STORM THORGERSON PASSES
(April 22/2013) This time we start off with some sad news: on April 18, 2013 Storm Thorgerson, the artist behind most of the covers for Alan Parsons, has passed away at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer.
Besides the AP covers, he did covers for Peter Gabriel, Styx, Pink Floyd and so many more. He was also involved with videos including Yes' "Owner of a Lonely Heart".
So much of his work became iconic: from the prism on "Dark Side of the Moon" to the floating pig on "Animals". Storm's covers are great part of what we all think of when we think of album artwork, and his work will live on long past him.
SOMEWHERE IN THE AUDIENCE
(April 22/13) There is a new Eric Woolfson album available. "Somewhere In The Audience" is a tribute album to the late great song writer, with a number of singers performing songs that Eric wrote for musical theatre.
The performers on the album are:
- Steve Balsamo - Poe / Jesus Christ Superstar
- Anna-Jane Casey - Chicago / Spamalot (and TV's EastEnders)
- Sharon D. Clarke - We Will Rock You / Ghost
- Jacqui Dankworth - "As The Sun Shines Down On Me" album / Les Misérables (movie)
- Louise Dearman - Wicked / "Here Comes the Sun" album
- Pia Douwes - Elisabeth / Chicago / Cats
- Ben Forster - Jesus Christ Superstar / The Rocky Horror Show
- James Fox - Movin' Out / Chess / played Paul McCartney in The Beatles tribute show Let it Be
- Gareth Gates - Les Misérables / Legally Blonde / Boogie Nights
- Tim Howar - Rent / Rock of Ages / "Last Chance Harvey" (2008 film)
- Jon Lee - S Club 7 / Jersey Boys / Aladdin
- Oliver Tompsett - Wicked / Rock of Ages / We Will Rock You
"Somewhere In The Audience" is available now at Amazon.com. If you order direct from the offiicial APP site, you will also receive a digital download bonus track: Eric Woolfson singing a demo version of 'Lonely Song' from his GAUDI musical.
(April 22/13) Alan Parsons continues his return to his roots by producing another album. "Grand Ukulele" by Jake Shimabukuro is what it sounds like - Jake is a ukulele virtuoso from Hawaii. The new album contains cover versions of everything from traditional songs to tunes like "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and "Field of Gold" (the Sting tune). Available now at Amazon.com
(Feb. 21/13): A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I began telling tale of a movie that Alan Parsons would be doing the music for. Now let's hop in our Starfighter and lightspeed to the present for an update.
The movie, 5-25-77, written and directed by Patrick Read Johnson, is in essence a coming of age story about a teen growing up in a small town dealing with his lifelong dream to make movies while battling all the pressures of family, school and teen life. Will he leave everything behind and achieve his dreams in Hollywood, or will he abandon it all and resign himself to a life working at a factory?
The movie is a mix of comedy and drama and stars John Francis Daley (Bones, Freaks and Geeks), Austin Pendleton (My Cousin Vinny, The Muppet Movie, Sgt. Bilko), Colleen Camp (Police Academy 2&4, Clue, Die Hard With A Vengeance), andNeil Flynn (Scrubs, The Middle).
An unfinished version was recently screened in Toronto at the Next Wave Film Festival. The principle photography is complete; the main thing left to be finished is post-production work (resolution, aspect ratio, effects) and getting clearance for the music. Patrick has indicated that there is interest from distributors who would like to get this movie out. However, as an independent film maker, they require that he deliver the movie finished and ready to go.
On the topic of music, the current soundtrack has some great 1970s music. There are also some familiar Alan Parsons pieces including "Genesis Ch. 1 v. 32" (I Robot), a track from "Ladyhawke", "Blue Blue Sky 2" and an instrumental version of "Too Close To The Sun" (both originally from On Air).
In Toronto, after the movie and a Q&A, the audience was also shown a trailer for a documentary called Hearts of Dorkness. The documentary is a look at the making of 5-25-77 and also the "Hearts of Dorkness Tour" which saw Patrick Read Johnson travel around America in a 1975 Ford Pinto showing rough cuts of the movie to test audiences. He was also trying to generate awareness about the film and raise money to help get the movie finished. This movie needs to be finished.
If you'd like to help, donations are being accepted - no amount is too small; every bit helps get the Pinto closer to Hollywood!
More info on Hearts of Dorkness.
More info on 5-25-77:
Toronto Star article
Toronto Sun article
National Post article
Patrick Read Johnson at The Next Wave Festival, Toronto
ALAN PARSONS PRODUCED TRACK "BELMONTE"
(Feb. 21/13): On May 26, 2012 Alan Parsons conducted one of his Master Class training sessions at Noble Street Studios in Toronto.
The all-day training session covered the recording of a track for the band The David Barrett Trio. The day started with Alan hearing the band's demo version of the song and discussing what direction they'd like to take with it. After discussing microphone selections, placement and preparing the live floor, recording began. At the end of the day, participants got to hear the final mix compared with the original demo.
So, what happened to that track? Well, it's out now as part of the band's new album. The album was produced by Rush's Alex Lifeson, Richard Chycki, and DB3; while the track "Belmonte" was produced & engineered by Alan Parsons.
The track is available and album is available on iTunes.
You can also see Alan in the studio playing back the track. The gentleman who is seen standing behind him (at 1:00) is vocalist Paul Reid.
Credits for the track "Belmonte"
The David Barrett Trio live at Noble Street Studios
(April 22/13) Here's a chance to hear the whole track and see still pictures from the day it was recorded - right from the beginning to photos at the end taken during the after party.
CLIVE DAVIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY
(Feb. 21/13): The Autobiography of Clive Davis was released February 19, 2013.
The Soundtrack of My Life looks back at a music career that spanned decades and saw the launch of careers of countless artists. After being fired from CBS Records, Clive formed Arista Records in 1975. He signed The Alan Parsons Project to Arista in 1977 and "I Robot" was the first of a long string of albums at the label. In the book, Clive spends a few pages talking about the APP, which is not surprising consider that APP was one of the early acts signed to Arista, but was also another notch of success! Clive definitely had a knack for picking a winner, and APP fans have to be grateful he had the wisdom to support Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson.
(April 22/13) On the part about APP, Alan has said "I found the APP section quite complimentary. Clive never told me the Spielberg story - interesting." In the book Clive says he tried to have Spielberg let APP do the soundtrack for Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Also interesting is that Close Encounters is what inspired director Patrick Reed Johnson - had Alan done the music, it would have added a special twist to Alan doing the music on 5-25-77.
ALAN PARSONS LIVE
(Feb. 20/13): The "Greatest Hits Tour 2013" will take Alan and the band around the USA, Mexico and Europe. Dates continue to be added, and the latest addition is a booking at the Rock of Ages festival in Germany which will take place the summer on July 26&27. Check the Tour Dates page for this and other live dates.
(July 10/10): A brand new single called "All Our Yesterdays" is out now. Also available is the new song "Alpha Centauri". Right now it's not available on physical media but can be bought as a download at iTunes. You can also see the brand new video on YouTube. The song and video are a spin-off of a documentary project that Alan has been working on.
(July 11/10): The Art And Science Of Sound Recording. It's a multi-part documentary all about making music. While this is probably more geared to people in the industry, it's worth checking out the their websitewebsite. Register at their website and see the intro for free!
Who better to do a documentary on that topic, right? After seeing the Q&A at Canadian Music Week, it's definitely something people in the industry would love to have in their reference library. .
THE PASSING OF A PROGRESSIVE ROCK LEGEND
(December 2/09): It is with great sadness that I pass on the news that Eric Woolfson died on 3AM, December 2, 2009 in London. Despite his battle with cancer, he never quit moving ahead. In fact hed just been working with Haydn Bendall on a new arrangement for Nothing Can Change My Mind (part of a new version of the Gaudi musical).
I am sad that we wont get to see and hear what Eric would have done in the future. Somehow I think if hed lived to be 195 that Eric would still be dreaming and creating. Much like Gaudis La Sagrada Familia, the songbook of Eric Woolfson will never be completed.
While the world will probably remember Eric for his partnership in The Alan Parsons Project, he spent an even longer time in the world of musical theatre - its a pity he never got the recognition he deserved.
I was trying hard to think of something poignant to say, but I think Eric said it best himself in so many songs - he was indeed was one of the best lyric writers ever. -Steve Martin
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2005 >>> Updates from 2005
2004 >>> Updates from 2004
2003 >>> Updates from 2003
2002 >>> Updates from 2002
2001 >>> Updates from 2001
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