The Alan Parsons Project
This album was originally released by Arista Records in 1987. This album was inspired by the life and works of Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926), a Catalan architect whose grand conception, The Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, involves a construction timetable which will run for hundreds of years. He is buried in the cyrpt of his unfinished masterpiece.
September 22, 2008 saw the release of a remastered version of this album, complete with bonus tracks and improved packaging..
|AP: "The principle theme is about Antonio Gaudi and the cathedral he was building in Barcelona, Spain, but occassionally we digressed from the subject matter. 'Closer To Heaven' fits in quite well; it's the accepted concept why cathedrals are so enormous, so you can reach closer to Heaven."|
|La Sagrada Familia||vocal: John Miles||(8:47)|
|Too Late||vocal: Lenny Zakatek||(4:30)|
|Closer To Heaven||vocal: Eric Woolfson||(5:53)|
|Standing On Higher Ground||vocal: Geoff Barradale||(5:48)|
|Money Talks||vocal: John Miles||(4:26)|
|Inside Looking Out||vocal: Eric Woolfson||(6:26)|
|Paseo De Gracia||instrumental||(3:52)|
|Too Late (Eric Woolfson Rough Guide Vocal)||vocal: Eric Woolfson||(4:13)|
|Standing On Higher Ground/ Losing Proposition (Vocal Experiments)||vocal: Eric Woolfson, Geoff Barradale, Chris Rainbow||(3:58)|
|Money Talks (Chris Rainbow/ Percussion Overdubs)||vocal: Chris Rainbow||(0:37)|
|Money Talks (Rough Mix Backing Track)||instrumental||(4:28)|
|Closer to Heaven (Sax/ Chris Rainbow Overdub Section)||vocal: Chris Rainbow||(0:50)|
|Paseo De Gracia (Rough Mix)||instrumental||(3:46)|
|La Sagrada Familia (Rough Mix)||vocal: Eric Woolfson||(7:25)|
La Sagrada Familia
Vocal John Miles Dialogue Salvador Gimenez-Oltra Additional Vocals Eric Woolfson, Chris Rainbow, The English Chorale Synth Piano Eric Woolfson Guitars Ian Bairnson Bass Laurie Cottle Drums and Percussion Stuart Elliott Synths and Sax Solo Richard "Trix" Cottle Cello John Heley Sound FX Compilation Alan Parsons French Horns led by David Cripp Timpani and Choirmaster Bob Howes Orchestra and Choir arranged and conducted by Andrew Powell
Vocal Lenny Zakatek Backing Vocals Chris Rainbow Guitars Ian Bairnson Bass Laurie Cottle Drums Stuart Elliott Synths Richard "Trix" Cottle
Closer To Heaven
Vocal Eric Woolfson Piano and Accordion Eric Woolfson Backing Vocals Chris Rainbow Guitars Ian Bairnson Bass Laurie Cottle Drums and Percussion Stuart Elliott Synths, Sax Solo Richard "Trix" Cottle
Standing On Higher Ground
Vocal Geoff Barradale Additional Vocals Chris Rainbow Guitars Ian Bairnson Bass Laurie Cottle Drums and Percussion Stuart Elliott Synths Richard "Trix" Cottle
Vocal John Miles Additional Vocals Chris Rainbow Guitars Ian Bairnson Bass Laurie Cottle Drums Stuart Elliott Synths Richard "Trix" Cottle Computer Voice Programming Alan Parsons
Inside Looking Out
Vocal Eric Woolfson Synth Rhodes Eric Woolfson Backing Vocals Chris Rainbow Electric and Spanish Guitars Ian Bairnson Dialogue Salvador Gimenez-Oltra, Norman Cowan, Ian Bairnson Bass Laurie Cottle Drums Stuart Elliott Synths Richard "Trix" Cottle Sound FX Compilation Alan Parsons
Paseo De Gracia
Synths Eric Woolfson, Richard "Trix" Cottle Electric and Spanish Guitars Ian Bairnson Bass Laurie Cottle Drums, Percussion, Castanets and Dancing Shoes Stuart Elliott French Horns led by David Cripp Timpani Bob Howes Orchestra and Choir arranged and conducted by Andrew Powell
BONUS MATERIAL NOTES
by Eric Woolfson & Alan Parsons - 2008
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.
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.
Too Late (Eric Woolfson Rough Guide Vocal) During the recording process, before a lyric was completed, Eric would record a guide vocal of the basic melody, which in this case consists mainly of La Las. This was useful to all involved including Alan and the arranger to get some idea of a songs melody content. Even at early stages like this, the guide vocal would influence the structure and arrangement and the choice of the final vocalist. Eric would also use such a vocal as an aid to lyric writing, during the course of which he would often change the tune to fit with his eventually chosen words, hence the differences between this and the final version. Its interesting that the intro heard on this version was completely discarded. Standing On Higher Ground/ Losing Proposition (Vocal Experiments) This is an example of an attempt at combining two different songs, one of which was dropped in the course of the recordings. Eric was trying an experiment by mirroring Gaudis own approach which was to have, in many cases, different themes intertwined in a complex pattern. It is interesting that the final chorus line had already been sung by Geoff Barradale. His ad libs at the end were replaced by other multi layered parts with Chris Rainbow joining Geoff on the final version. Incidentally Geoff Barradale at the time of this re-release, manages the phenomenally successful band The Arctic Monkeys. Money Talks (Chris Rainbow/ Percussion Overdubs) A typical example of a Chris Rainbow multi-tracked overdub with a section of percussion - combined here for a reason that nobody remembers! Money Talks (Rough Mix Backing Track) When the basic backing is recorded, a rough mix of the backing instruments would be done as in this example. There were several uses for this: a) as an aid to lyric writing b) as a guide for other musicians who had yet to add their overdubs c) as a track for vocalists to practice d) when a potential lead vocalist had not been identified, to use as a creative tool in imagining what kind of voice might suit the track Very often when a final lead vocal is completed, it can change the perceived feel of the track and its only by comparing the basic track (only normally heard in the control room) to the final vocal mix that the differences can be appreciated. Closer to Heaven (Sax/ Chris Rainbow Overdub Section) An excellent example of Rainbow magic, together with the brilliant sax solo work of Richard Cottle (brother of bass player Laurie Lol Cottle also playing on this album). Richards main contribution to the album was as an electronic keyboard virtuoso, but he also excels on saxophone as he demonstrated on many of the Projects. Paseo De Gracia (Rough Mix) The final mix is usually a lengthy process, but one often needs a version for rough compilation or presentation purposes and this is an example of a mix which was fairly quickly put together and later improved upon for the final version. The choir heard clearly on this version on the extended fade was ultimately excluded on the master. La Sagrada Familia (Rough Mix) Another rough mix of a track which turned out to be one of the most challenging and complicated mixes to achieve the optimum sound balance with so many elements involved. This mix is noticeably dryer, i.e. less echo or reverb, but most of the constituent elements of the master are showcased here in a rough form.
Produced by Alan Parsons
Executive Producer: Eric Woolfson
Engineered by Alan Parsons and Tony Richards
Recorded at The Grange, Benenden, England and at Mayfair Studios, London.
Recorded 48-track on Sony PCM 3324 Recorders and Mixed to a Sony 1630 system digital master.
Thanks to: Keith Slaughter, Steve Webb, Terry Maloney, Roger Quested, Graham and Mike at Genalog, Bill, Phil, Roy, Mick, Victor and John for all their help with the studio at The Grange.
Thanks also to: Wim Schipper and Dennis Fine, Salvador Gimenez-Oltra, Norman Cowan for telling everything he knew about Antonio Gaudi, Pete Smith, George Haymer, Eric Prince, David Rockberger, John Branca, Laser Beam for constant encouragement, Barrie and Margaret Spice, Smokey and Hazel as always.
Geoff Barradale of Vitamin Z appears courtesy of Phonogram Limited and Geffen Records. Special thanks to David Simone.
Original Art Direction: Maude Gilman
Compiled for reissue by Eric Woolfson & Haydn Bendall (for Woolfsongs Ltd.), Tim Fraser-Harding & Jeff Magid (for SONY BMG) and Alan Parsons.
Expanded Edition Mastered by Dave Donnelly and Alan Parsons at DNA Mastering, Studio City, California.
Produced for reissue by Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson and Jeff Magid.
Special thanks to Tim Fraser-Harding, Haydn Bendall and Sally Seddon
Reisse design by Mainartery Design
Memorablia - with thanks to Steve Martin, Sally Seddon and Mainartery
All tracks written by Eric Woolfson/Alan Parsons
except "Losing Proposition" written by Eric Woolfson
Published by Woolfsongs Ltd./Careers Music Inc. administered by Universal Music except Losing Proposition published by Woolfsongs Ltd. (MCPS)
All bonus tracks copyright 2008, Licensed courtesy of Woolfsongs Ltd.
Official website www.the-alan-parsons-project.com
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 "Losing Proposition", 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.
Left: "Gaudi" LP - Russian pressing; Middle: "La Sagrada Familia" single - booklet page; Right: Gaudi Press Kit (German).
Click on any image to enlarge.
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