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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

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Customer Reviews

An album you can listen to many times over

Alan Parsons is intelligent, thoughtful, and aware. Each of his CDs takes a look at some aspect of the world and makes a coherent, integrated statement about it. You can, if you like, enjoy his songs individually, but they are best enjoyed as part of the whole story. I would be hard put to select just one favorite, but Tales of Mystery and Imagination is definitely a contender. (Alas, there actually is one I am less fond of than the others: Eve, though even that one has a few good songs. However, when with all the others, I can listen to the entirety of each of the other albums with pleasure, Eve fails that test.) With Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Mr. Parsons presents his masterful musical take on Edgar Allen Poe's works. As with all his albums, the music, the lyrics, the engineering, and the presentation are top-notch. First released in 1976, in 1987 the album was completely remixed, more music was added, and narration by Orson Welles was added, narration that Mr. Welles had done shortly before he died in 1985. For some, it might take a few listenings to get into this album, but the time spent is well-rewarded. For example, "The Raven," one of my favorites on this album, is the heart of Poe's poem of that name put to a croaking kind of music. The music is so apt that it is hard now to imagine how it could be any other way. I also love the lyrical but also creepy "The Cask of Amontillado," the catchy-but-biting "Doctor Tarr and Professor Feather," the hard-driving "Tell-Tale Heart," and the narration (adapted by something written by Poe) and music of "Dream Within a Dream." Most of the last part of the album is taken up with the eerie "Fall of the House of Usher" done as a suite, starting with more narration and continuing with evocatively spooky music. It is so perfect that it seems as though it was commissioned to be the soundtrack for the story. The album concludes with another lyrical piece, "To One in Paradise," again, I believe, based on a poem by Poe.

An awesome storytellers album!!

Having been a long time fan of the group "The Alan Parsons Project" I find this particular work of thiers rather a aquried taste, but once you give it a chance it doesn't disappoint. This album "Tales of Mystery & Imagination." which comprises some of the best known and loved collected works of that dark genius, Mr. Edgar Allan Poe is quite a impressive feat one would agree. Here you have Mr. Poes most notable works - in song and verse. My personal favorites are "To One In Paradise" "The Raven" "(The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether) Herein this great album you have Mr. Parsons and Mr. Wolfson, among many others presenting (or would it be more accurate to say "reciting"?) Mr. Poes famous works in song and verse which they do admirably well. Can't believe that this album isn't a school teacher's or English Professors dream, it's a great tool to get young people aquainted with the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Whether it's your cup of tea or not, at the most one can say this album is "literate" for sure. Many Thanks for reading this review.

Nothing Less Than A Rock Masterpiece

This was APP's intial outing and also the first time I'd ever heard them before. I was into Poe long before I knew this album existed, but once I heard about it, buying it and listening to it was a no-brainer. It has been in my Top 100 Albums of All Time since then, and even the "newly remastered" version, with the Orson Welles narration put back in and additional guitar overdubs don't diminish its power one bit. The best thing about Parsons' work besides the brilliant writing he did with Eric Woolfson, was the way in which he cast every album as if it were a film, starting with this one. Every track is perfectly matched to the singer who adds the vocals, and the standouts are Leonard Whiting and Smokey Parsons with their interplay on the chilling "The Cask of Amontillado" and Arthur Brown, who has never sounded more suitably insane on "The Telltale Heart". The work is no less intense on the second side with "The Fall of the House of Usher," but I still prefer the Side One tracks. This is a must-have for any collector of great concept albums, and definitely for APP fans. (I gave it four stars because I prefer the "original" version.)


Genre: Rock

Engineer/producer Alan Parsons and his colleague, songwriter and lyricist Eric Woolfson, formed the Alan Parsons Project in 1975. Throughout their career, the Alan Parsons Project recorded concept albums (including adaptations of Poe and Asimov books), with a revolving cast of session musicians. 1982's Eye in the Sky was their greatest success; the title track charted in the Top Ten on the pop charts and the...
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Tales of Mystery and Imagination, The Alan Parsons Project
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