Pyramid

Alan Parsons Project Pyramid

(1978)

At the time this album was conceived, interests in pyramids and so-called pyramid power was all the rage. A pyramid could be found on the back of a dollar bill, there were stories in the newspapers about the supposed magical properties of pyramids and of course, the cover of Dark Side of the Moon.

Tracks

Tracks

  1. Voyager (Instrumental)
  2. What Goes Up
  3. The Eagle Will Rise Again
  4. One More River
  5. Can’t Take it With You
  6. In the Lap of the Gods (Instrumental)
  7. Pyramania
  8. Hyper-Gamma-Spaces (Instrumental)
  9. Shadow of a Lonely Man

Memories

Memories

From Poe in the past to Robots in the future, the next step appeared logically to Eric to step further into the past and the Pyramid album followed. Inspired in part by the fad at the time in the quasi-magical mystical properties of Pyramid shapes, which Eric sent up particularly in the song ‘Pyramania’. Eric recalls a rumor at the time that the Russian army in the field used to keep their razor blades in a pyramid shaped box to keep them sharp and other such tall tales. Eric, like his hero Sigmund Freud found Egyptology fascinating.

Again as a child in Glasgow, the art galleries there hosted a great collection of Egyptian artifacts, mummies etc which had made a profound impression on Eric.

As a tribute to his brother Richard, who had recently been awarded a PHd, Eric named one of the instrumental tracks after his brother’s thesis which was a mathematical treatise ‘Hyper-Gamma-Spaces’.

Shadow of a Lonely Man was inspired by the death of Eric’s father-in-law while the album was being recorded.

Lyrics

Lyrics

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

Voyager

(Instrumental)

What Goes Up…

What goes up, must come down
What must rise, must fall
And what goes on in your life
Is writing on the wall

If all things must fall
Why build a miracle at all
If all things must pass
Even a miracle won’t last

What goes up, must come down
What must stand alone?
And what goes on, in your mind
Is turning into stone

If all things must fall
Why build a miracle at all
If all things must pass
Even a pyramid won’t last

How can you be so sure?
How do you know what the earth will endure?
How can you be so sure
That the wonders you’ve made in your life
Will be seen
By the millions who’ll follow to visit the site
Of your dream?

What goes up, must come down
What goes round, must come round
What’s been lost, must be found

The Eagle Will Rise Again

And I, could easily fall from grace
Then another would take my place
For the chance to behold your face

And the days, of my life are but grains of sand
As they fall from your open hand
At the call of the winds’ command

Many words are spoken when there’s nothing to say
They fall upon the ears of those who don’t know the way
To read between the lines, that lead between the lines, that lead me to you

All that I ask you
Is, show me how to follow you and I’ll obey
Teach me how to reach you I can’t find my own way
Let me see the light, let me be the light

As the sun turns slowly around the sky
Till the shadow of night is high
The eagle will learn to fly

And the days of his life are but grains of sand
As they fall from your open hand
And vanish upon the land

Many words are spoken when there’s nothing to say
They fall upon the ears of those who don’t know the way
To read between the lines, by following the signs that can lead to you

But show me how to follow you and I’ll obey
Teach me how to reach you I can’t find my own way
Let me see the light, let me be the light

And so, with no warning, no last goodbye
In the dawn of the morning sky
The eagle will rise again

One More River

Don’t look back cause there’s one more river
Don’t turn your back you got one more river to cross
No more fightin’ and no more dyin’
No more cheatin’ and no more lyin’

Don’t look back cause there’s one more river
Don’t turn back you got one more river to cross
Don’t start askin’ the rhyme or reason
Don’t hold back it’s the time of the season

One more mile and one more road
One last bridge and one less load

One more river

Don’t look back you got one more river
Don’t turn your back you got one more river to cross
Don’t start askin’ the rhyme or reason
Don’t hold back it’s the time of the season

One more mile and one more road
One last bridge and one less load

One more river
One more river

Can’t Take it With You

Well I sympathise completely but there’s nothing I can do
I am just a humble servant with a message here for you
Well I know you have good reasons and there’s things you’ve got to do
But the boatman won’t be waiting and he’s leaving here with you

And you can’t take it with you
No matter what you do
No you can’t take it with you
Not the place you’re going to

(One more mile, one more road, one last bridge, one less load)

Well I sympathise completely but there’s nothing I can do
I am just obeying orders, I’m a simple soul like you
Well you really are persuasive, but I’ve heard it all before
And the boatman’s getting restless as he stands upon the shore

And you can’t take it with you
No matter what you do
No you can’t take it with you
Not the place you’re going to

Can’t take it with you
Can’t take it with you

In the Lap of the Gods

Hail to the king
Praise to our king
Hail to the king
And glory to his name forever
Hail to the king (Hosanna)
Praise to our king (Hosanna)
Hail to the king
And glory to his name (Hosanna)

Hosanna, hosanna
Hosanna
Oh
Oh
Hail to the king (Hosanna)
Praise to our king (Hosanna)
Hail to the king
And glory to his name forever (Ah)
Gloria
Gloria

Pyramania

There are pyramids in my head
There’s one underneath my bed
And my lady’s getting cranky
Every possible location
Has a simple explanation
And it isn’t hanky-panky

I had read
Somewhere in a book, they improve all your food and your wine
It said, that everything you grow in your garden would taste pretty fine
Instead, all I ever get is a pain in the neck and a
Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap

I’ve consulted all the sages
I could find in the yellow pages
But there aren’t many of them
And the mayan panoramas
On my pyramid pyjamas
Haven’t helped my little problem

I’ve been told
Someone in the know can be sure that his luck is as
Good as gold, money in the bank and you don’t even pay for it
If you fold, a dollar in the shape of the pyramid that’s printed on the back

It’s no lie
You can keep the edge of a razor as sharp as an
Eagle’s eye, you can grow a hedge that is vertically straight over
Ten feet high, all you really need is a pyramid and just a little luck

I had read
Somewhere in a book, they improve all your food and wine and
I’d been told, someone in the know can be sure of his good luck and
It’s no lie, all you really need is a little bit of pyramidic help

Hyper-Gamma-Spaces

(Instrumental)

Shadow of a Lonely Man

Look at me now, a shadow of the man I used to be
Look through my eyes and through the years of loneliness you’ll see

To the times in my life when I could not bear to lose, a simple game
And the least of it all was the fortune and the fame
But the dream seemed to end just as soon as it had begun, was I to know?
For the last thing of all that was on my mind, was the close at the end of the show

The shadow of a lonely man, feels nobody else
In the shadow of a lonely, lonely man
I can see myself

(Looking out of nowhere, looking out of nowhere)

But the sound of the crowds when they come to see me now, is not the same
And the jest of it all is I can’t recall my name
But I’ll cling to a hope till I can’t hold on anymore, anymore
And for all the acclaim I am all alone and I see as I look through the door

The shadow of a lonely man, there’s nobody else
In the shadow of a lonely, lonely man
I can see myself

Look at me now, a shadow of the man I used to be


Credits

Credits

1. VOYAGER (Instrumental) 2:14
Kantele – John Leach
Rhodes – Alan Parsons
Synths – Duncan Mackay
Projectron – Eric Woolfson
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott

2. WHAT GOES UP 3:31
Vocals – David Paton, Dean Ford
Rhodes – Eric Woolfson
Electric Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Acoustic Guitars – Ian Bairnson, David Paton
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
The English Chorale, Choirmaster – Bob Howes
Orchestra and Choir Arranged and Conducted by
Andrew Powell

3. THE EAGLE WILL RISE AGAIN 4:21
Vocal – Colin Blunstone
Clavichord and Virginal – Eric Woolfson
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – David Paton
Drums – Stuart Elliott
Autoharp – Andrew Powell
Backing Vocals – David Paton, Eric Woolfson, Alan Parsons
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

4. ONE MORE RIVER 4:18
Vocal and vocal FX – Lenny Zakatek
Electric Guitars and Backwards Wah-wah – Ian Bairnson
Acoustic Guitars – Ian Bairnson, David Paton
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Synths and Hammond – Duncan Mackay
Sax – Phil Kenzie
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

5. CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU 5:07
Vocals – Dean Ford
Additional Vocals – David Paton, Eric Woolfson
Electric Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Acoustic Guitars – Ian Bairnson, David Paton, Alan Parsons
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Piano – Eric Woolfson
Synths – Duncan Mackay

6. IN THE LAP OF THE GODS (Instrumental) 5:29
Middle Eastern Wooden Flute –
Unidentified member of the London Philharmonia
Cimbalom – John Leach
Piano and Organ – Eric Woolfson
Acoustic Guitars – Ian Bairnson, David Paton
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
The English Chorale, Choirmaster – Bob Howes
Orchestra and Choir Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

7. PYRAMANIA 2:44
Vocals – Jack Harris
Jangle Piano – Eric Woolfson
Synth – Duncan Mackay
Guitar – Ian Bairnson
Bass – David Paton, Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Synth Tuba and Honky-tonk solos – Duncan Mackay

8. HYPER-GAMMA-SPACES (Instrumental) 4:17
Wurlitzer and Projectron – Alan Parsons
Synths – Duncan Mackay
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott

9. SHADOW OF A LONELY MAN 5:39
Vocal – John Miles
Additional Vocal – Colin Blunstone
Piano – Eric Woolfson
Projectron – Alan Parsons
Acoustic Guitars – Ian Bairnson, David Paton
Bass – David Paton, Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Backing Vocals – Olive Simpson
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

Produced by Alan Parsons.
Executive Producer – Eric Woolfson
Engineered by Alan Parsons
Assistant Engineers – Pat Stapley, Chris Blair
Mastering by Chris Blair
Orchestral Contractor – David Katz
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London,
between September 1977 and February 1978

Colin Blunstone appears courtesy Rocket Records Ltd
Dean Ford appears courtesy EMI Records Ltd
Lenny Zakatek appears courtesy A&M Records
Special Thanks to Smokey and Hazel, EMI Technical
Engineers, Necam, & all at Abbey Road

Cover Design – Hipgnosis, Photos – Hipgnosis-Brimson

All tracks written by Eric Woolfson & Alan Parsons
Published by Woolfsongs Ltd/Careers Music Inc, (BMI)
Administered by Universal Music
(p) 1978 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment


Expanded Edition

Expanded Edition Includes these Bonus Tracks:

Amongst this collection of bonus material, there are several examples of the magical early takes and in this re-mastered version of Pyramid, for those interested in the process, there is a unique opportunity to glimpse behind the curtain of the recording process.

Here is a track listing of the bonus material included on the ‘Pyramid’ expanded edition album to whet your appetite!

Voyager/ What Goes Up/The Eagle Will Rise Again (Instrumental Version)

This was an early version of Voyager before it became extended into the version that was used on the album. It leads into basic tracks of What Goes Up and The Eagle Will Rise Again with orchestra and guide keyboards to which vocals were later added. In this version, elements of the recording, particularly the orchestra, can be heard clearly which were subsequently (out of necessity) submerged in the mix to support the vocals. The percussive keyboard sound on The Eagle Will Rise was a composite of some unusual traditional plucked keyboard instruments which Eric had collected and when played together, created this distinctive sound.

What Goes Up/ Little Voice (Early Version Demo)

Often in the studio there was experimentation with songs or sections of songs to see what worked in sequence. In developing ‘What Goes Up’ Eric included another song at one stage entitled ‘Little Voice’ which can be heard in this demo version, though it was subsequently not used.

Can’t Take It With You (Early Version Demo)

“This is a demo of the track at Abbey Road where (unusually) I was in the studio playing all the instruments. I’m particularly embarrassed about the drumming!” – AP

Hyper-Gamma-Spaces (Demo)

An early rough demo but it’s interesting to note that the basic format didn’t change that much. The title ‘Hyper-Gamma-Spaces’ came from Eric’s brother Richard, who is a mathematician and whose Doctoral Thesis carried this title. Eric felt it sounded a little bit Pink Floyd like which appealed to Alan and seemed to match the electronics that Alan had programmed as the basis for the track.

The Eagle Will Rise Again (Alternative Version Backing Track)

It was Eric’s intention on the Pyramid album to reprise some of the songs and he had anticipated ‘The Eagle Will Rise Again’ being revisited as a rock band version. This recording was a demo attempt, but the whole idea was abandoned as there was more than enough material already on the album.

In The Lap Of The Gods Part I (Demo)

This is an example of Eric’s guide piano which was subsequently replaced by Andrew Powell’s superb orchestrations, but in this bonus track the basis can clearly be heard.

In The Lap Of The Gods Part II (Backing Track Rough Mix)

A basic backing track of what later became the final version, it contains some impromptu musical contributions from various studio musicians which were excluded or adapted in the final version.