Sometime in 1974 Eric Woolfson met Alan Parson and a collaboration on many levels began. Woolfson, a keyboardist and and vocalist had written several songs and musical arrangements based not he literary works of Edgar Allan Poe. Alan Parsons was an award winning audio engineer and producer who had achieved critical acclaim for his work with the Beatles on the Abbey Road and Let it Be albums as well as Pink Floyd’s legendary Dark Side of The Moon. With the latter production Parsons experimented with and innovated many studio recording techniques still used today.
Woolfson served as Parsons’ manager for his production work for other bands such as Pilot and Ambrosia. Both men were inspired by visions of creative film directors such as Hitchcock and Kubrick and their level of control over their projects. Parsons’ had grown increasingly frustrated while working with musicians. Often he felt his concepts for how a song or an album could be fell short of potential due to differences with artists over the recording of their work. Woolen and Parsons teamed up to form the Alan Parsons Project in 1975 an, enlisting the musical skills of session musicians and other artists they had worked with, including members of the bands Pilot and Ambrosia, recording the Project’s debut album, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Allan Poe. The album was released in 1976 and featured the hit son The Raven which was the first known use of digital vocoder which distorted Parsons’ voice as he spoke the lyrics.
Although Tales of Mystery and Imagination reached the top 40 in the US, and did well continental Europe it did not fare as well in Woolfson and Parsons’ native UK, a trend that would continue throughout the Alan Parsons Project’s career.
Throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s the Parson’s Project released series of albums continuing to use several different session musicians. Their catalogue includes I Robot (1977), Pyramid (1978), Eve (1979), (Turn Of A Friendly Card (1980), Eye In The Sky (1982), and Ammonia Avenue (1984) – which reached the top 10 in several countries and featured the smash hit “Don’t Answer Me”.
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