Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

(1976)

Based on the life and work of the great author and poet, Edgar Allan Poe. The later re-issue on CD (in 1987) was re-mixed from the original master tapes enhancing some of the tracks and including the Orson Welles narration, recorded for the original launch of the album in 1976.


Tracks

Tracks

  1. A Dream Within a Dream (Instrumental)
  2. The Raven
  3. The Tell-Tale Heart
  4. The Cask of Amontillado
  5. (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
  6. The Fall of the House of Usher: Prelude (Instrumental)
  7. The Fall of the House of Usher: Arrival (Instrumental)
  8. The Fall of the House of Usher: Intermezzo (Instrumental)
  9. The Fall of the House of Usher: Pavane (Instrumental)
  10. The Fall of the House of Usher: Fall (Instrumental)
  11. To One in Paradise

Memories

Memories

Eric recalls walking to school in Glasgow, he had to pass various cinemas which often had lurid Edgar Allan Poe film posters on display. He particularly remembers The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher. Eric was far too young to see the movies, but was intrigued by this forbidden fruit and when later in the 60s, he attended some evening marketing classes, in attempting to describe the new marketing concept, the lecturer mentioned a marketing statistic, namely that no film made from Edgar Allan Poe’s work had ever lost money. Eric was struck with the idea that if this were true, then perhaps an album inspired by his work might not lose money either and this was the genesis of Tales of Mystery and Imagination.

Eric has always been inspired by great creative minds, whether authors, architects or psychoanalysts. He regards Edgar Allan Poe as probably his greatest musical inspiration because not only were his works fascinating, his life was even more intriguing. Compared to Gaudi and Freud whose work enthralled Eric, but whose lives were mundane by comparison, he found Edgar Allan Poe doubly inspirational.

It seemed obvious that as part of the Fall of the House of Usher track, they would need the sound effect of thunder and lightning. When they were recording this particular piece, it was at the height of Summer in August in London and there was no probability of such weather conditions. The sound effects library had some fairly inadequate samples so they scoured the newspapers to see where weather conditions might be more promising. They were experimenting with a ‘dummy-head’ microphone which was supposed to give a highly realistic surround sound signal, even on a stereo recording and were prepared to fly anywhere in the world with this large rubber head to record the desired effect. Nowhere in the world indicated thunder storms and just as they were about to give up hope, the skies over Abbey Road opened up in the most torrential storm any of them had ever experienced. Alan quickly fitted some long leads to the dummy head, stuck it on a microphone stand and took it through to the garden behind the studio and they waited for the next peal of thunder. The rain was belting down so hard, it bounced off the rubber head making such a noise that the thunder could not be properly heard. Improvising quickly, Eric and the bass guitarist, David Paton, rushed into the rain and held a sheet above the dummy head to keep the rain off. Standing under the sheet which they held above their heads, Eric and David waited for the next peel of thunder which duly came and the two of them exploded into laughter, again totally wrecking the recording. Eventually, however, by not looking at each other, they managed to stifle their amusement and a satisfactory sound effect was obtained and used on the recording.

The orchestras were recorded in the Kings Way Hall in London which had a marvelous acoustic, but was next to a London Underground Station which caused no end of problems. The orchestral recording was frequently interrupted. If you can hear a very low rumble on the Tales of Mystery and Imagination album, it could be an Edgar Allan Poe effect, or more likely a London tube train!

After the album was completed and manufactured, Orson Welles made a recording which was used as part of the initial presentation of the album in Los Angeles. Parts of this recording were later incorporated into the digital re-mixed CD version.

Lyrics

Lyrics

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

A Dream Within a Dream (Instrumental)

“For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down in words,
with even more distinctness than that which I conceived it.
There is however a class of fancies, of exquisite delicacy, which are not thoughts, and
to which, as yet, I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt to language. These
fancies arise in the soul (alas, how rarely!) only at epochs of most intense tranquility
– when the bodily and mental health are in perfection – and at those mere points of
time where the confines of the waking world blend with the world of dreams.
And so I captured this fancy, where all that we see or seem is but a dream within
a dream.”

The Raven

The clock struck midnight
And through my sleeping
I heard a tapping at my door
I looked but nothing
Lay in the darkness
And so I turned inside once more

To my amazement
There stood a raven
Whose shadow hung above my door
Then through the silence
It spoke the one word
That I shall hear for evermore

Nevermore
Thus quoth the raven, nevermore

And still the raven
Remains in my room
No matter how much I implore
No words can soothe him
No prayer remove him
And I must hear for evermore

Quoth the raven, nevermore
Thus quoth the raven
Nevermore

Quoth the raven, nevermore
Thus quoth the raven
Nevermore

Nevermore, nevermore, nevermore, never
Nevermore, nevermore, never
Nevermore, nevermore, never

Nevermore, nevermore, nevermore, never
Nevermore, nevermore, never
Nevermore, nevermore

Nevermore

The Tell-Tale Heart

You should have seen him
Lying alone in helpless silence in the night
You should have seen him
You would have seen his eye reflecting in the light

So for the old man
Ashes to ashes, earth to earth and dust to dust
No one will see me
No one with guilt to share, no secret soul to trust

And he won’t be found at all
Not a trace to mark his fall
Nor a stain upon the wall

Louder and louder
Till I could tell the sound was not within my ears
You should have seen me
You would have seen my eyes grow white and cold with fear

Heard all the things in Heaven and Earth
I’ve seen many things in Hell
But his vulture’s eye of a cold pale blue
Is the eye of the Devil himself

Take me away now
But let the silence drown the beating of his heart
I can’t go on
Let me flee from this guilty secret that I carry
Please, set me free now

The Cask of Amontillado

By the last breath of the four winds that blow
I’ll have revenge upon Fortunato
Smile in his face I’ll say ‘come let us go
I’ve a cask of Amontillado’

Sheltered inside from the cold of the snow
Follow me now to the vault down below
Drinking the wine as we laugh at the time
Which is passing incredibly slow

(What are these chains that are binding my arms)
Part of you dies each passing day
(Say it’s a game and I’ll come to no harm)
You’ll feel your life slipping away

You who are rich and whose troubles are few
May come around to see my point of view
What price the Crown of a King on his throne
When you’re chained in the dark all alone

(Spare me my life only name your reward)
Part of you dies each brick I lay
(Bring back some light in the name of the Lord)
You’ll feel your mind slipping away

Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether

(Just what you need to make you feel better)
(Just what you need to make you feel)
(Just what you need to make you feel better)
(Just what you need to make you feel)

At the far end of your tether
And your thoughts won’t fit together
So you sleep light or whatever
And the night goes on forever
Then your mind change like the weather
You’re in need of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether

(Just what you need to make you feel better…)

Even clouds seem bright and breezy
‘Cause the livin’ is free and easy
See the rat race in a new way
Like you’re walkin’ up to a new day
It’s a wise thing if you’re clever
Take a lead from Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether

Find the end of a rainbow
Fly wherever the winds blow
Laugh at life like a sideshow
Just what you need to make you feel better

(Just what you need to make you feel better…)

Satisfaction altogether
Guaranteed by Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether

Find the end of a rainbow
Fly wherever the winds blow
Laugh at life like a sideshow
Just what you need to make you feel better

Don’t stop bringin’ the girls round
Don’t start havin’ a showdown
Keep on handin’ the jug round
All that you need is wine and good company

(Just what you need to make you feel better…)

The Fall of the House of Usher: Prelude
(Instrumental)

“Shadows of shadows passing. It is now 1831, and as always, I am absorbed with a
delicate thought. It is how poetry has indefinite sensations, to which end music is an
essential, since the comprehension of sweet sound is our most indefinite conception.
Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry; music, without the idea, is
simply music. Without music, or an intriguing idea, colour becomes pallor, man
becomes carcass, home becomes catacomb, and the dead are, but for a moment,
motionless … “

The Fall of the House of Usher: Arrival
(Instrumental)

The Fall of the House of Usher: Intermezzo
(Instrumental)

The Fall of the House of Usher: Pavane
(Instrumental)

The Fall of the House of Usher: Fall
(Instrumental)

To One in Paradise

If I could see the sky above
And my mind could be set free
As wild white horses reached the shore
I’d stand alone and oversee

And if the bush before me burns
Should I turn my eyes away
And still the voices I can hear (I’d say)
As clear to me as light of the day (come from Paradise)

I believed in my dreams
Nothing could change my mind (Nothing could change my mind)
Now I know what they mean
How could I be so blind

Cold sands of time
(Winds that blow as cold as ice
Sounds that come in the night)
Shall hide what is left of me
(Come from Paradise)

I’ve been through times when no one cared
(Words that were mine)
I’ve seen clouds in empty skies
(Clouds in empty skies)
When one kind word meant more to me
(Shall last as a memory)
Than all the love in Paradise

I believed in my dreams
Nothing could change my mind
(Nothing can save me)
(Nothing can save me)
(Nothing can save me now)
Till I found what they mean
Nothing can save me now

“And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy dark eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams–
In what ethereal dances
By what eternal streams.”

EDGAR (bonus track on Deluxe Edition)

When I was a lad they used to tell me
All about the Boogie Man
And wouldn’t Mother Mary let me believe in goblins
If I was a good boy I’d get a penny
Save it up to buy a violin
If I was a bad boy, nobody’d see, but he can
Look, there’s someone at the window!
Nothing child, I can’t see him
Look! He’s coming through the window!
Nothing child, it can’t be him

Three little choir boys walked through the graveyard
Imitating every colleague
Prowling around in search of a ghost or goblin
One held the bell, one held the candle,
One who had the book was me
Under the moon we conquered the demon, didn’t we?
Look, there’s someone at the window!
Nothing child, I can’t see him
Look! He’s coming through the window!
Nothing child, it can’t be him

Edgar by name, Edgar by nature
Apple of an evil eye
Frightened of lightning, frightened of night and goblins
Why did the children have to be told
That if you dare tell a lie
Wolfman and Dracula gonna drink you dry
Look, there’s someone at the window!
Nothing child, I can’t see him
Look! He’s coming through the window!
Nothing child, it can’t be him

Credits

Credits

I. A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM 4:13
Narration – Orson Welles (1987-Recorded 1976)
Bass – Joe Puerta, Drums – Stuart Tosh
Keyboards – Billy Lyall, Eric Woolfson
Electric Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Acoustic Guitars – David Paton, Ian Bairnson
Recorders – Billy Lyall, Backing Vocals – David Paton

2. THE RAVEN 3:57
Lead Vocals – Alan Parsons, EMI vocoder, Leonard Whiting
Bass – Joe Puerta, Drums – Burleigh Drummond
Additional Drums – Stuart Tosh
Guitars – David Pack
Keyboards – Christopher North, Eric Woolfson
Guitar Solo – Ian Bairnson (1987)
Backing Vocals – Eric Woolfson
Choir – Bob Howes and The English Chorale
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

3. THE TELL-TALE HEART 4:38
Lead Vocal – Arthur Brown, Additional Vocals – Jack Harris
Bass – David Paton
Drums, Timps and Backwards Cymbals – Stuart Tosh
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Keyboards – Billy Lyall and Eric Woolfson
Projectron – Alan Parsons
Synths – Alan Parsons (1987),
Lead Guitar – Ian Bairnson (1987)
Choir – Bob Howes and The English Chorale
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

4. THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO 4:33
Lead Vocals – John Miles
Additional Vocals – Terry Sylvester
Bass – David Paton, Drums – Stuart Tosh
Guitars – Ian Bairnson, Piano – Billy Lyall
Harpsichord – Eric Woolfson, Synths (1987) – Alan Parsons
Backing Vocals – Eric Woolfson
Choir – Bob Howes and The English Chorale
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

5. (The System Of)
DOCTOR TARR AND PROFESSOR FETHER 4:20
Lead Vocals – John Miles, Additional Vocals – Jack Harris
Bass – David Paton, Drums – Stuart Tosh
Guitars – Ian Bairnson, John Miles
Piano – Billy Lyall, Additional Keyboards – Eric Woolfson
Recorders – Alan Parsons
Crowd Noises – Abbey Road Effects Library
Cathedral Organ – Alan Parsons (1987)

6. THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (Instrumental)
(I) PRELUDE 7:02
Narration – Orson Welles (1987)
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell
Bass – Les Hurdle
Orchestra Leaders – David Katz and Jack Rothstein

7. (II) ARRIVAL 2:39
Bass – David Paton, Drums and Percussion – Stuart Tosh
Guitars – Ian Bairnson, Keyboard Loop – Eric Woolfson, Andrew Powell
Organ – Francis Monkman and Eric Woolfson
Projectron and Synths – Alan Parsons
Thunder and Storm effects recorded outside Abbey Road Studio Two
during a freak storm, using a binaural ‘Dummy’ recording head

8. (III) INTERMEZZO 1:00
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell
9. (IV) PAVANE 4:36
String Bass – Darryl Runswick, Drums – Stuart Tosh
Acoustic Guitars – Laurence Juber, Kevin Peek, Harp – David Snell
Harpsichord – Francis Monkman, Cimbalom & Kantele – John Leach
Organ – Andrew Powell, Mandolin – Hugo D’Alton
Synth – Eric Woolfson (1987)

10. (V) FALL 0:51
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell
FX, Synths and Projectron – Alan Parsons

11. TO ONE IN PARADISE 4:46
Lead Vocal – Terry Sylvester
Additional Vocals – Eric Woolfson, Alan Parsons
Bass – David Paton, Drums – Stuart Tosh
Electric Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Acoustic Guitars – Ian Bairnson, David Paton
Fender Rhodes & Glockenspiel – Billy Lyall
Choir – Westminster City School Boys Choir
Backing Vocals – Jane Powell, Narration – Leonard Whiting

Produced and Engineered by Alan Parsons
Executive Producer – Eric Woolfson
Assistant Engineers – Chris Blair and Patrick Stapley
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios except ‘Prelude’, ‘Intermezzo’ and
‘Fall’ recorded at Kingsway Hall, London (Engineering consultant – Gordon Parry)
and ‘The Raven’ recorded at Mama Jo’s Studio, North Hollywood
(Assistant Engineer – Tom Trefethen)
Tony Richards was Assistant Engineer on the 1987 remix which was
partially re-recorded and mixed at The Grange Studios, Kent, England
Original artwork – Hipgnosis

All tracks written by Eric Woolfson & Alan Parsons except ‘The Fall of the
House of Usher’ written by Eric Woolfson, Alan Parsons & Andrew Powell
Published by Woolfsongs Ltd/ Careers Music Inc
Administered by Universal Music
Originally released 1976.
(c) 1976, (p) 1987 The Island Def Jam Music Group


BOX SET


tom-box

The box set includes:

  • A 60 page book on the making of the album
  • Replica 1976 press kit
  • Original album poster
  • Tape-man sticker
  • The original album presented for the first time ever in a 5.1 surround sound mix (Bluray) from the original multi-tracks mastered by Alan Parsons at Capitol Studios, LA
  • 2-LP set of the original 1976 recording, half speed mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road, March 2016
  • 3 CDs (the 1976 original mix, the 1987 remix, both with the Deluxe bonus tracks, plus a whole CD of over 70 minutes of previously unreleased bonus material)
  • Stunning 60-page coffee table book with photographs and new interviews about the making of the album

CD DISC ONE:

  1. A Dream Within A Dream
  2. The Raven
  3. The Tell-Tale Heart
  4. The Cask Of Amontillado
  5. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
  6. The Fall Of The House Of Usher (suite) i: Prelude – ii: Arrival – iii: Intermezzo – iv: Pavane – v: Fall
  7. To One In Paradise (Original 1976 edition)
  8. The Raven (Original Demo)
  9. Edgar (Demo Of An Unreleased Track)
  10. Orson Welles Radio Spot
  11. Interview with Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson

CD DISC TWO:

  1. A Dream Within A Dream
  2. The Raven
  3. The Tell-Tale Heart
  4. The Cask Of Amontillado
  5. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
  6. The Fall Of The House Of Usher (suite) i: Prelude – ii: Arrival – iii: Intermezzo – iv: Pavane – v: Fall
  7. To One In Paradise (1987 Remix)
  8. Eric’s Guide Vocal Medley
  9. Orson Welles Dialogue
  10. Sea Lions In The Departure Lounge
  11. GBH Mix (Unreleased Experiments)

CD DISC THREE: (ALL MATERIAL PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)

  1. Album Launch at Los Angeles Planetarium – Introduction by Warren Duffy
  2. Dream Within A Dream (Piano Takes)
  3. Dream Within A Dream (Recorder Takes)
  4. Dream Within A Dream/The Raven (Early Mix with Eric on Vocoder)
  5. The Raven (Out-take and Extended Jam)
  6. The Tell Tale Heart (Eric Guide Vocal)
  7. Cask Of Amontillado (Rough mix – piano and backing vocals)
  8. Cask Of Amontillado (Eric and Alan Guide Vocals) / Dr Tarr and Professor Fether (Early Rough Mix)
  9. Dr Tarr and Professor Fether (Vocal Take)
  10. Dr Tarr and Professor Fether – (Eric Guide Vocal)
  11. Prelude (Orchestral Take 19)
  12. Pavane (Experimenting & Take 1)
  13. To One In Paradise (Rough Mix)
  14. Interview with Alan and Eric – London, August 1987

BLURAY DISC FOUR

  • Menu screen with slide show

Original 1976 / 5.1 Mix by Alan Parsons, Mixed at Capitol Studios, LA, June 2016

  1. A Dream Within A Dream
  2. The Raven
  3. The Tell-Tale Heart
  4. The Cask Of Amontillado
  5. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
  6. The Fall Of The House Of Usher (suite) i: Prelude – ii: Arrival – iii: Intermezzo – iv: Pavane – v: Fall
  7. To One In Paradise

Original 1976 / 96/24 HD Mix by Alan Parsons, Mixed at Capitol Studios, LA, June

  1. A Dream Within A Dream
  2. The Raven / The Tell-Tale Heart
  3. The Cask Of Amontillado
  4. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
  5. The Fall Of The House Of Usher (suite) i: Prelude – ii: Arrival – iii: Intermezzo – iv: Pavane – v: Fall
  6. To One In Paradise

2-LP SET: Original 1976 Recording / Half speed mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road, March 2016

LP 1 / SIDE 1

  1. A Dream Within A Dream
  2. The Raven / The Tell-Tale Heart

LP 1 / SIDE 2

  1. The Cask Of Amontillado
  2. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether

LP 2 / SIDE 1

  1. The Fall Of The House Of Usher: i: Prelude – ii: Arrival – iii: Intermezzo – iv: Pavane- v: Fall

LP 2 / SIDE 2

  1. To One In Paradise
  2. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether (Single Version)
  3. The Raven (Single Version)
  4. To One In Paradise (Single Version)


BLU-RAY


app_br_fcbox

The blu-ray includes:

  • Menu screen with slide show

Original 1976 / 5.1 Mix by Alan Parsons, Mixed at Capitol Studios, LA, June 2016

  1. A Dream Within A Dream
  2. The Raven
  3. The Tell-Tale Heart
  4. The Cask Of Amontillado
  5. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
  6. The Fall Of The House Of Usher (suite) i: Prelude – ii: Arrival – iii: Intermezzo – iv: Pavane – v: Fall
  7. To One In Paradise

Original 1976 / 96/24 HD Mix by Alan Parsons, Mixed at Capitol Studios, LA, June

  1. A Dream Within A Dream
  2. The Raven / The Tell-Tale Heart
  3. The Cask Of Amontillado
  4. (The System Of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
  5. The Fall Of The House Of Usher (suite) i: Prelude – ii: Arrival – iii: Intermezzo – iv: Pavane – v: Fall
  6. To One In Paradise


DELUXE VERSION

Deluxe version includes these bonus tracks:


As well as including the re-mastered original 1976 version and 1987 re-mix version of the album, the new Tales of Mystery and Imagination Double CD Deluxe package also contains the following bonus material:

The Raven (original demo)

EW “Before I had even met Alan, I had gone in the studio to attempt several demos which could eventually comprise an Edgar Allan Poe “Project”. This attempt was made in the early 70s.”

Edgar (original demo of an unreleased track)

EW “I had hoped to include this song as part of the Project’s first recording, but was dissuaded by a record company executive.”

Orson Welles Radio Spot

AP “Welles was given a script for narration and radio spots. He had not heard any music at this point. We took his dialogue and the music from the album and played around with it. One of the results was this radio commercial which was used in the US advertising campaign.”

Interview with Alan and Eric 1976

AP “Warren Duffy who had worked in radio for many years and who had been a long-standing associate of The Beach Boys, assembled this promotional Q & A session with Eric and myself just before the album’s original release..”

Eric’s Guide Vocal Medley

EW “I always sang a ‘guide’ version of the songs I had written in order to play the material to chosen vocalists for them to learn. This is an edited collection from the archives of my rough guide vocals.”

Orson Welles Dialogue

AP “This is the full content of Welles’ tape (without music). There is a segment that was not included anywhere on the previously heard narration or the radio spots.”

Sea Lions in the Departure Lounge – experiment with sound effects

EW “We had hours of amusement playing with sound effects and this example has survived. It consists of a rough mix of a section of ‘The Fall Of The House of Usher’ where the traveller approaches the menacing and mysterious building, knocks on the door and enters an airport departure lounge inhabited by sea-lions and sheep!”

GBH Mix – unreleased experiments

AP “While recording the album, we were concerned that somebody else might steal the idea of an Edgar Allan Poe theme, so we kept it secret from all the session players, vocalists and Abbey Road staff. Obviously the real titles would have given the Poe concept away, so we chose deliberately confusing titles that only had meaning to Eric and myself. For example “The Cask Of Amontillado” became Bristol Cream, The Raven became The Raver, and although it never made it to this album, The Murders In The Rue Morgue became “GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm) In A French Street”. Arthur Brown saw through the veil, but with the lyrics he was given it was understandable. The Bonnie And Clydesque ragtime track was an early attempt at Tarr and Fether, but bears no resemblance to the final version. Other snippets include out of context extracts from Usher and A Dream Within A Dream