Once you hear the familar sounds of Alan Parsons' Fairlight and layered synths from Eric Woolfson & Haydn Bendall on the opening "Sirius", a classic Alan Parson Project instrumental piece that became a familiar theme to many sporting events, so begins the popular 1982 release Eye In the Sky. Now gloriously remastered, this solid entry in the APP discography can now be enjoyed to the fullest, with superior sound, bonus tracks, and an informative booklet.
The title track was a big hit on FM rock radio back when the album was originally released, a lush pop/prog song with Woolfson's emotional vocals and swirling Wurlitzer, complemented nicely by Ian Bairnson's tasty guitar work, who is a vastly underrated player. The engaging "Children of the Moon", which features plenty of proggy keyboards from Woolfson and a soulful vocal from bassist David Patton. Check out the soaring choir and orchestra on this one, as well as some jazzy piccolo trumpet from John Wallace. The layers of vocals on the quirky "Gemini" almost remind of Gentle Giant with a Pink Floyd edge, while the somber yet catchy "Silence and I" is a 7+ minute piece with lush keyboards and orchestra, plus another solid vocal from Woolfson. About mid-way through the song things pick up quite a bit, and it actually turns into a bombastic classical flavored rocker, with a tasty guitar solo from Bairnson to close things out.
"You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" is a funky rocker, very typical of early 80's AOR material, littered with tight keyboard work from Parsons, crunchy guitar riffs, and plenty of catchy vocal melodies. The popular "Psychobabble" is a proggy yet funky track with plenty of hooks and classy instrumentation, while "Mammagamma" is a futuristic sounding instrumental not unlike some of the Tangerine Dream output of the same era. Expect loads of synths, delayed guitar riffs, and electronic drum programming on this one. 'Step By Step" is a fairly generic funk rocker, easily the weakest track on the album, and the closing "Old and Wise" sees the band return to dreamy, orchestral progressive rock, complete with emotional vocals, layers of keys, strings, brass, and reeds. The sax solo from former King Crimson member Mel Collins is especially noteworthy on this one.
There are a slew of bonus tracks that are of interest here, like the demo version of "Sirius", which is drastically different from the final version that wound up on the album. The alternate version of "Old and Wise" sees Woolfson handling the lead vocal instead of Colin Blunstone, who sang on the album version, and the near 11 minute "Naked Eye" features many themes that wound up on some of the songs that made the final cut of the album. The orchestral take on this piece is the majestic "Eye Pieces", which will really appeal to fans of classical music. The booklet contains plenty of information on the making of the album, so it's a fun read while you are soaking all the remastered sounds in. Now that they have this and I Robot covered, let's get the rest of the catalog remastered shall we?
2. Eye In The Sky
3. Children Of The Moon A
5. Silence And I
6. You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned
8. Mammagamma (Instrumental)
9. Step By Step
10. Old And Wise
11. Sirius (Demo)
12. Old & Wise (Eric Woolfson guide vocal)
13. Any Other Day (Studio Demo)
14. Silence & I (Early version; Eric Woolfson guide vocal)
15. The Naked Eye
16. Eye Pieces (Classical Naked Eye)