jueves, 10 de diciembre de 2009

Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination (1976)

Tales of Mystery and Imagination is the debut album by the progressive rock group The Alan Parsons Project, released in 1976. The album's avant-garde soundscapes kept it from being a blockbuster, but the interesting lyrical and musical themes — retellings of horror stories and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe — attracted a small audience. The title of the album is taken from a popular title for Poe's macabre tales of the same name, Tales of Mystery & Imagination, first published in 1908 and many times since under this name. Critical reaction to the album was often mixed; for example, Rolling Stone's Billy Altman concluded that it mostly failed at reproducing Poe's tension and macabre fear, ending by claiming that "devotees of Gothic literature will have to wait for someone with more of the macabre in their blood for a truer musical reading of Poe's often terrifying works".

This album was released in the U.K. originally with a different name. Simply called The Alan Parsons Project, it was successful enough to achieve gold status but later that year the same album was released under the name of Tales of Mystery and Imagination.

"The Raven" features actor Leonard Whiting on lead vocals, with Alan Parsons performing vocals through an EMI Vocoder. According to the album's liner notes, "The Raven" was the first rock song ever to feature a digital vocoder.

The Prelude of "The Fall of the House of Usher", although uncredited, is based on the opera fragment "La chute de la maison Usher" by Claude Debussy which was composed in 1908-1917.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination peaked at #38 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart. "(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether" peaked at #37 on the Pop Singles chart.

The original version of the album was available for several years on vinyl and cassette, but was not immediately available on CD. This was due in part to Parsons' desire to rework some tracks. In 1987, Parsons completely remixed the album, including additional guitar passages and narration (by Orson Welles) as well as updating the production style to include heavy reverb and the gated drum sound of the 80s. The CD notes that Welles never met Parsons or Eric Woolfson (recently passed away by a cancer), but sent a tape to them of the performance shortly after the album was manufactured in 1976. In 1994 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) released the original 1976 version on CD (UDCD-606), making the original available digitally for the first time. In 2007, a Deluxe Edition released by Universal Music included both the 1976 and the 1987 versions remastered by Alan Parsons during 2006 with eight additional bonus tracks.


Original LP:

Side A:

1. A dream within a dream - 3:43
2. The raven - 3:59
3. The tell-tale heart - 4:42
4. The cask of Amontillado - 4:27
5. (The system of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether - 4:19

Side B:

1. The Fall of the House of Usher - 15:05
I - Prelude
II - Arrival
III - Intermezzo
IV - Pavane
V - Fall
2. To one in paradise - 4:33

Originally released on LP and cassette by 20th Century Fox Records and Charisma Records. See DiscoGS and Rate Your Music entries.

1987 Remix Album Edition:

As stated before, includes remixed versions of all tracks plus this bonus tracks:

"Eric's Guide Vocal Medley"
"Orson Welles Dialogue"
"Sea Lions in the Departure Lounge" (sound effects and experiments)[3]
"GBH Mix" (unreleased experiments)

2007 Deluxe Edition (2-CD):

CD1 1976 Original Album:

01. A Dream Within A Dream 3.41
02. The Raven 3.58
03. The Tell-Tale Heart 4.42
04. The Cask Of Amontillado 4.28
05. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether 4.19
06. The Fall Of The House Of Usher
06. a) Prelude 5.52
06. b) Arrival 2.41
06. c) Intermezzo 1.03
06. d) Pavane 4.34
06. e) Fall 0.52
07. To One In Paradise 4.39
08. The Raven (Original Demo) 3.27 (Bonus)
09. Edgar (Demo Of An Unreleased Track) 3.04 (Bonus)
10. Orson Welles Radio Spot 1.03 (Bonus)
11. Interview With Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson (1976) 8.33 (Bonus)

CD 2 1987-Remix:

01. A Dream Within A Dream 4.13
02. The Raven 3.57
03. The Tell-Tale Heart 4.39
04. The Cask Of Amontillado 4.33
05. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Pfofessor Fether 4.21
06. The Fall Of The House Of Usher
06. a) Prelude 7.01
06. b) Arrival 2.39
06. c) Intermezzo 0.59
06. d) Pavane 4.36
06. e) Fall 0.51
07. To One In Paradise 4.54
08. Eric's Guide Vocal Medley 9.14 (Bonus)
09. Orson Welles Dialogue 3.08 (Bonus)
10. Sea Lions In The Departure Lounge - Sound Effects And Experiments 2.38 (Bonus)
11. GBH Mix - Unreleased Experiments 5.22 (Bonus)


Alan Parsons - Organ, Synthesizer, Guitar, Keyboards, Recorder, Vocals, *Producer, Engineer, Projection
Eric Woolfson - Synthesizer, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Executive Producer
Orson Welles - Narrator (1987 version only)
Leonard Whiting - Vocals, Narrator
Arthur Brown - Vocals
John Miles - Guitar, Vocals
Jack Harris - Vocals
Francis Monkman - Organ, Keyboards
Kevin Peek - Guitar (Acoustic)
Terry Sylvester - Vocals
Laurence Juber - Guitar (Acoustic)
Andrew Powell - Keyboards, Arranger
David Paton - Guitar (Acoustic), Bass, Guitar, Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)
Ian Bairnson - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
Chris Blair - Assistant Engineer
Peter Christopherson - Photography
David Katz - Violin, Leader, Orchestra Contractor
Burleigh Drummond - Drums
English Chorale - Vocals
Bob Howes - Choir, Chorus
John Leach - Percussion, Vocals, Cimbalom, Kantele
David Pack - Guitar
Smokey Parsons - Vocals
Joe Puerta - Bass
Tony Richards - Assistant Engineer
Jack Rothstein - Leader
Daryl Runswick - Bass, String Bass
David Snell - Harp
The English Chorale and Played Ti - Choir, Chorus
Stuart Tosh - Cymbals, Drums, Vocals, Tympani [Timpani]
Tom Trefethen - Assistant Engineer
Pat Stapley - Assistant Engineer
Aubrey Powell - Photography
Storm Thorgerson - Photography
Hipgnosis - Design, Cover Art
Sam Emerson - Photography
Colin Elgie - Artwork, Graphic Design, Layout Design
Billy Lyall - Piano, Drums, Glockenspiel, Keyboards, Recorder, Fender Rhodes
Gordon Parry - Engineer
Jane Powell - Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)
Andrew Hurdle - Bass
Christopher North - Keyboards

(2007 Deluxe Edition)


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