The Alan Parson's Project

Category: Music

APP wasn't my favorite group in the 1970s, but maybe it was because I couldn't hear it this way.

I listened in two-channel 24/192 and was blown away by the sonics. Close your eyes closed and the sound stage is 180-degrees wide. The fade at the end of "Genisis Ch.1V.32" slowly moves from covering and surrounding you to fading into a very distant ball of sound that covers only about 5-degrees. Only in that final fade do you hear the tape hiss from the original master.

Musically this is very good, but variable. The best is very, very good ("The Voice", "Day After Day" and all the instrumentals). A couple of cuts stray too near mid-1970s pop, but what the heck...

There's thick layering of chorus, orchestra, rock instruments, etc. The clarity of it all is astounding. Really it's a masterpiece from this era.

Boy, I hope one day that the entire Beattles songbook will get this 24/192 treatment. Abbey Road studios evidently had great equipment.


Where do you get these versions? I just bought and listened to "I Robot and Eye in the Sky" and they do sound much more like the old lps do which I still own.
I bought the DVD-Audio 24/192 a couple of weeks ago. You must have some incredible pressings if they sound this good. I'd give up new vinyl if I could buy everything in this format.

Do you have the DVD-A??

No DVD Audio, but I purchased a Japanese pressing of " I Robot" over 20 years ago. It is an amazing recording in many ways and my reference for what "I Robot" should sound like. Until recenctly, none of the Alan Parson CDs measured up. In fact the sounded compressed and to me unplayable. I put them in the "trade" stack long ago. I've not heard any DVD-Audio or SACD discs being content with my lowyly CD playback system. I'd just about written the Parson's stuff off, until I took the chance on the newest version of of the I Robot and Eye in the Sky. These two remakes, (I'm purchasing the other releases soon, at least capture the essence of the lps. I'd sure be glad to try the 24/192 versions. The BEATLES indeed would be awesome if it ever happens. Which DVD-A do you own?
Sgr, I've got the Pioneer Elite DV-58AV universal player that's been modified by Ric Schultz with a Superclock 4 and beefed up and cleaned up input and output stages. The base player is pretty good at $360 or so, but the mods bring the total cost to around $1500 and elevate the performance to truly elite (pun intended) levels.

You don't see a lot of DVD-As in 24/192, so I chose the DVD over the 200-gram vinyl that's also available. The DVD-A cost $19 and the vinyl was $29, but the original MF vinyl box reissue, pre-owned, was $250!!! If you've got that, it's obviously the "collector piece" to own.

Anyway, the imaging is astounding and the details and pristineness of each element in this very thick, dense recording are amazing. Thankfully the music, well most of it, is really good, so this is more than a potential audiophile demonstration piece. It's the only recording I've got that throws a 180-degree image for minutes at a time.

I have this also as well as Eye in the Sky and Turn of A Friendly Card and they are excellent. You should also try the Porcupine Tree DVDA releases.
A lot of people think the album "Stationary Traveler" by the brit prog rock group "Camel" sounds like TAPP.

I believe I read once it was recorded in the same building at the same time as one of the Parson's albums.

One of the singers for APP actually was in Camel at this point in the early 80's and sings a tune or two on the album.

If you like APP, I highly recommend it, if you can find it. The CD sound and production is in the same league as the APP albums, if not quite as refined. A great audiophile listen though. The guitar solo by Camel lead guitarist Andrew Latimer at the end of the tune "Long Goodbyes" is one of the best ever, IMO.
Good stuff. I love great guitar solos, so I'll start looking.

It's very hard to find in the states. I had to order from a ebay seller in eastern Europe, I recall.

You might be able to sample it on amazon or, perhaps.
Actually, I misspoke a bit. Its a lead guitar line (not a solo), with significant accompaniment, that Andrew Latimer performs.
I was about to start up an APP thread, until I bumped into this one! Thanks

As I am building up my vinyl collection I'm starting to frequent some 2nd
hand vinyl shops, surprisingly many around here, about 16 within an hours
drive that I could find!!!

So in this one shop I picked up in mint condition(!), couldn't have been played
more than once, for EUR 2.50 each:

Stereotomy 1984 Arista German pressing
Amonia Avenue 1984 Arista German pressing
Eye in the Sky 1982 Arista German pressing
The Turn of a Friendly Card 1979 Arista German pressing
Eve 1979 EMI Dutch pressing
Pyramid 1978 Rondo Music UK pressing
I Robot 1977 EMI Dutch pressing

The only CD I have is of Eye in the Sky (Arista 1983 issue) at the beginning of
the CD revolution. This CD cannot match my LP on my system in my room,
not by a long shot ... haven't heard any SACD or DVDA 24/192 version yet,
and my CDP is pretty good.

I have to say that all LPs are very, very good pressings. If I had to pick, Eye in
the Sky and I Robot are the quietest. I cleaned all of them before playing. The
three dimensional soundstage I have on pleanty of other recordings too, but I
have to say all of them are very well recorded and mastered with pleanty of
phase shift/instrument combo's signature APP sound. Sirius is mindboggling
at high playback levels, as is the instrumental Mammagamma.

Dead quiet and 180 degree sound like this I have found in Pink Floyd, Tears
for Fears, Franky goes to Hollywood, Supertramp, and Simon & Garfunkel
recently. All original vinyl (120~140 gr?).

Any other APP records/pressings out there to consider?
I've been building a near complete APP collection on used vinyl of late. Also own "Best Of" CDs vol 1 and 2.

The sound on all are very good and many compositions are sterling classics.

I did pick up a used vinyl copy of the first APP album "Tales of Mystery and Suspense" but discovered that there were some quality issues with that particular copy despite looking clean. Working on replacing it...

Spun my only MFSL APP vinyl recording of " I Robot" the other week for the first time in years. It was mesmerizing, the best I recall ever hearing that title sound.
Great that you have a MFSL copy of I Robot, have you compared it to a pristine original pressing? IMHO the original is fantastic for 140 gr, quiet, full scale dynamics. I love it!
I think I do have another standard issure copy of IR. I'll give it a spin sometime and report back.

I had listened to a very good standard issue copy of "Pyramid" prior to IR on MFSL. The IR of MFSL was just a tad more dynamic and quiet and I would say better overall.
If you like I Robot then you must get Jean Michel Jarre Oxygen - similar synth extravaganza type stuff. Turn the lights and enjoy :-)
Tales of Mystery & Imagination ,(MOFI) isn't the quitisential record of his most fans turn to but I think true fans should. Next in line, The Turn of a Freindly Card, Then I Robot. The true fan in me starts with Tales always if I haven't listened in a while.