The Best of the Alan Parsons Project [Arista 1983]

by: The Alan Parsons Project

The 12 tracks that appear on The Best of the Alan Parsons Project include some of their greatest singles, like "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" from 1977's I Robot and the inducing "Games People Play" off of The Turn of a Friendly Card. Even though these songs are splendid all by themselves, they seem to lose their conceptual weight when taken away from their original albums. As singles, they do act as a fine representation of how The Alan Parsons Project's music sounds and conveys its mysterious air, but even with a dozen singles on this album there's just too much of their other worthy material that is sadly left off. Present is their biggest single and most alluring piece, "Eye in the Sky," from the album of the same name, and the entrancing "Time" from Turn of a Friendly Card. "Pyramania" and "You Don't Believe," representing both Pyramid and Ammonia Avenue, are also included, as are some of their finest ballads with "Old and Wise" and "Don't Let It Show." "Lucifer" is the only instrumental on the collection, but is also one of their most sophisticated. As a short reference to this group's earlier material, The Best of the Alan Parsons Project offers some of their greatest work, but it's too short to really serve as a true best-of. Each individual album should be listened to in order to grasp the entirety of Parsons' themes. The Best of the Alan Parsons Project, Vol. 2 should be partnered with Vol. 1 for a more concise set. ~ Mike DeGagne

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