Alan Parsons, Beatles Recording Engineer Mar 21, 2009 17:50:07 GMT -5
Post by yerblues1968 on Mar 21, 2009 17:50:07 GMT -5
Alan Parsons assisted in the engineering of the Beatles Abbey Road album
and projects for Paul McCartney. Photo taken on April 1, 2008 by Grudnick.
ALAN PARSONS (December 20, 1948 in London - Present)
Alan Parsons is a British audio engineer, musician, and record producer. He was involved in the production of several successful albums, including The Beatles' Abbey Road and The Dark Side of the Moon, for which Pink Floyd credit him as an important contributor. Parsons' own group, The Alan Parsons Project, as well as his subsequent solo recordings have also been commercially successful.
In October 1967, at age 18, Parsons went to work as an assistant engineer at Abbey Road Studios, where he earned his first credit on the LP, Abbey Road. He became a fixture there, engineering such projects as Paul McCartney's Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway, five albums by The Hollies, and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, for which he received his first Grammy Award nomination. He was known for going beyond what would normally be considered the scope of a recording engineer’s duties. He considered himself to be a recording director, likening his contribution to recordings to what Stanley Kubrick contributed to film. This is apparent in his work with Al Stewart's Year of the Cat, where Parsons added the saxophone part and transformed the original folk concept into the jazz-influenced ballad that put Al Stewart onto the charts. It is also heard in Parsons’ influence on the Hollies’ He Ain't Heavy, He’s My Brother and The Air That I Breathe, sharp departures from their 1960s pop Stay, Just One Look, Stop! Stop! Stop! or Bus Stop. Parsons was also known to have swapped shifts during the engineering of The Dark Side of the Moon so he could work entirely on the project.
Parsons also produced three albums by Pilot, a Scottish pop rock band consisting of Ian Bairnson on guitar, Stuart Tosh on drums, and David Paton on lead vocals, guitars, and on bass. Their hits included January and Magic.
Apparently inspired by his influential contribution to Stewart’s work, he founded The Alan Parsons Project with producer and songwriter (and occasional singer) Eric Woolfson in 1975. The Project consisted of a revolving group of studio musicians and vocalists, most notably the members of Pilot and (on the first album) the members of American rock band Ambrosia. Unlike most rock groups, the Project rarely performed live, although they did release a number of music videos. After releasing ten albums, the Project dissolved after 1987, and Parsons continues to release work in his own name and in collaboration with other musicians; Parsons and his band now regularly tour many parts of the world.
Alan Parsons at Silva Concert Hall in Eugene, Oregon
on September 15, 2006 for Alan Parsons Project.
Alan Parsons' 2009 Tour Dates
July 18, 2009 Wheeling, WV - Wheeling Island Hotel Casino and Racetrack
July 19 - 5 & 8PM, Annapolis, MD - Rams Head on Stage
July 25 - Katzenberg Arena Near Munich, Germany with the Excalibur Show
August 7, 2009 San Diego, CA - Humphrey's
August 8, 2009 Las Vegas, NV - Cannery Casino
August 14-15, 2009 Reno, NV - John Ascuaga's Nugget
September 9, 2009 Milwaukee, WI - Potawatome Casino
September 10, 2009 St. Charles, MO - Ameristar Casino
September 11, 2009 Kansas City, MO - Ameristar Casino
Although an accomplished vocalist, keyboardist, bassist, guitarist and flautist, Parsons sang infrequent and incidental parts on his albums. While his keyboard playing was very prominent on Alan Parsons Project albums, very few recordings feature his flute.
Of all his collaborations, guitarist Ian Bairnson worked with Parsons the longest, including Parsons' post-Woolfson albums, Try Anything Once, On Air, and The Time Machine.
Alan Parsons in Charleroi, Belgium on April 19, 2008.
As well as receiving gold and platinum awards from nearly every country in the world, Parsons has received ten Grammy Award nominations for engineering and production. In 2007 he received a nomination for Best Surround Sound Album for A Valid Path.
The Project’s song, Sirius, has been used for years by the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns,Kansas City Chiefs and Leinster Rugby as background music for their home team player introductions. It was also used by professional wrestler Ricky The Dragon Steamboat as his theme music during his first stint in the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s, and in the Michael Jordan film Michael Jordan to the Max. (In addition, the song the Bulls use as background music for the visiting team introductions is Pink Floyd’s On The Run, from The Dark Side of the Moon, engineered by Parsons). In 2008, the song was featured in a Dr. Pepper soda commercial, featuring Julius Erving.
Alan Parsons at the World Liberation Concert in the
Netherlands on May 8, 1995 to commemorate the
50th anniversary of VE-Day, liberation of Europe.
Alan performs "Sirius / Eye In The Sky." (7:41 minutes)
In May 2005, Parsons appeared at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, California, to mix front-of-house sound for Southern California-based Pink Floyd tribute band Which One’s Pink? and their performance of The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. link In an interview with the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper regarding his work with Project Unity, Parsons also briefly mentioned Which One's Pink? link
Indie band Grandaddy made a promotional CD with the track Alan Parsons In A Winter Wonderland.
As of 2007, he tours under a revised name, The Alan Parsons Live Project (with Woolfson’s permission), presenting world-spanning concerts performing material from his most recent album A Valid Path as well as selections from the original Project. The earlier 2004-2005 shows offered vocalist P.J. Olsson’s track More Lost Without You while the later 2006 shows presented The Crystal Method-featured We Play the Game and opened with Return to Tunguska along with hits spanning the Project years.
Photo of Alan Parsons taken on September 13, 2008.
Parsons lives in the Santa Barbara, California, area, where he is a member of the Orange County Oranges, the current Orange County frisbee golf champions.