Now playing: Anja Garbarek - Spin The Context
So, after posting the last post, I was meandering my way through my mail route, when I felt the urge to listen to some Alan Parsons Project. HOLY CRAP!! I failed to mention one of the finest producers of ALL TIME. IF NOT THE BEST!! Okay, I must point out that this is MY opinion, but I know I am not alone in this opinion.
For those of you not familiar with the gentle giant (he's a tall guy) named Alan Parsons, you undoubtedly know his music. Every time the Chicago Bulls (at least back during the Jordan years) were introduced during a home game, as well as our Utah Jazz, the song "SIRIUS" (from "Eye in the Sky") would play over the loudspeakers. Of course, for the rest of you, as soon as I said those four magical words (eye-in-the-sky), you began nodding your head... oh yes, I know that one.
And before his magical career, Alan Parsons was nominated for a Grammy Award, for his 1973 mixing of the legendary "DARK SIDE OF THE MOON", by Pink Floyd, where he was paid the basic salary of 35 Pounds per week. To this day, "Dark Side..." remains one of the finest engineering jobs committed to vinyl, especially for the age that it was done. Alan Parsons also produced some recognizable 70's hits by Al Stewart, including "Year of the Cat" and "Time Passages". When I was first introduced to Alan Parson's music, I was confused. I would scour the liner notes, and see that Alan Parsons played keyboards, but Eric Woolfson seemed to really do most of the work. He wrote most of the songs, he sang a lot of the vocals, and seemed to have more presence. What I didn't understand was that Alan Parsons was the brain behind the operation. The engineer... the producer... the one shaping the sound. And if you haven't listened to Alan Parsons, apart from the songs that, to this day, get played on Adult Contemporary radio, you are truly missing out. Go get the album "PYRAMID", and see what I am talking about. "In the Lap of the Gods" is one of the most powerful songs ever recorded, between the chamber organ, choir and full symphony orchestra. Kudos to the late Andrew Powell, for his timeless orchestral arrangements. His presence in music will truly be missed.
Okay... neglected producer number TWO! SIR GEORGE MARTIN! How could I neglect to mention the man behind The Beatles. It is ironic that the thought of missing his name was actually brought on by listening to Cheap Trick! Sir Martin produced "All Shook Up", by Cheap Trick. I don't know what it is about his production, but it really works. If you want to hear George Martin's production at it's best, check out the recent "LOVE" compilation, based off of the Cirque de Soleil show in Las Vegas. Sir Martin took the classic recordings, as well as a couple of rare demos, and mixed them together in one continuous tapestry of music. It's incredible! And on top of the fact that it highlights the entire career of The Beatles, but it also shows just how great of a producer Sir George Martin is. He also produced the early work of America, and was responsible for their first Greatest Hits album, which is seamlessly mixed. Another shining tribute to his capabilities as producer.
Anyhow, I just needed to get that out there. It needed to be said.
And I should probably mention Steven Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE/NO-MAN/BLACKFIELD/IEM/BASS COMMUNION, and of course his "solo" works. In addition to all these wonderful projects, many of which are so diverse that you would be blown away to know that the same person was responsible for all the music, Steven Wilson has also worked with Swedish speed metal band, OPETH. In my opinion, his work with Opeth has influenced his own work with Porcupine Tree, which was become more aggressive over the years. In addition to Opeth, you can also hear his production talents on "Smiling and Waving", by Anja Garbarek. She is a Norwegian singer/songwriter, who brings out the avant garte Jazz sound in Ms. Garbarek. This work is more similar to some of the recent No-Man work. Regardless, this man is truly talented, and is so diverse, that you cannot lump his sound under one category.
So that's it. I think I took care of what I needed to! I hope you're happy! I know I am...