APP "Vulture Culture" album

The Alan Parsons Project

Vulture Culture

This album was originally released by Arista Records in 1985. Arista called it, "an unsparing look at modern society, at contemporary relationships and the business of popular culture."

March 5, 2007 saw the release of a remastered version of this album, complete with bonus tracks and improved packaging

A twist on the expression used to describe unworldly people steeped in the arts (Culture Vulture) and reflected the ever increasing ruthlessness of mankind in a world of stark economic reality.


Let's Talk About Me vocal: David Paton (4:29)
Separate Lives vocal: Eric Woolfson (4:38)
Days Are Numbers (The Traveller) vocal: Chris Rainbow (4:52)
Sooner Or Later vocal: Eric Woolfson (4:24)
Vulture Culture vocal: Lenny Zakatek (5:22)
Hawkeye instrumental (3:48)
Somebody Out There vocal: Colin Blunstone (4:54)
The Same Old Sun vocal: Eric Woolfson (5:26)
No Answers Only Questions (Final Version) vocal: Eric Woolfson (2:10)
Separate Lives (Alternative Mix) instrumental (4:16)
Hawkeye (Demo) vocal: Eric Woolfson (3:17)
The Naked Vulture instrumental (10:42)
No Answers Only Questions (The First Attempt) instrumental (2:57)


Let's Talk About Me

Lead Vocal David Paton
Backing Vocals Chris Rainbow
Oral Rendition Mr. Laser Beam
Piano Eric Woolfson
Synths Richard (Trix) Cottle
Guitar Ian Bairnson
Drums Stuart Elliott
Bass David Paton

Separate Lives

Vocal Eric Woolfson
Harmony Vocal Chris Rainbow
Synths and Sequencers Richard (Trix) Cottle
Guitars Ian Bairnson
Drums and Percussion Stuart Elliott

Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)

Vocals Chris Rainbow
Keyboards Alan Parsons, Richard (Trix) Cottle, Eric Woolfson
Sax Richard (Trix) Cottle
Guitar Ian Bairnson
Drums and Percussion Stuart Elliott
Bass David Paton

Sooner or Later

Vocal Eric Woolfson
Backing Vocals Chris Rainbow
Keyboards Richard (Trix) Cottle, Eric Woolfson
Guitar Ian Bairnson
Drums and Percussion Stuart Elliott
Bass David Paton


DX7 Synth and Fairlight Alan Parsons
Additional Synths & Saxes Richard (Trix) Cottle
Oral Rendition Monica, Abbey Road Canteen
Guitars Ian Bairnson
Drums and Percussion Stuart Elliott
Bass David Paton

Somebody Out There

Vocal Colin Blunstone
Keyboards Eric Woolfson, Richard (Trix) Cottle
Guitars Ian Bairnson
Drums and Percussion Stuart Elliott
Bass David Paton

The Same Old Sun

Vocal Eric Woolfson
Keyboards Eric Woolfson, Richard (Trix) Cottle
Guitars Ian Bairnson
Drums and Percussion Stuart Elliott
Bass David Paton

Recorded and mixed at Abbey Road Studios, London between May and July 1984. An Analog multitrack recording mixed to Sony 1610 digital format.

Thanks to Smokey and Hazel, Wim Schipper, Bob Buziak and all at Abbey Road.



by Eric Woolfson & Alan Parsons

December 2006

The recording process contains many magical moments on the creative journey. The process is not unlike throwing a lump of clay on a potter's wheel and then shaping and re-shaping the material an infinite number of times until the potter is satisfied. A casual observer might say "but you had the pot within the first minute, why didn't you just leave it at that." The art of the potter is to know just how far to go. The record producer's skill is to know when that point has been reached as far as the recordings are concerned and the writer has to apply a similar process to his compositions. They say a poem is never finished, it is abandoned. The same could certainly be said of music, lyrics or any creative effort. The great advantage of the recording process is that as one keeps rough mixes as a guide, one can delve into stages before the point of abandonment and revisit some of the magic from earlier attempts or stages.

Whenever the core musicians compete a basic backing track, there is a sensation of having reached a plateau and although the eventual production may take the recording in a totally different direction, at that moment something rather special has been created which the music buyer is often unaware of.

Amongst this collection of bonus material, there are several examples of the magical early takes and in this re-mastered version of Vulture Culture, for those interested in the process, there is a unique opportunity to glimpse behind the curtain of the recording process. We have also included a track 'No Answers Only Questions' which was left out of the album, together with an early version of it which is differently constructed.

From our personal point of view, it has been a fascinating experience to re-live these early stages, much of which were kept in archives and tape libraries and which might have well been forgotten with the passage of time but for the initiative of Tim Fraser-Harding at SONY BMG. We are also grateful to Haydn Bendall for his untiring patience and skill in assisting us in our trawl through the archives to complete this material.

No Answers Only Questions (final version) EW: "The essence of the Vulture Culture album for me was a comment on the economic harshness of Western society and this track was meant to represent a street musician performing in a very non-Project way. I even expected to include the sound effect of coins being thrown into a hat, but it was decided to leave the song out. We now have the perfect excuse to include it as a bonus track."
Separate Lives (Alternative Mix) EW: "This version of the song has a different approach from the version that was originally released. There are no backing vocals and the synth instrumental line in the choruses is emphasized."
Hawkeye (demo) AP: "This is one of my demos, parts of which were subsequently imported as a synth sequence into the Studio environment and the "real" rhythm section was added. It's a good example of an early version of the track where feel is more important than accuracy."
The Naked Vulture EW: "On each of these re-mastered albums we are including a 'Naked' medley, which consists of extracts form various tracks of the original master recordings, together with early rough mixes etc. The body of this selection is taken from early mixes without vocals, which give a good indication of the basic feel of many of the tracks. As part of the track 'Let's Talk About Me' we had edited in a conversation which took place in the Villa Bianca restaurant in London with a good friend of the Project, radio programmer Lee Abrams. Lee accompanied by his wife Sandra, was performing his party piece at dinner, which consisted of a ten-minute rant on any subject you cared to mention, as well as his apparent skill as an air traffic controller! His performance was recorded on a Sony Walkman and some of it was subsequently incorporated into the master. On reviewing the archive, we realized that there were other marvelous moments, many of which are included in this Naked medley. Incidentally, I realised that Laser Beam was a perfect anagram of his name and he was credited on the original album as such."
No Answers Only Questions (The First Attempt) AP: "I remember we struggled rather to make this song work in the context of the other tracks which had much more of a rock feel. This early take came across with a 'folky" feel which seemed to carry through to the final version (included here - Track 9). I think it was the right decision to exclude it from the original album, but it has been interesting to hear it again."

Bonus tracks licensed by Woolfsongs Ltd

Produced by Alan Parsons

Executive Producer - Eric Woolfson

Engineered by Alan Parsons

Assistant Engineers - Tony Richards, Chris Blair

Expanded Edition Mastered by Dave Donnelly and Alan Parsons at DNA Mastering, Studio City, California.

Compiled for reissue by Eric Woolfson & Haydn Bendall (for Woolfsongs Ltd.), Tim Fraser-Harding & Jeff Magid (for SONY BMG) and Alan Parsons.

Special thanks to Tim Fraser-Harding, Haydn Bendall and Sally Seddon

Original album concept, design and art direction - ICON/sume

Photography - David Hiller

Vulture Sculpture by Gavin Riley at The Great Frog

Additional Design for Expanded Edition - Mainartery

All tracks written by Eric Woolfson/Alan Parsons except "No Answers Only Questions" written by Eric Woolfson

Published by Woolfsongs Ltd./Careers Music Inc. (BMI) Administered by BMG, except "No Answers Only Questions" published by Woolfsongs Ltd. (MCPS)

Original album patent 1985 Arista Records Inc.

All bonus tracks patent 1985, 2006, 2007, licensed courtesy of Woolfsongs Ltd.

The official website

One of the benefits of the Expanded Edition of the classic APP albums is the improved bookelets and extra artwork. Early in the remastering project Tim Fraser-Harding contacted Steve Martin at The Avenue about artwork and rarities.

Many of the images submitted were used within the booklet, but just like "No Answers Only Questions", some things got left on the cutting room floor. In spirit of the Extended Editions, here are three of the images that didn't make the cut.

"Vulture Culture" bonus art "Vulture Culture" bonus art "Vulture Culture" bonus art

Left: inner-sleeve art from original LP; Middle: "Vulture Culture" promo picture disc; Right: "Vulture Culture" Japanese pressing.

Click on any image to enlarge.

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