The Alan Parsons Project - The Sicilian Defence (2014) (Hi-Res)

The Alan Parsons Project - The Sicilian Defence (2014) (Hi-Res)

Album preview
FLAC (tracks) 24bit-44.1kHz | Electronic, Instrumental, Prog Rock | 39 min | 400 MB

The Sicilian Defence is the twelfth studio album by The Alan Parsons Project, released in 2014. It was named after the Sicilian Defence, a famous chess opening. This was the final Alan Parsons Project studio album to be released, 24 years after the split of the band, and it has so far only been available as part of the eleven-CD box set The Complete Albums Collection (which omits the original mix of Tales of Mystery and Imagination and all bonus tracks from previous expanded reissues).

Originally recorded in 1979, it was never actually intended for release, but was sent to the band's label, Arista, as a sort of "chess move" as they did not feel they were given adequate time to make a new album while Eric Woolfson negotiated their contract, but were under obligation to deliver one anyway. As such, this album consists of incomplete sketches that were never fleshed out into proper songs, and whose titles follow a particular variation of the chess opening. "P-QB4"[a] was the first track to be released from the album, when a shortened version of it entitled "Elsie's Theme" was included on the 2008 remastered edition of Eve. It is thus the only track to be given a formal title unrelated to a chess move.

The Sicilian Defence was our attempt at quickly fulfilling our contractual obligation after I Robot, Pyramid, and Eve had been delivered. The album was rejected by Arista, not surprisingly, and we then renegotiated our deal for the future and the next album, The Turn of a Friendly Card. The Sicilian Defence album was never released and never will be, if I have anything to do with it. I have not heard it since it was finished. I hope the tapes no longer exist.

— Alan Parsons, 2005
It was made almost as a throwaway, contractual obligation album. It was made very quickly. We delivered Eve and The Sicilian Defence simultaneously and told the label “There are your last two albums. Now, give us a new deal.”[laughs] There were all kinds of politics that went on at the time. The Sicilian Defence is very instrumental. I don’t think there’s a single vocal on it. We’ve been pretty protective of it. I haven’t even possessed a copy of it since 1979 when it was made. Don’t hold your breath on this one. It’s interesting, but not the greatest piece of work.

— Alan Parsons, 2013
I'm happy that it's fulfilling a need to document, historically, the entire catalog of the Alan Parsons project, but it's not our finest hour by any stretch of the imagination. It was an album made under pressure. It doesn't have the polish or finesse that all the albums that were released previously had. It's really not up to the standard of the real Project albums. We just wanted to get it done. It was made in a hurry. It took three days, and that was a very small amount of time compared with the sometimes three or four months we might have spent making a proper album. 'The Sicilian Defense' is the title of a tactical move in the game of chess, but there was a real game of tactics going on in a very real sense with Eric and the label. Like I said, it's an interesting piece of history.

— Alan Parsons, 2016

1. P-K4 (5:07)
2. P-QB4 (6:23)
3. Kt-KB3 (3:07)
4. ...Kt-QB3 (1:16)
5. P-Q4 (3:55)
6. PxP (3:28)
7. KtxP (4:02)
8. Kt-B3 (0:54)
9. Kt-QB3 (8:16)
10. P-Q3 (3:30)

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