Live In Colombia

The Alan Parsons Symphonic Project

Earmusic, 2016

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


You know, for someone who never got to tour with the Project itself, Alan Parsons sure does a lot of touring now. Whether he’s making up for lost time or just doesn’t want to lose touch with his fans, he and his band have been on the road more or less solid for ten+ years now.

Live In Colombia was recorded in concert with the Medellin Symphony Orchestra. (All right, enough with the Medellin jokes.) Since the music of the Project was supposed to be—and usually was—accompanied by symphonic instrumentation, it is a natural pairing. It turns out to be a lovely one as well.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

For starters, the crowd on this recording is enthusiastic. Parsons and his music have always been more popular in mainland Europe and South America than either in the US or in his home country of England. It’s also worth noting that the set list seems tailored for his audience; I have seen Parsons live five times, and his American set list is pretty standard. Live In Colombia shows a different side; songs like “Days Are Numbers” and “Psychobabble” are eschewed in favor of a couple of pleasant surprises.

Speaking of those pleasant surprises—one is a full live version of “La Sagrada Familia” from Gaudi, and it’s extremely good. The other one is rather a Holy Grail for Parsons fans; this concert includes the entire “Turn Of A Friendly Card” suite from the album of the same name, and it’s quite interesting to hear it done live and see some of the differences. The final one—and it’s a bit of an odd choice, but performed perfectly—is “What Goes Up…” from Pyramid.

As far as I know, these songs have never been recorded live before, and they’re a treat. The rest of the CD is quite good as well; the usual live version of “Sirius/Eye In The Sky,” which makes the crowd roar with delight, the pathos of “Old And Wise,” using “Games People Play” to close the set… all somewhat standard and all excellent.

I’ve only two complaints. One is one I never thought I would make for a Parsons recording; there are times when the mix seems a bit muffled, not as crisp as it should be. Quite a shocker, and quite a disappointment. The other is that this CD has a live version of “Silence And I” from ­Eye In The Sky; not a favorite song of mine, and it lacks the energy needed to make it work live.

Far from being a redux of his previous live album, Live In Colombia shows a different side of Parsons’ music, and is a definite must-have for fans.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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