Alan Parsons

Alan Parsons Biography

Alan Parsons' music is taking a new contemporary direction into the world of electronica. His new album, A Valid Path, features a number of notables in the genre including The Crystal Method, Shpongle and Uberzone. The album also features a guest appearance by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. Alan says, "The industry is changing and I feel the need to capture a different kind of audience while still keeping my identity. Electronic music is the fastest growing music category right now and I'm enjoying working with new people and new technology."

Born in Britain on December 20, 1948, Alan soon found that his interests lay in music. He studied piano and flute as a child and was always intrigued by gadgetry. He picked up the guitar in his early teens and played as a soloist as well as with various bands at school.

One of his first jobs was at an EMI tape duplication facility in West London. At this time he was fortunate enough to experience the master tape of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album, and that boosted his determination to become a recording engineer. Says Alan, "I couldn't wait to find out the secrets behind the album. It left me totally in awe of the talent of The Beatles themselves of course, but also the work behind the scenes in the studio." His timing was perfect. He landed a post at the then not-so-celebrated Abbey Road Studios and garnered significant experience on the Beatles' Let It Be album, and actively participated in the famous Apple rooftop session. The Abbey Road album (released before Let It Be but recorded later) helped Alan to make his mark with the Fab Four, although he was only an assistant engineer at that time. Still, it resulted in Alan going on to work as a full-blown engineer with Paul McCartney on McCartney, Wings Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway, including the singles "Hi Hi Hi" and "C Moon." "I couldn't have asked for a better grounding in recording," says Alan. "After all, not many engineers got to work with the greatest rock act of all time." He also helped out on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass album both as an assistant and as a mix engineer.

After the experience of working with The Beatles, Alan worked on a number of hits with The Hollies including "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother" and "The Air That I Breathe." However, his reputation was totally solidified with his engineering work on Pink Floyd's legendary Dark Side Of The Moon, which earned him the first of many Grammy nominations.

Alan soon ventured into production with the British band Pilot and scored immediate success with the hit single "Magic" (you know - "Oh Ho Ho It's Magic!!"). Other hits followed with Cockney Rebel and John Miles. Alan made three albums with Al Stewart, spawning the hit singles "Year Of The Cat" and "Time Passages."

Along with songwriter/manager Eric Woolfson, Alan decided to begin creating his own thematic records and founded the Alan Parsons Project. Although he occasionally played keyboards and infrequently sang on his records, the Project was designed primarily as a forum for a revolving collection of vocalists and session players - among them Arthur Brown, ex-Zombie Colin Blunstone, Cockney Rebel's Steve Harley, the Hollies' Allan Clarke and guitarist Ian Bairnson -- to interpret and perform Parsons and Woolfson's conceptually-linked, lushly arranged and orchestrated music.

The Project debuted in 1976 with Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a collection inspired by the work of Edgar Allen Poe. Similarly, the science fiction of Isaac Asimov served as the raw material for 1977's follow-up I Robot. After the further success of Pyramid in 1978, he moved to Monaco - an event that clearly influenced The Turn of a Friendly Card, a meditation on gambling, recorded in Paris in 1980. The Alan Parsons Project scored two Top 20 hits from this album, "Games People Play" and "Time." Having resettled back home in England, 1982's Eye in the Sky was their most successful effort to date, and notched a Top Three hit with its title track. More successes followed - Ammonia Avenue (1984), Vulture Culture (1985), Stereotomy (1986) and Gaudi (1987). A brief venture into musical theatre resulted in Freudiana in 1990. The show ran for over a year in the historic Theater An Der Wien in Vienna, Austria.

Eric and Alan then went separate ways. Eric devoted his career to the musical theatre while Parsons brought his music to the live concert stage and continued to record conceptual symphonic rock music. With his long-standing previous collaborators, guitarist Ian Bairnson and drummer Stuart Elliott, Alan dropped the "Project" identity for Try Anything Once in 1994. The partnership continued for On Air in 1996 and The Time Machine in 1999. During this time the "Alan Parsons Live Project" toured to sell-out audiences throughout the globe. Alan has also played various live shows with Ringo Starr, Jon Anderson, Alice Cooper, John Entwistle and Ann Wilson.

One of the most familiar Project tracks is "Sirius," perhaps best known as the Chicago Bulls theme and featured at countless NBA games. P.Diddy (Puff Daddy) also chose "Sirius" as the backbone for the title track of his platinum-selling CD, The Saga Continues. In 2000, "Sirius" was featured in an IMAX documentary movie about Michael Jordan. A long-standing fan of Alan's music, Mike Myers as Austin Powers in The Spy Who Shagged Me decided to name his Dr. Evil character's Death Ray "The Alan Parsons Project."

Alan has written extensively for the Pro-Audio press and is an acknowledged expert in 5.1 Surround Sound recording. He has often lectured at Recording conferences and Schools of Recording and was the keynote speaker at The Audio Engineering Society convention in 1998.

Alan now lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Lisa and her two teenage daughters, Tabitha and Brittni, four cats, four Guinea pigs, a lop-eared rabbit and a giant Labrador called Harrow.

Alan Parsons Bio from Discogs

Born: December 20, 1949 in London, England.



Alan Parsons studied a number of musical instruments in childhood but, like many of his peers, settled on the guitar in his early teens. His job in the late '60s at the EMI tape duplication facility allowed him access to many classics of the day, including the tape master of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which fired him to become a recording engineer. He subsequently managed to get work at the Abbey Road studios and participated in the creation of The Beatles albums "Let It Be", "Abbey Road" and the infamous Apple rooftop session. He also went on to work as mix engineer with Paul McCartney and George Harrison after The Beatles split.



Other artists Parsons has worked with include The Hollies, Cockney Rebel, John Miles & Al Stewart but his real ongoing claim to fame was his engineering work on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" which earned him his first grammy nomination.



It was after this that Parsons co-founded the Project with songwriter Eric Woolfson, creating conceptual albums that featured a revolving cast of uber studio aces and members of bands such as The Hollies, The Zombies & Cockney Rebel. The early albums were inspired by the works of Poe ("Tales Of Mystery & Imagination") and Asimov ("I Robot"), and later by esoteric subjects ("Pyramid", "Eye In The Sky").



During the '90s Parsons expanded his reportoire with a theatre show ("Freudiana"), and a touring live act with long time collaborators, guitarist Ian Bairnson and drummer Stuart Elliott. A long-standing fan of Alan's music, Mike Myers as Austin Powers in "The Spy Who Shagged Me" decided to name his Dr. Evil character's death ray "The Alan Parsons Project". Yeah, baby yeah!!



Alan's music is now taking a new contemporary direction into the world of Electronica. His latest album features a number of notables in the genre including The Crystal Method, Shpongle, The Nortec Collective and Uberzone. The album also features a guest appearance by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. Alan says, "The industry is changing and I feel the need to capture a different kind of audience while still keeping my identity. Electronic music is the fastest growing music category right now and I'm enjoying working with new people and new technology". The album is now available on CD and will be released in DVD formats. The DVD will contain 5.1 surround mixes as well as new visual material.



Alan has written extensively for the Pro-Audio press and is an acknowledged expert in 5.1 Surround Sound recording. He has often lectured at Recording conferences and Schools of Recording and was the keynote speaker at The Audio Engineering Society convention in 1998.



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