THE ALAN PARSON'S PROJECT: Tales of Mystery & Imagination (1976)
Alan Parson was a sound engineer since the end of '60's involved with many famousalbums such as: 'Abbey Road' and 'Let it Be' by the Beatles, and the 'The Dark Side of the Moon' by Pink Floyd, to name a few. But he always wanted to make a band of his own, and when he met with Eric Woolfson in the canteen of Abbey Roads studios this idea became reality.Woolfson was a songwriter, composer and a session musician, working at the time to a personal project which was a concept album based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, the famous American writer.
The new band was named The Alan Parson's Project, and their first album was 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination (Edgar Allan Poe)' which was released in 1976.
The title of the album is taken from a popular title for a collection of Poe's macabre tales of the same name, Tales of Mystery & Imagination, first published in 1908 and reprinted many times since. The lyrics are taken from horror stories writen by Edgar Allan Poe, such as 'The Raven' 'The Cask of Amontillado' 'The Fall of the House of Usher' etc.
Many known mucisians were involved in this album, such as Arthur Brown, (The Crazy World of Arthur Brown), Terry Silvester (The Hollies), Francis Monkman (Curved Air) etc...
The lyrics as it is expected were inspired and in many occasions copied from the original stories of Edgar Allan Poe. And as for the technical side, Alan Parson did a really great work. In this album were used many new techniques, with the use of 'vocoder' for the first time in history of music being one of them. (You can listen to Alan Parson singing through vocoder in 'The Raven').
The reception of the album was mixed, and the music critics were confused by the new sound and the music style of the album. But because of its theme, it gathered a cult audience who bought and worshiped it.
The original version of the album consists of a double cover, and in the middle it contains a few pages with pictures, lyrics and info on the album. I consider myself lucky for being able to have this version, which is really very beautiful.
Concluding this post, I will add a couple of songs so you can listen and have an idea…