Saturday, July 1, 1978

Alan Parsons Project Pyramid released


Alan Parsons Project

Released: July 1, 1978

Peak: 26 US, 40 UK, 25 CN, 16 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: progressive rock lite


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Voyager (instrumental) [2:24]
  2. What Goes Up… [3:31] v: David Paton (9/23/78, 87 US, 20 CL)
  3. The Eagle Will Rise Again [4:20] v: Colin Blunstone, Dean Ford
  4. One More River [4:15] v: Lenny Zakatek
  5. Can't Take It with You [5:06] v: Dean Ford, Colin Blunstone (47 CL)
  6. In the Lap of the Gods (instrumental) [5:27]
  7. Pyramania [2:45] v: Jack Harris (45 CL)
  8. Hyper-Gamma-Spaces (instrumental) [4:19]
  9. Shadow of a Lonely Man [5:34] v: John Miles, Colin Blunstone

All tracks written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. V = vocalist(s) on song.

Total Running Time: 37:46

The Players:

  • Alan Parsons (producing, engineering)
  • Eric Woolfson (keyboards, executive producing)
  • Ian Bairnson (guitar, backing vocals)
  • David Paton (bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals)
  • Stuart Elliott (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
  • Colin Blunstone, Dea Ford, Jack Harris, John Miles, Lenny Zakatek (vocals)
  • Andrew Powell (orchestral arrangements)
  • Duncan Mackay (keyboards)


3.709 out of 5.00 (average of 18 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The theme of this album deals, as the title suggests, with the remaining wonder of the ancient world” (Thelen) and “man's fascination with superstition and its powers,” AMG specifically “the ‘pyramid power’ fad that was around in the mid-'70s (the pet rock having proven to be a bust by then). DV “Lacking the wit and melodic appeal of…I Robot, the Alan Parsons Project's third studio-rock oratorio” RS is “an average bit of material.” AMG “Where I Robot was constructed on a nifty riddle – it's cinematic space rock flaunted the technology its scenario cautioned against – Pyramid uses the mystery of the pyramids as a jumping-off point for some bombastic musings on the vanity of human wishes and the passing of all things.” RS

“The instrumental Voyager opens things up, and its provocative style sets the tone for the album's supernatural mood.” AMG The song “builds up the intensity by adding instruments as the piece progresses, then brings the mood back down in order to meld with the first vocal track,” DV the “bright-sounding,” AMG What Goes Up.... “It seems like this one is sung by a pharoah and a skeptic in the time of the building of the pyramids, and questions about whether these would truly be structures to last for the remainder of time (‘If all things must fall / Why build a miracle at all / If all things must pass / Even a pyramid won't last’).” DV

That song and “The Eagle Will Rise Again, sung by Colin Blunstone,” AMG are two “of the highlights here.” AMG “As the life of the pharoah begins to ebb away, as heard on [the latter] the first image of Egyptian mythology comes forth in the image of the phoenix. The gentleness [and] vocal delivery” DV “of this track impresses.” DV

“The religious connotations continue on the more uptempo One More River, as the pharoah makes his way towards his soul's final journey towards the river Styx.” DV

Can't Take It With You “shows our hero having second thoughts after discovering he must leave his earthly possessions behind. Too late for him, he eventually will have to board the boat for his jouney on the river Styx.” DV This “lesson-learning [song] teaches that our souls are our most important asset, in typical Parsons-type charm.” AMG

The instrumental In the Lap of the Gods “prepares us for a shift in theme…where the attention shifts from our now-deceased pharoah to a gentleman in 1978 England who is caught up - maybe a little bit too much - in ‘pyramid power.’ The belief was that anything under a pyramid would be positively affected by the pyramid's mystical power.” DV

“This manic belief in the unknown is the basis of” DV “the anxiety-ridden” AMG Pyramania, “a cute, peppy number which is enjoyable to listen to – though, as the song lets us know, our new hero's fascination with pyramids is causing unhappiness at home with the wife.” DV This song “enhances the album's concept the best, accompanied by some excitable keyboard playing and a friendly middle.” AMG

“Following another instrumental (Hyper-Gamma-Spaces), our hero finds himself losing everything that mattered to him – in this case, his wife – on Shadow of a Lonely Man. Like the pharoah looking to achieve immortality and lost everything he had accumulated, the modern-day man loses love and everything that mattered in this life, and left him a shell of what he used to be.” DV

“While not a stellar album, Pyramid completes the task of musically explaining its concept. Its short but slightly compelling nature grows after a few listens, but the album…isn’t a necessity.” AMG

Notes: A 2008 reissue added demos and alternate versions.

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First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 9/24/2021.

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