of Edgar Allen Poe, with songs based on his various stories including The Raven and The Telltale Heart. They’ve done other albums about Isaac Asimov, or specifically, his “I Robot” novels, an album about the spanish architect Antonio Gaudi and other albums about such nebulous concepts as “Pyramids” and “The Relationship between Men and Women” and “Big Brother”. They’ve released 15 albums in all, spanning a 29 year period from 1975 to 2004.

The MSMOTD I’ve selected, La Sagrada Familia is one of my most favourite songs. I treasure its every note and phrase. I can sing along, forwards or backwards. Such a powerful song. It’s from their 1987 album “Gaudi” and is about the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Cathedral in Barcelona. Definitely one of the most impressive, yet utterly alien looking buildings in the world. It’s an architectural marvel even though it remains unfinished to this day (Gaudi died before he could finish it). Check out the website created for the building! http://www.sagradafamilia.org/

Mons atop the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona - Still sick from bad Moroccan Tajine.

Mons atop the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona - Still sick from bad Moroccan Tajine.

They have dozens of incredible songs that I wish I could show you.  The plaintive vocals and simple chords of The Eagle Will Rise Again have influenced my musical sensibilities more than to which any song has the right.  Eye in the Sky was a global smash hit.  The bombastic horns/drums of Some Other Time get me out of my seat every time.  Alan Parsons has always been on the forefront of musical style, with tight funk pieces in the 70s, synth-pop in the 80s, an amazing Robert Miles-ish instrumental trance piece in 99 (The Time Machine – better than anything Robert Miles ever did), and gorgeous ballads, spacey electronica, prog-rock epics and bright vocal pop songs throughout.  He even did a collaboration with The Crystal Method on his most recent album.

The two other songs I’ve featured below are just as good as the MSMOTD.  The first one, Games People Play was one of their biggest  hits, hitting all the important top 20 charts etc.  It also stands beside Back in Black as perhaps the greatest driving song ever.  I think a lot of you will prefer it to La Sagrada Familia actually, but I don’t care because I love LSF so much!  The second song, Return to Tunguska is something really special.  It’s from their most recent album, 2004′s “A Valid Path”, and features the incomparable SHPONGLE as well as DAVE GILMOUR of Pink Floyd on guitar.  Once again, Alan Parsons proves that he’s relevant, even 30 years on.

Alan Parsons and crew are absolutely in my top 5 artists.  I hope you like them even a FRACTION of how much I adore their music.  Leave a comment to let me know what you think!

- Mons

More Music from Alan Parsons

The Alan Parsons Project – Games People Play (from 1980′s “The Turn of a Friendly Card”)

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Alan Parsons – Return to Tunguska (from 2004′s “A Valid Path”)

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Further info about today’s MSMOTD

Official Website: http://www.alanparsonsmusic.com/

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Parsons

All his albums are excellent, but I recommend buying I Robot or Eye in the Sky. You can also download La Sagrada Familia or Return to Tunguska.

2 Responses to “The Alan Parsons Project – La Sagrada Familia”

  1. Wooooowwww.
    Awesome one!!
    I liked reading about Crystal Method and Shpongle. What a hip cat! HUH!

  2. Eric Woolfson, songwriter of the alan parsons project is on facebook, and he just released a stupidly low priced Fan package including his newest album through his facebook store: http://bit.ly/paBwr If you are an APP fan you will definitely be interested in this!