All About The Musicians Who Played On Alan Parsons Project Albums

All About The Musicians Who Played On Alan Parsons Project Albums

The Alan Parson Project was a band that was composed of a partnership between Alan Parsons and  Eric Woolfson who met while both were working at Abbey Road Studios in London England. For rock fans Abbey Road is one of the most magical places on earth. It’s a studio that has served as a rock and roll wonderland delivering songs that have become part of the soundtracks of our lives. The Alan Parsons Project was born there. The two brilliant musicians would release eleven albums through their collaboration between 1975 and 1990. These albums utilized some of the greatest studio musicians and rock stars in classic rock history. This article presents a list of those musicians in alphabetical order. We showcase the albums they performed on as well as information on their contributions to classic rock history.

Andrew Powell – Composition, Keyboards, Orchestral Arrangements (1975–1996)

Andrew Powell was a British composer, arranger, and musician born in 1949. He is known for his work in composition and orchestral arrangements primarily with the Alan Parsons Project. His work spans multiple genres, including rock, pop, classical, and film scores. Powell brought a unique blend of classical and contemporary elements to the Alan Parsons Project, making significant contributions to albums such as “Tales of Mystery and Imagination,” “I Robot,” “Eye in the Sky,” and many others up to 1996. Beyond the Alan Parsons Project, he has also worked on film scores and collaborated with other artists, solidifying his legacy as a multifaceted musician and composer.

Philharmonia Orchestra

The Philharmonia Orchestra is a British orchestra founded in 1945. It is one of the leading orchestras in the United Kingdom. While not a musician per se, the orchestra played a significant role in the Alan Parsons Project, especially in albums where orchestral sounds were prominent, like “Tales of Mystery and Imagination.” They have worked with various other composers and musicians over the years, performing in numerous venues and recording a variety of works across genres.

Ian Bairnson – Guitars (1975–1990; died 2023)

Ian Bairnson was a Scottish musician best known for his work as a guitarist with the Alan Parsons Project. Born on August 3, 1953, he was a key figure in the band’s lineup from 1975 until 1990. His guitar work can be heard on numerous Alan Parsons Project albums, including iconic releases like “I Robot,” “Eye in the Sky,” and “Ammonia Avenue.” Ian Bairnson passed away in 2023, but his musical legacy lives on, marking him as one of the most influential guitarists in the realm of progressive and art rock.

David Pack – Guitars (1976, 1993), Vocals, Keyboards (1993)

David Pack is an American musician and producer, born on July 15, 1952. Although not a permanent member of the Alan Parsons Project, he made significant contributions to the albums “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” in 1976 and “Try Anything Once” in 1993. Known primarily as the co-founder and leader of the rock band Ambrosia, David Pack has had a diverse career that spans multiple decades. His work with Alan Parsons was marked by his versatility, contributing guitars, vocals, and keyboards. He has also had a successful solo career and has produced for other artists, making him a multi-talented figure in the music industry.

Richard Cottle – Keyboards, Saxophone (1984–1990)

Richard Cottle is a British musician and composer who contributed his skills in keyboards and saxophone to the Alan Parsons Project from 1984 to 1990. He can be heard on albums such as “Vulture Culture,” “Stereotomy,” and “Gaudi.” Over the years, Cottle has not just confined his talents to one band; he’s worked with a variety of artists across genres, including Seal and David Bowie.

David Paton – Bass (1975–1986), Vocals (1975–1986, 1990), Acoustic Guitar (1990)

Scottish musician David Paton was a significant contributor to the Alan Parsons Project during its formative years and beyond. His bass playing was featured from the band’s debut album, “Tales of Mystery and Imagination,” up to “Stereotomy” in 1986. He also provided vocals on several of the band’s hits and even played acoustic guitar on the 1990 album “Freudiana.” Outside of the Alan Parsons Project, Paton has had a successful career, performing with several other bands and musicians such as Elton John and Kate Bush.

Stuart Tosh – Drums, Percussion (1975–1977)

Stuart Tosh was the drummer for the Alan Parsons Project from 1975 to 1977. During his tenure, he performed on albums like “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” and “I Robot.” Tosh is also known for his work with other acts, including 10cc and Pilot. His percussion skills added a unique flavor to the Alan Parsons Project’s early work, blending well with the band’s combination of rock and orchestral elements.

Stuart Elliott – Drums, Percussion (1977–1990)

Stuart Elliott took over the drumming responsibilities for the Alan Parsons Project in 1977 and remained with the band until 1990. He contributed to multiple landmark albums for the group, such as “Eye in the Sky,” “Ammonia Avenue,” and “Gaudi.” Elliott’s drumming is known for its precision and musicality, fitting well within the band’s often complex arrangements. Beyond his work with the Alan Parsons Project, he has also played with other notable artists and bands like Kate Bush and Cockney Rebel.

Mel Collins – Saxophone (1982–1984)

Mel Collins is a British saxophonist who played with the Alan Parsons Project from 1982 to 1984. He contributed to albums like “Eye in the Sky” and “Ammonia Avenue.” Collins is widely respected in the music industry, having also played for King Crimson, Camel, and many other bands. His saxophone skills added a different texture to the Alan Parsons Project’s sound, making him an essential part of their line-up during his tenure.

Geoff Barradale – Vocals (1987)

Geoff Barradale was a vocalist for the Alan Parsons Project in 1987, contributing to the album “Gaudi.” Known primarily as the lead singer of the British new wave band Vitamin Z, Barradale’s contribution to the Alan Parsons Project added a distinct vocal flair. After his time with the Alan Parsons Project and Vitamin Z, he managed the Arctic Monkeys, further solidifying his role in the music industry.

Phil Kenzie – Saxophone (1978)

Phil Kenzie is a British saxophonist who contributed to the Alan Parsons Project in 1978, specifically on the album “Pyramid.” He is known for his work across various genres and has played alongside music greats like Rod Stewart and Al Stewart. His saxophone work brought a unique dimension to the Alan Parsons Project, enriching their sound and offering a different musical layer.

Dennis Clarke – Saxophone (1980)

Dennis Clarke played saxophone for the Alan Parsons Project in 1980, contributing to the album “The Turn of a Friendly Card.” Clarke is known for his versatile playing style, capable of moving between different musical genres effortlessly. While not as widely known as some other musicians who contributed to the band, his skills on the saxophone helped make “The Turn of a Friendly Card” a memorable album in the Alan Parsons Project catalog.

Colin Blunstone – Vocals (1978–1984)

Colin Blunstone is a British singer best known as the lead singer of The Zombies. He lent his vocals to the Alan Parsons Project from 1978 to 1984, contributing to albums like “Pyramid” and “Eye in the Sky.” Blunstone’s distinct, emotive vocal style added a new depth to the band’s music, enriching the soundscape and lending an extra layer of emotional resonance.

Gary Brooker – Vocals (1985; died 2022)

Gary Brooker was a British musician, best known as the founder and original lead singer of the rock band Procol Harum. He contributed vocals to the Alan Parsons Project in 1985, specifically to the album “Stereotomy.” Known for his soulful voice, Brooker’s brief but impactful contribution to the band left a memorable imprint. He passed away in 2022 but leaves behind a rich musical legacy.

Arthur Brown – Vocals (1975)

Arthur Brown is a British musician best known for his flamboyant stage presence and powerful vocals. He contributed to the Alan Parsons Project in 1975, specifically on the album “Tales of Mystery and Imagination.” Known for his own hits like “Fire,” Brown’s unique vocals were an interesting addition to the Alan Parsons Project’s debut album.

Lesley Duncan – Vocals (1979; died 2010)

Lesley Duncan was a British singer-songwriter who contributed vocals to the Alan Parsons Project in 1979, specifically on the album “Eve.” Duncan was known for her soulful voice and had also collaborated with other significant artists like Elton John. She passed away in 2010 but remains a beloved figure in the world of British pop and rock.

Graham Dye – Vocals (1985, 1998)

Graham Dye is a British singer who contributed vocals to the Alan Parsons Project in 1985 and 1998. He appeared on albums like “Stereotomy” and “The Time Machine.” Dye is known for his vocal versatility, capable of handling various styles and genres. His contributions provided an additional vocal texture to the Alan Parsons Project, making him a valuable addition during his periods of collaboration.

Dean Ford – Vocals (1978; died 2018)

Dean Ford was a Scottish musician best known as the lead vocalist of the band Marmalade. He contributed vocals to the Alan Parsons Project in 1978 on the album “Pyramid.” His emotive voice was a standout feature, making a lasting impression on listeners. Dean Ford passed away in 2018, leaving behind a memorable discography.

Dave Terry (“Elmer Gantry”) – Vocals (1980, 1982)

Dave Terry, better known by his stage name Elmer Gantry, is a British singer who lent his vocals to the Alan Parsons Project in 1980 and 1982. He appeared on albums such as “The Turn of a Friendly Card.” Known for his powerful voice, Terry added a rock edge to the tracks he was part of.

Jack Harris – Vocals (1976–1978)

Jack Harris is a British vocalist who contributed to the Alan Parsons Project between 1976 and 1978. He worked on albums like “I Robot” and “Pyramid,” adding his unique vocal flair to the ensemble. Harris’ contributions were particularly notable for their emotional depth and complex harmonies.

The Hollies – Vocals

The Hollies are a British pop/rock group known for their impeccable harmonies and jangle-pop sound. Although the entire group didn’t contribute as a single entity, individual members lent their vocal talents to various Alan Parsons Project tracks, adding an extra layer of harmonic complexity. Nothing like having The Hollies singing on your recording.

John Miles – Vocals (1976, 1978, 1985, 1987, 1990; died 2021)

John Miles was a British musician celebrated for his multi-instrumental talents as well as his vocals. He is one of our favorite artists here at ClassicRockHistory.com He contributed to multiple Alan Parsons Project albums, including “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” and “Stereotomy.” There were not many vocalists that could sing like John Miles. When Jimmy Page released his first solo album entitled Outrider, he turned to John Miles to sing some of the album’s strongest songs.

Chris Rainbow – Vocals (1979–1990; died 2015)

Chris Rainbow was a Scottish musician best known for his work as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. He was a regular contributor to the Alan Parsons Project between 1979 and 1990, featuring on albums like “Eye in the Sky” and “Ammonia Avenue.” With his lush harmonies and emotive vocal style, Rainbow was a key component of the band’s sound. He passed away in 2015, leaving a significant impact on the world of progressive rock.

Eric Stewart is an English musician best known for his work with one of our favorite bands called 10cc. He contributed vocals to the Alan Parsons Project on albums like “Freudiana” and later recordings. His smooth, versatile vocal style fit well with the band’s prog-rock sensibilities, making him a memorable contributor.

Peter Straker – Vocals (1977)

Peter Straker is a Jamaican-born British singer who contributed vocals to the Alan Parsons Project’s 1977 album “I Robot.” Known for his theatrical delivery, Straker added a unique flavor to the project, showcasing his ability to blend different vocal techniques seamlessly.

Clare Torry – Vocals (1979)

Clare Torry is a British singer famous for her work on Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig in the Sky.” She contributed her unique vocal talents to the Alan Parsons Project in 1979 on the album “Eve.” Her emotive and soulful voice complemented the band’s progressive rock ethos well.

Dave Townsend – Vocals (1977, 1979)

Dave Townsend is a British musician and singer who provided vocals for the Alan Parsons Project in 1977 and 1979. His contributions can be heard on albums like “I Robot” and “Eve,” where his voice added depth and character to the band’s intricate compositions.

Lenny Zakatek – Vocals (1977–1987)

Lenny Zakatek is a British vocalist who was a consistent contributor to the Alan Parsons Project from 1977 to 1987. He appeared on multiple albums including “I Robot,” “The Turn of a Friendly Card,” and “Stereotomy,” and his unique vocal timbre became a defining feature of the band’s sound during his tenure.

The English Chorale – Choir (1976, 1977, 1982, 1987)

The English Chorale is a choir ensemble that contributed to various Alan Parsons Project albums. They appeared on albums such as “Tales of Mystery and Imagination,” “I Robot,” “Eye in the Sky,” and “Gaudi.”

All About The Musicians Who Played On Alan Parsons Project Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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