"Multi-talented singer/songwriter Tony Carey, who makes his home in Germany, recorded two terrific progressive pop/rock albums in the early 80's under the group name Planet P (later re-christened Planet P Project). This self-titled debut album from 1983, with Carey writing all the songs, playing most of the instruments, and singing lead vocals on all but one song, is an awesome piece of work, combining a strong pop sensibility & great hooks with dramatic, keyboard & guitar-driven progressive rock that reminds me of Pink Floyd and the Alan Parsons Project. The songs are all excellent, especially "Static," "Armageddon," the MTV favorite "Why Me?," "Send It In A Letter," and "Only You And Me" (with guest lead vocals by David Thomas). Tony Carey would totally top himself with Planet P Project's ambitious 1984 follow-up, the double concept album "Pink World." But this self-titled debut is an awesome album all on it's own, and it remains one of 1983's very best releases."
Planet P blows my mind
Frank Janowitsch | Madison, Wisconsin | 02/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Are you kidding me? Truly one of the greatest forgotten albums ever. Got hold of this baby years ago and I play it all the time. Why me, Static, King for a day, Power tools... What songs. Also check out Tony Carey's first album, I won't be home tonight. Remember the video in the early MTV days? How many of you knew that Tony Carey was the keyboard player for Rainbow in the Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio days? Same great talent, but this Planet P album has a sound all its own."
A concept album with great individual songs
Garance A. Drosehn | Troy, NY United States | 04/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the 1980's, Tony Carey had enough musical and lyrical ideas in him that he split his output into two different outlets. Songs about individuals and stories at a personal level were released under his own name, while songs about societies and technology issues were released under the name "Planet P Project". This album was the first one for the PPP, released on Geffen records. There were a few spacey music videos which got a fair amount of airplay on MTV, back in the early days of MTV when it still had something to do with "music". I *thnk* there was a video for "Static" which got some video-play, but the video that most people will remember was one for "Why Me?".
"Static" is a song that views a world after some major man-made disaster, generally believed to be a nuclear war but never specifically mentioned as such. With lyrics such as: ``But you can't believe it, where did all the people go? A finger on the button -- static on the radio''. It's a wistful song of loss and tragedy on a grand scale.
I have always liked the song "King for a Day", which talks about those people with a insatiable thirst for power and writing their name in history. ``Build me a castle, and throw a parade. Put my name in stone, so the words won't fade. Start a religion, and name it for me. Build me a city, and give me the key! I'm king for a day, and can do no wrong...''. But in some ways it is also a commentary on the societies who *WANT* to crown their own kings for a day, one king after another.
Another interesting song is "Armageddon", which in some ways is a revisiting of the end-of-world theme from "Static". I am probably reading into this song that Tony wasn't meaning to write, but to me this song is about the major failing of modern society's success with technology. While we keep making tremendous strides in technology, societies are still hell bent on destroying each other (or themselves, for that matter). The main line from the song is simply, ``Armegeddon, oh no. Armageddon -- you came too soon''. Mankind might have the brainpower to solve all of it's problems, but not the willpower.
"Why Me?" is the song that got the most airplay. It's about an astronaut being launched on a very long-term space mission. With lines like: ``Thinking about the girl I left behind -- Houston can you hear me, or have I lost my mind? Why Me? Why Me?'', and ``The last guy to be here was never heard from again -- he won't be back this way until two thousand ten!''. (Of course, that sounded much more dramatic when it was first sung in 1983 than it does in 2005!!)
That gives you a basic idea of the lyrical theme of the album. It's a theme that resonated well back in the early 1980's, but it also works quite well in this post-9/11 world. The cold war may have faded away, but societies as a whole still face (and generate!) the same old problems.
Many people like to label this under progressive music, but to my mind that isn't quite right. The *theme* is obviously similar to what Pink Floyd might write on a bleak day, and Tony Carey does also have a great talent for writing and performing music. And it is a "concept album", which one might expect from progressive music. But each of the songs here is more like a pop song. They may have much better instrumental work than 98% of pop songs, but they are still short memorable songs. They have a standard structure of verses and a chorus, and each one can stand by itself. You don't need to listen to the whole album for any of these songs to make sense. Admittedly, the lyrics are not "sweet pop happy bubblegum" themes, but it seems a bit wrong (to me) to think of this as a progressive album. But I can understand why people say that. The instrumental work here is excellent, and he has the right voice for singing these themes.
The CD includes a bonus song "Rudy" which wasn't on the original album, and actually I think it just sounds out-of-place because it doesn't fit the theme of the album.
Tony Carey has continued to make a variety of great albums over the past twenty years, but most of them were only available in europe (he moved to Europe in the 1980's). Most of those were songs about individual people, and released under his own name. But last year he resurrected the Planet P Project for a new album about "society-level themes". His main web site these days is at http://www.truebeliever.de/ , which has info for his most recent releases. It also has a complete discography, and you'll be surprised how many albums he has released. The sad thing is that most of his earlier albums are only available by keeping an eye out for people selling used copies on eBay. There are a lot of great songs in his catalog."
The ultimate overlooked artist
buttonmusic | California | 06/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes musicians just get missed becose they are before there time. I went to some of Tony Carey's live dates in 1984 and really enjopyed the shows. I was always a Pink Floyd fan from early on and I guess I got this album just of the word PINK! Wow I played it over & over in the '80s i t meant so much to me I just could'nt beleive I could get it on cd. i listen to this all the time in the car - i found a weird link- pink floyd engineer Nigel Jopson 9on the Wall album) is also the engineer on this album and on Pink World and on all The Tony Carey albums! How strange is that!"
EXCELLENT !! BUY IT NOW!
email@example.com | Planet P | 05/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album originally was "Planet P" without "Project" added to it. From the year 1983. I have the tape from that year and surprisingly it still plays even after the many hundreds of times I have listened to it. I HIGHLY recommend this cd. And after you have been seduced by "Planet P" and you crave even more- HA! There's still yet- another Planet P album - It is called Pink World. And wait till you feast your ears on this one! And, wait thats not all. Another Planet P album has been recorded and should be out soon. ALRIGHT! And wait! There's still even more! Go to Keyword Search and type in "Tony Carey" . Thats right , he's the guy you hear singing. And he also writes the lyrics and music. This guy does it all. He also has a brand new album out. And yes, It's all I listen to."