The Alan Parsons Project: If you believe in the power of magic…

The following interview with Alan Parsons originally appeared in a 2005 edition of Goldmine magazine.  I interviewed Mr. Parsons, along with Eric Woolfson, for this cover story. 

“Will you be paying for this with cash or credit, sir?” asked the record store clerk.

“Credit card,” said the tall, bearded Englishman, putting down the several Alan Parsons Project records on the counter to reach for his wallet. He wouldn’t have been in the record store otherwise, except that he knew that some radio stations needed promotional albums, and he chose to bring them to the station in person. He gave his credit card to the store clerk, who looked at the name on the card – ALAN PARSONS – and did the only natural thing she could at the time.

“May I see your identification, sir,” she asked, “a driver’s license, please?”

Such was the anonymity of Alan Parsons. Certainly it would have been easy to hold up a copy of the Pyramid album so that the record clerk could compare images and see that yes, this was the same person who engineered the Dark Side of the Moon album; the same person whose hits “Eye in the Sky” and “Games People Play” and “I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You” were on the radio; the same person whose instrumental “Sirius” became the soundtrack for six Chicago Bulls NBA championships. Instead, Parsons simply produced his driver’s license, purchased the records with a smile, and left.

In the music and entertainment world, however, Alan Parsons is not only recognized, he is revered as an architect of art-rock, as a producer and engineer of 7-inch masterpieces like Pilot’s “Magic,” Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat,” and the Hollies’ “The Air That I Breathe.” Parsons, along with songwriter-singer Eric Woolfson, arranger Andrew Powell, guitarist Ian Bairnson, drummer Stuart Elliott, bassist David Paton, and vocalists Lenny Zakatek, Colin Blunstone, David Pack and Elmer Gantry, formed the best-selling studio group The Alan Parsons Project, whose albums I Robot, The Turn of a Friendly Card and Tales of Mystery and Imagination explored the interrelations between music, literature, psychology and fantasy.

Today, Alan Parsons takes his music on a worldwide tour, bringing his greatest hits to sold-out amphitheaters, concert halls and theaters. His new solo album, A Valid Path, reintegrates his classic Alan Parsons Project sound with modern artists and collaborators. It’s a long way from his first day in London’s Abbey Road studios.

Alan Parsons was born in England on December 20, 1948, and as a child was a prodigy on the guitar, piano and flute. As a teenager, he thought about the world of popular music, possibly appearing on stage as a folk musician. “Folk rock was my real roots. I was an unsuccessful folk-rock player myself. I did a few gigs as a folk artist, in the style of Fairport Convention. I played acoustic blues guitar, then I progressed into electric blues with a blues band, which was all the rage in the mid-1960’s.”

Parsons later took a job with EMI, apprenticing in the venerated Abbey Road studios. “I was already working for EMI in their West London facility in Hayes, Middlesex, that’s where the record factory was. I did a training apprenticeship, I probably knew that I wanted to work as an engineer at Abbey Road, but I thought it was unattainable. I thought well, I could work at the record company, and that would take me to it. I started in a research lab for TV cameras, then I worked at a tape duplication facility, and that was the first real introduction for me to recorded music and hi-fi. At that time, I was 17, and really was just learning what high fidelity was, and what good sound was, and learning the mechanics of tape machines. It was a real education, going right from the consumer end to the record factory, to see how the tapes were made, and then finally going back to the recording process.”

It was also fortuitous that the Beatles recorded their Abbey Road album at that moment in time, so in addition to learning recording and engineering techniques from George Martin, he often served tea to Paul McCartney and to John Lennon. “I couldn’t have asked for a greater grounding,” said Parsons. “I still to this day have never quite got used to the fact that I was one of those people involved in recording a Beatles album – that Beatle euphoria has always been there, and it’s hard to be in a room with a Beatle and try to be totally natural. You never shake that off.”

After the Beatles completed Abbey Road and went their separate ways, Parsons continued working with Paul McCartney, engineering his albums Red Rose Speedway and Wildlife. Parsons also took time to engineer several hits by the Hollies, including “The Air That I Breathe”. He even engineered a Karl-Heinz Stockhausen album. “It was a very strange record to work on,” said Parsons, “but enlightening, nevertheless.”

By 1972, Parsons engineered Pink Floyd’s seminal album, Dark Side of the Moon. Parsons had previously worked on Pink Floyd’s album Atom Heart Mother, but this second collaboration would surpass anything the group – or Parsons – had ever conceived. Dark Side of the Moon, with its tape experimentation, alternative recording techniques and sonic magic, produced a worldwide smash album, the sonic benchmark of a generation of art-rock enthusiasts. It even earned Parsons his first Grammy® nomination. “We recorded Dark Side on 16-track at Abbey Road,” said Parsons. “We did make use of the 8-track machine there, for the delayed voice in ‘Us and Them,’ we used all 8 tracks to create the delay. That was before digital effects, digital was just a buzzword at the time. Any effects that were created before 1975 were done with either tape or echo chambers or some kind of acoustic treatment. No magic black boxes like there are now. We did work hard in those days to capture a new sound. You had to constantly have your thinking cap on to say hmm, what can I do to make this different? In fact, my wife just mentioned to me that it also meant that I had no social life at the time.”

Parsons is even amused by the reports of fans merging the music of Dark Side of the Moon to the motion picture The Wizard of Oz. “I always correct them,” laughed Parsons, “it wasn’t The Wizard of Oz, our source material was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. If someone had thought of making money off that rumor, they would have done very well. There’s more talk about that so-called phenomenon with Dark Side and Oz – it’s generated so much interest. That would have been the biggest difficulty, trying to synch up that movie in the studio without film equipment or a VTR. Somebody with too much time of their hands just made that discovery, it’s nothing real at all.”

After Dark Side of the Moon, Parsons continued his successful run in production and engineering, working on projects by Pilot (“Magic”) and Cockney Rebel (“Judy Teen,” “Mr. Soft”), whose songs topped the UK pop charts. He also spun the dials on the first two Ambrosia albums, and earned a second Grammy® nomination for his efforts. “Immediately after the Floyd experience, I became a pop record producer. The album I made with Ambrosia was very prog-rock, I also did their second album called Somewhere I’ve Never Traveled. The structure of the Pilot song ‘Magic’ I believed paved the way for my future work with the Project. People have said to me that ‘Magic’ was unmistakably my work, and if it hadn’t had such poppy lyrics, it might have been on a future Project album.”

Even though by now Parsons was one of England’s top producers, success on the pop charts didn’t equate to success in his bank account, and after a chance meeting with another Abbey Road resident, songwriter Eric Woolfson, Parsons decided to form his own performing group – a group unlike any other in rock music history. “When the success with Cockney Rebel and Pilot came, I had two consecutive #1 records on the UK charts, and I had no money in the bank, so I thought something was wrong. I had met Eric through his production work at Abbey Road, and he said to me, ‘if you ever need a manager, I’m here – and by the way, I have a couple of songs I’d like you to consider.’ At that point, I decided that I was going to be the first producer to have a manager. And those songs became the background of the first Project album.”

Like Parsons, Eric Woolfson also worked at Abbey Road. While under the employ of Andrew Loog Oldham, Woolfson’s songs had been covered by such artists as Marianne Faithfull and Chris Farlowe. “The only big hit that I had at that time,” said Woolfson, “was a #1 in France, where you can sell a lot there and nobody outside of France ever hears of it. The song was ‘Sole,’ and it won a song festival in 1971. Because of my association with Andrew Loog Oldham, I saw the Rolling Stones around the office from time to time – at one stage Mick Jagger asked me to teach him how to play the piano.”

The two men shared ideas for a concept album of their own, based on the works of writer Edgar Allan Poe. As they talked, the concept grew into songs and lyrics and melodies. Before long, Parsons and Woolfson had scripted out an entire album, and signed a recording contract with 20th Century Records. Joining their collective was arranger Andrew Powell, who had previously founded the live electronics group Intermodulation, as well as such prog-rock groups as Come to the Edge and Henry Cow.

The completed album, Tales of Mystery and Imagination featured a cornucopia of singers and musicians, many of whom had worked with Parsons in the past. The group Ambrosia played on several songs, John Miles sang lead on two tracks, including the Top 40 song “(The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether” (20th Century 2297), while Arthur Brown resurrected his “Crazy World” persona to add his vocals to “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Actor Orson Welles even added a narrative introduction to the album (it was recorded too late too make the initial release, but was restored when Tales of Mystery and Imagination was re-mixed and re-released in 1987).

“When we did the Tales album,” said Woolfson, “we were experimenting with recording sounds using a dummy head with microphones in its ears. The dummy head had hair on it, and this recording engineer would come in and brush its hair. Anyway, it was August in London I recall, and we wanted to get the effect of thunder and lightning through recording on the dummy head. And the weather was hot everywhere, when suddenly in St. John’s Wood, where Abbey Road Studios was, there was a flash storm, and there was thunder and lightning right there. We opened the back doors of the studio, rushed out with the dummy head to record with it, and the rain was coming down so hard, it hit on the rubber of the dummy head and it wouldn’t record properly. David Paton, the bass player and I, we got a hold of a sheet, and we stood outside in the pouring rain, holding a sheet over this rubber head, waiting for some thunder and lightning. Suddenly there was this most enormous flash of lightning and peal of thunder, and we both burst out laughing – which completely ruined the recording. We did get some other thunder that was later used on the Tales album, though.”

The album was credited to “The Alan Parsons Project,” an encompassing sobriquet in which the leader was Parsons himself, as engineer, producer and co-songwriter – similar in calling the works of the O’Jays and the Three Degrees the “Gamble and Huff Project.” And when the Tales of Mystery and Imagination album was a success, staying on the album charts for nearly a year, Parsons and Woolfson signed a long-term deal with Arista Records for their next recording collaboration.

The first recording under the Arista aegis, I Robot (Arista AL 7002), integrated the concepts of robotics and the souls of machines into a concept album. I Robot became a Top 10 album smash, earning platinum certification by the RIAA for selling over one million copies. The album also spawned another U.S. Top 40 hit, “I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You” (Arista AS 0260), and helped reinforce the Alan Parsons Project as one of the top bands in the art-rock genre.

“We did intend at one stage that I Robot would be in fact related to the Isaac Asimov work,” said Woolfson. “I had the honor of speaking with Asimov, and it emerged during that conversation that he had many years before granted all sorts of rights to some other company, who had never did anything with it, but nevertheless he was precluded from licensing to us to tie into his stories. So we had to slightly alter the grammar of the I Robot cover – ours didn’t have a comma in the title, as his book title did – even though he borrowed his title from the book I, Claudius. The album ended up as being something not directly related to Asimov, but related instead to the concept of the power of robotics.”

Two more Alan Parsons Project albums, Pyramid and Eve, enjoyed decent success. But a growing rift was occurring between the Project and Arista Records. At one point, Arista reminded the group that the label was due for a new album; Parsons and Woolfson replied by sending a collection of atonal instrumentals to Arista and proclaiming it the next Alan Parsons Project album, entitled The Sicilian Defence. Arista rejected the album – Parsons and Woolfson then argued that they were free of the Arista contract because the label would not accept their recording – not like they were expecting Arista to put that album out in the first place.

Essentially The Sicilian Defence was more than an album – it was a Garry Kasparov response by Parsons and Woolfson against Arista’s opening gambit. “The Sicilian Defence was our attempt at quickly fulfilling our contractual obligation after I Robot, Pyramid and Eve had been delivered. The album was rejected by Arista – not surprisingly – and we then renegotiated our deal for the future and the next album, The Turn Of A Friendly Card. The Sicilian Defence album was never released and never will be if I have anything to do with it. I have not heard it since it was finished. I hope the tapes no longer exist.”

The next Alan Parsons Project album, The Turn of a Friendly Card (Arista AL 9518), gave radio stations two major hits, the upbeat “Games People Play” (featuring Lenny Zakatek on vocals) (Arista AS 0573), and a slow, wistful ballad, “Time” (Arista AS 0598). Originally Eric Woolfson would sing lead on the demo tracks, which would then be recorded by other artists. However, when the song “Time” was ready to record, Woolfson asked if he could sing lead vocals on the final version. “When we started the Alan Parsons Project,” said Woolfson, “Alan was allowed to choose whatever performers he wanted, and although I would have been happy to sing on the earlier albums, I accepted his decision to use other people. However, on the Turn of a Friendly Card album, we found ourselves in Paris with no other vocalists available and I persuaded Alan to let me have a shot at ‘Time,’ on the understanding that if he wasn’t happy with it, he could replace the vocal at a later date.”

“Eric only started singing lead on Turn of a Friendly Card,” said Alan. “I kept pushing him aside, although he always sang the demos. I didn’t think it was right that he should sing on the Project, but I was talked out of it. There he was, singing all the big hits from that point on. So I was clearly wrong.”

Still, by that point Alan Parsons Project recordings were hot commodities on the pop, adult contemporary and album-oriented-rock radio stations. Because the albums were a mixture of musical styles, genres and concepts, most radio stations could find tracks on each album to suit their formats.

And when, in 1984, the Alan Parsons Project released the album Eye in the Sky (Arista AL 9599), it became the group’s most popular album to date, cresting in the Top 5 on the Billboard charts and spawning its titular track as a #3 pop single (Arista AS 0696).

While “Eye in the Sky” fitted well into the three-minute pop-music world, the original album cut featured an extended introduction to “Eye in the Sky” called “Sirius.” Chicago Bulls fans, however, know “Sirius” as the introductory theme to which their basketball team takes the court. For them, the lead singer isn’t Eric Woolfson singing about Orwellian surveillance, but instead is Ray Clay, singing such lyrics as “And from North Carolina, at guard, 6’6″, Michael JOR-DANNNNN!!”

“I’m delighted about the track’s success in the sports world,” said Parsons, “but the frustrating thing is I don’t think I got rich on it. The labels and publishers did very cheap deals on our songs, and I’m in the process of investigating it. It’s such a household tune, and it hasn’t been shown on any royalty statements I’ve seen to be making an exceptional amount of money.”

The machinations of record company contracts extended into new technology. As compact discs came into vogue in the 1980’s, Alan and Eric discovered that the record companies, including Arista, wanted to use the new technology to make more money for the companies – and less money for the artists.

“What record companies tried to do,” said Woolfson, “and succeeded in most cases, was that they told artists that because of the heavy promotional costs of CD’s, they were selling CD’s at that stage for twice the price of vinyl. And they wanted artists to accept the payment for CD’s on the basis of a vinyl price, which effectively meant getting a half royalty rate. First of all, they were spending nothing on promotion of CD’s, it was the hardware manufacturers who were spending money. They were simply producing a high-value item and trying to reduce the royalties. They got most artists to agree that CD royalties would be paid as if they were vinyl, they then halved the CD price as if they were vinyl, and many artists found they were on a half royalty. That didn’t happen for us, but an awful lot of people lost out on what I believe was absolute misinformation. Our records were perfect for compact discs – but because the record companies did not initially understand digital recording, we discovered late in the day that instead of copying everything in the digital format, they had actually at one stage transferred everything from digital tapes onto analogue, and then mastered it back to digital, to completely wreck the digital integrity of the CD’s. They looked at how much it costs to duplicate and they went with analogue, because it was cheaper. And having done it, it was too late to change it.”

Parsons was more pleased, however, with the efforts of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, who released virgin-vinyl LP’s and gold-sputtered CD’s of such classic albums as I Robot (Mobile Fidelity MFSL-1-084) and Tales of Mystery and Imagination (Mobile Fidelity MFSL-1-204). I Robot was also released as one of ten albums in Mobile Fidelity’s high-end UHQR vinyl series (Mobile Fidelity MFQR 1-084). “Mobile Fidelity clearly did a better job than Arista did,” said Parsons. “I knew Brad Miller at MFSL very well, sadly he’s no longer with us.”

In fact, as of 2005 Arista (now a division of Sony) has deleted many of the Alan Parsons Project albums from their catalog, replacing them instead with greatest hits packages and compilations, some with songs taken out of their original thematic concept and rearranged the way one would fix a deck of cards after a brisk game of 52 Pick-Up.

“There are also an unbelievable number of compilation albums out there that have one Project song or two Project songs out there,” said Parsons. “It takes a fan with the dedication of a Beatlemaniac to tell you where all the compilations are. One fan I know drew my attention to all the compilations I never knew of before. There was one compilation album in 1999 (confusingly titled Eye In The Sky, BMG 7 5517 44970), that had ‘Eye in the Sky’ at the beginning of the album, and ‘Sirius’ – its introduction – at the end. It’s a frustration to me that labels do stuff like this without consulting the artist, especially in my position as a producer and engineer, when it’s so clear that things could have been done in a better way, if they had consulted me.”

The Alan Parsons Project released several more albums in the 1980’s, including Ammonia Avenue, Vulture Culture and Stereotomy. Their songs continued to hit the pop charts, as such tracks as the Phil Spector homage “Don’t Answer Me” and the New Order-influenced “You Don’t Believe” became radio staples.

The last official Alan Parsons Project album, Gaudi, was released in 1987 (the album pays tribute to the Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi and his unfinished masterpiece, the La Sagrada Familia cathedral).

By 1990, Parsons and Woolfson commenced a new album project, with songs based on the works and influence of psychologist Sigmund Freud. While Parsons and Woolfson both worked on the album, essentially the lyrics and melody were mostly Woolfson’s creations. Eventually Woolfson hooked up with Brian Brolly, who had previously partnered with Andrew Lloyd Webber – and the album, now titled Freudiana, was turned into a musical. The musical premiered in Vienna, and there were hopes that the show would duplicate its success in other locations – but Brolly and Woolfson fought over the stage show, to the point where lawyers were recruited. Although Freudiana was never released in the United States, two European versions of the CD exist – a studio version (the “white CD”) and a stage version (the “black CD”).

It would, unfortunately, be the last time Parsons and Woolfson worked together. “I’m still pretty proud of that recording,” said Parsons. “I was unhappy about the musical that it turned into, but I’m still pretty proud of the record, and it’s a shame that the album stiffed, compared with everything we’d done before it. If it had been packaged as an Alan Parsons Project, I think it would have been a hit. It’s no longer available, except on obscure websites.”

“It started out that it was going to be an Alan Parsons Project album,” said Woolfson, “but I wanted to develop into musical theater, so we didn’t call it an Alan Parsons Project album. Eventually we started to undo the ties between us. Instead of crediting the songs to both him and I, the songs were my songs, other than one track in which he did compose, and we didn’t give it a joint name.”

Parsons went back to the recording studio, and Arista re-signed him as a solo artist. In 1993, Parsons released his first solo album, Try Anything Once. While it may not have been an Alan Parsons Project album, it did contain many of the Project collaborators, including vocals by Chris Thompson, Chris Rainbow and David Pack, as well as arrangements from Andrew Powell, guitars from Ian Bairnson and drums from Stuart Elliott. While the album did chart, it did not have the success of previous Alan Parsons Project albums, and after a 15-year association with Arista Records, Parsons left the label after this LP’s release.

In 1995, Alan released a special CD for the home audiophile market. In collaboration with acoustics engineer Stephen Court, the “Sound Check” CD (Mobile Fidelity SPCD 15), allowed music lovers to set up their home audio systems to receive the best sound, whether they’re listening to Alan Parsons Project albums, a classical CD, or any recording in which distinct sound is at a premium. A second “Sound Check 2” album (Mobile Fidelity SPCD 18) was released in 1997, and among its test and sampled tracks is the Alan Parsons Project song “Limelight.” After the demise of Mobile Fidelity, Alan bought out Stephen Court’s share in the venture and Sound Check 2 has become widely available as a regular CD through electronic catalogs and Alan’s website, It is also sold with an integrated sound level meter in the CD case.

“There are a lot of test discs out there,” said Parsons, “but they’re all laboratory-type discs containing signals that nobody can decipher. The Sound Check album was designed to be for the basic consumer, just to help set up his system in a way that he knows he’s getting the best out of it. It’s also aimed for the home studio and for live sound people as well. It’s an everyman’s product, it’s not designed to be a complicated calibration tool. The basics are set up for people to test out. We’re releasing a new one soon, designed for surround sound systems. There’s a lot of surround systems out there, and a lot of very bad surround sound setups. The consumer now has the opportunity to have one speaker in the kitchen, one speaker in the living room, one speaker in the dining room and still have three left over! It’s bad enough with stereo having two speakers to stick in different rooms.”

Eventually consumers may be able to hear I Robot in 5.1 surround sound, an opportunity Parsons relishes. I Robot was recorded during the last gasps of commercial quadraphonic releases, when three different American record companies had three competing incompatible quadraphonic playback formats. “It was a real shame that the technology wasn’t up to the creation that was going on with quad. It just wasn’t reaching the consumer in the right way. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to remix I Robot in 5.1 in the next few months. The difficulty would be to finding the master tapes, 25-year-old tapes could be anywhere.”

As for Alan Parsons’ longtime collaborator, Eric Woolfson moved deeper into musical theater after the Freudiana album. He recorded a conceptual CD, Poe, which also became the basis for a new musical. “My new ‘Poe’ musical, which contains entirely new material and which was showcased at Abbey Road Studios, is a big focus at the moment,” said Woolfson. “I am also currently working on a new piece which was commissioned by our Korean producers, based on a Korean play entitled ‘A Forest Fire’. I am thoroughly enjoying working with the distinguished playwright and author Ariel Dorfman, who is writing the book of this musical.”

Meanwhile, Alan joined the concert circuit, playing several shows in Europe, Japan and the USA in the mid-1990’s. Today, Parsons is in the midst of a worldwide tour, performing on stages from New York to Las Vegas, from London to Moscow. “The touring entity started after Eric and I separated, and coincided with the release of Try Anything Once, my first non-Project album. I was still in touch with the artists who played on the catalog records, and we said let’s go play the new songs and play the catalog and see how it goes. We went to Germany and fans were ecstatic. I had discovered a thing I should have done years earlier, touring.”

In fact, in 2005 Alan Parsons and his touring group were one of the first Western rock bands to perform at Moscow’s Kremlin Palace, the significance of that event not lost on Parsons. “Just one word springs to mind, wow! It was the most incredible thing we’ve done. When we were in pre-production, we saw the name The Kremlin Palace on the itinerary, we thought it was just a fancy name for a venue. Of course, in Russia we had to have special visas in our passports, and when we had to show our passports at the Kremlin gates, we realized that oh my God, we’re actually playing in THE Kremlin. We apparently got the Kremlin Palace audience to their feet for the first time ever. We’re pretty proud of that.”

Parsons’ new album, A Valid Path (Artemis 51562), features several new and vintage collaborations. The house-remix group Crystal Method appears on the Parsons-vocaled “We Play The Game”, John Cleese adds his essence to the track “Chomolungma,” and Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour performs on the CD’s first song, “Return to Tunguska.” There’s even a reimagining of two tracks from Tales of Mystery and Imagination, with Parsons’ 27-year-old son, Jeremy, as “The Raven” and “Dream Within a Dream” are soldered into “A Recurring Dream Within A Dream.” Orson Welles, whose narration appeared in the remixed Tales of Mystery and Imagination, reappears on this reconstituted, remixed track.

“No one was more surprised than I when David Gilmour agreed to appear on the record,” said Parsons. “I was nevertheless delighted, he did a great job, it’s given A Valid Path an enormous boost, people are buying the record just on the basis of that, people take it home and discover that yes Gilmour’s good, but some of the other material is good too.”

Even today, the Alan Parsons Project has developed its own mythos in the pop culture universe, as such fans as Matt Groening and Mike Myers have added the Parsons name to their visual works. In the “Homerpalooza” episode of The Simpsons, Homer informs Bart and Lisa about the history of rock music. “Grand Funk Railroad paved the way for Jefferson Airplane, which cleared the way for Jefferson Starship. The stage was now set for the Alan Parsons Project, which I believe was some sort of hovercraft.”

Meanwhile, in the motion picture Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dr. Evil tells his son Scott about the new nickname for his death laser. “It was invented by the noted Cambridge physicist, Dr. Parsons – so therefore we shall call it the Alan Parsons Project …Gentlemen, allow me to demonstrate the awesome lethality of the Alan Parsons Project. Fire the laser!” Parsons was so honored by the Austin Powers homage, that for the solo Parsons album The Time Machine, the final track in certain territories contains a “Dr. Evil Edit” dance remix.

Currently, Parsons hopes to score the upcoming motion picture 5-25-77, a film about the release of the first Star Wars movie. “It’s written as a biopic about someone who became a special effects assistant,” said Parsons. “The subject of the biopic is its director, Patrick Read Johnson. He’s a friend of mine.”

And if one wants to hear the oeuvre of Alan Parsons’ work, Parsons will drop a few coins in the restored jukebox at his estate. “It’s an AMI jukebox,” said Parsons, “it’s now worth a lot more than when I bought it, because the same model was featured in the movie Ghost, and I have ‘Unchained Melody’ from the Righteous Brothers in the jukebox. It’s filled with a lot of Beatles, a lot of Shadows – I used to love listening to the Shadows – and many of the singles I worked on, as well – the only justification for listening to my old records is to have them on the jukebox. It’s a great thing to have.”


Note: This interview was conducted in 2005.  Eric Woolfson, who contributed to the interview, passed away in 2009.   The Alan Parsons Project’s official websites are and