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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Parsons, Alan (Project) - 1987 Gaudi
Parsons, Alan (Project) - 1987 Gaudi

ARTIST: Parsons, Alan (Project)
ALBUM: Gaudi
LABEL: Arista
SERIAL: 208 084
YEAR: 1987


LINEUP: John Miles, Lenny Zakatek, Eric Woolfson, Geoff Barradale, Chris Rainbow - vocals * Ian Bairnson - guitars * Eric Woolfson - pianos, keyboards * Laurie Cottle - bass * Richard Cottle - synthesizers, saxophones * Stuart Elliott - drums, percussion * Andrew Powell - orchestral arrangements * Bob Howe - Conductor: English Chorale * David Cripp - horns * John Heley - cello

TRACK LISTING: 01 La Sagrada Familia * 02 Too Late * 03 Closer To Heaven * 04 Standing On Higher Ground * 05 Money Talks * 06 Inside Looking Out * 07 Paseo De Gracia (instr)


1987's 'Gaudi' would be the last of the official Alan Parsons Projects albums, before Parsons himself would sidle off to a solo career in later years. Though many of the musicians involved here would still participate in future Parsons recordings, this is recognised as the last association with principal cohort Eric Woolfson. Though short on songs, it is typical symphonic rock of the era (it was the mid 80's after all!), and on this album, they celebrate the life and times of Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi. Born in 1852, this Spanish builder/architect was literally a man ahead of his time. Famous for designing buildings that are now considered works of art, they'll be talking about this guy in art history/design classes for years to come. It's fascinating that Parsons and Woolfson opted to take on Gaudi as their main theme for this album, but in doing so, they incorporate musical elements that embed you in the consciousness of 19th Century Spain. A raft of singers have been employed to bring out the best of this well chosen theme.

The Songs
Antonio Gaudi's epitaph 'La Sagrada Familia', is based around the famous Barcelona Cathedral, for which this song takes its name. 'The Holy Family' stands as a testament to this man's visionary ability, although unfortunately he did not live long enough to see it completed. There are many who say the Cathedral will never be completed. John Miles sings the lead to this song, with musical reference pieces acting as a time log from past to present. 'Too Late' is much more commercial, blending symphonic ideals with the short AOR style. It works beautifully, and on this one, Lenny Zatatek provides the vocal lead. Woolfson does the vocal honors on 'Closer To Heaven', a mellow and at times mournful tune. Perhaps the lyrics suggest that Gaudi recognises that he is not infallible, and that he strives to be closer to heaven, through the artistic visions held within his minds eye. By contrast, 'Standing On Higher Ground' is a sharper blast of music, hard symphonic mixed with 80's pop. Here, Gaudi stands alone in a different perspective from everybody else.. 'I see the world, and I'm looking from a high place', or 'I breathe the air, while they're running in a rat race..' John Miles returns for the disappointment on the album 'Money Talks'. Woolfson leads through another melancholy moment with 'Inside Looking Out' where the lyrics talk about dreamers and the freedom to fly. Perhaps an insight into Gaudi's perspective on life and architecture. The album ends with the instrumental 'Paseo de Gracia', a symphonic slice of pomp to wind up this theme based album.

In Summary
Despite his unusual architectural designs (click here to view), Gaudi was a shining beacon, the city of Barcelona is testament to much of his works. If visiting there, you should take a city tour of his works. Gaudi was accidentally run over by a Barcelona street tram in 1926 at the age of 74, and left behind a legacy and workload for La Sagrada Familia that has been estimated to take years to complete. He is also buried in a crypt deep within his unfinished masterpiece. An inspired choice for a theme, all we need now is have someone write music/themes for people like Nikola Tesla and Viktor Schauberger. As far as Parsons and Woolfson are concerned, they have collaborated since, most notably the 1990 soundtrack album 'Freudiana', which was written entirely by Woolfson and produced by Parsons, but beyond that, Woolfson has moved into musical theater, while Parsons still continues to release albums periodically. Though 'Gaudi' is seen as lacking in comparison to previous albums, I still think it's worthy of a good listen now and again.

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#1 | Eric on January 20 2009 00:33:43
Agree, not the best APP album, but worth owning. Good review, especially the background on Gaudi the man.
#2 | trillion1999 on October 20 2011 17:28:38
I love Inside Looking Out.I would love to hear everything with Alan Parsons Eric Woolfson etc involvement.
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