The Footpath Cowboy | Kingston, NY United States | 05/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE ESSENTIAL ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, unlike THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION, covers only the years that Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson worked together, and thus includes many great songs not on the earlier set, including the entire title suite from THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD. Even so, some great songs, including "Breakdown" and "May Be A Price To Pay", are left off. As a result, to complete your Alan Parsons library, you need both anthologies, I, ROBOT, THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD, TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION, EYE IN THE SKY, and the work Parsons did for such artists as Al Stewart, the Beatles, and many others."
Parsons in Perspective
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 04/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Following his own peculiar career path, Alan Parsons became an unlikely star by recording a series of conceptual albums featuring a wide variety of singers and musicians, making rich and complicated music that still managed to cruise onto radio and beak the Top 40. Be they topically based on literature (Tales of Mystery and Imagination, I Robot), art (Gaudi) relationships with the opposite sex (Eve, God and mysticism (Pyramid) or our own foibles (Stereotomy and Turn of a Friendly Card), he managed to create sonic tapestries that few others could match.
This album switches a few tracks from The Definitive Collection, mainly adding the "Turn of a Friendly Card" suite. Dropping "Pyramania" shorts the "Pyramid" album, and offers a few different picks from "I Robot."
Parsons and his creative partner in the APP, Eric Woolfson managed a nifty trick though out their heyday, which was to create complex music and make it sound simple. There were no ELP gymnastics here, no Yes-like side long odes to alternate universes, and no musical condescension that often plagued prog-rock collectives. Just memorable hooks attached to beautifully structured ballads ("Time, "Days Are Numbers") pop (the Phil Spector style "Don't Answer Me," "Eye In The Sky") and Album rockers ("Stereotomy," "Dr Tarr and Professor Feather"). He also had a knack for immaculate instrumentals, some became almost as well known as the hit singles. "Sirius" in particular became a heavily used Sports theme.
Listening to these songs (remastered and sounding amazing) is a reminder of just how beautiful high-fidelity can be in the age of computerized compression and MP3's. Don't get me wrong; I love my I-pod. But in the race to replace fidelity with convenience, artists with a style like the Alan Parsons Project or the equally idiosyncratic Steely Dan find their music less likely to be heard in the manner it is created. And that's a shame. Get this CD now (and others like it, like Parson's work on Dark Side of the Moon) before the CD meets in inevitable doom.
The remastered albums of Tales, Robot and EitS are all worth picking up. One can only hope for the rest of the albums to follow."
48 tracks but stil missing essential songs
Galley | Greenville, South Carolina United States | 04/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While it's great to see that The Alan Parsons Project got a 3-disc collection overseas while we Americans will only get a 2-disc set, it still is missing some essential songs like (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, Breakdown, Voyager, Pyramania and You Don't Believe. Overall, The Definitive Collection is a better collection. With three discs, it would've been nice to include some of Alan Parsons' solo work."
This is a top-notch anthology of the Alan Parsons Project to
Alan Holyoak | In the shadow of the Tetons | 03/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...if you are truly interested in the real Alan Parsons Project (APP) experience, then skip the anthologies and buy their other complete concept albums.
Before that, though, I need to say that this collection provides the listener with the majority of the most popular APP singles. It is notable for that reason, and it is therefore worth a listen for the person who may be trying APP out for the first time.
...APP does the concept album better than just about anyone else. They are able to take a concept or idea and expand it to fill an entire album. So if you want to experience a deeper, richer listening experience listen to entire APP albums, not to just the popular tracks.
Try these albums on for size (I recommend listening to them in this order...the original order they were released):
Tales of Mystery and Imagination I Robot Pyramid Eve The Turn of a Friendly Card Eye in the Sky Ammonia Avenue Vulture Culture Stereotomy Gaudi
So, I assigned this anthology 4 stars not because the experience is particularly lacking, but because you could have a more complete and enjoyable experience by listening to the original list of APP discs.
From a 30+ year APP fan. I hope this was helpful!"
The Ideal Compilation for the Casual Fan
Parrish A. Highley | Somewhere I've Never Travelled | 11/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with The Definitive Collection, The Essential Alan Parsons Project gives the casual fan the proper mixture and proportion of radio hits, Alan Parsons' signature instrumentals, and Eric Woolfsons' thought-provoking ballads. Best of all, SONY/BMG has included the once lost gemstone No Answers Only Questions (Final Version) that Eric Woolfson composed and guitarist Ian Bairnson arranged. Everything has been digitally remastered from the best available source tapes. The end result is a product that sounds very good on a moderately priced home system and stunning on audiophile-quality speakers and equipment. If the casual fan sought advice as to where to begin enjoying The Alan Parsons Project, I would whole-heartedly recommend this collection."