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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Parsons, Alan (Project) - 1982 Eye In The Sky
Parsons, Alan (Project) - 1982 Eye In The Sky

ARTIST: Parsons, Alan (Project)
ALBUM: Eye In The Sky
LABEL: Arista
SERIAL: AL9599 (USA, Canada), 204 666 (UK)
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1987, Arista, ARCD 8033 (USA< Canada) * 1988, Arista, 258 718 (Europe) * 2007, Arista, 258 718 (remastered)


LINEUP: Eric Woolfson, Chris Rainbow, Lenny Zakatek, Elmer Gantry, Colin Blunstone - vocals * David Paton - vocals, guitar, bass * Ian Bairnson guitar * Stuart Elliot- drums * Alan Parsons - keyboards * Mel Collins - saxophone

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sirius * 02 Eye In The Sky * 03 Children Of The Moon * 04 Gemini * 05 Silence And I * 06 You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned * 07 Psychobabble * 08 Mammagamma * 09 Step By Step * 10 Old And Wise


Up to this point Alan Parsons and company had been consistently releasing high quality albums based on obscure concepts and this was their sixth album in as many years, not to mention their most successful. Although most of their albums contained commercial hits, this effort was probably their most AOR influenced, although it definitely runs the gauntlet in terms of various directions. The concept behind the album refers to the album's title, with the notion there's some higher power up above, watching everything unfold. It probably wasn't as heavy handed a concept as past ideas based on gambling, pyramids, robots and Edgar Alan Poe and it's possible to discern the songs on their own merits. Parsons usual cast of characters are on hand, probably at their peak creatively for this unique band.

The Songs
I'm sure everyone in the free world has heard instrumental 'Sirius' at some point in their lives, probably not knowing who created it. Of course it has been run into the ground by various sports teams, notably the Chicago Bulls who continue to plunder it to this day. I remember hearing it used by wrestler Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat in the 80's and I have to admit I was somewhat surprised when I learned it was recorded by Parsons some years later. The emotive guitar solo leads into the classic title track, one of the staples of 80's radio and one of the best singles of the decade. Everyone's heard it and I never tire of it personally, the blend of soft AOR melodies and the timeless chorus combining perfectly. David Paton takes vocals for 'Children Of The Moon' and there's a slight funk element present, but overall this is comparable to Supertramp, especially that soaring hook which could be from the latters 'Crisis, What Crisis?' The guitar solo is well timed, somewhere between David Gilmour and Steve Lukather. The brief 'Gemini' is very airy, lodged in early 70's British progressive rock and excellent as a result. The seven minute 'Silence And I' is handled vocally by Eric Woolfson and comes across as Pink Floyd from the early 70's with its dreamy opening. It delves into some traditional Parsons horn work territory later on, very energetic and whimsical, with ambitious sections that show the band was still pushing creative boundaries. By contrast 'You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned' is pure radio rock, with Lenny Zakatek on vocals adding some flair to an AOR driven track. This one should be more known in the scheme of things, a melodic masterpiece. 'Psychobabble' has Dave 'Elmer Gantry' Terry delivering his gruff vocals to marvelous effect, this one reminding me of early 80's Beggars Opera. The keyboards have that typical 80's 'Oriental' sound heard so often during the decade, always good for a laugh or two. Instrumental 'Mammagamma' could be off any Parsons album, with that unique keyboard sound he mastered in, very ominous and futuristic. This piece would have been ideal for a montage of highlights from the 1982 World Cup, with the increasing desperation of the music ideal fodder for showing beleaguered Brazilian faces as they fall to Italy, crashing out of the tournament. 'Step By Step' is another basic rock track with an undeniable hook to its credit and would have been right at home on the Keats album from 1984. By contrast 'Old And Wise' is one of those 'haunting' ballads made famous by the band, the 'Time' or 'Don't Let It Show' of this album and equally as effective.

In Summary
The success of the title track helped the album go platinum and was easily the peak for the band. 1984's 'Ammonia Avenue' also sold in substantial numbers and was a good follow up, but after that and 'Vulture Culture' the magic somewhat faded, ending with 1987's 'Gaudi' which was the project's last album sadly. They'll always be remembered for the title track of 'Eye In The Sky' though, which in my opinion isn't a bad thing at all.

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#1 | AOR Lee on March 11 2014 04:38:03
Agreed, this is a fine album. Sold many copies of this cd in my early 90's cd store days. The title track really is a radio classic to this day, even here on the highveld!
#2 | jeffrey343 on March 17 2014 02:17:06
I got the two greatest hits CDs and the instrumental hits CDs years ago, but none of them had 'Sirius'. So I bought this one pretty much just for that brief instrumental song. Fortunately, I really like the whole album. 'You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned' and 'Step By Step' are as good as their big hits to me - extremely catchy.
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