Alan Parsons


Alan Parsons

Infobox musical artist
Name = Alan Parsons


Img_capt =
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Background = solo_singer
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1948|12|20|df=yes
London, England
Died =
Instrument =
Genre = Rock
Occupation = Audio engineer, composer, musician, record producer, director
Years_active = 1967–present
Label = Legacy, Arista, Fox, Mercury
Associated_acts = The Alan Parsons Project
URL = [http://www.alanparsonsmusic.com/ Alan Parsons Music]
Notable_instruments =

Alan Parsons (b. 20 December 1948 in London) is a British audio engineer, musician, and record producer. He was involved in the production of several successful albums, including The Beatles' "Abbey Road" and "The Dark Side of the Moon", for which Pink Floyd credit him as an important contributor. Parsons' own group, The Alan Parsons Project, has also been commercially successful.

Career

In October 1967, at age 18, Parsons went to work as an assistant engineer at Abbey Road Studios, where he earned his first credit on the LP, "Abbey Road". He became a fixture there, engineering such projects as Paul McCartney's "Wild Life" and "Red Rose Speedway", five albums by The Hollies, and Pink Floyd’s "The Dark Side of the Moon", for which he received his first Grammy Award nomination. He was known for going beyond what would normally be considered the scope of a recording engineer’s duties. He considered himself to be a recording director, likening his contribution to recordings to what Stanley Kubrick contributed to film. This is apparent in his work with Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat," where Parsons added the saxophone part and transformed the original folk concept into the jazz-influenced ballad that put Al Stewart onto the charts. It is also heard in Parsons’ influence on the Hollies’ "He Ain't Heavy, He’s My Brother" and "The Air That I Breathe," sharp departures from their 1960s pop "Stay," "Just One Look," "Stop! Stop! Stop!" or "Bus Stop." Parsons was also known to have swapped shifts during the engineering of "The Dark Side of the Moon" so he could work entirely on the project.

Parsons also produced three albums by Pilot, a Scottish pop rock band consisting of Ian Bairnson on guitar, Stuart Tosh on drums, and David Paton on lead vocals, guitars, and on bass. Their hits included "January" and "Magic."

Apparently inspired by his influential contribution to Stewart’s work, he founded The Alan Parsons Project with producer and songwriter (and occasional singer) Eric Woolfson in 1975. The Project consisted of a revolving group of studio musicians and vocalists, most notably the members of Pilot and (on the first album) the members of American rock band Ambrosia. Unlike most rock groups, the Project rarely performed live, although they did release a number of music videos. After releasing ten albums, the Project dissolved after 1987, and Parsons continues to release work in his own name and in collaboration with other musicians; Parsons and his band now regularly tour many parts of the world.

Although an accomplished vocalist, keyboardist, bassist, guitarist and flautist, Parsons sang infrequent and incidental parts on his albums. While his keyboard playing was very prominent on Alan Parsons Project albums, very few recordings feature his flute.

Of all his collaborations, guitarist Ian Bairnson worked with Parsons the longest, including Parsons' post-Woolfson albums, "Try Anything Once", "On Air", and "The Time Machine."

As well as receiving gold and platinum awards from nearly every country in the world, Parsons has received eleven Grammy Award nominations for engineering and production. In 2007 he received a nomination for Best Surround Sound Album for "A Valid Path."

The Project’s song, "Sirius," has been used for years by the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, and the Kansas City Chiefs as background music for their home team player introductions. It was also used by professional wrestler Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat as his theme music during his first stint in the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s, and in the Michael Jordan film "Michael Jordan to the Max". (In addition, the song the Bulls use as background music for the visiting team introductions is Pink Floyd’s "On The Run," from "The Dark Side of the Moon", engineered by Parsons.)

In May 2005, Parsons appeared at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, California, to mix front-of-house sound for Southern California-based Pink Floyd tribute band Which One’s Pink? and their performance of "The Dark Side of the Moon" in its entirety. [http://www.fohonline.com/news/news.php?sCode=05051106.txt link] In an interview with the "Santa Barbara Independent" newspaper regarding his work with Project Unity, Parsons also briefly mentioned Which One's Pink? [http://independent.com/news/2006/nov/22/project-unity/ link]

Indie band Grandaddy made a promotional CD with the track “Alan Parsons In A Winter Wonderland”.

As of 2007, he tours under a revised name, The Alan Parsons "Live" Project (with Woolfson’s permission), presenting world-spanning concerts performing material from his most recent album "A Valid Path" as well as selections from the original Project. The earlier 2004-2005 shows offered vocalist P.J. Olsson’s track "More Lost Without You" while the later 2006 shows presented The Crystal Method-featured "We Play the Game" and opened with "Return to Tunguska" along with hits spanning the Project years.

Parsons lives in the Santa Barbara, California, area.

Discography

Albums

Billboard Top 40 Hit Singles

: # 3 - Eye in the Sky (1982): #15 - Time (1981): #15 - Don't Answer Me (1984): #16 - Games People Play (1980): #27 - Damned if I Do (1979): #36 - I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You (1977): #37 - (The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether (1976)

Canadian Singles

: #62 - (The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether (1976): #22 - I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You (1977): #16 - Damned if I Do (1980): # 9 - Games People Play (1981): #30 - Time (1981): # 1 - Eye in the Sky (1982): #43 - You Don't Believe (1983): #20 - Don't Answer Me (1984): #89 - Let's Talk About Me (1985)

External links

* [http://www.alanparsonsmusic.com/ Alan Parsons Music Official Site]
* [http://www.the-alan-parsons-project.com/ Alan Parsons Project Official Site]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0663768/ Alan Parsons in the Internet Movie Data Base]
*"Crawdaddy!" "Parsons Knows: The Tale of Alan Parsons and Edgar Allan Poe" [http://crawdaddy.wolfgangsvault.com/Article.aspx?id=6054 link]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland — is a promotional single released by the band Grandaddy in 2000. Though not released on any official Grandaddy albums it can be found on The Windfall Varietal bootleg and on the XFM benefit compilation It s a Cool, Cool Christmas . This track… …   Wikipedia

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