The Alan Parsons Project:
Tales Of Mystery & Imagination
part 1part 2

Band Members (in alphabetical order):

Ian Bairnson - Electric & Acoustic Guitars (1,2,3,4,5,7,11)
Arthur Brown - Vocals (3)
Hugo D'Alton - Mandolin (9)
Burleigh Drummond - Drums (2)
Jack Harris - Additional Vocals (3,5)
Bob Howes & The English Chorale - Choir (2,3,4)
Les Hurdle - Bass (6)
Laurence Juber - Acoustic Guitar (9)
John Leach - Cimbalom & Kantele (9)
Billy Lyall - Keyboards (1,3), Recorders (1), Piano (4,5), Fender Rhodes & Glockenspiel (11)
John Miles - Lead Vocals (4,5), Guitars (5)
Francis Monkman - Organ (7), Harpsichord (9)
Christopher North - Keyboards (2)
David Pack - Guitars (2)
Alan Parsons - Vocals (2, through EMI Vocoder), Projectron & Synths (3,4,7,10), Recorders (5), "Cathedral Organ" (5), Additional Vocals (11)
David Paton - Bass (3,4,5,7,11), Acoustic Guitars (1,11), Backing Vocals (1)
Kevin Peek - Acoustic Guitar (9)
Andrew Powell - Orchestra arrangement & conducting (2,3,4,6,8,10), Keyboard Loop (7), Organ (9)
Jane Powell - Backing Vocals (11)
Joe Puerta - Bass (1,2)
Daryl Runswick - String Bass (9)
David Snell - Harp (9)
Terry Sylvester- Lead (11) and Additional (4) Vocals
Stuart Tosh - Drums (1,2,3,4,5,7,9,11), Timps & Backward Cymbals (3), Percussion (7)
Orson Welles - Narration (1,6)
Westminister City School Boys Choir - Choirs(11)
Leonard Whiting - Vocals (2), Narration (11)
Eric Woolfson - Keyboards (1,2,3,5), Harpsichord (4), Backing Vocals (2,4), Keyboard Loop (7), Organ (7), New Synth (9), Additional Vocals (11)

Produced & Engineered by Alan Parsons

Executive Producer : Eric Woolfson

Assistant Engineers : Chris Blair, Patrick Stapley & Tony Richards (remix)

Engineering Consultant (6,8,10): Gordon Parry

Orchestra Leaders (6,8,10): Davis Katz & Jack Rothstein

Tracks: (1) A Dream Within a Dream (4.13), (2) The Raven (3.57), (3) The Tell-tale Heart (4.38), (4) The Cask of Amontillado (4.33), (5) (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether (4.20), The Fall of the House of Usher [(6) I Prelude (7.02), (7) II Arrival (2.39), (8) III Intermezzo (1.00), (9) IV Pavane (4.36), (10) V Fall (0.51)], (11) To One in Paradise (4.46)

This article, the first in a new series of Counting Out Time columns, focuses on the first, and probably one of the most legendary recordings of The Alan Parsons Project; 1976's Tales of Mystery And Imagination. First, we'll take you back to the swinging sixties to track the musical career of Mr. Parsons, since it is essential to understanding why Tales sounds as professional and experienced as it does, while it essentially is a band's debut album ! Next we'll have a closer look at the wide variety of musicians that ended up playing on the album; who were they, where did they come from and what has happened to them since. Next week, we'll continue this article with an examination of the concept of Tales and the man who inspired it. Finally, we'll close this trip by a further look at what happened to the album and The Project since 1976.

The Facts in the Case of A. Parsons

Alan Parsons, born December 20th 1948 in London, laid the foundation for his musical engineering career while experimenting with telephones and radio sets and playing piano and flute as a kid. At the age of 14 he played bass guitar in his first cover band. Later, Alan would play lead guitar in a blues band called London (named after an earlier disbanded group of their manager, who had stacks of posters, stationary and envelopes left when they broke up, and therefore thought it would be a good idea to name the new band London as well). London recorded one album of material, which - fortunately, as far as Alan is concerned - never got released.

At the age of 16 Alan was hired by EMI to work in a camera research lab, and later in a tape duplication department. Alan: "This is really where I got interested in hi-fi, because this was the first time I had heard high quality sound systems, and one of the albums that I heard during my time there was Sgt. Pepper, and having always been a great fan of the Beatles, I was totally knocked out by this album, and I was determined to find out how they got these sounds, and just how the whole thing went about, but the problem was that I'd heard that to get a job in the studios at Abbey Road was very competitive, and I'd have a very hard time. But, surprisingly enough, I just wrote a letter to the manager, and within 10 days I was working there." This would be the first time Alan set foot in this musical Mecca that would play a key role in the rest of his career.

Abbey Road

After a short period of work in the tape library Alan got to fill the space of a second engineer at Abbey Road who got fired. In this period as 'button pusher', as second engineers were known as in those days, Alan got to work with a wide range of musicians, from underground prog bands to dance bands and classical music. Among the most important bands he got to work with were The Beatles, The Hollies (o.a. The Air That I Breathe & He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother) and Barclay James Harvest. Alan got involved with The Beatles when Apple Studios (where they were recording their last album Abbey Road) rang up Abbey Road studios to send over an assistant engineer. They were having enormous problems with their equipment, which had been put together by one 'Magic Alex' but simply wasn't working. After Alan had fixed the configuration, The Beatles decided to hire him for the rest of the recordings.
Alan:"I think I was enormously impressed by the way that The Beatles didn't just use normal conventional musical instruments to make a record, they'd use all sorts of strange ideas, or strange processes with instruments. But, I was just so surprised when I saw Ringo blowing through a straw into a glass of water to get the underwater effects in Octopus's Garden. And, likewise on Maxwell's Silver Hammer the banging of the anvil for the hammering effect."

The Beatles - Abbey Road Paul McCartney - McCartney Paul McCartney & The Wings - Wild Life Paul McCartney - Red Rose Speedway

After the Beatles broke up, Alan continued to work for Paul McCartney, who kept working in the Abbey Road studio. Alan was involved in engineering and/or mixing some tracks that appeared on the McCartney, Red Rose Speedway and Wildlife.
Alan: "Wildlife was actually the beginning of my career as an engineer, as opposed to an assistant, because every so often he would disappear with the band, and ask Tony Clark, or myself, to make tapes for him to listen to the next day so he could assess the situation, and decide what he wanted to do next. But one of the songs on the album, I actually mixed myself, just purely for his purposes, as a rough mix, so he could decide what he wanted to do with it. And, this was a song called, I'm Your Singer, which I'm delighted to say ended up being used on the album - the rough mix that I'd done."

Working With Pink Floyd

Another important band Alan worked with in his early twenties was Pink Floyd; he did a bit of work as an assistant engineer on Ummagumma and ended up mixing Atom Heart Mother. Alan: "The album had actually been 8-track, but the amount of special effects and machines we had running - I just couldn't believe. It was like every machine in the whole building had been latched up, so that we could use every conceivable special effect. And, at the same time, it was probably the biggest challenge that I had ever been confronted with: to actually mix that - to mix a Pink Floyd Album."
Alan also gained touring experience with Pink Floyd, starting as a roadie on his first tour, promoting to executive stage assistant for the second one. Alan also worked on Syd Barrett's two solo albums, which were produced by David Gilmour.

Pink Floyd - Ummagumma Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

Eventually Alan got to engineer the band's legendary Dark Side of the Moon; another turning point in his career because it earned him his credibility as a sound engineer (and a Grammy nomination as well). "The band had actually been playing the piece in concert for a considerable amount of time before we went into the studio to record it. But, there were, obviously, some changes made to it in the studio. A lot of the songs themselves stayed as they were, but they weren't recorded quite the same way as they sounded - I mean, we would often just start with just bass and drums, and add endless layers of guitars, and voices, etc. Which is the way virtually that The Floyd have become famous for."
Alan contributed the idea of the running footsteps in On The Run and also created the ringing clocks effect for Time and the cash register-loop for Money. "I think one of the reasons that the album took so long to record, I mean it did take a whole year from start to finish, was the fact that we'd spend hours, and hours, and hours, just getting a particular sound effect exactly right. I mean, for instance on Money, we had to get out a ruler, and measure sections of tape, each carrying a particular sound effect, such as a cash register, or a bag of money being dropped, or a piece of paper being torn. We had to join these up, forming a seven-in-a-bar loop, which then formed the basis for the backing track which the band played to."

Alan: "When the band had been performing Time in concert, it simply started with Roger Waters playing the bass licks which eventually come out of the introduction that's on the record. But, I came up with this idea for putting a load of clocks and timepieces, which I'd recorded a few weeks previously, in a local clock shop. And the idea was that all of the clocks would tick together, which would be virtually impossible to record under normal circumstances, but with a multi-track tape, we managed to sync them all up, so that they would tick for a while and then all started chiming at the same time. And then, out of that came the bass lick, and then went into the tune."
Two of the female singers that can be heard on Dark Side would later appear on Alan's own album Eve; Clare Torry (the legendary voice of The Great Gig in the Sky, who was recommended to The Floyd by Alan himself) and Lesley Duncan. Alan was also involved in the disbanded 'household objects' project of the Floyd, in which they tried to record an album with stuff like drinks cans, bottles and rubber bands as instruments. A snippet of this project (the rubbing on wine glasses) ended up in the introduction of Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

After Dark Side Alan didn't record with the Floyd again since he wasn't willing to continue on the 35 pound per week salary he got during the recording of Dark Side. Alan: "It was a business decision based around the fact that I didn't really feel that I should continue working as an engineer for Pink Floyd without the promise of some kind of royalty, on the basis that I was entering a production career where I was being paid a royalty. Having earned a fairly menial engineering's salary as a staff member of Abbey Road, I wasn't going to do it again on the same basis with the success that Dark Side of the Moon had had. Unfortunately they turned me down, they said 'sorry we'd love to work with you but we're not going to pay you a royalty'. My decision turned out to be the right one. I got into production and started doing well, and if I'd still been messing around engineering for people, The Project might never have happened."

From Engineer to Producer

"It was never my ambition to become a very good musician. I wanted to become a very good engineer/producer. I'm a capable instrumentalist, but nothing more than that. I admit that there are much better musicians. Alas. And to shake off that frustration I became a producer".

After his work with The Floyd Alan went one step up the career ladder and became a producer for Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, with whom he recorded the hit single Judy Teen and the Psychomodo album.

Cockney Rebel - The Psychomodo Pilot - Pilot Pilot - Second Flight
Ambrosia - Ambrosia Ambrosia - Somewhere I Never Travelled

A band that would play a very important role in the later Alan Parsons Project album was Pilot; drummer Stuart Tosh, bass player/vocalist David Paton, guitarist Ian Bairnson (whom Alan had already met at a session with Cockney Rebel) and keyboard player Billy Lyall would end up as the foundation for The Project. Alan produced the band's first album in 1974 and the hit (Oh Oh Oh It's) Magic, as well as their next album Second Flight (1975).
In 1975 Alan would also co-produced and mix the self-titled debut album of the Californian band Ambrosia. In 1976 Alan would continue to produce and engineer their second album Somewhere I Never Travelled. As we will see, Ambrosia also played an important role in The Alan Parsons Project.

1975 was also the year in which Alan first met singer-songwriter Al Stewart, who had made a name in the London folk club circuit. Alan would produce Stewart's albums Modern Times (1975), Stewart's classic breakthrough album Year of the Cat (including the title track and On The Border) (1976) and Time Passages (1978). Interestingly, it was Alan who convinced Stewart to use some saxophone on Year of the Cat, and although he had never used that instrument on his albums before, Stewart agreed. As a matter of fact, he liked it so much he continued to use the instrument on his following albums. Remarkably enough, a network was already starting to form around Alan; both David Pack (Ambrosia) and Alan Powell (whom Alan had met while recording with Cockney Rebel) worked on some or all of these albums as well.

Al Stewart - Modern Times John Miles - Rebel Al Stewart - Year of the Cat Al Stewart - Time Passages

In 1975, very shortly before Tales would see the light of day, Alan also produced the debut album of John Miles, Rebel, which was recorded in only 12 days, which is quite amazing since the album features the orchestral megahit Music.

The Business Man - Eric Woolfson

Eric Woolfson, a Scot born in Glasgow in 1945, was first signed as a writer, aged eighteen, by Andrew Loog Oldham the legendary producer of the Rolling Stones. By the time The Project saw the light of day, Eric's songs had already been covered by more than a hundred artists including Marianne Faithful and Marmalade. As a record producer, Eric's credits included artists such as Graham Gouldman of 10cc. In the early seventies, Eric turned his hand to management and was instantly successful. His first two signings were Carl 'Kung Fu Fighting' Douglas and engineer/record producer Alan Parsons.

Eric: "My musical background was very different from Alan's, but as it turned out, was not incompatible with the training that he'd had. At the time in Britain we're talking about, there had been two distinct rock-n-roll camps: one which had grown up around the Beatles, which Alan was involved with, and the other, which developed around the Rolling Stones. And it was through the Rolling Stones' Manager, Andrew Lou Golden, that I first came into the business. I had just come down to London from Glasgow, where I was born and brought up, and he signed me to a songwriting contract, and used me as a session pianist. I found myself in very good company: people like Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and later Eric Stewart, and Graham Gouldman. And I went on to become a record producer, myself, though not with any great degree of success. But my production activities brought me into the realm of Abbey Road which was the arena in which I first encountered Alan Parsons."

Eric Woolfson & Alan ParsonsWhen people became familiar with Alan's role in Dark Side of the Moon artists started to ask him to produce their records. This is where Eric Woolfson, a clever music industry business man, entered the picture. Eric became Alan's manager and would close all the deals. Alan met Eric over a cup of tea in the canteen of the Abbey Road studios. Eric was 3 or 4 years older than Alan, who at the time was nearly broke, even though he had already produced two hit singles (Cockney Rebel's Make Me Smile and Pilot's January). Alan hadn't realised that as a producer he was officially entitled to royalties instead of a normal engineering salary. Eric was very capable of getting investments from record companies and after he offered to look into the matter for Alan, he returned from EMI's management with enough money for Alan to buy a small house and get married.

Eventually, triggered by Eric Woolfson, the Alan Parsons Project was formed. Alan: "It was Eric's doing. What was miraculous about it was that basically the only bit of credibility I had was Dark Side of the Moon. Eric had none to speak of, other than some b-side hits as a writer. I've always given credit to the boss at 20th Century Records, Russ Regan, for basically committing a large amount of money to make the album on the strength of nothing, just a blank tape. He signed a blank tape, basically on a presentation and an idea."
Eric: "I had had an idea about making an album about Edgar Allen Poe's work, for some time, but I didn't seem to have the necessary credibility as a producer or as a writer to carry the project through. However, when I met Alan, I felt his talents were certainly greater than mine in the production area, and he was somebody I might certainly be able to work with and collaborate with in achieving the realisation of this project. Fortunately, the idea appealed to him, and Alan Parsons Project was born."

And so, in early 1975 work started on the first Alan Parsons Project album Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Allan Poe. The Tales booklet features a picture of a young boy in a cowboy suit. Alan:"It really is Eric. The reason he used that one was because he couldn't find a current picture he liked. It was the only photo he liked at the time."

1975 was a busy year for Alan, with him working on albums by Al Stewart, Pilot, John Miles and Ambrosia. It's therefore no great surprise that most of these musicians would end up playing in the Project as well...

The System of Dr. Parsons and Professor Woolfson

When recording an album, Alan Parsons operates almost like a movie director: "In recent years, film directors, such as Ken Russell, and Stanley Kubrick have become stars in their own right, and they're almost more famous that the stars that appear in them. A gentleman who felt that this idea could be applied to the record industry, not only with the artists I was working with, but what was later to become the "Alan Parsons Project", was Eric Woolfson."

Eric: "We had intended just calling the album "Tales Of Mystery And Imagination", but the record company specifically asked us to have an artistic identification, so we called it "The Alan Parsons Project". And people in the industry and the public appeared to think of this as being a band. This was quite fortuitous, because during the making of the album, we realised that there was more scope for this kind of musical venture, and we developed many other ideas for making albums, based on different themes."
Eric wrote the words and most of the music for Tales and other albums by The Project. Although Alan added some keyboards, guitars and vocals, his musical contribution was slight: "But so much of the Project comes out of the control room rather than the studio. The atmosphere in the grooves is all mine." As a matter of fact, Alan's influence on the sound of the Project could very easily be compared to the layered approach of recording that Pink Floyd used. It is therefore understandable that Floyd's Roger Waters once said "The effect Alan had on Dark Side of the Moon is less relevant than the effect Dark Side of the Moon had on Alan." Alan: "It happens subconsciously; I play back a tape and realize, 'My God, that does sound a bit like them.' I'm not too worried about it."

So, working like movie directors, Alan and Eric would assemble a large group of musicians to perform the music they had written for the Tales album. It's hardly remarkable that Alan would use the extensive network of artists he had worked with and pick and choose friends from his work with Pilot, Ambrosia, Cockney Rebel, The Hollies and John Miles. In this final section of part 1 of the article on Tales we'll have a look at all of the musicians that played on the album, where they came from and what has become of them since.

Pilot: Stuart Tosh, Billy Lyall, Ian Bairnson & David PatonThe full Pilot band got to play and essential role in The Alan Parsons Project. Both on Tales and later albums they would be the foundation of The Project, playing as the base band (bass, drums, keys and guitar). Bass player David Paton: "At the time it wasn't a big deal, it was just Alan saying, 'I'd like to do an album of my own, would you like to play on it ?' On the first album it was all the members of Pilot, and we were quite excited about it, we thought he really had something great. It really was great and it was a wonderful thing to be involved in."
Most important of the band members would be Ian Bairnson, who continued to play lead guitar on every Parsons album since. Bairnson would also play on albums by Paul McCartney (Mull of Kintyre), Chris DeBurgh, Kate Bush (The Kick Inside & Lionheart), Jon Anderson (Song of Seven), Kenny Rogers, Michael McDonald, Mick Fleetwood, Sting, Tom Jones, Jon Anderson, Bucks Fizz (for whom he also wrote some songs) and many more, as well as a range of German and Japanese artists and live sessions with Beverly Craven. Ian also played in the Project spin-off band Keats (with Paton, Colin Blunstone, Stuart Elliot and Peter Bardens)and would help out some other project members like Andrew Powell, Lenny Zakatek, Chris Rainbow and co-Pilot member David Paton on their own projects.
David Paton himself would play on all Parsons albums up to and including Stereotomy, as well as doing lead vocals on the tracks What Goes Up, I'd Rather Be A Man, Children of the Moon and Let's Talk About Me. Paton would also work with Camel (The Single Factor and backing vocals on Dust & Dreams), Keats, The Pretenders, Kate Bush, Chris DeBurgh, Fish (1991-1995) and Elton John (o.a. bass on the hit single Nikita). In 1991 David released a solo album called Passion Cry, of which some songs were re-recorded for his 1997 album Fragments.
Stuart Tosh, Pilot's drummer, would be replaced by Stuart Elliot (whom Alan knew from sessions with Cockney Rebel and Al Stewart) after two Project albums, while Billy Lyall, Pilot's keyboard player, would be replaced by Eric Woolfson on keys. Stuart Tosh would continue playing with 10CC while Billy Lyall left Pilot in 1976 to pursue a (not very successful) solo career. He died of Aids in 1989.
Pilot would disband after 4 albums because of problems with their management. However, 25 years after their last album Paton & Bairnson have got together again and have just finished recording and mixing a brand new album under the name Pilot!

Jack Harris (additional vocals on The Tell-Tale Heart and Dr. Tarr & Professor Fether) was a singer with whom Ian Bairnson had already worked on a single called Sail Away in 1975. In 1976 some of the Project members would record a backing track called Ragtime Tune. Ian Bairnson and Jack Harris finally completed this track in 2001. Jack Harris would also do vocals on the later Project songs Pyramania & Day After Day. Harris is a graphic artist now.

Ambrosia: Christopher North, David Pack, Joe Puerta & Burleigh DrummondA second band that would play a role on the first album of The Project was Ambrosia; David Pack, Joe Puerta, Burleigh Drummond and Christopher North would all appear on the track The Raven. Many years later, in 1993, David Pack would once again work with Alan, co-writing 3 songs and singing on Alan's first album without Eric Woolfson, Try Anything Once. David also recorded a solo album in 1985 and released a tribute album to Leonard Bernstein, Songs From West Side Story, in 1996, and worked with Quincy Jones and Patti Austin. On some of these projects other Ambrosia members would accompany him. Joe Puerta became one of the founding members of Bruce Hornsby and the Range.
Ambrosia is still together with its original members. In 1997 a compilation album of their work was released and they are seemingly still doing live performances.

Most people will know Arthur Brown from 'The Crazy World of Arthur Brown'. In 1968 Brown hit the top 10s with his demonic single Fire, proclaiming himself a god of hellfire. His theatrical performances, including helmets of fire and outlandish costumes, certainly helped to draw attention. In the early seventies he released several albums with Kingdom Come and featured in the role of the priest in Tommy. On Tales Arthur would play the brilliant part of the insane killer in The Tell-Tale Heart, although seemingly his manic vocal performance was not to every Parsons fan's liking. In 1998 Alan would record a remake of Fire with Arthur Brown. Brown is currently working on new material.

John MilesJohn Miles, another artist Alan was working with in 1976, was invited to sing on The Cask of Amontillado and (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. In 1979 - the same year in which Alan recorded his Pyramid with John doing lead vocals on album Shadow of a Lonely Man - Alan would also produce John's 4th solo album More Miles per Hour. In later years Alan Parsons would use Miles' voice again on key tracks of some of his albums, including the tracks Stereotomy and La Sagrada Familia. John has toured with Jimmy Page and Tina Turner and has also appeared with The Electric Band of the Night of the Proms in Holland and Belgium many times, including performances of Music and La Sagrada Familia.

A typical characteristic of the albums of The Alan Parsons Project is the use of a massive symphonic orchestra in some of the songs. Tales, with the inclusion of 3 orchestra-only tracks (Prelude, Intermezzo and Fall) and several other tracks with the orchestra supporting the 'electric band', is probably one of the best examples of this. Andrew Powell, who arranged and conducted the orchestra on Tales got his music degree at Cambridge, after which he worked with both pop start and classical artists. Andrew first worked with Alan on Cockney Rebel's album Psychomodo, which Alan co-produced and Andrew orchestrated. The two later worked together on albums for John Miles, Pilot, The Hollies, Kansas and Al Stewart. Andrew was also the person who produced Kate Bush' first album after David Gilmour discovered her.

Andrew PowellAndrew recalls how he got involved in the Tales project: "It just happened. Certain things were needed for the first album. At its very early stages I was approached about this idea for this mammoth full-sized orchestra and choir. Straight away it was right outside their writing field of expertise." Andrew has done all orchestral arrangements for Alan Parsons' albums since and (co)wrote some of the Project's songs, among which of course The Fall of the House of Usher, not to mention several contributions on keyboards.
Interestingly, Andrew recorded an album of orchestral Alan Parsons Project covers in 1983 (Andrew Powell & The Philharmonia Orchestra Play The Alan Parsons Project). In 1985 Alan Parsons would produce Andrew Powell's soundtrack for the 'Ladyhawk' movie. Andrew also worked with Kansas on their Power album.

Leonard Whiting, who did the lead vocals on The Raven and the closing narration on To One In Paradise, played Romeo in Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 film 'Romeo and Julia' at the age of 17.

Terry Sylvester replaced Graham Nash in The Hollies in 1970. He sang with Allan Clarke (who would sing on the second Project album I Robot !) on He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother and The Air That I Breathe. Terry would do lead vocals on To One in Paradise and additional vocals on The Cask of Amontillado. He is currently working in the real estate business.

Kevin Peek and Francis Monkman - who can both be heard in The Fall of the House of Usher - both played in a band called Sky. Francis also played in Curved Air and was an old school buddy of Alan Parsons. Monkman played keyboards and synths with a wide variety of artists, including Al Stewart, Renaissance, Camel (The Single Factor), Phil Manzanera and Kate Bush, to name a few. He is still active in the music business; in 1999 DPRP reviewed his album 21st Century Blues.
Recently Peek played with Olivia Newton-John. Peek and Monkman also both appeared on several orchestral albums with Symphonic rock covers (Symphonic Rock: British Invasion).

Laurence Juber (acoustic guitar on Pavane) released several albums of guitar music. Since 1995 he has been working with Al Stewart as a musician and producer.

John Leach, whose main instrument was Cimbalom, an instrument mainly used for film scores, is still doing sessions. John would also play Cimbalom and Kantele on the second album of The Project, I Robot, as he did on Pavane.

Hugo D'Alton and David Snell played in a folk outfit called Wooden O in the late sixties. On Tales they would play Mandolin and Harp respectively. The late D'Alton was a mandolin teacher and played his instrument on many classical recordings. David Snell would continue to play harp and write/conduct film scores.

Bob Howes & The English Chorale would work with the Project again several times between 1976 and 1987. Bob Howes also appears as conductor on Nektar's Recycled album.

Les Hurdle played the bass line at the end of Prelude. He would later play as a session musician for a wide range of artists, including Donna Summers, Rick Wakeman, Elton John, Lou Reed, Olivia Newton John, Art Garfunkel and Cher.

Classical composer Daryl Runswick played string bass in Pavane. Runswick continues to play and compose classical/folk contrabass music.

Orson WellesLast, but certainly not least, Orson Welles (who only appears on the CD version of Tales, but more about that in part 2). Welles had a long career in the entertainment industry behind him when he was asked to perform two pieces of narrative for the Tales album. In 1918, at the age of 3, Welles played his first role in an opera production of Madame Butterfly. In 1931, at the age of 16, he would start a career as a professional actor in Dublin. Between 1936 and 1941 he participated in more than 100 radio drama productions, including the infamous radio broadcast of The War of The Worlds. 1941 would see the premiere of one of the most famous movies Welles played in; 'Citizen Kane'. During his lifetime he would participate in almost 100 movies. Welles died in 1985.

Next week: The Inspirator, The Songs & Stories
and Tales beyond 1976.

Written by Ed Sander

Sources for Part 1:
• The Avenue Newsletter & Website
• Liner notes in the CD version of Tales
• The Complete Audio Guide To The Alan Parsons Project
• 1994 Tour book
• Penthouse Interview
• Mojo March 1998 (Dark Side of the Moon Special)
The Alan Parsons FAQ
• 'Alan Parsons: When Producer Becomes Star'

part 1part 2

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