The Alan Parsons Project had a long, distinguished career, perhaps longer, more successful than even they would have anticipated. Beginning with their Edgar Allen Poe-treated debut, Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1975), they eventually scored a hit with “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You” off of their second album, I Robot (1977) – a tribute to the robot novel of the same name by noted author, Isaac Asimov. Assisted and buoyed by fellow collaborator, Eric Woolfson, Alan Parsons, who never actually played on any of these albums, lent his name to a band that made 10 albums, most with a hit to set them apart. That is the focus of this 2CD Essential collection along with some of the deeper album cuts that ended up as FM staples or excellent songs that didn’t otherwise have single potential.
There are 34 songs on this Essential compilation that overview the band well. Every song is chronologically representative of the albums, with some albums getting the full attention (Turn of a Friendly Card with 7 songs and the popular Eye in the Sky with 5 songs). The Alan Parsons Band have been heavily compiled with plenty of collections and retrospectives to choose from including the original compilation package from Arista, Volumes One and Two of The Best of Alan Parsons Project. Other collections like Silence & I (title borrowed from the epic song of the same name on their Eye in the Sky album, and found here on this collection) as well as The Definitive Alan Parsons Project are excellent representative overviews as well as the current Essential title, with a few song inclusion/exclusion variances.
The Essential Alan Parsons Project is an excellent pickup if you do not have any of the previously mentioned collections. APP’s 10-album career was deep enough with their crossover progressive styles and radio appeal to easily fill up several discs with classic Alan Parsons magic, and so fans will not be disappointed with song selections especially since all of the essential, well known ones are here. Finally, the huge benefit of this particular collection is that all of the songs have been newly remastered by Alan Parsons.