2007 Digitally Remastered and Expanded Edition of the Alan Parsons Classic Album that was Originally Released in 1985. Originally Meant to Be the Second Disc of "Ammonia Avenue", this Album Ended Up Being Released a Year a... more »fter that Opus. "Sooner Or Later" was to Be the Single to Market Via Top 40 Radio, but Things Didn't Turn Out that Way. This Edition Adds Five Tracks to the Original Nine with Demo and Alternate Versions to Maximize Use of the Compact Disc Format.« less
2007 Digitally Remastered and Expanded Edition of the Alan Parsons Classic Album that was Originally Released in 1985. Originally Meant to Be the Second Disc of "Ammonia Avenue", this Album Ended Up Being Released a Year after that Opus. "Sooner Or Later" was to Be the Single to Market Via Top 40 Radio, but Things Didn't Turn Out that Way. This Edition Adds Five Tracks to the Original Nine with Demo and Alternate Versions to Maximize Use of the Compact Disc Format.
Not 5 stars for the "APP rock" fan, but 5 stars for many oth
Alan Holyoak | In the shadow of the Tetons | 02/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Vulture Culture" was The Alan Parsons Project's (APP) 8th album. It came out originally early in 1985, and on the heels of "Eye in the Sky" and "Ammonia Avenue", a couple of pop-heavier APP discs. In brief, this is one of APP's most mellow albums. The main theme seems to be about the "me-first", and "what's in it for me" attitudes that are so common these days.
If you are an APP fan who prefers APP's progressive rock offerings, e.g., "Tales of Mystery and Imagination", "I Robot", and "Stereotomy", then this disc will probably not be one of your favorites. If, on the other hand, you favor APP's mellower side, e.g., "Eye in the Sky", "Turn of a Friendly Card", and "Ammonia Avenue" then you will almost certainly enjoy this disc.
While I do enjoy APP's progressive rock offerings, I've always favored their mellower side even more, and "Vulture Culture" is therefore one of my favorite APP albums.
The closest APP gets to rock on this disc is the opening track, "Let's Talk About Me", and it doesn't rock that hard.
This is a pop-driven effort, as evidenced by the following tracks: "Separate Lives" (OK to Good), "Sooner or Later" (Good), "Vulture Culture" (Good), and "Somebody Out There" (Good).
What makes this a top-notch album for me, however, are the mellow tracks "Days are Numbers" (absolutely tops) and "Same Old Sun" (great), and the excellent instrumental "Hawkeye."
In short, there's not a stinker in the whole list! And, consequently, I think that you will enjoy listening to the entire album.
To sum up, this ablum is a great mellow APP offering, a stance they moved away from in their 9th album "Stereotomy", which was much harder-driving.
5 stars from this 30+ year APP listener... "
One of the best from APP
Anthony Allan Hewetson | Lubbock, TX USA | 12/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is, easily, one of the best albums by Alan Parsons Project. It's not cool or easy to understand (some of the more critical reviews seem to think every album should be about horror poetry, pyramid mythology, or robots) but the lyrics offer up a pretty harsh indictment of the self-centered and, consequently, disassociated nature of individuals and the corporate-centered nature of the masses. The music is, as always, solid and the production values are, inevitably, great. The attempts at hits succeed, whatever the subject matter, because Alan Parson knows musical talent when he sees it and is a master at pulling everything together in the studio. If you like strong music, incredible production values, and lyrics that explore real issues, this is The Alan Parson Project album for you."
Rave review from one of Vulture Culture's Greatest Detractor
Parrish A. Highley | Somewhere I've Never Travelled | 09/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Upon my first few listenings of this remaster, I slowly came to grips with the fact that I never really gave the eighth "Project" a fair shake despite all the opportunities to do so over the course of twenty some odd years. By the time it was originally released in the mid-eighties, I had already formed some rather strident views as to what a "Project" was and was not. To a large extent, I think that's why I have been one of Vulture Culture's greatest detractors, but hearing the album remastered as allowed me to look at it again with a far more objective state of mind.
The two biggest hurdles were the absence of Andrew Powell, whose orchestrations would have taken The Same Old Sun to a whole new level, and the presence of a concept that, for the most part, did not leave nearly as much to the imagination as the previous triumphs I Robot, Pyramid, The Turn of a Friendly Card, and, even, Eve did. This was, perhaps, the first (and only) time Eric Woolfson may have painted with too broad a brush.
I think the main problem with the concept behind Vulture Culture is that it applies aggression and opportunism interchangeably in spite of the fact that the two are very distinct from the other. Vultures, themselves, are rather more opportunistic than aggressive, but Vulture Culture seems to use them to symbolize the economic aggression of the West. And, yet, the greatest economic disparities in our world are not between East and West nearly as much as they are between the northern and southern hemispheres.
But all that said, some very, very good music abounds throughout this album. And thanks to Sony's Direct Stream Digital Sampling from the best source tapes available, Let's Talk About Me, Separate Lives, and Days Are Numbers (The Traveller) have never sounded better! But it is the bonus material on this remaster that I found most compelling. How a gemstone like No Answers Only Questions (Final Version) could slip through the cracks and not see the light of day for twenty-three years is completely beyond my comprehension. A folk song of that caliber would have really made me look at the original album in a very different way! Add to that the fact that the best of the three instrumental reinterpretations of the entire albums appears here with The Naked Vulture (Early Mixes). Laden throughout these early mixes is the very witty banter of Lee Abrams that previously only appeared in a heavily edited form on "Let's Talk About Me" back in 1984.
While I would never have given this album the high marks I have here in its original form, this remaster deserves every bit of praise. Not only is there a drastic improvement in the sound quality with this remaster, the bonus material really is something very special. Of all The Project remasters, only the bonus material from Eye In The Sky rivals that which is here. I suppose I will always have some of the same problems with a few of the songs for their over-reliance on pop music convention, but this remaster is an entirely different experience altogether."
Alan Parsons Project - Ammonia Aveneue Part II
Steven Sly | Kalamazoo, MI United States | 12/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have read that this album was supposed to be a sequel of sorts to the previous one "Ammonia Avenue". The subject matter is similar in some ways. I don't think that this is a great APP disc, but it does have its moments. "Let's Talk About Me", "Separate Lives", "Days Are numbered", and "Same Old Sun" are all good tunes. The instrumental "Hawkeye" is cool too. Overall I would say that it is an above average disc, but not quite up there with the band's best."
Vulture Culture, you use it or you lose it...
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 12/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Alan Parsons Project made a serious move towards pop when "Vulture Culture" made its appearance in 1985. No opening instrumental. No orchestrations. And for the first time in many albums, no hit single. Granted, it may have been the years catching up to them (the APP's 8th album in 10 years), but "Vulture Culture" also feels a bit lackluster by Parson's own usual high standards.
The theme this time is man's general self-centeredness and predatory nature, stated rather bluntly in the opening "Let's Talk About Me." But this time, the concept feels more contrived than previous albums that so masterfully fused their ideas (like Pyramid or Eye in the Sky). The musicianship and production is newly highlighted in the remaster, and APP's usual team of stalwart musicians and vocalists are on board. Saxophonist Richard Collte in particular adds depth to some of the songs here, especially on the de-rigueur instrumental, "Hawkeye."
"Vulture Culture" does have a few highlights. The ballad "Days are Numbers (The Traveller)" should have been the first single. Graced with a gorgeous chorus and a splendid vocal from Chris Rainbow, it rates with "Time" as one of the Project's finest songs. Surprisingly, one of the other high points comes from a bonus track, the previously unreleased "No Answers Only Questions." A gentle folk ballad that probes the concept's question of why mankind seems so bent on competing so aggressively against each other.
The late Eric Woolfson writes in the liner-notes that, at the time, he and Parsons didn't think the song fit into the overall theme of "Vulture Culture." Now featured as a bonus track, "No Answers Only Questions" strikes a nice coda to the original album and, with the passing of Woolfson in November 2009, posts an additional note on the legacy of what a gifted singer/composer he was. In my opinion, "Vulture Culture" is on a par with Eve in the canon of APP albums; not bad, but one that could be set aside for better works first."