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New releases (2007).

Source: Tim Fraser-Harding, SonyBMG (February 19, 2007).

The Essential APP
There are 2 International versions of this:
The Essential - 2CD version (88697043372) 34 tracks
The Essential - 3CD version (88697043382) 48 tracks

The 3CD version is exactly the same master as the Dutch Collection (and the Italian version "Days Are Numbers") so if you get this you are missing out nothing more than Alan and Eric's biographies in Dutch or Italian.

The 2CD is a cut down version, but with a couple of anomalies. It includes "(The System Of) Dr Tarr And Professor Fether" which is not on the 3CD set. Also, Stereotomy has a longer fade, and La Sagrada Familia is the longer full length version (although on the liner card of the CD it shows the shorter version timings), and this is because a separate mastering session was done for the 2CD version just before Christmas. (For the fanatics amongst you, this set has also been manufactured locally in India and Korea in addition to Australia and Europe.)

The sound quality on both of these sets is excellent, as those who have already bought it are attesting to.

In addition, there will be a 1CD version, which will be 17 tracks and only consist of Arista material (ie nothing from Tales...), and this will initially be released in France and some South American countries. This was also mastered just before Christmas (but contains the editied version of La Sagrada Familia). Unlike the 2 and 3CD Essentials, the running order is non-chronological:
1. Sirius
2. Eye In The Sky
3. Don't Answer Me
4. Games People Play
5. Days Are numbers
6. I Robot
7. I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
8. Lucifer
9. What Goes Up
10. Time
11. Prime Time
12. Damned If I Do
13. Let's Talk About Me
14. No Answers Only Questions
15. Stereotomy
16. La Sagrada Familia
17. Old And Wise

The "should I buy the Essential or wait for the expanded editions" debate is an interesting one. What I would say is that this is the best sounding APP compilation ever (whichever version) so if you've ever wanted one or want to give as a gift then this is it.

As to where these are being released, if you want a different version then everything is/will be available from the new official site www.the-alan-parsons-project.com

Expanded editions
The first 3 expanded editions are instore from March 5th (depending on the local market release plan):
- I Robot (82876815242)
- Eye In The Sky (82876815272)
- Vulture Culture (82876838592)
These albums will also be released digitally in March, so in countries where they are not released physically, or where only some titles are, you have the option of downloading or ordering from the site.

Additionally, as you know, Universal is releasing a deluxe edition of Tales Of Mystery And Imagination in April.

Tracklistings are below. These are the final running orders (Eye... was slightly different when first announced).

These are the marketing bullet points we are using:
Features of the new packages include:
  • Digitally remastered using the best possible master tapes (overseen by Alan Parsons)
  • Bonus tracks - all previously unreleased, including unheard songs on Eye In The Sky and Vulture Culture.
  • Each album includes "The Naked....." which is a medley of extracts from various tracks together with early rough mixes to give a fresh perspective of the musical feel of the album (2 versions on Eye In The Sky)
  • New liner notes with input from Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson
  • 12 page booklets including rare photos and memorabilia

    Believe me, once you hear these then any discussion about whether it's worth buying the CDs again goes out the window. The improvement on the original albums from a sound quality perspective is amazing, and the bonus material is all excellent (in fact the discussion was what to leave off rather than ask what we can put on).

    There is a demo of an unheard song on Eye in the Sky (Any Other Day), and interesting demos and works in progress on all 3 albums.
    There are 2 versions of "No Answers Only Questions" on Vulture Culture, the version on The Essential is the finished one, so you have the demo to come, (which I believe got the vote as the more emotive at fan fest).

    And then to top it all, we have The Naked.... medleys on each album.
    These have been put together by Eric from instrumentals, demos, existing pieces, and in the case of Eye in The Sky the multi tracks, to provide a completely new perspective on each album.
    You need to hear these, as descriptions don't do them justice, but here goes anyway....
    "The Naked Robot" is a 10 minute ambient trip through the album.
    "The Naked Eye", also over 10 minutes, pulls in so many elements you will need a number of listens to identify it all. "Eye Pieces" gives Eye In The Sky an additional Naked element, and consists of the classical elements from the album which gives a completely new perspective as to how it was originally constructed.
    "The Naked Vulture", once again over 10 minutes long, is a different beast again, with Mr Laser Beam cementing different pieces of the album together.
    These alone as bonus tracks would have made the reissues worth buying again.......at least I hope you will share our opinion.

    It's been an absolute joy working with and getting to know Eric and Alan, and everyone else, most especially Sally, who helped get these together, and I look forward to reading your comments on the digest and the website once you have heard these albums.

    I Robot (82876815242)
    1. I Robot
    2. I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
    3. Some Other Time
    4. Breakdown
    5. Don't Let It Show
    6. The Voice
    7. Nucleus
    8. Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)
    9. Total Eclipse
    10. Genesis Ch.1 V.32

    Bonus tracks
    11. I Robot (Boules Experiment)
    12. Breakdown (Early Demo Of Backing Riff)
    13. I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You (Backing Track Rough Mix)
    14. Day After Day (Early Stage Rough Mix)
    15. The Naked Robot
    Total playing time 62 minutes

    Eye In The Sky (82876815272)
    1. Sirius
    2. Eye In The Sky
    3. Children Of The Moon
    4. Gemini
    5. Silence And I
    6. You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned
    7. Psychobabble
    8. Mammagamma
    9. Step By Step
    10. Old And Wise

    Bonus tracks
    11. Sirius (Demo)
    12. Old And Wise (Eric Woolfson Vocal)
    13. Any Other Day (Studio Demo)
    14. Silence And I (Eric Woolfson Vocal)
    15. The Naked Eye
    16. Eye Pieces (Classical Naked Eye)
    Total playing time 77 minutes

    Vulture Culture (82876838592)
    1. Let's Talk About Me
    2. Separate Lives
    3. Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)
    4. Sooner Or Later
    5. Vulture Culture
    6. Hawkeye
    7. Somebody Out There
    8. The Same Old Sun

    Bonus tracks
    9. No Answers Only Questions (Final Version)
    10. Separate Lives (Alternative Mix)
    11. Hawkeye (Demo)
    12. The Naked Vulture
    13. No Answers Only Questions (The First Attempt)
    Total playing time 61 minutes

    Future releases.
    The other 6 APP albums will be released as expanded editions through 2007 in 2 more phases of 3 - dates will be confirmed once music, liner notes, and artwork is completed. I would prefer we hold back until we are confirmed than keep moving the release date.

    Phase 2
    - Pyramid (82876815252)
    - The Turn Of A Friendly Card (82876815262)
    - Stereotomy (82876838602)

    Phase 3
    - Eve (82876838612)
    - Ammonia Avenue (82876838622)
    - Gaudi (82876838632)