The Alan Parsons Project are a gap in my knowledge. I know he had something to do with Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon, and that one of his songs is on the Blades Of Glory trailer. But that’s it. I know they’re somewhat proggish, but I wouldn’t be able to spot a song on the radio.
But then I saw the documentary on Clive Davis, the famous record label head of Columbia and Arista, on Netflix. Aerosmith once sang ‘We all shot the shit at the bar / With Johnny O’Toole and his scar / And then old Clive Davis said / I’m surely gonna make us a star’ and so a made a point of learning more about him. About halfway through the film, there was a montage of music from the artists he released during his tenure at Arista, and I heard a massive groove. Something I’d never heard before.
The groove, as it turns out, was the title song of the Alan Parsons Project’s second studio album I Robot. It’s definitely a master groove, built around heavy synths and featuring some lovely choral singing in the style of Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother suite (a record Parsons also worked on).
Not sure if I’m a fan of the band’s other work though. Most of the other material has nothing of the robotic funk of its title track. The Floyd-esque side-two opener The Voice gets close, and Nucleus could have been recorded by French electronica duo Air, but the rest is more akin to Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, although slightly more radio-friendly.
I’ll seek out more though, particularly as I remember that song on the Blades Of Glory trailer (Sirius) to be more of that kind of synth-groove.
Hidden Gem: I Robot