The Paul McCartney Project

Alan Parsons

Dec 20, 1948

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From Wikipedia:

Alan Parsons (born 20 December 1948) is an English audio engineer, songwriter, musician, and record producer, the son of Denys Parsons. He was involved with the production of several significant albums, including the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Let It Be, and the eponymous debut album by Ambrosia, as well as Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. Parsons’ own group, The Alan Parsons Project, as well as his subsequent solo recordings, have also been commercially successful. He has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, with his first win occurring in 2019 for Best Immersive Audio Album, Eye in the Sky (35th Anniversary Edition).

[…] In October 1967, at the age of 18, Parsons went to work as an assistant engineer at Abbey Road Studios, where he earned his first credit on the LP Abbey Road. He became a regular there, engineering such projects as Wings’ Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway, five albums by the Hollies, and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, for which he received his first Grammy Award nomination. […]

Let’s talk about your work McCartney

Alain Parsons. The first thing I did with McCartney was a bit of mixing on the WILD LIFE album. I was fairly new to engineering at that time and did a mix on a song called I AM YOUR SINGER while no one was there, partly for my own amusement and parly because they wanted some ref copies anyway. They ended up using mine which made me very pleased. I also did some singing on TOMORROW. Remember in the middle eight where it goes ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba (chuckle) Then soon after that was some RED ROSE SPEEDWAY with other engineers.

How does McCartney work in the studio?

There is no special approach, just go in and see what happens. He kind of uses the studio to rehearse and he is not at all good at describing the effect he wants to get.

For example he doesn’t say “Give me +4 at 10k”

Right. He’ll say “make it sound better” (laughter) So I look for the “better” knob. (laughter all around) Chris Blair (EMI cutting engineer) has literally got that in one of the cutting rooms at Abbey Road – knobs labeled “funky”, “heavy”.

(laughter) “Disco”

(laughter) “Laid Back”

Any comments on HI HI HI or C-MOON?

Oh, HI HI HI took forever. We spent weeks and weeks and weeks, must have mixed it about 8 times.

How did you feel about the final mix?

I wasn’t too happy with it. I tell you, what upset me most about HI HI HI was I thought the way they used to do it “live” was better. It used to have a different rhythm to it. I remember we spent a long time mixing it on small speakers trying to make it sound good for radio. I think we were going over the top on EQ as a result of that, and we’d play it on little speakers and they’d say “We can’t hear the bass and the bass drum”. So you’d turn it up so you could hear the bass and the bass drum and then you play it on the big speakers and it would blow your head off! (laughs)

So Paul wanted something that would be compatible in one mix for small and large speakers.

(laughter) Yes. We also went around Europe in the Rolling Stones truck taping concerts and it was better then. Also, out of all that stuff came one song – THE MESS – out of five days. He’s very good at spending money for things like that and then doing nothing with it.

Alan Parsons interview – “The Rise Of Alan Parsons” by Howard Cummings, published on the October 1976 issue of the Recording Engineer/Producer (RE/P) magazine

Last updated on May 10, 2020

Albums, EPs & Singles which Alan Parsons contributed to

Wild Life

By Wings • Official album

Contribution: Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant • 10 songs

Hi, Hi, Hi / C Moon

By Wings • 7" Single

Contribution: Mixing engineer • 2 songs

Red Rose Speedway

By Paul McCartney & Wings • Official album

Contribution: Mixing engineer, Recording engineer • 9 songs

Helen Wheels / Country Dreamer

By Paul McCartney & Wings • 7" Single

Contribution: Mixing engineer, Recording engineer • 1 songs

My Love / The Mess

By Paul McCartney • 7" Single

Contribution: Recording engineer • 1 songs

Walking In The Park With Eloise / Bridge On The River Suite

By The Country Hams • 7" Single

Contribution: Recording engineer • 1 songs

Band On The Run / Zoo Gang

By Paul McCartney & Wings • 7" Single

Contribution: Recording engineer • 1 songs


By Percy "Thrills" Thrillington • Official album

Contribution: Second engineer • 11 songs

Wings Greatest

By Paul McCartney & Wings • Official album

Contribution: Mixing engineer • 1 songs


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