Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Alan Parsons Project - Eve

Today (August 27th) marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Eve, the fourth studio album from the Alan Parsons Project. This 1979 release went to number 74 in the UK, number 10 in both Canada and Sweden, number 6 in Norway, number 2 in Austria, and number 1 in Germany. Here in the US, it spent twenty-seven weeks on the Billboard Album chart and peaked at number 13.

Side one begins with the instrumental track “Lucifer”. It opens upon a grand cosmic expanse and as the listener moves quickly he can hear the transmissions of a distant orbiting satellite. The percussion and guitars that follow have a bit of a Spanish flare to them.

Backed by a pop-rock rhythm, “You Lie Down with Dogs” condemns a lover for running around with other men.

The B-side to the first single was “I’d Rather Be a Man”, a song that draws a firm line between the two sexes.

The restrained ballad “You Won’t Be There” reached number 105 on the US Billboard Hot 200.

“Winding Me Up” shows a little bit of the disco influence that was working its way into many artists’ works at the time. Even so, it is definitely my favorite track on this first half of the album.

Side two starts with “Damned If I Do”, a song about two equally unattractive choices. As the first single, it went to number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Though it only spent eight weeks on the charts in the fall of 1979, I still remember this one from radio airplay.

“Don’t Hold Back” features lead vocals by British singer Clare Torry. As a session singer, she worked with Olivia Newton-John, Pink Floyd, Meat Loaf, and Culture Club.

Next up is another instrumental track; this one is called “Secret Garden”.

The closer is “If I Could Change Your Mind”, the final album recording of English singer-songwriter Lesley Duncan. It is a beautiful ballad.

The first time I heard most of Eve was back in 2009. Prior to that, the only tracks from the Alan Parsons Project that I knew well were the singles that played on American pop and rock radio stations. Thirty-five years ago, I would not have given this record much thought, but as a more seasoned music listener I can appreciate the complexities of the arrangements and performances.

For more blog posts about the Alan Parsons Project, click here.

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