Alan Parsons Project: Pyramid (remaster)
The comprehensive overhaul of The Alan Parsons Project back catalogue began last year with the release of the bands two most commercially successful albums, Eye In The Sky and I Robot. But that still left plenty more to come and now we have six more releases that have all been expanded to include a host of previously unreleased bonus tracks.
The Project's third album , Pyramid, was issued in 1978 and built on the success of I Robot by reaching #26 on Billboard. Kicking off with the reflective instrumental 'Voyager' this segues nicely into the single 'What Goes Up' with lead vocals shared between David Paton and Dean Ford. Dominated by synths, moody verses lead into an emphasised chorus and incorporates a well executed solo. Former Zombie Colin Blunstone lends his distinctive voice to the mystical atmospherics of 'The Eagle Will Rise Again' which provides arguably the albums stand out moment. Long time Project vocalist Lenny Zakatek takes over for the unremarkable 'One More River' which never really seems to get going but leads into 'Can't Take It With You' which comes with all of the trademarks of the Project; that delicate blend of prog and pop with an insistent melody.
Conceptually the next three tracks can be viewed as a trilogy with their recurring themes of the Middle East, Egypt and the Pyramids themselves. Commencing with the overtures of 'In The Lap Of The Gods', a symphonic and bombastic instrumental that explodes into life with an orchestra and choir towards the end. The quirky, off-beat 'Pyramania' provides the bridge that takes us to the expansive 'Hyper-Gamma-Spaces' , an exercise in the use of electronics that has parallels with the like sof Jean Michel Jarre. The album proper closes out with the bittersweert ballad 'Shadow of a Lonely Man' with passionate vocals by John Miles. Early versions and demos make up the extras ad these give a good understanding of the creative process.
Whilst not the most celebrated of the Project's works, Pyramid stands up well some thirty years on and can be considered a solid effort.
- "What Goes Up..."
- "The Eagle Will Rise Again"
- "One More River"
- "Can't Take It with You"
- "In the Lap of the Gods"
- "Shadow of a Lonely Man"
- "Voyager/What Goes Up/The Eagle Will Rise Again" (instrumental) -bonus track
- "What Goes Up/Little Voice" (early version demo) -bonus track
- "Can't Take It With You" (early version demo) -bonus track
- "Hyper-Gamma-Spaces" (demo) -bonus track
- "The Eagle Will Rise Again" (alternate version - backing track) -bonus track
- "In the Lap of the Gods" (Part I - demo) -bonus track
- "In the Lap of the Gods" (Part II - backing track rough mix) -bonus track
Added: March 6th 2009
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Band Website
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|Alan Parsons Project: Pyramid (remaster)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-03-08 11:57:43
Dreamy pop meets prog on the 1978 release from The Alan Parson Project, titled Pyramid. This one followed the successful I Robot from a year earlier, and continued the formula that was really starting to work for the band. With the memorable instrumental opener "Voyager" (featuring plenty of cool synths and guitar textures) leading into the radio hit "What Goes Up", the album starts off on a high note, and continues on with other strong album tracks such as "The Eagle Will Rise Again", "In the Lap of the Gods", and "Shadow of a Lonely Man". This new Arista/SONY Legacy remastered edition comes with a host of bonus tracks, including an instrumental version of the first three tracks combined, and plenty of early demo tracks of songs in their initial stages. The album itself sounds great, the remastering process cleaning up a tad what was otherwise already an excellent sounding release (as most APP albums are), and you also get an info packed booklet with lots of photos and trivia about Pyramid.
Though it might not be as strong as I Robot, Eye in the Sky, or Turn of a Friendly Card, Pyramid certainly ranks up there as one of the better APP albums. If you didn't check this one out the first time around on LP or CD, now's the time to do so.
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