Archive for October 2009

Something for the season

October 26, 2009

Halloween is not my bag.

That said, I’ve long enjoyed what we have for you tonight on The Midnight Tracker. It’s something in the spirit of the season.

It is, of course, “Tales of Mystery and Imagination,” the first album by the Alan Parsons Project. It’s a prog rock concept album based on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories.

In the mid-’70s, Parsons was highly regarded for his work as an engineer on LPs by the Beatles, Paul McCartney, the Hollies and Pink Floyd. He then became a producer and created “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” with Eric Woolfson, who pitched him the idea.

More than 200 musicians played on this 1976 album, which was arranged by Andrew Powell. It was recorded and mixed at Abbey Road Studios in London from July 1975 to January 1976.

Tonight, we feature Side 1 of “Tales of Mystery and Imagination.” Its five cuts:

— The instrumental “A Dream Within a Dream.”

— “The Raven,” the tune everyone has come to know from this album. Though it’s gotten much free-form FM and classic radio play, it wasn’t the single.

— “The Tell-Tale Heart,” with Arthur Brown — yes, as in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown — on vocals.

— “The Cask of Amontillado,” my favorite.

— “(The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether,” which was the single when this was released as summer arrived in 1976.

Hope you dig it.

alanparsonstalesofmysteryandimaginationlp

“A Dream Within a Dream,” “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado” and “(The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether,” the Alan Parsons Project, from “Tales of Mystery and Imagination,” 1976. This is Side 1. It runs 20:34.