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Biographie

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Alan Parsons est né le 20 décembre 1948 à Londres, en Angleterre. Il entre chez EMI en tant qu'ingénieur du son et va rapidement passer à l'enregistrement des artistes aux studios d'Abbey Road. Il va donc travailler en collaboration avec les Beatles sur de nombreux titres, dont Let It Be ou encore leur fameux concert sur le toit des studios. Sa notoriété étant désormais assurée dans le milieu musical, il va travailler avec Al Stewart, George Harrison ou encore Paul McCartney. Mais c'est avec Pink Floyd qu'il assura sa réputation dans le milieu musical. Il aura travaillé avec eux sur de nombreux albums, dont le mondialement connu The Dark Side of the Moon, ou encore Atom Heart Mother.

Fondateur du groupe en 1976 avec Eric Woolfson, son premier album est Tales of Mystery and Imagination, hommage à l'écrivain Edgar Allan Poe, ce disque le fait connaître aux États-Unis. Son second album est lui aussi inspiré par la littérature puisqu'il s'agit de I, Robot, tiré du livre du même nom d'Isaac Asimov. Par la suite, le succès ne s'arrêtera pas. Il sort Pyramid en 1978, succès qui va lui permettre d'enregistrer Eve à Monaco. Là-bas, il va enregistrer The Turn of a Friendly Card. C'est en 1982 que sortira Eye in the Sky, son plus grand succès, dont la chanson-titre (n°3 aux États-Unis) passe encore sur les ondes à l'heure actuelle. Puis viendront Ammonia Avenue, dont est tiré un autre de ses plus grands morceaux : « Don't Answer Me » en 1984, suivent Vulture Culture en 1985, Stereotomy en 1986 et Gaudi en 1987. Il collabora aussi très activement à un autre album : Freudiana, sorti en 1990, réalisé par ex-"complice" Eric Woolfson. Alan Parsons travailla également sur la bande originale du film Ladyhawke produite par son chef d'orchestre attitré, Andrew Powell.

Il va collaborer à d'autres albums et abandonne le nom de « The Alan Parsons Project » pour celui d'Alan Parsons. En 1994, il sort Try Anything Once puis On Air qui sortira en deux versions (CD DTS 5.1 et CD plus cédérom bonus) et enfin The Time machine en 1999, auquel participe entre autres Tony Hadley, la « voix » de Spandau Ballet. Son dernier album, A Valid Path, accueille de nombreux invités dont le fameux David Gilmour (guitariste de Pink Floyd).

Alan Parsons a aussi enregistré un album intitulé Keats dans les années 1980, demeurant comme un album inédit.

Alan Parsons aura 60 ans en 2008. Il est maintenant un des plus grands ingénieurs du son, travaillant avec les dernières technologies, dont le format multipiste 5.1. Il vit actuellement à Santa Barbara (Californie) avec sa famille.

En 2004, Parsons a rassemblé plusieurs de ses collaborateurs habituels pour créer l'album A Valid Path, de facture techno-pop. On y retrouve des remakes de « Mammagamma » (originalement sur Eye in the Sky) et de « A Dream Within a Dream / The Raven » (originalement sur Tales of Mystery and Imagination).

Le Alan Parsons Project a connu peu de succès dans son pays d'origine, le Royaume-Uni, ses meilleures ventes ayant eu lieu en Europe continentale (notamment en France et en Allemagne) et en Amérique du Nord.

The english side of the Parson's moon !

Born in Britain on December 20, 1948, Alan soon found that his interests lay in music. He studied piano and flute as a child and was always intrigued by gadgetry. He picked up the guitar in his early teens and played as a soloist as well as with various bands at school.

1. The little EMI recording engineer…

One of his first jobs was at an EMI tape duplication facility in West London. At this time he was fortunate enough to experience the master tape of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album and that boosted his determination to become a recording engineer. Says Alan, "I couldn't wait to find out the secrets behind the album. It left me totally in awe of the talent of The Beatles themselves of course, but also the work behind the scenes in the studio". His timing was perfect. He landed a post at the then not-so-celebrated Abbey Road Studios and garnered significant experience on the Beatles' Let It Be album, and actively participated in the famous Apple rooftop session.

The Abbey Road album (released before Let It Be but recorded later) helped Alan to make his mark with the Fab Four, although he was only an assistant engineer at that time. Still, it resulted in Alan going on to work as a full-blown engineer with Paul McCartney on McCartney, Wings Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway.
After the experience of The Beatles, Alan worked on a number of hits with The Hollies including He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother and The Air That I Breathe. However, his reputation was totally solidified with his engineering work on Pink Floyd's legendary Dark Side Of The Moon, which earned him the first of many Grammy nominations.

Alan soon ventured into production with the British band Pilot and scored immediate success with the hit single Magic. (You know - "Oh Ho Ho It's Magic!!"). Other hits followed with Cockney Rebel and John Miles. Alan made three albums with Al Stewart, spawning the hit singles Year Of The Cat and Time Passages.

2…Became the famous AP Project.

Along with songwriter/manager Eric Woolfson, Alan decided to begin creating his own thematic records and founded the Alan Parsons Project. Although he occasionally played keyboards and infrequently sang on his records, the Project was designed primarily as a forum for a revolving collection of vocalists and session players - among them Arthur Brown, ex-Zombie Colin Blunstone, Cockney Rebel's Steve Harley, the Hollies' Allan Clarke and guitarist Ian Bairnson – to interpret and perform Parsons and Woolfson's conceptually-linked, lushly arranged and orchestrated music.

The Project debuted in 1976 with Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a collection inspired by the work of Edgar Allen Poe. Similarly, the science fiction of Isaac Asimov served as the raw material for 1977's follow-up I Robot. After the further success of Pyramid in 1978, he moved to Monaco to record Eve, acheiving a Number 1 in Germany and a Number 1 single with "Lucifer" in 1979. The Monaco residence clearly influenced The Turn of a Friendly Card, a meditation on gambling, recorded in Paris in 1980. The Alan Parsons Project scored two Top 20 hits from this album, Games People Play and Time. Having resettled back home in England, 1982's Eye in the Sky, was their most successful effort to date, and notched a Top Three hit with its title track. More successes followed - Ammonia Avenue (1983), Vulture Culture (1984), Stereotomy (1985) and Gaudi (1987). A brief venture into musical theatre resulted in Freudiana in 1990.The show ran for over a year in the historic Theater An Der Wien in Vienna, Austria.

Eric and Alan then went separate ways. With his long-standing previous collaborators, guitarist Ian Bairnson and drummer Stuart Elliott, Alan dropped the "Project" identity for Try Anything Once in 1993. The partnership continued for On Air in 1996 and The Time Machine in 1999. During this time the "Alan Parsons Live Project" toured to sell-out audiences throughout the globe. Alan has also played various live shows with Ringo Starr, Jon Anderson, Alice Cooper, John Entwistle and Ann Wilson.

Alan's music is now taking a new contemporary direction into the world of Electronica. His latest album features a number of notables in the genre including The Crystal Method, Shpongle, The Nortec Collective and Uberzone. The album also features a guest appearance by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. Alan says, "The industry is changing and I feel the need to capture a different kind of audience while still keeping my identity. Electronic music is the fastest growing music category right now and I'm enjoying working with new people and new technology".

A Valid Path is Alan's last record. This disc marks a leap into the world of computers and electronic music filled with polyrhythmic drumbeats and soaring guitar solos (provided in part by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour). A Valid Path features a number of fascinating new collaborations, including The Crystal Method, Shpongle, Jeremy Parsons, Uberzone, The Nortec Collective and PJ Olsson, who also now sings with the Alan Parsons Live Project.

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