Alan Parsons was born into a family with an impressive history in entertainment. His great-
grandfather was the celebrated actor/manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. His mother was an
actress, professional folk singer and harpist and his father, Denys Parsons, an accomplished
pianist and flautist as well as the author of many books. The late Oliver Reed, film actor was a
cousin. His uncle, David Tree was also a film and stage actor.
Alan had dabbled with live performance in his late teens as a folk/blues acoustic player and as a
lead guitarist with a blues band called The Earth in the late sixties in his hometown of London.
(Their only album, Elemental surfaced recently and was released by Record Collector Magazine
in 2016.) But as soon as he landed a job at the famous Abbey Road Studios at the age of 19, it
became clear that the world of sound recording was to dominate his career.
He was fortunate enough to work as assistant engineer on the last two albums
by The Beatles and after he qualified as a fully-fledged recording engineer, he went on to work
with Paul McCartney and The Hollies among many others. But it was his contribution as
engineer on Pink Floyd’s classic The Dark Side Of The Moon that really got him world
attention. That soon led to striking successes as a producer – notably with Pilot’s Magic, John
Miles’ Highfly and Music and Steve Harley’s (Come Up And See Me) Make Me Smile. He also
produced the hugely successful Year Of The Cat album with Al Stewart and two albums with
American prog rock band Ambrosia.
In 1975 he met Eric Woolfson who not only became his manager, but joined forces with Alan
as a songwriting and performing partner for what became known as The Alan Parsons Project.
The APP’s debut album, Tales Of Mystery And Imagination based on the works of Edgar Allan
Poe paved the way for a signing to Clive Davis’ newly launched Arista label and a string of hit
albums, namely I Robot (1977), Pyramid (1978), The Turn of a Friendly Card (1980), Eye in the
Sky (1982), Ammonia Avenue (1984), Vulture Culture (1985), Stereotomy (1986)
and Gaudi (1987).
Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons:
A brief venture into musical theatre resulted in Freudiana in
1990.The show ran for over a year in the historic Theater An Der Wien in Vienna. Eric and Alan
then went separate ways. Eric devoted his career to the musical theatre while Parsons felt the
need to bring his music to the live concert stage and to continue to record ambitious symphonic
With his long-standing previous APP collaborators, guitarist Ian Bairnson, drummer Stuart
Elliott and orchestral arranger Andrew Powell, Alan dropped the “Project” identity for Alan
Parsons’ –Try Anything Once – in 1994. The partnership continued for On Air in 1996 and The
Time Machine in 1999. During this time the first incarnation of “Alan Parsons Live Project”
toured to sell out audiences throughout the globe. Following Alan’s relocation to California in
1999 with his American girlfriend, Lisa, and a divorce from Smokey, his first wife, a brand-new
Live Project band was formed in 2003. That same year Lisa and Alan were married. Another
band reshuffle happened in 2010. The current live band consists of Alan on acoustic guitar,
keyboards and vocals, P.J. Olsson on vocals, Tom Brooks on keyboards, Guy Erez on
bass, Jeff Kollman on guitar and vocals, Danny Thompson on Drums, Todd Cooper on sax,
percussion and vocals, Dan Tracey on guitar and vocals, and Tyson Montgomery Leonard on
The album A Valid Path, Alan’s foray into electronica was released in 2004 and featured Pink
Floyd’s David Gilmour, The Crystal Method, Shpongle, Uberzone, P.J. Olsson and Alan’s
son, Jeremy. 2008 saw the reissue of all the Alan Parsons Project albums in expanded form,
containing never-before- heard bonus material and a 2-CD compilation called The Essential
Collection. One of the most familiar Project tracks is Sirius, perhaps best known as the Chicago
Bulls theme. It was also used as the walk-on music for The New Orleans Saints at their
triumphant Super Bowl game in 2010 and at the 2012 European Cup soccer matches. Sirius
has also been featured at countless other sporting events, commercials and in the movies Cloudy
With A Chance Of Meatballs and Beerfest.
In 2010, Alan felt the need to share his extensive knowledge and expertise with the rest of the
With the help of fellow Brit Julian Colbeck, Alan wrote and produced a
comprehensive instructional video series about recording called The Art & Science Of Sound Recording (ASSR).
It features contributions from a myriad of celebrity artists, engineers and
producers and is narrated by Billy Bob Thornton. There is also a companion book.
See www.artandscienceofsound.com. All Our Yesterdays, a song written especially for the
series, features some of LA’s finest musicians and a rare performance by Alan on lead vocals.
Alan has been supporting ASSR with a series of lectures and Master Class Training Sessions
(MCTS) all over the world. It has been a great opportunity for the attendees to witness Alan at
work in the studio and to participate actively in the making of a possible future hit.
Since the beginning of 2012, as well as performing live shows, Alan has kept busy in the studio
doing vocals for German Electronica outfit, Lichtmond, and with YES stars Billy
Sherwood and the late Chris Squire as The Prog Collective. Other collaborations have been with
Mexican superstar Aleks Syntek, and celebrated Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen. Alan
produced an album called Grand Ukulele with Jake Shimabukoro, the virtuoso ukulele player,
whose YouTube video of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has received over 10 million hits.
The album contains a number of orchestral arrangements by Winger frontman, Kip Winger. A
collaboration with Steven Wilson as engineer and associate producer resulted in major success
including a Top 5 album in Germany with The Raven That Refused To Sing in 2013.
A CD box set of all the Alan Parsons Projects was released in March 2014 and included a
controversial never previously released CD from 1979 entitled The Sicilian Defence.
Alan has received a large number of awards including 13 Grammy nominations, The Les Paul
Award in 1995 and The Diva Hall Of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in Munich, Germany
in June 2012. He is in demand as a public speaker and was keynote speaker at the 2014 Audio
Engineering Society Convention in Los Angeles and was the opening speaker at the TEDx
Conejo conference in California in April 2012.
In the summer of 2016 Alan released a video on Blu-ray and DVD, and audio in both stereo and
5.1 Surround of a major concert event in Medellin Columbia, featuring a 70-piece symphony
Both Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Eye in the Sky have been re-released on vinyl at 45
rpm (12” record size). Both albums have been released in anniversary box sets, including vinyl,
original and bonus CDs, and include 5.1 Surround mixes on Blu-ray.
Alan has been leading the way regarding technology, blending tech with art for his craft as a
recording engineer and producer-performer. Compiling years of expertise into his book (and
DVD set), “The Art & Science of Sound Recording, he has created a work unlike anything else
available in the marketplace.
In March of 2018 Alan lead an intensive Master Class weekend workshop along with
Grammy Award winning arranger (and one of Alan’s band members) Tom Brooks, at Hybrid
Studios in Santa Ana, California, which included a full symphony orchestra. Participating in the
initiative was session greats Vinnie Colaiuta, Nathan East and Jeff Kollman. The track, an
orchestral classic, is being given the Prog Rock treatment and will actually appear on Alan’s
next album. Alan is not only in the middle of recording that album, he’s doing it on his brand-
new all analogue Neve 5088 console, at his new state-of- the-art recording studio.
Believing in giving back to his community, Alan donated all proceeds from his 2018 Chumash Casino
concert to benefit first responders and local organizations serving Thomas Flood victims and
first responders. But his generosity didn’t stop there. Alan helped to spearhead and was the
musical director for the “ONE 805 KICK ASH BASH” benefit event that further supported first
responders and Montecito fire and flood victims. Raising over $2 million, the celebrity
appearance list included Dennis Miller (emcee), Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Seymour, Michael
Keaton, Don Johnson. Musical performances by Alan Parsons, David Foster, Katie Perry,
Kenny Loggins, Wilson Philips, David Crosby, Steve Vai, Katharine McPhee, Richard Marx,
The Sisterhood Band, Glen Phillips, Steve Vai, Dishwalla and many others.
Exercising his family genes in acting, (cousin to noted actor Oliver Reed), Alan will be
immortalized as a cartoon-ized version of himself in the “Yacht Rocky” episode of the long-
running, mega-hit animated TV series, “Family Guy.” Air date will be sometime in 2019.
Alan’s longtime hobby has been performing magic, and he regularly attends the legendary
Magic Castle in Hollywood where he is a magician member.
Alan has two sons, Jeremy and Daniel, from his first marriage – both living in the UK. Alan
now lives on an organic avocado ranch in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Lisa and her
two daughters, Tabitha and Brittni, dogs, cats, chickens and an 18-hand Clydesdale called
Billboard Top 40 hit singles (US)
No. 37 – “(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether” (1976)
No. 36 – “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You” (1977)
No. 27 – “Damned if I Do” (1979)
No. 16 – “Games People Play” (1980)
No. 15 – “Time” (1981)
No. 3 – “Eye in the Sky” (1982)
No. 15 – “Don’t Answer Me” (1984)
No. 34 – “Prime Time” (1984)
No. 62 – “(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether” (1976)
No. 22 – “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You” (1977)
No. 16 – “Damned if I Do” (1980)
No. 9 – “Games People Play” (1981)
No. 30 – “Time” (1981)
No. 1 – “Eye in the Sky” (1982)
No. 43 – “You Don’t Believe” (1983)
No. 20 – “Don’t Answer Me” (1984)
No. 89 – “Let’s Talk About Me” (1985)
Awards and Nominations
· 1973 – Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Grammy Award for Best Engineered
· 1975 – Ambrosia – Ambrosia – Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-
· 1976 – Ambrosia – Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled – Grammy Award for Best
Engineered Album, Non-Classical
· 1976 – The Alan Parsons Project – Tales of Mystery and Imagination – Grammy Award for
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
· 1978 – The Alan Parsons Project – Pyramid – Grammy Award for Best Engineered
· 1979 – Ice Castles – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Grammy Award for Best Score
Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
· 1979 – The Alan Parsons Project – Eve – Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album,
· 1981 – The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of a Friendly Card – Grammy Award for Best
Engineered Album, Non-Classical
· 1982 – The Alan Parsons Project – Eye in the Sky – Grammy Award for Best Engineered
· 1986 – The Alan Parsons Project – “Where’s The Walrus?” – Grammy Award for Best
Rock Instrumental Performance
· 2007 – Alan Parsons – A Valid Path – Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound Album