Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Alan Parsons Project

One of the genres of rock & roll music that has had the greatest difficulty in being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is that of Progressive Rock. After all, Genesis and Rush [1] were only recently inducted into the Rock & Roll of Fame, and plenty of deserving acts (including the Moody Blues [2] and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer) remain to be inducted. What would make The Alan Parsons Project a worthy member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in light of the difficulties that other members of their genre have in induction? Likewise, what sort of qualities would make the Alan Parsons Project a distinctive band that might help to point out some important influences in our musical culture that have not often been recognized. Given that few people nowadays know the Alan Parsons Project, it might be helpful to point out where their influence lies.

The Alan Parsons Project’s Contribution

As a Progressive Rock band, with heavy elements of both pop hooks as well as art rock credentials, Alan Parsons Project can be judged both by their popularity as well as by the strength of their concepts. Of their albums, seven of them went gold and four of them went platinum, an impressive stretch of popularity for such high-concept music [3]. Even more of their albums went gold in Germany, suggesting that their popularity was international as well, boding well for the wide scope of interest in their music around the world. Of their singles, eight of them hit the top 40 in the United States (including Time,” “Damned If I Do,” “Games People Play,” “Prime Time,” and “Answer Me,” and one hit the top 10 (“Eye In The Sky”), along with seven songs hitting the mainstream rock charts (a chart that was not even in existence in the first part of their career). This suggests that the Alan Parsons Project had a significant degree of popularity. How artistically worthwhile are their concepts? Within their core period of popularity, they had successful concept albums based on the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, the I, Robot stories of Isaac Asimov [4], the lure of the Pyramids of Egypt [5], the attractiveness of women [6], gambling [7], and the ominous observations of a wise old eye in the sky. A lot of these themes have religious and major sociocultural importance in high culture, demonstrating that besides popularity they had some very high level artistic merits on their own.

Why Is The Alan Parsons Project A No-Brainer For The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?

Besides their popularity and the excellence of their artistry and high-culture elements, the Alan Parsons Project deserves a great deal of recognition for the engineering and producing excellence of Alan Parsons, a matter that has not received a great deal of recognition. Like Jeff Lynne [8] and Gerry Rafferty [9], Alan Parsons made a name for himself as both a producer and as an artist [10]. In the case of Alan Parsons, he produced and/or engineered such albums as Abby Road/Let It Be (the Beatles), the Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd), as well as albums by The Hollies, Ambrosia, Al Stewart, and Pilot. Several of these bands are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame themselves. Besides the excellence of music and its popularity and the influence of Alan Parsons as a producer and engineer, the band’s music has even had a major influence in theatrical release. Any band/artist with that sort of wide span of cultural influence deserves to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Why Isn’t The Alan Parsons Project In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

There are a few reasons why the Alan Parsons Project might not be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yet. For one, the popularity of the band may be too modest for some. Also, Alan Parsons may not be getting enough credit as a producer, as it is hard for producers who are also musicians to receive the professional respect that they deserve from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The fact that the Alan Parsons Project was an art rock and progressive rock band probably also hinders its acceptance, given the fact that professional vocalists and high concepts have not been a good path to critical acceptance by the people responsible for inducting bands in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The fact that several of the band’s albums also included biblical themes also may put them under suspicion for being too Christian, which has generally hindered acceptance in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well [11], something that has probably hindered such art rockers as Emerson, Lake, and Palmer also.

Verdict: Put these guys in already, as part of the general high-concept artists worthy of induction. Whenever a band can combine cultural ambitions along with popular acceptance over a large and successful body of work, that band deserves recognition, especially in a case where such recognition would greatly help the music of that band remaining better known.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-rush/

[2] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-the-moody-blues/

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alan_Parsons_Project_discography

[4] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/book-review-i-robot/

[5] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/book-review-gods-time-capsule/

[6] This is a frequent subject on my blog, for those who read it; some representative posts on this subject include:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/it-is-not-good-that-man-should-be-alone-an-antidote-to-pre-celibacy-counseling/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/the-difference-between-mocking-and-preparation/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/not-sure-i-understand-this-road-ive-been-given/

[7] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/the-turn-of-a-friendly-card/

[8] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-elo-jeff-lynne-traveling-wilburys/

[9] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-gerry-rafferty/

[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alan_Parsons_Project

[11] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-pat-boone/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-amy-grant/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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