The Alan Parsons Project
The Essential Alan Parsons Project
By David Chiu
The Alan Parsons Project were one of the few acts from the prog rock era to also score pop hit singles. Better known for their conceptual pieces that showcase instrumental chops, the Project, fronted by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, also knew how to throw in a melodic hook here and there. For those casual listeners who won’t bother getting studio albums like The Turn of a Friendly Card or Gaudi anytime soon and just want the hits, Essential more than compensates as a 2-CD introduction to the Project’s art rock music from 1976 to 1987. Instrumentals such as I Robot and Sirius are augmented by Top 40 hits in the driving “Games People Play,” the funky “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You,” the signature “Eye in the Sky,” and the “Phil Spector” homage of “Don’t Answer Me.” Loyal fans might be interested in the previously unreleased “No Answers Only Questions.” The compilation would work better as a single disc but the music doesn’t feel overbearing either.