Studio legend Alan Parsons to perform at Schuster

Alan Parsons, who worked on classic albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd before transitioning into a successful hitmaker with the Alan Parsons Project, performs at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Tuesday, April 26.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
Alan Parsons, who worked on classic albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd before transitioning into a successful hitmaker with the Alan Parsons Project, performs at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Tuesday, April 26.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Alan Parsons, performing at the Schuster Center on Tuesday, April 26, never set out to be a touring musician. Of course, life had other plans for the man currently on the road with the Alan Parsons Live Project.

In his early days, the soon-to-be legendary British audio engineer and producer was working on now classic albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd. In the mid-1970s, Parsons transitioned into a successful hitmaker in his own right with collaborator Eric Woolfson.

The first album from the Alan Parsons Project was “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” (1976), a musical adaptation of the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Next was “I Robot” (1977), followed by “Pyramid” (1978) and “Eve” (1979). The group enjoyed continued success with albums like “Eye in the Sky” (1982) before dissolving following the release of “Gaudi” (1987).

Along the way, the Alan Parsons Project scored Top 40 hits in the United States with songs like “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You” (1977) and “Games People Play” (1980). “Eye in the Sky” (1982), the group’s lone American Top 10 hit, reached No. 3. Despite all of this success, Parsons didn’t perform live until the 1990s.

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Two decades later, the British expat continues to record and tour. As a solo artist, he has released albums such as “Try Anything Once” (1993), “A Valid Path” (2004) and “The Secret (2019). He recently completed “From the New World,” which is scheduled for a July release.

Parsons has also dropped several recent live albums, “The Neverending Show: Live in the Netherlands” (Nov. 2021) and “One Note Symphony: Live in Tel Aviv” (Feb. 2022).

Parsons recently answered some questions by phone from his Santa Barbara home.

Combined ShapeCaption
Alan Parsons, who worked on classic albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd before transitioning into a successful hitmaker with the Alan Parsons Project, performs at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Tuesday, April 26.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Alan Parsons, who worked on classic albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd before transitioning into a successful hitmaker with the Alan Parsons Project, performs at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Tuesday, April 26.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
Alan Parsons, who worked on classic albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd before transitioning into a successful hitmaker with the Alan Parsons Project, performs at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Tuesday, April 26.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Q: It was uncommon in the ‘70s and ‘80s for groups that didn’t tour heavily to have hits. How did Alan Parsons Project achieve that level of commercial success?

A: To be honest, I think if we’d played live in the heyday, we could’ve been huge. We could’ve been every bit as big as Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd or whatever. We chose not to tour. We decided we were going to record and promote our music through radio, TV, press and all of that stuff. To a large extent that’s still the case. I do interviews such as the one we’re doing to promote concert appearances and to promote the recordings.

Q: When you were making Top 10 albums and hit singles in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, did you get record company pressure to hit the road?

A: It was understood we were a studio band. The pressure we got from the record label was to be more commercial. We were on Clive Davis’ label, for heaven’s sake. We were rubbing shoulders at Arista conventions with the likes of Barry Manilow, which was kind of strange, not that I’m in anyway disparaging Barry Manilow.

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Q: What led to your decision to start touring in the ‘90s?

A: Clive signed us for that record, and we decided to put a band together to go and tour around the world to give it the best possible chance at success and that’s exactly what we did. We started in Germany and then came to the U.S. with an all-English band at that time. I decided to move to the States with my wife-to-be in 2000. We put an American band together soon after that and it’s been the American band ever since.

Combined ShapeCaption
Alan Parsons, who worked on classic albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd before transitioning into a successful hitmaker with the Alan Parsons Project, performs at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Tuesday, April 26.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Alan Parsons, who worked on classic albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd before transitioning into a successful hitmaker with the Alan Parsons Project, performs at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Tuesday, April 26.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
Alan Parsons, who worked on classic albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd before transitioning into a successful hitmaker with the Alan Parsons Project, performs at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Tuesday, April 26.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Q: What’s next for you?

A: We actually just completed a studio album called “From the New World” and that’s going to be out in July. We’ve got some exciting new contributors on it but I want to keep that under wraps. Before that, we have a fairly extensive American tour starting in April, including the show in (Dayton). I’m looking forward to that. We go to Europe in the summer and then, I think, more shows in the States later in the year. We’ll be back and forth soon, COVID permitting.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

HOW TO GO

Who: Alan Parsons Live Project

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26

Cost: $40-$120

More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org

Artist info: alanparsons.com

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