Gaudi

Alan Parsons Project Gaudi Cover Art

(1987)

Inspired by the life and work of the great Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi, whose obsession with his work ruled out the possibility of a normal family life. Ironically, his greatest work was a cathedral dedicated to the holy family, La Sagrada Familia. The album is inspired by the work/life balance that we all face.

Tracks

Tracks

  1. La Sagrada Familia
  2. Too Late
  3. Closer To Heaven
  4. Standing On Higher Ground
  5. Money Talks
  6. Inside Looking Out
  7. Paseo De Gracia (Instrumental)

Memories

Memories

The gestation period between original inspiration and final product can be lengthy and since Eric was first introduced to Gaudi’s buildings in Barcelona, it took several years for that inspiration to work its way musically into the album GAUDI inspired by the life and works of the great Catalan innovator, Antonio Gaudi.

This was the last contractual Alan Parsons Project album for Arista Records and rumor has it that when the album was submitted to them, somebody said ‘this is about a Spanish architect and we are in the rock and roll business. Are these guys kidding?’

At the time of this recording, Eric, Alan and the musicians would frequently dine at a favorite haunt in Hampstead, London near the Abbey Road Studios where many of the recordings took place. The wine waiter, Salvador, from the restaurant ‘Keats’ was himself from Barcelona and recorded an ad-lib section, some of which was incorporated in the introduction to ‘La Sagrada Familia’ on the album.

Eric had noted that many architects would build accommodation for themselves in the top most parts of their constructions. In the case of Mr. Eiffel in Paris, at the top of his tower was an apartment to which he used to invite young ladies, after all who could resist an invitation to see such a view. Gaudi on the other hand, was more religiously inspired, but either way, the concept of the song ‘Closer to Heaven’ was born in Eric’s mind.

When Eric was writing the album, he paid a visit to Cintra, a fortress near Lisbon (on the same Peninsula as Barcelona) where a princess had been imprisoned. Inspired by the tale, he recalls walking round the inside of the building and writing the entire music and lyric of the song ‘Inside Looking Out’.

Lyrics

Lyrics

All lyrics by Eric Woolfson & Alan Parsons © Woolfsongs Ltd / Careers Music, Inc.

La Sagrada Familia

“In recent times there is no-one who could approach, at all, to Antonio Gaudí.
He started a new cathedral, in Barcelona, it is called The Sagrada Familia, or
Holy Family. And the sad thing is they could try to finish it, but I don’t think they ever
can do it.”

Who knows where the road may lead us, only a fool would say
Who knows if we’ll meet along the way
Follow the brightest star as far as the brave may dare
What will we find when we get there

La Sagrada Familia we pray the storm will soon be over
La Sagrada Familia for the lion and the lamb

Who knows where the winds may blow us, only a fool would say
Who knows if we’ll ever reach the shore
Follow a rising sun with eyes that may only stare
What kind of fire will burn us there? What kind of fire?
Only a fool would say

La Sagrada Familia the wind has changed the storm is over
La Sagrada Familia for the lion and the lamb
La Sagrada Familia we thank the lord the danger’s over
La Sagrada Familia there’s peace throughout the land

Under clear blue skies our voices rise in songs of glory
And for all those years our eyes and ears were filled with tears
Filled with tears

Who knows where the world may turn us, only a fool would say
Who knows what the fates may have in store
Follow the light of truth as far as our eyes can see
How should we know where that may be? (Where that may be?)
How should we know? (How should we know?)

Then the angry skies, the battle cries, the sounds of glory
And for all those years our eyes and ears were filled with tears
Filled with tears

Who knows where the road may lead us, only a fool would say
Who knows what’s been lost along the way
Look for the promised land in all of the dreams we share
How will we know (How will we know?)
when we are there? (When we are there?)
How will we know? (How will we know?)
Only a fool would say

La Sagrada Familia the war is won the battle’s over
La Sagrada Familia for the lion and the lamb
La Sagrada Familia we thank the lord the danger’s over
La Sagrada Familia behold the mighty hand
La Sagrada Familia the night is gone the waiting’s over
La Sagrada Familia there’s peace throughout the land

Until the next time
Until the next time

La Sagrada Familia

Too Late

When you were standing in the rain, I gave you shelter
When I was knocking on your door, you gave me none
Well I don’t make that kind of deal with anybody
And I won’t be that kind of fool for anyone

How do you feel when the tables have been turned?
What will you do now the bridges have been burned?

Cause it’s
Too late now the magic’s lost
Too late now the spell is broken
Too late now to count the cost
Of words that should remain
Unspoken

When I need you by my side you stand above me
And when I look into your eyes you turn away
Well if that’s the best there is then I won’t buy it
And if that’s the only game then I won’t play

How many danger signs did you ignore?
How many times have you heard it all before?

Cause it’s
Too late now the magic’s lost
Too late now the spell is broken
Too late now to count the cost
Of words that should remain
Unspoken

Cause it’s
Too late now the magic’s lost
Too late now the spell is broken
Too late now to count the cost
Of words that should remain unspoken

Too late now the magic’s lost
Too late now the spell is broken
Too late now to count the cost
Too late
It’s just too late

Closer To Heaven

Rising and falling lighter than air
Silently calling no one is there
Oh, bird that is flying so high and so free
Closer to heaven than you and me

Voices of strangers keep me from sleep
Guardian angels watch over the deep
A ship that is sailing way out to the sea
Closer to heaven than you and me

Visions of rain fall out of blue skies
Rivers of tears flow out of dry eyes
Answer my question tell me no lies
Is this the real world or a fool’s paradise?

Wind that is blowing so wild and so free
Closer to heaven than you and me

Closer to heaven longing to be
Closer to heaven than you and me

Visions of rain fall out of blue skies
Rivers of tears flow out of dry eyes
Answer my question tell me no lies
Is this the real world or a fool’s paradise?

Love that lies sleeping wakes in the night
Secrets for keeping that won’t see the light
I look to the future and I hope it will be
Closer to heaven than you and me

Closer to heaven longing to be
Closer to heaven than you and me

Closer to heaven than you and me

Standing on Higher Ground

I know the truth
But I can’t say
And I have to turn my head
And look the other way

I’m not afraid
And I won’t lie
As long as I see no wrong
I won’t need to testify

I see the world
And I’m looking from a high place
Way above it all
Standing on higher ground

I breathe the air
While they’re running in a rat race
Way above it all
Standing on higher ground

I feel the blow
But I don’t speak
And I have to close my eyes
Pretending I’m asleep

Well I see the tears
But I don’t cry
As long as I do no wrong
I don’t need an alibi

I see the world
And I’m looking from a high place
Way above it all
Standing on higher ground

I breathe the air
While they’re running in a rat race
Way above it all
Standing on higher ground

Way above it all
Way above it all
Oh you are
Standing on a higher ground

Way above it all
Way above it all
Now you are
Standing on a higher ground

I see the world (I see the world)
And I’m looking from a high place (looking from a high place)
Way above it all (way above it all)
Standing on higher ground (way above it all)

I breath the air (I breathe the air)
While they’re running in a rate race (running a rat race)
Way above it all (way above it all)
Standing on higher ground (way above it all)

I see the world

Money Talks

Money don’t grow on a money tree
The more you take leaves the less for me
Money don’t buy what you really need
It make an iceman cry, it make a stone man bleed

But when you get right down to it, no matter who you are
It rules your life like a virgin queen
One day you might get over it, but in the meantime
It rules the world like a green machine

In the bank, in a box, money talks
In the black, on the rocks, money talks
Money talks

Money don’t lose in the money game
It drags you down like a ball and chain (like a ball and chain)
So money don’t come with a guarantee
It make a fool of you, it make a fool of me (make a fool of me)

But when you get right down to it, no matter what you say
It ties you down but it can set you free
Some day you might get over it, but in the meantime
It burns you up in the first degree

Moscow, Bangkok, money talk
Park Lane, Boardwalk, money talk

But when you get right down to it, no matter what you try
You deal the cards, give the wheel a spin
One day you might get over it but everybody knows
It’s heads you lose and it’s tails they win
Don’t have too much to show for it, that’s the way it goes
You roll the dice and they cash you in

Pinball, jukebox, money talks
Redskins, White Sox, money talks
Billboard, Cashbox, money talks

Inside Looking Out

To touch the sky
A dreamer must be
Someone who has more imagination than me

To reach the stars
A dreamer must fly
Somehow he must live more of a lifetime than I
For sands of time won’t wait
And it may be too late

Now is the hour and the moment
Don’t let the chance go by
Your ship is sailing with the high tide
And all your dreams are on the inside
On the inside looking out, on the inside looking out
Looking out, looking out, looking out, looking out

To change the world
A dreamer must be
Someone who has more determination than me

To free his soul
A dreamer must fly
Somewhere he must find a better reason than I
The hands of time won’t wait
And we may be too late

Now is the hour and the moment
Don’t let a day pass by
Your shipis sailing with the high tide
You could be standing on the inside
On the inside looking out, on the inside looking out
On the inside looking out, on the inside looking out
Looking out, looking out, looking out, looking out
Looking out

Paseo De Gracia

(Instrumental)

Expanded Edition

Expanded Edition Includes these Bonus Tracks:

Too Late (Eric Woolfson Rough Guide Vocal)

During the recording process, before a lyric was completed, Eric would record a guide vocal of the basic melody, which in this case consists mainly of “La La’s”. This was useful to all involved including Alan and the arranger to get some idea of a song’s melody content. Even at early stages like this, the guide vocal would influence the structure and arrangement and the choice of the final vocalist. Eric would also use such a vocal as an aid to lyric writing, during the course of which he would often change the tune to fit with his eventually chosen words, hence the differences between this and the final version. It’s interesting that the intro heard on this version was completely discarded.

Standing On Higher Ground/ Losing Proposition (Vocal Experiments)

This is an example of an attempt at combining two different songs, one of which was dropped in the course of the recordings. Eric was trying an experiment by mirroring Gaudi’s own approach which was to have, in many cases, different themes intertwined in a complex pattern. It is interesting that the final chorus line had already been sung by Geoff Barradale. His ad libs at the end were replaced by other multi layered parts with Chris Rainbow joining Geoff on the final version. Incidentally Geoff Barradale at the time of this re-release, manages the phenomenally successful band The Arctic Monkeys.

Money Talks (Chris Rainbow/ Percussion Overdubs)

A typical example of a Chris Rainbow multi-tracked overdub with a section of percussion – combined here for a reason that nobody remembers!

Money Talks (Rough Mix Backing Track)

When the basic backing is recorded, a rough mix of the backing instruments would be done as in this example. There were several uses for this:
a) as an aid to lyric writing
b) as a guide for other musicians who had yet to add their overdubs
c) as a track for vocalists to practice
d) when a potential lead vocalist had not been identified, to use as a creative tool in imagining what kind of voice might suit the track
Very often when a final lead vocal is completed, it can change the perceived feel of the track and it’s only by comparing the basic track (only normally heard in the control room) to the final vocal mix that the differences can be appreciated.

Closer to Heaven (Sax/ Chris Rainbow Overdub Section)

An excellent example of “Rainbow magic”, together with the brilliant sax solo work of Richard Cottle (brother of bass player Laurie “Lol” Cottle also playing on this album). Richard’s main contribution to the album was as an electronic keyboard virtuoso, but he also excels on saxophone as he demonstrated on many of the Projects.

Paseo De Gracia (Rough Mix)

The final mix is usually a lengthy process, but one often needs a version for rough compilation or presentation purposes and this is an example of a mix which was fairly quickly put together and later improved upon for the final version. The choir heard clearly on this version on the extended fade was ultimately excluded on the master.

La Sagrada Familia (Rough Mix)

Another rough mix of a track which turned out to be one of the most challenging and complicated mixes to achieve the optimum sound balance with so many elements involved. This mix is noticeably ‘dryer’, i.e. less echo or reverb, but most of the constituent elements of the master are showcased here in a rough form.

Credits

Credits

1. LA SAGRADA FAMILIA 8:48
Vocal – John Miles
Dialogue – Salvador Gimenez-Oltra
Additional Vocals – Eric Woolfson, Chris Rainbow,
The English Chorale
Synth Piano – Eric Woolfson
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – Laurie Cottle
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Synths and Sax Solo – Richard “Trix” Cottle
Cello – John Heley
Sound FX Compilation – Alan Parsons
French Horns led by David Cripp
Timpani and Choirmaster – Bob Howes
Orchestra and Choir Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

2. TOO LATE 4:29
Vocal – Lenny Zakatek
Backing Vocals – Chris Rainbow
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – Laurie Cottle
Drums – Stuart Elliott
Synths – Richard “Trix” Cottle

3. CLOSER TO HEAVEN 5:53
Vocal – Eric Woolfson
Piano and Accordion – Eric Woolfson
Backing Vocals – Chris Rainbow
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – Laurie Cottle
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Synths, Sax Solo – Richard “Trix” Cottle

4. STANDING ON HIGHER GROUND 5:02
Vocal – Geoff Barradale
Additional Vocals – Chris Rainbow
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – Laurie Cottle
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Synths – Richard “Trix” Cottle

5. MONEY TALKS 4:26
Vocal – John Miles
Additional Vocals – Chris Rainbow
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – Laurie Cottle
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Synths – Richard “Trix” Cottle
Computer Voice Programming – Alan Parsons

6. INSIDE LOOKING OUT 6:22
Vocal – Eric Woolfson
Synth Rhodes – Eric Woolfson
Backing Vocals – Chris Rainbow
Electric and Spanish Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Dialogue – Salvador Gimenez-Oltra, Norman Cowan, Ian Bairnson
Bass – Laurie Cottle
Drums – Stuart Elliott
Synths – Richard “Trix” Cottle
Sound FX Compilation – Alan Parsons

7. PASEO DE GRACIA (Instrumental) 3:46
Synths – Eric Woolfson, Richard “Trix” Cottle
Electric and Spanish Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – Laurie Cottle
Drums, Percussion, Castanets and Dancing Shoes – Stuart Elliott
French Horns led by David Cripp
Timpani – Bob Howes
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

Produced by Alan Parsons
Executive Producer – Eric Woolfson
Engineered by Alan Parsons and Tony Richards
Recorded between October 1985 and August 1986
at The Grange, Benenden, England and at Mayfair Studios, London
Recorded 48-track on Sony PCM 3324 Recorders
and Mixed to a Sony 1630 system digital master

Geoff Barradale of Vitamin Z appears courtesy of
Phonogram Ltd. and Geffen Records

Special thanks to David Simone
Thanks to Keith Slaughter, Steve Webb, Terry Maloney,
Roger Quested, Graham and Mike at Genalog, Bill, Phil, Roy, Mick,
Victor and John for all their help with the studio at The Grange
Thanks also to Nick Franks, Jeremy Wilson and Martin Arthurs at Amek,
Chris Hollebone and Phil Wilton at Sony, Ian Sylvester at Audio FX,
Eddie Klein, Phil Hancock at Abbey Road, Noel and Simon at Mayfair,
HHB, Jonathan at Syco Systems
Special thanks to: Wim Schipper and Dennis Fine, Salvador Gimenez-Oltra,
Norman Cowan for telling everything he knew about Antonio Gaudi,
Pete Smith, George Haymer, Eric Prince, David Rockberger, John Branca,
Laser Beam for constant encouragement, Barrie and Margaret
Spice, Smokey and Hazel as always

Original Art Direction – Maude Gilman

All tracks written by Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons
Published by Woolfsongs Ltd/Careers Music Inc. (BMI)
administered by Universal Music
(p) 1987 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment