Monday, 13 April 2015

The Alan Parsons Project's darkest secret/ F*ck Youtube

If you thought I was done writing about The Alan Parsons Project, you were dead wrong. I still haven’t written about their darkest secret... although I’d like to talk about Youtube first. I had a channel there, Aqualung1989, where I uploaded more than seven hundred songs, most of them more than four years ago. In the last couple of years I barely uploaded two or three albums for blogging purposes. I obviously got no money from that channel. Obviously.

However, two days ago, my account was “permanently cancelled” because of some copyright issues. First of all, I’m seriously pissed by Youtube Censorship Squad (yeah, I just made that name up). Secondly, they could have, I don’t know, given me a warning: “either you delete those five videos in a week, or your channel’s over”. I spent many hours uploading those songs and I obviously didn’t get any money from it, so I’m very pissed off. There’s nothing I can do about it though, and as I don’t have the free time I had five or six years ago, I doubt I’ll ever go back to uploading stuff, so let’s talk about music.

This is where you stop reading, unless you’re a big geek. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

It was around 1979 and the band and Arista Records were having some trouble in reaching a contractual agreement. Parsons and Woolfson wanted a rest, but Arista set deadlines for their third and fourth albums, so they decided to have a laugh and record whatever sh*t they could do in three days. They had to record an album according to their contract... but they could choose how good they’d make it. The band recorded two albums at the same time: Eve and... this.

That’s how The Sicilian Defence was born. Quite an appropriate name, considering the negotiations between the band and Arista could be seen as a chess game. The music is dissonant and atonal. Weird. Parsons and Woolfson just fiddle with piano, keyboards and electronic drums for a bit more than half an hour.

Arista wasn’t exactly pleased with the result. The album was rejected for being “incomprehensible, inaccessible and impossible to release”. Even Parsons had stated in several occasions that he hoped the album would never be released, and that he hadn’t listened to it since it was recorded.

The album finally resurfaced, though. Ah, the wonders of the internet. I think it was also included in some compilation, but I’m not sure. Anyway, the thing is that I was relatively surprised. Sure, it’s obvious that Parsons and Woolfson didn’t take the album seriously, but I actually like having it as background music, and there are a couple of rather enjoyable tracks.