AL9-8384 Stereotomy
Produced by Alan Parsons
Released on November 1985
US CHART POSITION #43
Find it at GEMM
AL9-8384 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 10.0: RORSHACH TREATMENT. So, after listening to this another dozen times, staring at the cover for an hour, turning it upside down and sideways, I’m pretty confident that Stereotomy is about a man divided between good and bad impulses. Alright, I got that mostly from turning the cover upside down; it’s a trompe d’oeuil showing a man/bull. Historically, Stereotomy has never been one of my favorite Parsons projects. Everything after Ammonia Avenue seemed immaculate but immaterial. In discussing the best of Alan Parsons Project, you would probably get pretty deep in the conversation before Stereotomy rolled around. Maybe you would feel compelled to call it “underrated” and point out that the instrumentals are really good (they are). But then you’d fall short of saying the same about Gaudi, concede that the Woolfson and Parsons partnership had been winding down since Vulture Culture, and atone for such heresy by pointing out what a great guitarist Ian Bairnson is (he isn’t). However, as someone who has listened to Under Wraps more than 50 times, and lived to tull the tale, though lived poorly, I can say with some certainty that Stereotomy is better than that. The mid 80s found prog in a state of corruption, for which I squarely blame synthesizers and guitar processors and maybe new wave just a little. Tull was clearly out of their element on Under Wraps, just as APP is clearly in their element on Stereotomy. Compare “Radio Free Moscow” to “Stereotomy” if you don’t believe me, and I’m not just talking about the dismal state of Ian’s voice. Despite the group’s waning popularity, Stereotomy still delivers what you’d expect from a good Alan Parsons project: excellent engineering, mildly hypnotic instrumentals, a lush ballad or two and a couple of catchy pop songs.

AL9-8384 back cover
AL9-8384 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. STEREOTOMY    7:15
  2. BEAUJOLAIS    4:27
  3. URBANIA (INSTRUMENTAL)    4:34
  4. LIMELIGHT    4:39
  5. IN THE REAL WORLD    4:17
  6. WHERE'S THE WALRUS? (INSTRUMENTAL)    7:34
  7. LIGHT OF THE WORLD    6:22
  8. CHINESE WHISPERS (INSTRUMENTAL)    1:02
  9. STEREOTOMY TWO    1:18

    All songs written by Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons

CREDITS

IAN BAIRNSON -- guitars
GARY BROOOKER -- vocals, lead vocal (4)
RICHARD COTTLE -- synths and saxes
GRAHAM DYE -- vocals, lead vocal (7)
STEVE DYE -- vocals
STUART ELLIOTT -- drums and percussion
JOHN MILES -- vocals, lead vocal (1,5,9)
ALAN PARSONS -- additional keyboards, engineer
DAVID PATON -- bass
CHRIS RAINBOW -- vocals (lead vocal 2)
ERIC WOOLFSON -- piano and keyboards, vocals, executive producer
The Philharmonia Orchestra -- orchestra
Andrew Powell -- orchestral arrangements, conductor
Christoffer Warren-Green -- orchestral leader
Tony Richards -- engineer
Andrew Ellis and Colin Chambers -- design and art direction

return to THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN November 1985 Arista LP/CS AL9/AC9-8384  
UK/GER 1985 Arista LP 207 463  
AUSL 1985 Arista LP VPL1-7529  
BRA 1985 Arista LP 1048353  
GER 1985 Arista CD 259 050  
US   Arista CD ARCD-8384  

 

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