Yes, I used the F word.
Pyramid is the third album from The Alan Parsons Project, released in 1978. It’s one of their best and here’s why, in no particular order:
- Released at the height of disco, it exists completely outside of disco, achieving a timelessness so many great albums have.
- At a mere 37:46 minutes long, this is an amazingly compact album (especially by prog rock standards), yet even in its economy it manages to pack in nine songs that include six vocalists, three instrumentals, a choir, tolling bells and a tuba solo.
- Speaking of tuba solos, Pyramid isn’t afraid to go from the sublime to the ridiculous. The epic centrepiece, “In the Lap of the Gods”, an instrumental featuring the aforementioned tolling bell, choir and lush orchestration, is followed by “Pyramania”, which includes a tuba solo and lyrics like, “I consulted all the sages I could find in Yellow Pages/But there aren’t many of them.”
- The concept (more a theme, really) comes through more directly here than on other APP albums. Every song echoes fears of death, of inevitability, regret and loss. The one exception is the final instrumental, “Hyper-Gamma-Spaces”, a trippy reprieve that focuses mainly on keyboards.
It’s a zany, mysterious grab bag of doom. Give it a listen on your favorite streaming service and soak in the experience of vocals without autotune.