Alan Parsons Symphonic Project - Live In Colombia album review

Vinyl and CD tie-in, with a DVD of a 2013 concert with a 70-piece orchestra.

Alan Parsons Symphonic Project Live In Colombia album cover

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Formerly an engineer and producer who worked with The Beatles and Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons belongs to a more grandiose rock age with altogether different ambitions for the “evolution” of rock music than are nowadays considered valid.

On this collection of greatest hits performed in front of an ecstatic Colombian audience he gets to play with the Medellin Philharmonic Orchestra, rendering the likes of I, Robot, The Turn Of The Friendly Card and Sirius with his own surprisingly funky rock band.

It’s immaculately played and presented throughout, yet it feels like a massive aesthetic cock-up; rather than demonstrating that rock has the capacity to match the expanded scope of classical music, the combination of brass and strings with guitar, keyboards, sax etc feels more like Eurovision than like some advanced form of fusion, like an attempt to add some oak-panel gravitas to dodgy songs about tarot.

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.