From the Vault...


Alan Parsons Project
"Ammonia Avenue"

© Arista Records

Year of Release: 1984

track listing
  • Prime Time
  • Let Me Go Home
  • One Good Reason
  • Since The Last Goodbye
  • Don't Answer Me
  • Dancing On A Highwire
  • You Don't Believe
  • Pipeline
  • Ammonia Avenue

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    Alan Parsons Project
    "Ammonia Avenue"

    The Alan Parsons Projects returns with another fantastic album from their catalogue -- 1984's Ammonia Avenue.

    (Taken from the album's Wikipedia page): The title of the album was inspired by Eric Woolfson's visit to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in Billingham, England, where the first thing he saw as a street with miles of pipes, no people, no trees and a sign that read "Ammonia Avenue." The album focuses on the possible misunderstanding of industrial scientific developments from a public perspective and a lack of understanding of the public from a scientific persepective. (Eric Woolfson was the keyboardist and vocalist for the Alan Parsons Project.)

    Three songs received airplay, and became hits. "Don't Answer Me" was the biggest hit of the three, "Prime Time" did well in the Top 40, and "You Don't Believe" was a minor hit. "Don't Answer Me" was the obvious song I can recall, and while listening to thiis album, the other two songs mentioned did ring the memory bells, as they did receive good airplay back in the day of the album's release.

    "Prime Time" starts the album, and it is truly is a great song. The next track, "Let Me Go Home" is a powerful Rock song, and sounds like one of those tracks you would hear in a "Rock Opera." "One Good Reason" is another good track, and I vauguely remember hearing this song getting radio airplay. "Since The Last Goodbye" (another minor hit, yet not remembered), is another good track, and of course, there's the huge hit "Don't Answer Me." "Dancing On A Highwire has a good Pop sound. "You Don't Believe" is next, being another hit, and another great song from the Alan Parsons Project repretoire.

    "Pipeline" is an instrumental (no, it's not the 1960s hit of the same name) -- It has an "almost jazz" sound with it's horns. The last track, being the title of the album, is another assortment of "Lite Rock"; it has a very impressive "new age jazz guitar," and with it's "theatrical sound" it is compared to the band Electric Light Orchestra (which many of the other songs could be compared to).

    I have always admired the Alan Parsons Project. Their sound is theatrical, and quite different than the common-day Rock. They've received heavy airplay of songs that would be hits. (Of course, there's their biggest hit, "Eye In The Sky" which has been used for many sporting events.) Ammonia Avenue achieved heavy airplay for three hits, easily remembered: "Don't Answer Me," "Prime Time" and "You Don't Believe." Not all of their albums achieved radio hits, however there are some tracks that really should have. Alan Parsons was involved with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, so not only was that a classic album in it's own right, Alan Parsons showed his genius ability of musical knowledge for this album, likewise for his own catalogue.

    An Alan Parsons Project greatest hits just may not be enough. All of their well-known tracks are there, however there are many others that could have easily made these kinds of compilations. There is not one bad song on Ammonia Avenue. This albums should get repeated listens, without any negative reviews. Three stars for this album, as it is an excellent choice, and one of many of the APP albums to enjoy.

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    Boney James--The Beat