The Definitive Collection [1997]

by: The Alan Parsons Project

The Definitive Collection is a fabulous double-disc assembly of the Alan Parsons Project's singles that includes the band's strongest material up to 1996. All the songs are presented chronologically, and the information inside discusses each source album with great detail and offers extensive crediting for each individual track. Some obvious appearances include "The Raven," "Games People Play," "Eye in the Sky," "Don't Answer Me," and "Pyramania." What makes this set such a treasure is the inclusion of songs that fail to surface on other compilations, like "Snake Eyes" from Turn of a Friendly Card, "Too Late" from the overlooked Gaudi album, or the eerie "Doctor Tarr and Professor Feather" from Tales of Mystery and Imagination. A good number of instrumentals are welcomed throughout the CDs as well, such as "I Robot," "Voyager," "Sirius," and "Mammagamma." Two of the better tracks from 1993's Try Anything Once album appear here also, in "Turn It Up" and "Re-Jigue." Fans of the Alan Parsons Project will wonder why such gems as "Lucifer," "Winding Me Up," or "You Lie Down With Dogs" fail to appear, but after an overview of the selections it's obvious they've been bumped for more commercial songs, which still doesn't hinder this collection. The Definitive Collection is about as precise as a hits package can be from this band, short of a box set. The sound is pristine, and the cover and packaging are apropos to the band's style and music. This absolute collection lets the listener combine all of the ideas and concepts of Parsons into almost two hours of music, as each song aptly signifies his brilliant career as both musician and engineer. ~ Mike DeGagne

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