The real-life backstory inspiration for the Alan Parsons Project’s million-seller albums Turn of a Friendly Card, released in November 1980, and even more successful Eye in the Sky in June 1982, is pretty interesting. Due to the hit sales of their 1977 second album I Robot, in order to escape a 93% income tax bracket (!), producer/ engineer Alan Parsons and songwriter Eric Woolfson had found themselves tax exiles from their native England, emigrating to the Mediterranean country of Monaco with its world-famous casinos.
“It started trying to be an album based on witchcraft,” Alan Parsons confessed to me about Pyramid in 1978. “All areas of it, black magic, and the occult. But somehow we focused on the pyramid energy cult which was very fashionable at that time. You know, people were buying plastic pyramids in stores and keeping milk under them,” Parsons chuckled. “So it was led by this ‘pyramid power’ fashion. I had always been fascinated by the pyramids and their history and their mystery and why the Egyptian and Mayan cultures went to such feats to construct such structures.”
By the Summer 1982, exactly five years after “the un-Dynamic Duo” of Parsons and Woolfson first broke through with I, Robot , you could just spin the FM radio dial to any album rock or Adult Contemporary radio station in America and hear various songs from the Alan Parsons Project’s sixth album, such as the hit title song “Eye in the Sky” or “Psychobabble”. Peaking on the album chart at #7, Eye in the Sky received a Grammy Award nomination upon its initial release only to win that Grammy for the 2017 “Best Immersive Audio Album” thirty-five years later. To date Eye in the Sky has sold more than five million copies since release. –Redbeard