The Alan Parsons Project – Pyramid (1978) – Lp
The Alan Parsons Project were a British progressive rock band, active between 1975 and 1990, consisting of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson surrounded by a varying number of session musicians and some relatively consistent band members such as guitarist Ian Bairnson, bassist and vocalist David Paton, drummer Stuart Elliott, and vocalist Lenny Zakatek.
Artist: The Alan Parsons Project
Label: Arista Records
Pyramid is the third album by progressive rock band The Alan Parsons Project, released in 1978. It is a concept album centred on the pyramids of Giza. At the time the album was conceived, interest in pyramid power and Tutankhamun was widespread in the US and the UK. Pyramid was nominated for the 1978 Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Liner notes read “…this album seeks to amplify the haunting echoes of the past and explore the unsolved mysteries of the present. Pyramid…the last remaining wonder of the ancient world.”
The album also dabbles with new wave, a genre that was emerging in Britain around the time of the album’s recording. Many progressive and soft rock artists incorporated this style into their albums during the time spanning from late 1977 to 1979. In this album, the genre is mildly evident, through rhythm, in songs such as “Can’t Take it with You” and immensely so in others such as “Pyramania”.
Even with six different vocalists lending their talents to the album, Pyramid still remains an average bit of material from the Alan Parsons Project. Not only does the album’s theme evolve around the mystique of the pyramid, but it also touches on man’s fascination with superstition and its powers. The instrumental “Voyager” opens things up, and its provocative style sets the tone for the album’s supernatural mood. The bright-sounding “What Goes Up” is one of the highlights here, as is “The Eagle Will Rise Again,” sung by Colin Blunstone. The anxiety-ridden “Pyramania” enhances the album’s concept the best, accompanied by some excitable keyboard playing and a friendly middle. The lesson-learning “Can’t Take It with You” teaches that our souls are our most important asset, in typical Parsons-type charm. While not a stellar album, Pyramid completes the task of musically explaining its concept. Its short but slightly compelling nature grows after a few listens, but the album itself isn’t a necessity.
1. Voyager (instrumental) (2:24)
2. What Goes Up… (lead vocal: David Paton) (3:31)
3. The Eagle Will Rise Again (lead vocal: Colin Blunstone) (4:20)
4. One More River (lead vocal: Lenny Zakatek) (4:15)
5. Can’t Take It with You (lead vocal: Dean Ford) (5:06)
1. In the Lap of the Gods (instrumental) (5:27)
2. Pyramania (lead vocal: Jack Harris) (2:45)
3. Hyper-Gamma-Spaces (instrumental) (4:19)
4. Shadow of a Lonely Man (lead vocal: John Miles, additional vocals: Colin Blunstone) (5:34)