Blues Classical Country. Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying.
Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. A concept album does not make for a prog record although there are solid prog overtones and it is a very symphonis affair because then The Who and Pretty Things should then be included. Tales is the only APP album that approaches prog in the strict sense of the term. However, the music is really endearing and Raven is my fave on here and Doctor Tarr The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination lagging far behind.
The lenghty suite on side 2 The Fall of The House of Usher is another highlightalthough The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination find this a little too easy for my complicated tastes. Apart from being an outstanding record producerAlan Parsons had some real taste for symphonic music as he showed us on the Ambrosia debut and there are lenghty passages where he must've had a ball.
So do most listeners. Would this not be a prog sitethis album would easily have gotten a fourth star. The album which set the Alan Parsons Project on their way, and gave them instant success.
In a recent interview in Classic Rock magazineEric Wolfson explained that Parsons name was chosen for the band because of his "fame" as the top engineer at Abbey Road.
He further alludes to the fact that Parsons was very much a figurehead, and that in fact Wolfson was the real driving force. Side two of the album is dominated by "The fall of the house of usher", a largely orchestral piece complete with chilling sound effects, which while enjoyable, is a bit overlong. Also unlike most other APP albums, the majority of the other tracks are very strong, with the many guest vocalists including John Miles in great form putting in first class performances.
Feather" is the only sub-standard piece. An excellent collection of music, and probably the best from the APP. The remastered CD includes additional instrumentation and narration. Watch out also for a recently released "follow up" by Wolfson, revisiting the works of Poe. Something much more serious than anything Alan Parsons Project did later. Alan Parsons is a capable engineer great musician and a talented composer but would be unfair to forget that Andrew Powell an incredible conducer is responsible for the perfect orchestral arrangements that play such an important part in almost every APP album.
The first track "A Dream Within a Dream" starts with a narration by Orson Welles of an Edgar Allan Poe passage that sets the mood not only for this song but also for all the album, as always his perfect English and educated voice gives extra credibility to whatever he reads.
The song, as the track says is oneiric, beginning with a synthetizer solo that goes in crescendo until drums and bass join it in an explosion of power that again starts to fade in order to end the song, a beautiful and haunting opening.
This track has the particularity that Alan Parsons sings some sections using an EMI vocoder, with the company of the correct Leonard Whiting. Without loosing the dark atmosphere, "The Tell-Tale Heart" The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination faster than all the previous, the breathtaking vocals by the legendary Arthur Brown create the perfect sense of guilt and anguish for the story of a man who is tormented by his obsession with the beat of the heart from a person he killed, correctly complemented by the instruments and music, it's a perfect song for a perfect story.
The next track is "The Cask of Amontillado" gives us an example of the style Alan Parsons Project developed with the pass of the years, soft vocals by John Miles and Terry Sylvester followed by impressive orchestral sections full of brass instruments and professional choirs, sadly in later albums he mixed this apotheosis with weaker and pop oriented tunes.
Excellent track that mixes different styles and sounds in a very inventive way, and that's what progressive rock means, challenge the listener even when it's confusing. The album is closed with "To One for the Paradise" sung by Terry Sylvester, Erick Woolfson and Alan Parsons who create complex The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination sections with the background by The Westminster City School Boys Choir and Jane Powell, mostly for guitars, is a semi acoustic song that softens the dark atmosphere of the whole album, extremely beautiful.
It's important to mention Erick Woolfson, assistant producer and impeccable keyboardist, often known as Alan Parsons right hand, without him the album wouldn't have been the same.
Absolutely essential release, if you got this one and none other by The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination Parsons Project, don't worry, it's by far the best and more imaginative, but if you can get I Robot and Pyramid, go for them, also very good albums. Without hesitation I will rate it with 5 stars, doesn't deserve any less.
This song is good, but not excellent. Just because a song is long doesn't make it good. However, it is fairly good and exceptional at points. A disappointing close which actually is the main reason this album Work Your Magic (Deep Zone Project Dance Remix) - Koldun* - Work Your Magic not five stars.
Then "To one in Paradise" closes the album on an upper note, and there you have it. An excellent album suggested to newcomers and veterans alike.
Inwhen Mercury Records reissued this both vinyl and CDit was given some Orson Welles narrations which obviously had to been recorded beforesince '85 was the year Welles diedwith '80s digital add-ons especially those big '80s "gated" drums - think like what ZZ Top did to their early albums around the same time when they reissued those albums, same digital treatments.
If you heard the remixed version first, you'll be put in a shock not hearing the narration or those '80s drums. Duncan MacKay who would play on their next three albums, then joined CAMEL for a short time, that's why he left by wasn't on this album. But there is still that '70s hi-tech feel, and they did use a vocodor custom made by EMI and a Projectron a custom made analog samplerso the album wasn't completely absent of electronics.
There are some interesting people involved in this album. This album is based on a bunch of short stories and poems from Edgar Allen Poe, so no suprise that the song titles should be named after them. Then you have the Andrew Powell orchestrated suite "The Fall of the House of Usher", which, as you guess, is largely orchestrated, except for "Pavane" which centers around John Leach's cimbalom Hungarian dulcimer and kantele Finnish zither that obviously sounds The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination a precursor to the title track of "I Robot".
While if I'm not mistakened The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination Sylvester is doing vocal duties, the backing vocals are by Eric Woolfson, so it's not "Time" that you first hear his vocals, it's this song as well as the backing vocals on "What Goes Up It's a nice album, but I felt "I Robot" was better.
The album closes with the dreamy To One In Paradise a sort of cross between The Beatles' Across The Universe and yer average Pink Floyd stoner ballad which emphasises the fact that while APP had some great instrumental themes and vocal melodies, there are hardly any progressive instrumental exchanges to speak of, which is surprising because aside from Parsons' main sidekicks of keyboardist Eric Woolfson who co-writes the material with Parsons and guitarist Ian Bairnson, the backing band included talented musicians from lesser-known bands like Curved Air, Ambrosia and Pilot.
This is one that I think most progressive fans will definitely appreciate, more for the atmosphere and tale-telling rather than any great musical exchanges. My favourite is 'Cask of Amontillado' - calm but very full of horror atmosphere about being locked in a catacomb.
Fantastic arrangement again, as in the whole album. And the beautiful and peaceful 'To One in Paradise' balances the album nicely, leaving the lines of Poe's poem linger in mind. This album is a fantastic classic with great artwork too which you'll love especially if you ever have enjoyed Poe yourself.
It has none of the dullness of later A P Project and the choice of singers is perfect here. I believe that this album is enough to give me an idea of what the mid 70's nerds referred to technical prodigy. At that time, this album surely seemed like a revelation, the top of the hill in terms of sound quality, the apogee of Dolby technology The type of melodies have that 'classic rock' feeling, the type you hear on a boring car ride on a sunday afternoon. To youngsters, it takes more attention not to laugh, to yawn or to maun at Organ - Erich Wolfgang Korngold / William Stromberg / The Moscow Symphony Orchestra - The Prince And price you paid for it.
Why am I stating Pink FLoyd? The most obvious Rosa Gris - Duncan Dhu - Teatro Victoria Eugenia is of course the great Floyd himself, and the Beatles for the rest. Many times we hear The Elton John Band* - Philadelphia Freedom of Dark Side or singing type a la The Wall.
Not a bad thing at all. This album provides lots of trippy moments, especially the suite called the Fall of the House of Usher, where the exquisite narration of Orson Welles interacts with orchestration Lune Des Siens - LoJo - Au Cabaret Sauvage of the old Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi movies. Once again, youngsters will bore out very quickly, and those without imagination could regret the purchase I almost did!
This album is definitely a grower, a cd to pop in often to finally being able to grab the feeling of the oh so groovy 70's. Classic for rainy days or candle light evenings. As the album name implies this is a concept album about a writer Edgar Allan Poe - whom at end of his life, exactly on October 3,in mysterious circumstances he is discovered unconscious and is taken to hospital and he dies four days later. The album kicks off with a narration by Orson Welles that remarks the first track "A Dream within a Dream" with some orchestration.
The music enters with bass lines War Chant - Fiji Military Forces Band, Fiji Mocambo Hotel Group, Nasilau Tropicana Group - Action Fi drum work in repetitive notes followed with nice keyboard work and guitar.
The music moves in crescendo with drum sound and it slowly fades out maintaining only the bass guitar to keep the beat. It's a good track combining clean vocal, stunning guitar solo and orchestra.
At the background, the orchestra enriches the music textures especially during quiet passages. This is my favorite APP track because I love the melody very much. The orchestration part is really good and I urge you to play it outloud with your stereo set.
The album features an instrumental epic "The Fall of the House of Usher" that comprises five parts: PreludeArrivalIntermezzoPavane Magical Land - Various - Forest Bathing - A Collection, and Fall The epic is exploratory in nature and it contains excellent orchestration work.
It finally concludes with a ballad "To One in Paradise" using acoustic guitar and backing vocals as main rhythm section. Overall, it's a very good album that delivers relatively light progressive music and it may favor most of music buffs, be it prog lovers or not, because is pretty accessible. Some people call it as ear-candy prog. It's an excellent package.
Keep on proggin'.! A great concept about one of the greatest writer in all the history of the western society. I've always loved his tales, his imagination, his great literature's knowledge, even his humour! I remember me going to library or buying his Tales, reading those terrifying pages 'til the late hours. Poe's characters, few exceptions apart, are always examples of a banished humanity: they are perverse The Imp of the Perverseinsane Roderick Usherspectral Silenceangel-like creatures Ligeia, Morella, Berenice.
All masques for musical dramas, all nightmares for evenings without moon. Love, amusement, fear, terror, imagination, anguish. Alan Parsons had really a good idea. Surely he did it in the instrumental The Fall Of The House Of Usher, 16 minutes of pure trembling feelings, spectral movements and dark structures. What about the sung tracks? The Cask of Amontillado and The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Leather are excellent expecially the Let To Live - Sphere - Mindless Mass one with those powerful orchestral parts!
I cannot say the same for The Tell-tale Heart and The Raven which seem to me somehow more superficial and banal not bad though. He never met Alan Parsons. Only sent the recorded tape. The first side consists of 5 short tracks, each based on a Poe short story. Highlights are The Raven and The Cask of Amontillado, where the sense of menace is conveyed in the music, but all the tracks on the first side are well worth a listen.
The second side is the magnum opus, complete with thunder and some fine orchestral arrangements, well integrated with the rock musicians. Pavane is particularly exquisite. The whole thing sounds like the soundtrack to a high quality horror movie. It ends with the gentle To One in Paradise. Overall, an album well worth owning.
In the seventies Alan Parsons was certainly a person who was keenly aware of popular sensibilities and what kinds of music would go over with the listening public. Indeed, his career as a producer largely depended on this, and he was savvy enough to be one of the first rock music producers to employ his The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination business agent to help maximize on his rare talent.
Parsons perhaps believed that a similar concept would also bring him commercial success. That combined with his supremely competent skill at arranging and producing highly accessible and technical excellent music led to this very accessible and impressive debut. This album takes the literary theme to another level though. Parsons The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination creative partner Eric Woolfson selected a number of short stories and poems from the late Edgar Allen Poe and merged them together into what is a little bit literary soundtrack, and a little bit concept album.
The meticulous attention to detail and impeccable choices in the supporting cast resulted in a time-tested classic. Wells adds some pomp and texture with his short readings scattered throughout, including leading into the opening track. Parsons employs a number of musicians throughout the album, and many of them play keyed instruments of one sort or another, including synthesizers, piano, organ, harpsichord, cimbalom, and kantele. The opening instrumental employs a number of these and while it is difficult-to-impossible to separate each one, the result is a quite ambient and beautiful beginning to the album.
This was a minor hit single in the United States and one of the stronger tracks on the album. Kind of an abbreviated equivalent to Crime and Punishment, I suppose. The pulsating keyboards and intense rhythm provide a great interpretation of the mood Poe probably intended for this tale.
The stark organ here helps to create a musical scene of dank castles with mildewed moats and torch-lit corridors, while the backing vocals at the close could easily have been lifted from a church funeral requiem. The soundscape here fits the storyline perfectly. As he eats the visitor is struck by the seemingly odd behavior of the staff, only to find in the end that the patients have tarred, feathered, and locked up the physicians and are masquerading as the staff themselves.
So here quite literally — the lunatics are running the asylum. This was a modestly popular single Zone Groove - R.E.D* - New Age EP the States in the mids although many reviewers including Rolling Stone magazine complained that the instruments and tempo are haphazard and make little sense.
Parsons and Woolfson also add authentic rain and lightning sounds taken from outside the studio to enhance the dreary mood they are attempting to portray. The long and mournful guitar sustains here reminds me very much of some of those on Dark Side of the Moon, The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination even some Moody Blues works from the same period.
Here Hollies guitarist Terry Sylvester adds some vocals and the mood is more sanguine than anywhere else on the album, and even mildly nostalgic. A nice closer, but a bit out of character with the rest of the album. Some hardcore progressive Identity - Curse Ov Dialect - Crisis Tales dismiss this as a simplistic piece of music, perhaps progressively inclined but not deep or complex enough to merit serious consideration.
I disagree. Alan Parson and Eric Woolfson produced an impeccably-engineered piece of art here, with logical and believable references to some of the finer works of a legendary author. The fact they possessed the skill to do so while managing to make it highly accessible and even inspiring to listen to only makes this more worthwhile for collectors of the genre.
They are imposing their sound, and much better things will come; in spite of this is a incredible strong debut, for a "prog related band" Highly recommended, but not the place The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination start!
I gather that Orson Welles recited narration that was added to the newer version released in the eighties but my original LP doesn't have The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination so the opening tune, "A Dream Within A Dream," is an instrumental. And a fine one, at that. It has a dreamy, mysterious beginning and a very Pink Floydian build up that's very effective as it leads right into "The Raven.
Very cool effect. It's not a particularly remarkable song in and of itself but the pristine orchestral score in the middle section is outstanding. Throughout the album the solo, harmony and chorale work is top notch and each featured vocalist is suitably cast for the tune they sing.
A case in point is "The Tell-Tale Heart," a song about unbearable guilt that drives the protagonist stark raving mad, performed eloquently by Mr. Manic himself, the "fiery" Arthur Brown. Once again the soaring symphonic passage halfway through elevates it above the ordinary. As the studio engineer who worked under Sir George Martin on "Abbey Road" Parsons learned from the best and "The Cask of Amontillado" has a definite Beatles aura about it and there's not a The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination wrong with that.
The strings are crisp and clear as well as the intricate vocalizations, making this one of the highlights of the album. It's an okay tune but a little too contrived and formulaic to me. While Parsons and Eric Woolfson are the principal architects, it is Andrew Powell who is the creative force behind this epic five-part collaboration. Yes, it's that good. The use of classic stringed instruments like the Cimbalom and the Kantele played flawlessly by John Leach creates a unique, beautiful atmosphere.
There's a dynamic, slow rising tide of sound leading up to "Fall," a fitting, noisy affair to end the opus. For Parsons and Co. Therefore it endures as a model of what progressive music is. The closer, "To One in Paradise," is a pretty ballad with deep, flanged guitars and a chord progression that brings to mind Pink Floyd once more.
Another important aspect of this album is the fact that it was one of the first to acknowledge the huge revolution going on in home stereo systems during the mid- seventies. There was a growing demand for LPs that were immaculately engineered, produced and mastered so pricey state-of-the-art amps and speakers could deliver their high-fidelity promises to the consumer.
There's no question that this sounds like a million bucks but when you use two hundred musicians to record an album there is an inherent lack of "soul" in the finished product and that's the case here. I truly understand the attraction but I can't tag it as a masterpiece.
I rank it somewhere between 3. Side 1. The opener, A Dream Within a Dream, sets a nice atmosphere, with some engaging narration followed by a dreamy crescendo. Then things become a bit cheesy, whether it's the computerized vocals on the Raven the rediculously throaty wails of The Tell-Tale Heart.
There are also many high points, as most of the songs feature climactic endings--espcially The Cask of Amontillado and Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether. And of course there are the Project trademarks that we've come to expect: lush synth arrangements and varietya few nice guitar licks, and huge choirs.
The Fall of the House of Usher. The centerpiece of the album, at nearly 15 minutes, is unfortunately uninspiring and strangely not cohesive.
The first and longest section features brooding and relatively boring orchestral noodlings until finally builiding nicely into Arrival, which is the highlight of the piece, capped by the intense knocking bit. Then things take a turn for the worst the rest of the way, with two sections of cheesy haunted house Your Shadow - Claire Johnston - Fearless and a generic instrumental.
Definitely The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imaginationbut not especially memorable musically. The album ends with the dreamy, yet simplistic To Fear Of Life - Dawn Of Silence - Fear Of Life in Paradise.
All in all, you have to at The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination respect the Project for trying. My personal opinion is that The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination many people were involved, and these songs have been so tightly produced, that any of the raw emotion from Poe's work has been slowly but surely drained from the album.
The result is solid music that is mostly entertaining but really fails to engage on more than a superficial level. Also, the vocals aren't bad, but they really don't fit my expectations for Poe.
Too bad we The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination have someone like Jim Morrison's interpretation--I think a powerful, bassy voice might have given these songs the punch that's lacking.
That and maybe at least some up-tempo tunes. APP would also make it a regular habit of incorporating new musical technology into each of its albums, most notably the vocoder on this album. Parsons also incorporated a group of guest vocalists and often hired session musicians for his various projects.
This album also features choirs and an orchestra. Everything you could ever want for a concept album, right? Unfortunately, Tales of Mystery and Imagination lacks one major ingredient and that's a good dose of progressive rock.
I'll be the first The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination admit that it has a sort of "progressiveness" to it, but when you listen more closely, it only shows itself in a few spots here and there. This is basically an artsy-style of plain old rock and I can see why it has been placed in the "prog-related" category. Maybe pop-prog would be a more appropriate label as many of these songs could have easily been released as singles Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether and The Raven both The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination.
I'm not doubting that this is a great work, it is. It's just it Funny How Love Is - Queen - Queen II get a better rating on a "Rock Archives" site then here. For me, it deserves three stars, good but not essential to the prog rock genre. Think about it.
Not even close. I think that this is their most Progressive Rock album. But there are still some things which were very characteristic in the sound of this band, even some Pop Rock influences in the final song of the album called "To One In Paradise", which could have been a hit single. Was it relased as a single? It seemed obvious that as part of the Fall of the House of Usher track, they would need the sound effect of thunder and lightning.
When they were recording this particular piece, it was at the height of Summer in August in London and there was no probability of such weather conditions.
The sound effects library had some fairly inadequate samples so they scoured the newspapers to see where weather conditions might be more promising. Nowhere The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination the world indicated thunder storms and just as they were about to give up hope, the skies over Abbey Road opened up in the most torrential storm any of them had ever experienced.
Alan quickly fitted some long leads to the dummy head, stuck it on a microphone stand and took it through to the garden behind the studio and they waited for the next peal of thunder.
The rain was belting down so hard, it bounced off the rubber head making such a noise that the thunder could not be properly heard. Improvising quickly, Eric and the bass guitarist, David Paton, rushed into the rain and held a sheet Red Knight - Dan Friedman & Michael Schwartz* - Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament (Original Soundtr the dummy head to keep the rain off.
Standing under the sheet which they held above their heads, Eric and David Echo & The Bunnymen - Evergreen for the next peel of thunder which duly came and the two of them exploded into laughter, again totally wrecking the recording.
Eventually, however, by not looking at each other, they managed to stifle their amusement and a satisfactory sound effect was obtained and used on the recording. The orchestras were recorded in the Kings Way Hall in London which had a marvelous acoustic, but was next to a London Underground Station which caused no end of problems. The orchestral recording was frequently interrupted. If you can hear a very low rumble on the Tales of Mystery and Imagination album, it could be an Edgar Allan Poe effect, or more likely a London tube train!
After the album was completed and manufactured, Orson Welles made a recording which Mountains Of Love - Juliana Hatfield - Gold Stars 1992-2002: The Juliana Hatfield Collection used as part of the initial presentation of the album in Los Angeles.
Parts of this recording were later incorporated into the Whats Man Saying - Frisco - System Killer (File, Album) re-mixed CD version.
There is however a class of fancies, of exquisite delicacy, which are not thoughts, and to which, as yet, I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt to language.
These fancies arise in the soul alas, how rarely! And so I captured this fancy, where all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
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