Skip to main content

Progressive Rock Review: Alan Parsons Project-Eye In The Sky 35th Anniversary Box Set

Release Date: December 1, 2017
Label: Sony

I think it is appropriate to kick off this review of the Alan Parson’s Project Eye In The Sky 35th Anniversary Box Set with an explanation of what encompasses this great tribute to this progressive rock classic.

A total of 3 CDs and a Blu Ray Disc:

CD1: Original Album Expanded + bonus tracks

CD2:Eric Woolfson's Songwriting Diaries
CD3: Previously Unreleased Bonus Material

Disc 4: 5.1 Surround Sound and Stereo HD version of the original album on Blu-ray.

Also included are 2 vinyl LPs of the original album recorded at half speed on four sides at 45rpm at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell, a flexi-disc replica of an original 1982 promo (remember getting those in magazines long ago?), a 60-page hardcover book featuring newly-written essays, previously unreleased images recently discovered in Eric Woolfson’s personal archive and new interviews with many of the musicians who recorded the tracks on the album, an Eye in the Sky 1982 replica poster and postcard, a gold-foil Eye of Horus stamp on the front of the box and more.

Most people that walk this earth have heard” Sirius” one time or another. It was dubbed as the Michael Jordan era Chicago Bulls theme song and then started to find its way into many other sporting events all over the world. In fact, I just heard it recently on a commercial.  It is a superb instrumental curtain opener that melts into the lead off album track. The aesthetics are superb and the first thing that strikes you as “quality” is the gold stamped Eye of Horus on the outer sleeve of the box. 

Eye In The Sky was first released in 1982 and I remember it well. I had the cassette then eventually got the CD and now I possess the grandest version of them all. One thing to keep in mind, for the uninitiated, is that the Alan Parsons Project was very successful several years before this amazing album was released. It was part of the recordings that ushered in the digital revolution of recordings. At the time, that was a new wonder and now it’s just history. I think it is taken for granted by most of us, well those that can remember that far back or were even alive for that matter. Technology moves so fast today you don’t have time to really appreciate it before it is updated or completely changed.

There is so much to enjoy in this lavish box set. So, I had to break it down section by section to get the full-on effect of such a complex recording with all the new materials, pictures, artist notes, track developments and the several formats offered. The first thing that got my attention and great interest was the bonus track disc. What made it so interesting was how I could hear the beginnings of tracks. For instance, one track was with just acoustic guitar or Eric Woolfson humming. Although just a snippet it was a rare look into the very beginnings of a track. I got a few tastes of what it is like for an artist that starts from scratch with an album. I worked with a few folks, taking basic bare bones ideas and then gradually adding some meat.  It was an eye-opening experience, adding the instruments to get to the point where it stands as one solid piece of work. To be involved in that process is quite amazing and it gives you an appreciation and respect for the recording process that you never had. So, to take in the process of a musical genius like Alan Parsons and his main partner Eric Woolfson (who passed in 2009), really was quite a complete musical experience. CD2 Eric Woolfson’s Songwriting Diaries (Previously Unreleased) really gives a window into the beginnings of a song and Eric’s process.  This is also part of the accompanying book.

Then there is the pristine 180-gram LP’s that were remastered to play at 45 rpms to push the original tapes to their limit and produce the best possible sound on vinyl. I love vinyl but it seems like it ends much too soon, especially when you love an album like I do this one. I can’t seem to hear this music enough, I enjoy it that much and always have. When you hear the term “timeless” as a reference point, it is usually directly connected to artists like The Beatles and Elvis, however I have to give the nod to Alan Parsons on this particular release. This music sounds as fresh and invigorating as when I first heard it. In fact, it sounds better than ever listening to it remastered and on a 5.1 surround sound system.

The coffee table book is a nice addition to the set as well. It is jam packed with information from the people that recorded the music and remastered it. It is a great addition to read while listening. It brings a new picture into focus of what you are listening to like never before. It goes together like a hand in glove.

I have enjoyed many of the Parson’s releases over the years, in particular Turn of a Friendly Card and Tales of Mystery and Imagination. These were very different recordings however they are at the top of the list of my favorites from the Parson’s catalog coming right after Eye In The Sky. I think most music relates to different times of your life and for me it was one of the more exciting and transformational. I was discovering new music and traveling all over the world with the Navy. It is a time that matured me in ways I could have never imagined. Music was my best friend while out to sea for long periods of time. There was a peace and satisfaction I found on those open seas, and those feelings remain unmatched to this day. That is the joy I feel while reflecting upon my life listening to this amazing music.

If you don’t understand how this album came together after listening to all this music and reading the book then I suggest you do it more than once, you may have to anyway. My thought is, let’s give it another whirl, love it!

So, who knows what’s next from Mr. Parsons? Perhaps a world tour of this album presented on the stage fully backed by an orchestra with choreography and color? Or perhaps Cirque du Soleil performing with the music as their soundtrack? In the meantime, lets enjoy this great music presented in this box set.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 17, 2017

Founder of:

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

CD1 Original Album & Expanded Bonus Tracks
(originally released 2007)

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)

CD2 – Eric Woolfson’s Songwriting Diaries
(Previously Unreleased)

1.    Eye in the Sky (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
2.    Eye in the Sky (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
3.    Eye in the Sky (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 3)
4.    Eye in the Sky (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 4)
5.    Children of the Moon (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
6.    Children of the Moon (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
7.    Gemini (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
8.    Gemini (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
9.    Gemini (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 3)
10.  Gemini & Silence and I (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
11.  Silence and I (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
12.  Cooper’s Theme/ Silence and I chord beginnings (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
13.  Cooper’s Theme/ Silence and I beginnings (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
14.  Silence and I/ Fly Away  (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
15.  Silence and I/ Fly Away (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
16.  Old and Wise (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
17.  Old and Wise (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
18.  Old and Wise (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 3)


1.  Eye In The Sky (Ian 12-string Acoustic Guitar Out Take)
2.  Sirius and Eye In The Sky (Early Rough Mix)
3.  Eye In The Sky (Eric Demo Verses - No Lyrics)  
4.  Children Of The Moon (12-string Acoustic Guitar & Marching Band Snare Drum)
5.  Children Of The Moon (Early Rough Mix With Eric Demo Vocal)
6.  Gemini (Chris Rainbow Vocal Harmonies)
7.  Silence And I (Orchestral Take With Eric Demo Vocal)
8.  You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned (Rough Mix Section - Different Guitar Solo)
9.  You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned (Rough Mix with Alan Demo Vocal - Few Lyrics)
10. Psychobabble (Orchestral Take)
11. Psychobabble (Rough Mix With Eric Demo Vocal)
12. Step By Step (12-string Acoustic Guitars)
13. Step By Step (Rough Mix Backing Track - Extended Intro)
14. Old and Wise (Chris Rainbow Beach Boys Experiment)
15. Old & Wise (Eric Piano Track)
16. Eye in the Sky (Single Edit)
17. Old and Wise (Single Edit)
18. Psychobabble (Single Edit)


5.1 Surround Sound Mix (2017) 
Stereo HD version (1982)

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

VINYL (at 45 rpm)

Vinyl 1 Side 1

Eye In The Sky
Children Of The Moon

Vinyl 1 Side 2


Silence And I

Vinyl 2 Side 1

You’re Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned

Vinyl 2 Side 2
Step By Step
Old & Wise


Excerpts from Eye in the Sky:
Eye in the Sky
Old and Wise


Popular posts from this blog

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

Jazz Fusion-Rock-Pop-Funk Review: Project Grand Slam-Trippin’

Release Date: June 29, 2018 Label: Cakewalk Records Website
This will be my sixth voyage into the world of Project Grand Slam (PGS). So, what is this experience going to be like this time? I would expect the same great combination of jazz, rock, funk, and pop that I always enjoyed.

Just so you all know PGS is: Robert Miller (bass), Mario Castro (saxophones), Bayden Goyo (keyboards), Joel E. Mateo (drums), Guillermo Barron Rios (percussion), Tristan Clark (guitar) and the beautiful Ms. Ziarra Washington (vocals).

So, now we are Trippin’ into 2018 with PGS. And the first track titled “1972” was like turning on the radio and hearing the Average White Band or Tower of Power. Yes sir, on the AM dial, it came blaring through back in those days. 

The title track is a real gas too. This number has some great sax from Castro and a killer rhythm section courtesy of Miller and Mateo. It shines the spotlight on them clear and bright. Let me tell you, those two are like the dynamic duo, kind of like a p…

New Biography on The Cars Singer/Bassist Benjamin Orr by Vermont Writer Joe Milliken to be Published November 2018!

Bellows Falls, VT – Veteran music journalist Joe Milliken recently announced a publishing deal with the Lanham, Maryland-based publisher Rowman & Littlefield Publishers to produce his first book, a biography about the late Benjamin Orr. Orr was the co-founder, co-lead singer, and bassist for the platinum-selling rock band The Cars. Titled Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars, a release date is set for November 15, 2018.

Often considered the band’s heartthrob, Orr possessed an incredible voice, diverse musical talent and rare stage presence, all balanced by a magnetic, yet enigmatic personality, striking good looks, and a relentless determination to reach rock stardom. Born Benjamin Orzechowski (aka “Benny Eleven Letters”) and raised in the Cleveland suburb of Parma Heights, Orr was, prior to becoming a world-famous rock star with The Cars, a “teen star” as a house band musician for the nationally syndicated television show Upbeat.

A few years later Ben met his musical partner and …