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The Alan Parsons Project List of Frequently Asked Questions

VERSION 1.0 Compiled by Matt Pritchard September 1996 Send comments, questions, or money to: mpritcha@hgac.cog.tx.us

The APP FAQ List

Table of contents:
Introduction Part One: The Band Part Two: Discography Part Three: Miscellaneous Questions Part Four: Resources


About the FAQ

This FAQ is intended to answer some of those questions about the Alan Parsons Project that tend to recur frequently. While all are legitimate questions that beg to be answered, the repetitive nature of some can lead to irritation for those who see the same questions and same answers over and over. Still more annoying are those recurring questions that incessantly draw erroneous answers, thus shrouding the dawn of reason from the eyes of those pilgrims of truth. Hopefully, by listing the questions in a single document, we shall seek, and we shall find, Ammonia Avenue.

Actually, the true purpose behind this FAQ is that I wanted a reason to compile all those bits of trivia I've been collecting over the years and (most recently) on the Internet.


Since I had many of the same questions when I first logged on the 'net, I have had to rely on the knowledge and insights of others to find answers to these questions. (Said the guy who was pelted by an apple, "If I have seen farther than others, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.") Those "giants" are many, but some of those that deserve recognition are:
Luca Berrafato - berrafat@isfunix.farma.unimi.it
Matt Braun - mbraun@urbana.mcd.mot.com
Roberta Burnes - JAWALK04@ukcc.uky.edu
Andy Burnett - burnett@roadkill.com -- the original FAQmaster
Wesley Chun - Wesley.Chun@eng.sun.com -- the original discographer
John Finney - jmfinney@ucdavis.edu
Scott Giddens - sgiddens@juno.com
Tom Gill - tgill@igc.apc.org
Paul Henning - paul@idesign.com
Andrew M. Liao - ALIAO@wesleyan.edu
Steve Martin - avenue@interlog.com -- his finger is firmly on the APP pulse
Jon Reddick - reddick@vistech.net
Petra Souisa - calezane@xs4all.nl
Ian Thomas - ITHOMAS@swin.edu.au -- look for his writings on album theses
Alistair Young - ajy@cplab.ph.ed.ac.uk -- another APP activist
and a cast of thousands. Apologies to those who aren't mentioned by name. Much of the answers below came from the labors of the people above (both named and unnamed). The errors, however, I claim as my own.

Common Abbreviations and Acronyms

Ammonia Avenue (also NH3 Ave)
Alan Parsons
The Alan Parsons Project
Eye in the Sky
Eric Woolfson
I Robot
Instrumental Works
The Very Best of Live
Try Anything Once
The Best of the Alan Parsons Project
PThe Best of the Alan Parsons Project Volume 2
Turn of a Friendly Card
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Vulture Culture

Part One: The Band

What is the Alan Parsons Project?

The Alan Parsons Project is, simply, a music group that has produced a series of ten thematic albums. APP has relied on the talents of numerous session players, vocalists (relying on as little as four--ToaFC, AA, Stereotomy, Gaudi--to more than ten--Freudiana, a pseudo-APP work--singers on a single album), choirs, and orchestras. Its music covers many genres, including rock/pop, symphonic, electronic, progressive, and neo-progressive. While the backing musicians and vocalists varied from album to album, the three principals were Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson, and Andrew Powell.

Eric Woolfson on the inception of the band: "I had had an idea about making an album about Edgar Allan Poe's work for some time, but I didn't seem to have the necessary credibility as a producer or as a writer to carry the project through. However, when I met Alan, I felt he was somebody I might certainly be able to work with and collaborate with in achieving the realization of this project. Fortunately, the idea appealed to him, and the Alan Parsons Project was born."

How did the band get the name the "Alan Parsons Project"? Isn't that the name of a hovercraft, or something?

According to Alan himself, the name was a last minute decision upon the completion of their first album, ToMaI. The record company felt there needed to be a name tied to the group to give the general public someone with whom to identify. In short, they needed a name for Alan Parsons' Project, thus the name (sans apostrophe). The album was a project that revolved around AP's technical efforts, thus his name was selected. The name was initially to be descriptive of the unique ToMaI musical project. Only later, with the initiation of the contract with Arista, did it become a "group name." The name has remained for the next nine albums, even though it is acknowledged that EW is as integral to APP as AP.

And, no, despite what Homer Simpson said on the Homerpalooza episode of "The Simpsons", APP is not a hovercraft.

So, AP didn't sing, write the songs, play the instruments, (etc.) then why is HIS name in the group name? Couldn't it just as easily be called the Eric Woolfson Project?

The AP role was more like that of a director on a movie set: or, more accurately, like the director/producer. He was not responsible for writing the work, but was responsible for the overall proceedings of the undertaking. He contributed to the conceptual development of each album, wrote most of the instrumentals and some of the music, assembled and coordinated the artists, made the occasional appearance vocally or instrumentally (much like Hitchcock would do in his movies), developed new technologies for achieving the album's vision (such as the Projectron on ToMaI), engineered the music, and produced the album, as well as contributing to some of the non-musical aspects of the album, such as with its cover, liner notes, and videos.

The name might be more accurate as the Parsons-Woolfson Project, but the original APP name developed for ToMaI was retained all the way to Gaudi.

Who is Alan Parsons?

[compiled from interviews and various sources, including the liner notes of various albums and "The Complete Audio Guide to the APP", compiled and transcribed by Matt Braun and maintained on Andy Burnett's website in his archives (see question 4.3)]

Alan Parsons, an Englishman, had the typical musical background of piano and flute. He played guitar for local London bands and worked as an electronics technician for EMI in Hayes before being hired by Abbey Road Studios. He assisted with the Beatles' album, "Let it Be", at Apple Studios and acted as tape operator/assistant engineer for their final album, "Abbey Road." (It was released before "Let it Be", but was recorded afterwards.) AP assisted with numerous other artists while at Abbey Road, and was exposed to a plethora of musical styles and genres. AP moved into engineering as he worked on albums by Paul McCartney and Wings. His career advanced significantly when he recorded "Dark Side of the Moon" for Pink Floyd. AP's career as a producer began with Steve Harley and "Psychomodo." Over his career, AP has engineered and/or produced a long list of artists, including the Hollies, Pilot, John Miles, Ambrosia, and Al Stewart ("Year of the Cat"). Not long after working with Al Stewart, AP encountered EW at Abbey Road, and soon the two began working on a new project, ToMaI. Thus began APP. Since then, AP and EW have put out a total of 11 albums. Currently, Alan is pursuing his own musical interests in the studio, and has put out two studio albums and a live album as a "soloist."

Who is Eric Woolfson?

[compiled from interviews and various sources, including the liner notes of various albums and "The Complete Audio Guide to the APP", compiled and transcribed by Matt Braun and maintained on Andy Burnett's website in his archives (see question 4.3)]

Eric Woolfson, a Scot born in Glasgow, has been a songwriter, composer, and manager for over 20 years. He used to manage Carl Douglas (of "Kung Fu Fighting" fame) and played with Herman's Hermits. He worked as a songwriter and session pianist for Andrew Lou Golden, the manager of the Rolling Stones. EW performed with the likes of Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Eric Stewart, and Graham Gouldman. He later moved into record production. It was in this field that EW would cross paths with AP and eventually become AP's manager and business partner, forming the APP. Sometimes described as the "silent" member of the group, EW actually had a greater voice in some ways as he wrote most of the lyrics, initiated most of the themes, and lent his voice to many of APP's most popular hits, including "Time" and "Eye in the Sky". His intellectual creativity and AP's technical creativity created synergistically to form the unique sound of the Project. After working on the latest AP/EW (and non-APP) venture, "Freudiana," in 1990, Eric realized that the theater offered him a new venue in which to express his talents. Thus, Eric and Alan parted ways, with Alan remaining in the studio (and in the concert hall) and Eric putting out musical theater production. Since 1990, EW has produced a musical entitled "Gaudi" and is currently working on another, "Gambler."

Who is Andrew Powell?

[source: Liner notes of the 1996 release of Ladyhawke]

Andrew Powell was born in Surrey, England, to Welsh parents. While working towards his master's degree in music at King's College, Cambridge, Powell was a founding member of the live electronics group, Intermodulation. In his career he had also co-founded the group, Come to the Edge, and the progressive rock group, Henry Crow.

Upon leaving Cambridge, Powell was a soloist at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London, and he worked with several London orchestras. His first commission as an arranger was the debut album of Cockney Rebel. He arranged their next two albums, and also albums for Leo Sayer, Donovan, John Miles, Cliff Richard, Pilot, Al Stewart, Ambrosia, Mick Fleetwood, Dave Gilmore, Chris Rea, Nick Heyward, Vitamin Z, Peter Hoffman, Muenchener Froiheit, Classic Rock, among others.

As a producer, Powell has worked with Kate Bush, Elaine Paige, Chris De Burgh, Kansas, Andre Heller, Tim Rice, Mari Wilson, and Judy Collins. He has produced, written, and/or contributed his musical talents to numerous movies and television series. Most notable is Ladyhawke, for which he wrote the score.

He has worked with APP since 1975/1976, as the arranger, musical director, and co-composer on ToMaI. He has since worked on all APP albums, Freudiana, and the three AP (post-APP) albums. In 1983, he released an album of his orchestral interpretations of some of APP's songs. The album is affectionately dubbed APATPOPTBOTAPP (see question 3.01).

Who's in the band besides Parsons, Woolfson, and Powell?

[source of artists' history: Andy Burnett]

APP was not a typical band that puts out an album and then tours before putting out another album. It was a project headed by the AP/EW/APowell triumvirate who used the talents of many session players. There are, however, several names that consistently reappeared throughout the life of APP:

Ian Bairnson - Guitars
Has been on every APP/AP album, including Ladyhawke, Freudiana, and APATPOPTBOTAPP. Has performed with: Pilot, Keats, Kate Bush, Lenny Zakatek, Jon Anderson, George Martin, Mick Fleetwood, Bucks Fizz, Stanley Clark, Steve Gadd, Beverly Craven, Michael McDonald

Stuart Elliott - Drums
Has been on all but two APP albums (not ToMaI or I Robot) and every AP album. Also: Ladyhawke, APATPOPTBOTAPP, and Freudiana. Has also performed with Keats, Kate Bush, Justin Hayward, Al Stewart

David Paton - Bass and vocals
Has been on all APP albums (save Gaudi), Ladyhawke, APATPOPTBOTAPP, and Freudiana. Has also performed with Pilot, Keats, Camel, Fish, Kate Bush, Elton John

Richard "Trix" Cottle - Keyboards/Synthesizers
Served with APP from VC to Gaudi, also found on the three AP albums, Ladyhawke, and Freudiana. Has also performed with Keats.

Some vocalists that have had frequent APP appearances include:
Colin Blunstone (who has worked with the Zombies, Keats, Don Airey, and as a soloist)
Elmer Gantry (who has worked with Elmer Gantry's Velvet Circus, and Stretch)
John Miles (who has worked with Jimmy Page, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, and as a soloist)
Chris Rainbow (of Camel)
Lenny Zakatek (of Gonzalez and several solo projects)

Part Two: Discography

What albums has APP released?

[For a more detailed discography, see Wesley Chun's or Alistair's website, discussed in section 4.3]

APP Albums
Tales of Mystery and Imagination, PolyGram, 1976, remastered with new performances, 1987
I Robot, Arista, 1977
Pyramid, Arista, 1978
Eve, Arista, 1979
The Turn of a Friendly Card, Arista, 1980
Eye in the Sky, Arista, 1982
Ammonia Avenue, Arista, 1984
Vulture Culture, Arista, 1984
Stereotomy, Arista, 1985
Gaudi, Arista, 1987

Compilation albums
The Best of the Alan Parsons Project, Arista, 1983
The Best of the Alan Parsons Project Volume 2, Arista, 1988
Instrumental Works, Arista, 1988
Anthology, Arista, 1991

Andrew Powell
APatPOPtBoTAPP, EMI, 1983.
Ladyhawke, (soundtrack), Atlantic, 1985; re-released with new tracks, GNP Crescendo, 1995

The first APowell album is his symphonic interpretation of some of APP's songs. The second is a soundtrack to the movie starring Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer. AP engineered the album and several APP regulars played. In 1995 GNP Crescendo re-released "Ladyhawke" with several new tracks, a new cover and artwork, and liner notes

What has APP done since Gaudi, their last original album?

[source: Steve Martin, and once again: For a more detailed discography, see Wesley's or Alistair's website, discussed in section 4.3]

Well...the next APP album after Gaudi was to be "Freudiana", an album based on the life and works of Sigmund Freud. While recording the album, Brian Brolly entered the picture and he helped steer the album in a new direction: Brolly was previously a partner with Andrew Lloyd Webber, and together they created such musicals as "Cats". With Brolly's help, EW was able to turn "Freudiana" into a stage musical. A studio album was released in 1990, followed shortly after by the opening of the stage production in Vienna, Austria.

There was a bit of litigious trouble regarding the album. For more information on "Freudiana", see issue one of The Avenue. (The Avenue is described in section 4.1)

Despite the legal problems that arose with "Freudiana", EW enjoyed the musical theater and chose to pursue that artistic vein. AP on the other hand, felt that continuing with a rock band was the way for him. He dropped "Project" from his name as it is no longer an AP/EW venture but a solo effort.

The Post-APP discography:

AP/EW (sans APP moniker)
Freudiana (the studio disk, or "white" album), EMI, 1990

AP (note only one "P")
Try Anything Once, Arista, 1993
The Very Best of Live, Arista, 1995
On Air, Polygram, 1996

Gaudi: The Musical, WEA, 1995
Gambler (yet to be released)

What was that you were saying about thematic albums?

Concept albums are not a new idea in the music industry, but APP took the idea to a new level. Each APP album is based, sometimes loosely, on a specific theme. AP and EW emphasize the word 'theme' over the word 'concept' since the former connotes an underlying idea or subject for the album and the latter suggests a more shallow and trite catalyst for the album.

Eric Woolfson discussed how the themes evolved with many of their albums: "I suppose I really should own up to the fact that although these albums--which are thematic albums--appear to be very carefully planned and set out, that's not always the case. We may start writing with a fixed idea in mind, but it never normally works out exactly the way we intended. In actual fact, although I don't believe an inanimate object can have a life of its own, the projects do have a way of taking their own direction in the recording studio."

The APP themes are often indistinct, work on many different levels, and are always open to interpretation, but the following list sums up some of the themes (as viewed by some) behind the individual albums:

Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Allan Poe
The works and styles of the original master of horror and science fiction, Edgar Allan Poe

I Robot
A futuristic look at the perils of technology, in a world where man has been usurped by his own creation: artificial intelligence (loosely based on the series by Isaac Asimov, I, Robot)

The mystique of the ancient world, and its effect on our lives today

Perceptions of women, both cynical and reverent. As many of the songs are about women as sung by a man, or about men as sung by a woman, the album is also about the general relationship between men and women. (AP: "...the theme [is] elusive ... but I'd have to say 'It's simply about women.'"; EW: "...our original idea was to take quotes from famous women and build different tracks around these quotes...")

Turn of a Friendly Card
Games of chance, with overt references to gambling and more esoteric allusions to destiny versus the choice of self-determination, and the roles we play in this game of life

Eye in the Sky
Life in a futuristic, Orwellian society. It may draw references from the Phillip K. Dick novel, "Eye in the Sky." Or from Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's "Illuminatus" trilogy.

Ammonia Avenue
The industrialized culture as a source of idealistic hope and grievous isolation. Partially inspired by John Harvey-Jones' book, "Does Industry Matter?" Ammonia Avenue is the nickname for a road that led to a chemical plant in Teeside/Sunderland/Middlesborough England (the location changes through different interviews with AP/EW).

Vulture Culture
A look at an atavistic society of the Eighties, molded, in part, by the tensions of the Cold War.

The life of an idealistic musician (a composite, to be sure, of numerous musicians) caught up in a banal world.

The life and works of the Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudi

[For more in depth analysis of these themes, peruse Andy Burnett's mailing list archives (discussed in section 4.3) for a host of postings on the matter. Specifically, Ian Thomas and Paul Henning have performed some extensive analysis.]

Other albums:
The life and works of the German psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud

Try Anything Once
A themeless album, which, when coupled with the title, is still a theme. Others think of the album as dealing with an introverted psychological discovery.

On Air
Flight and its relationship to man: from the soaring of one's spirit and dreams, to the history of aviation. (Packaged with a CDROM using music, visuals, history, literature and a wealth of other related information to further the theme of flight).

What singles have been released by the group?

[Source: Tom Gill, via Andy Burnett]

Listed below is a comprehensive discography of the APP singles released in the USA. Tom Gill spent several hours of research in the music section of Shields Library at the University of California, Davis.

						 Year		Peak #
  Title						Released	on chart
The System of Dr Tarr & Prof. Fether		1976		37
The Raven					1976		80
To One In Paradise				1977		108
I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You			1977		36
Don't Let It Show				1977		92
Breakdown					1978		--
What Goes Up...					1978		87
Pyramania					1978	   	--
Damned if I Do					1979	       	27
You Lie Down With Dogs				1979	       	--
You Won't Be There                          	1980           	105
Winding Me Up                                 	1980           	105
Games People Play                             	1980           	16
Time                                            1981           	15
Snake Eyes                                      1981           	67
Eye In The Sky                                  1982           	3
Psychobabble                                    1982           	57
Old & Wise                                      1983           	--
You Don't Believe                               1983           	54
Don't Answer Me                               	1984           	15
Prime Time                                      1984           	34
Let's Talk About Me                          	1985           	56
Days Are Numbers [The Traveller]		1985           	71
Stereotomy                                      1986           	82
Limelight                                       1986           	--
Standing On Higher Ground               	1987           	--

AP Singles:
Turn it Up                                      1993		--
Oh Life (There Must Be More)                    1993		--
Brother Up in Heaven (?)                        1996(?)         ?

Was there an album called "The Sicilian Defense"?

In 1981, Arista and APP were in the midst of a contract dispute. After the label refused to make changes in APP's contract, it received two tapes from the artists. The tape was entitled "The Sicilian Defense" and included only instrumentals. Arista said it was "amused" by the submission, and AP/EW, through their lawyers, claimed this constituted a rejection of "The Sicilian Defense" and that they were now free of their recording agreement due to what they regarded as Arista's breach of contract. Arista then sued AP/EW for about $45 million. The issue was eventually resolved, APP continued making albums, and "The Sicilian Defense" all but disappeared. Pity.

In chess, the "Sicilian Defense" is an aggressive opening move, with three pawns advancing in a gambit that allows for subsequent attack.

What videos have they made?

[Various sources, but especially Steve Martin's "The Avenue On-line"]

I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
Games People Play (?)
The Turn of a Friendly Card (part one) - not released
Don't Answer Me
Prime Time
Let's Talk About Me
Standing On Higher Ground

Don't Let The Moment Pass

Turn It Up

Does the group tour?

You've probably guessed that the existence of a live album means the group tours. You are correct, but they have taken their act on the road only recently, since the dissolution of the Alan Parsons Project and beginning with TAO. On October 14, 1994, Alan Parsons performed live in the US for the first time. The concert, held at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, involved several artists and was a benefit for the children of Bosnia-Herzegovina. AP was also "master of ceremonies" for the World Liberty Concert, held in May 1995. In October 1996, AP will begin his second tour for "On Air."

Has APP received any awards?

APP has received numerous honors. The albums I Robot, Pyramid, Eve, and Ammonia Avenue all went gold, while ToaFC and EitS went platinum, the latter peaking at number seven on the charts. (Source: Compiled from the "All Music Guide")

In addition, AP and APP have been nominated for a Grammy 11 times. The year and nomination category are as follows [source: Steve Martin. For the original message, see the original "Grammy Awards" post in the mailing list archives, dated 5 March 1996]:

1973	Best Engineered Recording, Non Classical (AP for "Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd)
1975	Best Engineered Recording, Non Classical (AP and others for "Ambrosia" by Ambrosia)
1976	Best Engineered Recording, Non Classical (AP for ToMaI)
1978	Best Engineered Recording (AP for Pyramid)
1978	Producer of the Year (AP)
1979	Best Album or Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television (AP, EW, and others for "Ice Castles")
1979	Best Engineered Recording (AP for Eve)
1981	Best Engineered Recording (AP for ToaFC)
1982	Best Engineered Recording (AP for EitS)
1986	Best Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist) (AP for "Where's the Walrus?")
1986	Best Album Package (Colin Chambers and Andrew Ellis for "Stereotomy")
Unfortunately, APP has not benefited from winning a Grammy, but being nominated is enough. Isn't it?

At the first annual MTV awards in 1985, "Don't Answer Me" was nominated as best video, but didn't win. In 1995, Alan won the TEC Les Paul Award, an award given to music engineers. [source: Steve Levet]

A nomination for "Ice Castles"? What's the connection?

[Source: Steve Martin's "The Avenue On-line"]

"Ice Castles" was a 1978 film starring Lynn-Holly Johnson and Robby Benson. The soundtrack was released by Arista, which was also the label for APP. Arista added the track "Voyager" to the movie soundtrack, giving APP a little promotion. The song appears in the film only briefly in a scene where there is a party going on and Lexie (played by Johnson) stares out a window overlooking a rink, in the background you can barely hear "Voyager" and part of "What Goes Up...".

What other groups would complement the APP discography?

Two come immediately to mind: Keats and Camel (with Pilot and Ambrosia also having strong APP personnel ties).

"Keats", EMI, 1984
The band is a mostly APP crew: Colin Blunstone (vocals); Ian Bairnson (guitars); David Paton (bass); Stuart Elliott (drums) and Pete Bardens (keyboards). Richard Cottle plays sax and keyboards and AP produced and engineered the record. See The Avenue On-line (section 4.3.01) for more info on the "Keats" 1996 re-release.

"The Single Factor", 1982
"Stationary Traveller", 1984
"Dust and Dreams", 1992
(You may want to try "Mirage", 1974 and "The Snow Goose", 1975; but these have little relation to APP)
Camel has included some APP members in its line-up over the years, including Chris Rainbow (vocals), Duncan Mackay (keyboards), and David Paton (bass), as well as Pete Bardens (of Keats) and Mel Collins.

Part Three: Miscellaneous questions


This is the acronym for the album, "Andrew Powell and the Philharmonia Orchestra Play the Best of The Alan Parsons Project". This album is Andrew Powell's solo symphonic interpretation of some of APP's works. The album, released in 1983, is no longer available and has become quite a collector's item.

What is "White Dawn"?

"White Dawn" is an instrumental written and performed by Alan Parsons at the World Liberty Concert in 1995. The instrumental was played at the concert with a video representing an abstract war (in other words, based on WWII, but without overt mention of the parties involved so as to not offend any particular nation). The two opponents are described rather chess-like as the 'black' army and the 'white' army. In the video the 'black' army was pushed back and defeated after an initial surge of victories. The single is no longer available and does not appear on any album.

Okay, then what is the World Liberty Concert?

[from Petra Souisa]

"The World Liberty Concert was held on 8 May 1995 and commemorated the 50th anniversary of VE-Day, the liberation of Europe. The venue for the concert was Arnhem, the Netherlands, near the John Frost bridge, the bridge immortalized in the film `A Bridge Too Far' (well... I think the original bridge was blown to bits). The idea for the WLC was conceived by 25 year old Dutchman Arno Geul, who, at an early stage, decided Alan Parsons was the perfect Musical Director for the show. Apart from (not entirely live) performances of the Alan Parsons Band (with Chris Thompson and Mick Mullins on vocals), Candy Dulfer, Art Garfunkel, UB40 and many others (including an 80 piece orchestra and a local choir), the show consists of military parades, airshows and a narration by Walter Cronkite, the legendary war correspondent and later news anchorman. The Alan Parsons Band performed a number of well-known songs (Sirius/Breakaway, Old and Wise, The Gold Bug, Sirius/Eye in the Sky) plus some new material commissioned for the show (among which White Dawn) and also accompanied Dulfer, Joe Cocker and Art Garfunkel on their segments. The show was televised live in 40 countries, was attended by approximately 85.000 people and is about two hours long."

Who is Mr. Laser Beam?

Mr. Laser Beam is an anagram of the name Lee Abrams, a radio programmer who has worked with APP on occasion. It is his voice (recorded impromptu at a dinner with AP and EW) you hear in "Let's talk about me." It was also his comments that lead to the naming of "Urbania" and "Where's the Walrus?"

EW had this to say: "He was really quite inspirational in this album [Stereotomy] in telling us what we'd been doing wrong, in his view, on the previous albums ... "Urbania" was one of the words he came out with during the course of a long conversation. Another title he's responsible for ... is "Where's the Walrus," the other instrumental, 'cause he was really giving us a hard time, I must tell you: 'Your guitar sounds are too soft, and your whole approach is, you know, slack, and your lyrics -- there's no great lyrics anymore! I mean, where's the walrus? I don't hear the walrus!' Referring, of course, to John Lennon's "I am the Walrus" ..."

Lee Abrams also wrote the liner notes on the TBAPP.

Who are Smokey and Hazel? They are acknowledged on every album.

Smokey is AP's wife, and Hazel is EW's wife.

What are the spoken words in "To One in Paradise"?

[from Petra Souisa]

The quote comes from the poem 'To One in Paradise' by E.A. Poe. One version of the poem is included in The Assignation (1844), one of Poe's "Tales of Mystery and Imagination." The version used by APP was published as a separate work by Poe, and reads:

	And all my days are trances
	And all my nightly dreams
	Are where thy dark eye glances
	And where thy footstep gleams
	In what ethereal dances
	By what eternal streams!

What is the source of the Orson Welles narration on the 1987 release of ToMaI?

[Various sources, including The Avenue]

The lines that begin "A Dream Within A Dream" are adapted from Marginalia 150 by E.A. Poe. The adapted lines read:

"For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down in words with even more distinctness than that which I conceived it. 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!) only at epochs of most intense tranquillity, when the bodily and mental health are in perfection and at those mere points of time where the confines of the waking world blend with the world of dreams. And so I captured this fancy where all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."

The lines that begin "Fall of the House of Usher" are presumably from an E.A. Poe work as well, though the source(s) has yet to be found. The passage read by Mr. Welles is as follows:

"Shadows of shadows passing. It is now 1831, and as always, I am absorbed with a delicate thought. It is how poetry has indefinite sensations, to which end, music is an essential. Since the comprehension of sweet sound is our most indefinite conception, music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry. Music without the idea is simply music. Without music or an intriguing idea, color becomes pallor, man becomes carcass, home becomes catacomb, and the dead are, but for a moment, motionless. . ."

What are the words in "In the Lap of the Gods"?

[source: Steve Martin and The Avenue, and Roberta Burnes]

AP imagined a mass of people chanting in unison while they labored on the Pyramids. The chorus is something along the lines of:

Hail to the King, Praise to the King
Hail to the King, and glory to His name, Hosanna. Hosanna!

"Gloria" might also be said while "Hosanna" is being repeated.

AP said of these choral chants: "After the achievement [of the construction of the pyramids], that was the glorification, if you like."

What is with the faces of those women on the cover of Eve?

First of all, understand that AP/EW didn't always have complete control over their cover art, and AP has stated specifically that he was not really satisfied with the Eve cover art (source Andy Burnett). Nevertheless, many have viewed the artwork as capturing the spirit of the album, which shows the beautiful and the blemished countenance of women (note that the blemishes only cover half of each lady's face). This duality is further reflected in the tone of the songs, with those of side one taking a darker, more pessimistic view, and those of side two offering a more considerate and flattering outlook. (Remember, the album was released in the pre-digital age when cassettes and LPs had 'sides' to them.). Others (the book, "The God of Rock," for example) have viewed the blemishes as signs of (venereal) disease or decay.

What is that guy saying at the beginning and in the middle of "Let's talk about me"?

The spoken phrases in LTAM were recorded at a restaurant as AP, EW, and Mr. Laser Beam (the speaker) were dining. I don't know that the words are essential to the meaning of the song (or the album), but we're curious folk who want to know these things anyway. John Finney and others spent a lot of time in intense analysis and meditation on the matter, and although there is still some puzzlement about a few of the lines, this is what they came up with:

INTRO: Left Channel
Speaker: "Gentleman, the essence of the American military position presently, in all due respect to the Queen's government, is that the NATO allies have to present a military posture that is relevant to the core problems of what faces us all. Sure, you're going to realize the socialization and military intelligence and military posture that relates to the individual population and the press interpretation of such ..."

Other: (ungrateful snort)

Speaker: "See, see, these people don't want to hear what I have to say .. See, name a, name a topic ... ah, I want Alan to do the talking. Alan? Name the topic."

Alan: "Name the topic?"

Speaker: "Any topic, any topic."

INTRO: Right Channel
Speaker: "Well ... you must understand ... the essence of Porcupinus Contravius, which is generally the North American Porcupine, which are friends, and they are friends, here in Europe, don't perhaps have the opportunity to visualize or duly seek in a hunting mode ... is an animal that can directly assume a posture of defense through its natural vehicles. Everyone knows that a porcupine has a natural spinal region that is of critical nature to its offenders."

BREAK: Left Channel
Speaker: "At WGN we believe in the positive angle of the story... Hey, Mom, Dad, what the hey, what the heck, let's drive inbound on the loop and get to the job, because we here in America believe in making it happen. Okay, hey guys, Mom, Dad just enjoying the ballgame, what a great way to have a good time. Wrigley Field, 1:15 PM, $26.50 for those box office seats."

BREAK: Right Channel
Speaker: "We have now a couple of minutes after the hour of ... the bewitching hour of 1 in the morning ... and a good, good morning on the all-night special, Soft Rock 102.5 here in Brentwood ... Boy, it's good to be here to volunteer the love ... the LOVE! ... unlike a lot of the great volunteers today, particularly here in American radio."

What are the spoken words on "Hawkeye"?

"All you guys turn into maniacs?" "Only once turn the manual?" In truth, the words are "Only what's on the menu." For the story behind those words, see The Avenue, issue 7.

Where does the word "Stereotomy" come from?

[from Alistair Young]

The word come from the E. A. Poe story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue."

"You kept your eyes upon the ground glancing, with a petulant expression, at the holes and ruts in the pavement, (so that I saw you were still thinking of the stones,) until we reached the little alley called Lamartine, which has been paved, by way of experiment, with the overlapping and riveted blocks. Here your countenance brightened up, and, perceiving your lips move, I could not doubt that you murmured the word 'stereotomy,' a term very affectedly applied to this species of pavement"

Webster says: ste.re.ot.o.my \-e=97'a:t-*-me-\ n [F ste're'otomie, fr. Ste're'-stere- + -tomie -tomy]: the art or technique of cutting solids; esp.: the art of stonecutting.

Eric Woolfson says: "I found the word "stereotomy" in an Edgar Allan Poe story called "Murders in the Rue Morgue," and it was the word that gave the hero the clue to solving the mystery, eventually ... Poe used it in the 1830s or 40s, long before any kind of technological association with stereo or anything like that, and I thought it was a great rock and roll word! And I gave it my own meaning and the album started there."

What are the whispered words in "Chinese Whispers"?

[from Alistair Young]

The words come from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." The complete line reads:

"...The larger links of the chain run thus -- Chantilly, Orion, Dr. Nichols, Epicurus, Stereotomy, the street stones, the fruiterer."

In the song, you hear the children's voices echoing "Chantilly, Orion, Dr. Nichols, Epicurus" when the next word of the quote, "Stereotomy," is shouted as the next track, "Stereotomy Two", begins.

Have I heard "You're The Voice" somewhere before?

[source: Steve Martin and others]

I can't answer that question, but the song was written years ago by Chris Thompson, of Manfred Mann fame and singer for AP on TAO and Live albums. The first person to record it was Australian John Farnham on his "Whispering Jack" album. Heart also performed a live rendition of the song, which received some airplay.

What do fans of APP call themselves?

Projectophiles, Projectiles, Parsonites, Parsonians, or (as used by AP in the liner notes of ToMaI '87) Projectologists, among other appellations. What neologists!

3.16 Wait! You didn't answer all my questions!

If there is one thing all Projectologists share, it's an insatiable curiosity about all things Projectologic. Certain types of questions can be answered in different ways:

Tour questions?
See The Avenue On-line (section 4.3.01)

Want current information the band?
See The Avenue On-line (section 4.3.01), Wesley Chun's web page (section 4.3.04), or subscribe to the mailing list (section 4.2)

Album questions?
See Wesley Chun's web page (section 4.3.04) or Alistair Young's web page (section 4.3.02).

The history of APP?
See The Avenue (section 4.1), subscribe to the mailing list (section 4.2), or browse the mailing list archives (section 4.3.03)

Other APP-related ruminations or questions?
See The Avenue (section 4.1), or subscribe to the mailing list (section 4.2)

Part Four: Resources

Being a fan of APP, AP, and EW can be a challenging endeavor. One has questions, and the nature of the APP mystique is that one cannot open People Magazine--or even Rolling Stone--to find answers. Fortunately, thanks to the high-tech, whiz-bang technology of the Nineties, the resources of the planet can be at one's disposal. One can find answers to those difficult questions, swap APP stories with fellow Projectologists, or obtain that hard-to-find album of old. Here is a listing of some of the resources available, just follow the pilgrim to the temple of the dawn (hopefully the altar won't be empty and the sacrifice gone).

Note that all addresses and information are liable to change. They are only accurate (to the best of my knowledge) at the time of this writing, September 1996.

4.1. "The Avenue" The Avenue is a bi-annual fanzine produced by Steve Martin. It's in good quality black & white print, with photographs. Each issue to date has been 12 pages long and is chock full of news and features. Steve is in contact with most members of the band (including Alan Parsons, but not Eric Woolfson at this time) so The Avenue is an excellent source of information. Each issue also comes with an installment of Steve's valued--and extensive--discography.

Contacting The Avenue:

Postal address: 
                         The Avenue 
                         65 Front Street West 
                         Suite 0116 - Box 201 
                         Toronto, Ontario 
                         M5J 1E6 
Fax number: 
                         (416) 284-0399 

e-mail:             avenue@interlog.com
And check out "The Avenue" Online at: http://www.interlog.com/~avenue/ This website includes a list of FAQs, items for sale, current news, and links to other websites.

The Alan Parsons Project Internet Mailing List

The list is maintained by Andy Burnett. To join the list, send mail to app-request@roadkill.com with the word 'subscribe' in the body of the message. Once on the list, posts can be made through the address app@roadkill.com. There is also a digest list available. Send mail to app-digest-request@roadkill.com with the body 'subscribe' to join. It's free!

Web sites

The number of APP-related websites is growing at an increasing rate. The "Big Four" at the time of this writing are: The Avenue Online, Alistair Young's page, Andy Burnett's Psychobabble Web Pages, and Wesley Chun's Alan Parsons Project Ternary Archive. These four original sites provide links to the burgeoning list of APP and APPish websites.

The Avenue Online


This website includes a list of FAQs, items for sale, current news, and links to other websites. See section 4.1 for more information on "The Avenue"

Alistair Young's page

US mirror: http://www.roadkill.com/APP/~ajy/app.html

This site has great graphics, a comprehensive encyclopedia of all thing Projectologic, an excellent discography, a scrapbook of magazine articles on APP, and some hints on finding some of those obscure albums. The links to other websites include some links to sound clips of APP material.

Andy Burnett's Psychobabble Web Pages (see also, 4.4 Ftp Sites)


The home of the Alan Parsons Project Internet Mailing List, this site also includes the mailing list archives, which are GREAT to browse for arcane Project lore. Website also features some album covers including the full inlays of the US and European Live albums, a mirror of Alistair Young's website, and links to other APP websites.

Wesley Chun's Alan Parsons Project Ternary Archive


Features the MONSTER APP discography upon which Alistair Young's graphically beautimous discography is based. These pages include some nice images relating to recent AP tours, including a complete scan of the 1994 tour programme.

Pam Gibson's Alan Parsons Project Page


Lyrics - under construction! Also has links to the Edgar Allan Poe stories which inspired Tales of Mystery and Imagination.

Mathijs Homminga's Alan Parsons Page


A stylish set of pages with some links and information on Ladyhawke.

Torkil Grindstein's Alan Parsons Project Page


Album covers and links.

Greg Chudov's Alan Parsons Project Page


Plenty of links, including lyrics, tabs & chords.

The World Liberty Concert Page


All sorts of information about the World Liberty Concert which was staged in Arnhem in 1995, including an interview with the organiser, Alan Parsons.

4.4. Ftp sites

Andy Burnett's Psychobabble FTP site (see also, 4.3 Websites) ftp://ftp.roadkill.com/pub/APP/

The home of the Alan Parsons Project Internet Mailing List, this site also includes the mailing list archives, which are great to browse for arcane Project lore. Website also features some album covers including the full inlays of the US and European Live albums, a mirror of Alistair Young's website, and links to other APP websites.

4.5. Books

Despite the intriguing liner notes on the Best of The Alan Parsons Project, no book has been written on APP. Through snail-mail correspondence with Arista years ago, the author of this FAQ learned that the effort had been scrapped. While no APP-specific tomes exist, there are several musical omniumgatherums out there that have blurbs on all groups, from ABBA to ZZ Top. I think APP fits in there somewhere.

4.6. Sheet music

[Source: Andrew M. Liao and Jon Reddick]

There have been several songbooks/folios released. Here are the known ones:

Tales of Mystery and Imagination Edgar Allan Poe
20th Centruy Fox Music Group, 1976
Distributed by Columbia Pictures Publications

Almo Publications, 1980
Distributed by Columbia Pictures Publications

Eye in the Sky
Columbia Pictures Publications, 1982
ISBN 0-89898-155-7

The Best of the Alan Parsons Project
Revised and Expanded Edition
Columbia Pictures Publications, 1983 (?)
ISBN: 0-89898-429-7

Ammonia Avenue
Columbia Pictures Publications, 1984
ISBN 0-89898-265-0

Vulture Culture
Columbia Pictures Publications, 1985
ISBN 0-89898-377-0

Columbia Pictures Publications, 1986
ISBN 0-89898-462-9

Columbia Pictures Publications, 1987
ISBN 0-89898-515-3

All of these folios are reportedly out of print, so count yourself lucky if you can find them. The address for Columbia Pictures Publications has changed over the years, but the most recent one is 15800 NW 48th Avenue, Miami, Florida, USA, 33014.

Magazine articles

APP, or one of the members of such, occasionally makes an appearance in the paper media. Jon Reddick has compiled a nice selection of articles on his page of Alistair Young's website. You can find Jon Reddick's Scrapbook at:

US mirror: http://www.roadkill.com/APP/~ajy/scrap/index.html

4.8. Fan clubs

The closest thing to a fan club is the fanzine, "The Avenue," described in section 4.1.

4.9 Record dealers

Here are some sources for those seeking to buy records and CDs to complete their APP collection. The websites listed above (section 4.3) may have links to other vendors. Good luck!

CD Now!
A good place for Alan Parsons discs online.

Vinyl Vendors
A good source for those artifacts known as LPs.
1800 S. Robertson Blvd #279
Los Angeles CA 90035
To Call:(310) 275-1444
To Fax: (310) 275-8444

Thoughtscape Sounds
http://www.ipa.net/cust/thoughtscape/ An excellent source for those hard to find APP and APP-related titles. (I have done business with Scott at Thoughtscape and I'm pleased with their selection.)

4801 South 31st Street, #1
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Order Line: 1-800-435-6185

(After ordering the first time, you can use the e-mail address: thoughts@ipa.net)

Other Inquiries: 1-501-649-8115
Fax Line: 1-501-646-6217

Once again: Send comments, questions, or money to Matt at mpritcha@hgac.cog.tx.us

The opinions expressed are my own, but they're for sale if you want them.

Matt Pritchard, 1996.