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The Alan Parsons Project Returns To India

The Brit prog rock band will perform material from their golden years: 1976-1987

Lalitha Suhasini Nov 27, 2013
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Alan Parsons

Alan Parsons

The music of The Alan Parsons Project and in particular “The Raven” from their debut album Tales of Mystery and Imagination Edgar Allan Poe conjures up images from a hazy, dark dream filled with ghostly shadows, dying light and a looming black figure of a bird. While The Alan Parsons Project does not have or aim for the pop exuberance of The Beatles or the psychedelic rock sensibilities of Pink Floyd, both of whom Parsons has worked with in the capacity of an audio engineer, it laid the foundation for prog rock in the Seventies. This month, Parsons and his group may bring “The Raven” to stage in Mumbai alongwith some of their best material at a multi-arts event titled Johnnie Walker The Journey.

When we spoke to Parsons ahead of his second India visit, the 65-year-old musician told us how his music is still relevant to younger audiences. Says Parsons from his Santa Barbara residence over a phone interview, “I think there’s a revival of Seventies music. It’s been nearly 40 years since some of  our music released and it’s great that younger audiences who have grown up on our music still want to listen to it.” Tracks such as “Eye In The Sky” have proved that the orchestral brilliance of The Alan Parsons Project has endured. Not that Parsons did not try to change his sound to appeal to a younger audience. In 2004, Parsons released a solo album titled A Valid Path, an electronica-influenced production that was way ahead of its time. “I’ve always been keen on capturing a younger audience,” says Parsons, “A Valid Path was really an experiment. It had very little in the way of real instruments and except for David Gilmour’s guitars, it was all programmed. Unfortunately, the audience preferred the old Alan Parsons sound.”

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Parsons also continues to inspire contemporary prog rock artists such as Brit rock band Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson. Wilson approached Parsons to work on his third solo album The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories), which released earlier this year. Says Parsons about working with Wilson, “The reason why he wanted me on the album was because he wanted to make a concept album, the way it was made in the Seventies.” So Parsons, who was the associate producer and recording engineer on Wilson’s album, took the old fashioned route to making the album. “The only thing we didn’t do was use tape machines,” says Parsons.

Since classics seem to be in demand, The Alan Parsons Project will mine most of their hits that were composed and released during the Mid Seventies and late Eighties at their Mumbai show. Says Parsons of their 2007 show, when The Alan Parsons Project first performed in India, “It’s always amazing to perform in a new country and find that you have a new following. We’re really excited about coming back.” The Alan Parsons Project will also debut their just released single “Fragile.”

The Alan Parsons Project will perform on December 14th at Mehboob Studios in Mumbai. Entry: Rs 3,000. For tickets go here            

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