Alan Parsons Project’s cursed album is released: ‘The Sicilian Defense’

About a month ago, on March 31, The Alan Parsons Project ‘Complete Albums’ box was published, which includes ‘The Sicilian Defense’, an album that was never released by Arista, and that has a long history. less curious.

In 1981, the group and Arista Records were in the middle of tense contract negotiations that seemed to be blocked and were leading nowhere, at least to Alan Parsons and his partner, the missing Eric Woolfson. This was the origin of ‘The Sicilian Defense’, which metaphorically represented a goodbye kiss designed to fulfill contractual obligations and which would later be relegated when both parties reached an agreement.

The album was created and recorded by Parsons and Woolfson in a three-day session at Bear Studios in France and was delivered to Arista in March 1981 amid tense negotiations between the duo and Clive Davis, representative of Arista at that time. The title given to the album comes from the name of a series of chess opening moves, a very apt name at the time considering the circumstances surrounding the album. It is a collection of dissonant and atonal music, actually a collection of instrumental songs halfway between improvisation and the outline of potential songs, all on piano or synthesizer, very far from what Davis expected from the band, for which was shelved in Arista’s archives until the publication of Gaudi in 1987, the last collaboration album between Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, which ended their relationship when Freudiana was published, actually a rock opera composed by Eric. in which Parsons only collaborated on one topic.

The legend grew among the fans of the duo, until in an act of humor, Alan Parsons decided to include an edited version of the song “Elsie’s theme”, which came from the Sicilian Defense, as a bonus theme for the extended edition of Eve. Posted the topic, the popular clamor and the legend stopped.

And, originally, at that time, 1979, the band was saturated with studio work and wanted a break, to which Arista refused and decided to set expiration dates for the band’s third and fourth album. For that reason Alan Parsons Project decided to record two albums at the same time: ‘Eve’ and ‘The Sicilian Defense’, the latter composed and recorded in a bad way to give an inaccessible and inaudible result to Arista’s sweet tooth, who textually rejected the work. by “incomprehensible, unheard and unpublishable.” Even Parsons has said on several occasions that he hoped the album would never see the light of day: “The Sicilian Defense was never released and never will be if it’s up to me. I haven’t heard it since we finished it. I hope the tapes no longer exist. “

Regarding the publication of the album now, the musician, producer and sound engineer said: “It is something like a historical piece that serves to document the entire catalog of the group, but it is not among the best we did, not even close. The album was born under pressure and is not cared for, nor polished, on the same level as everyone else. It does not reach the level of the legitimate albums of the Project. ”

  • Alan Parsons Project’s official website:

– Much more on the blog ‘Discover Pandora’s Box’: