The Alan Parsons Project was a British Progressive Rock band active in the 1970s and 1980s. The core group consisted of Alan Parsons (Producer/Engineer/Co-Writer/Occasional Instruments and backing vocals) and Eric Woolfson (Keyboards/Lyricist/Vocalist), with additional members recruited as required for each individual project.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1976) - inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe
Creator Backlash: Eric Woolfson hated "Lucifer", despite the fact that the instrumental song reached #1 in Germany.
Parsons with the unreleased The Sicilian Defense, which was more or less a throwaway instrumental album that was intended to force their label's hand in an attempt to renegotiate their contract.
Epic Instrumental Opener: Several albums open with an instrumental that segues into the first song. The most famous of these instrumentals is "Sirius", the lead-in to "Eye in the Sky".
Epic Rocking: "The Fall of the House of Usher" is in several parts, but is about sixteen minutes in total.
"La Sagrada Familia" is about eight and a half minutes on the studio version, although significantly shorter when played live.
Executive Meddling: Eric Woolfson's growing prominence as a lead vocalist resulted from this. Parsons didn't like using him as a lead vocalist as he was not a trained singer, but the record company were quick to notice that whenever he sang lead, the song was a hit...and so insisted he sing on more tracks.
Faceless Eye: The cover of the album Eye in the Sky. The title track, one of the Alan Parsons Project's best known songs, is a person telling his/her significant other (in a very creepy and vindictive fashion) that he/she knows the other's been cheating and is tired of pretending to be ignorant of it.
I Am the Band: Alan Parsons (producer/sound engineer) and Eric Woolfson (songwriter), neither of whom sang or played instruments regularly (although Woolfson does sing lead on the band's biggest hit, "Eye in the Sky", and played keyboards on a lot of their later stuff).
Missing Episode: The Sicilian Defense, an all-instrumental, atonal album the band recorded entirely for the purpose of getting out of their recording contract. After they submitted the album, they successfully renegotiated their contract. The album has not been released and, according to Parsons, "never will be, if I have anything to do with it.... I hope the tapes no longer exist." One song was released as a bonus track to a reissue of Eve in 2008, but according to the band's record company, there are no plans to release any of the other material.
Retraux: And a number of other past-meets-future-type-tropes, just from the cover of I Robot. There's the retro-futuristic-looking robot, but also 1950s fashions for the men on the escalators (fedoras and suits), and the escalators are very clearly those of Charles de Gaulle Airport in Parisnote Or as it is known today, Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle; Terminals 2 and 3 are rather different. which was designed in the late 1960s and didn't open until 1974 (i.e. long after fedoras were out of style).
Self-Backing Vocalist: Guest vocalist Chris Rainbow elevated this to an art form, both with lead harmonies and veritable walls of backing vocals. He was credited in a couple of Alan Parsons Project albums as a "One-Man Beach Boys Choir".