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Tales Of Mystery And Imagination - Edgar Allan Poe

Tales Of Mystery And Imagination - Edgar Allan Poe

1 Jan 1983
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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  • Sample this album
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1
4:14
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2
3:57
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3
4:38
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4:33
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4:20
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7:02
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2:39
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1:00
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9
4:36
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10
0:51
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11
4:46
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1983
  • Release Date: 12 May 1992
  • Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
  • Copyright: ℗© 1987 The Island Def Jam Music Group
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 42:36
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KW9UAS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,777 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'll never forget the first work by Edgar Allan Poe I ever read: it was "The Tell-Tale Heart," and Poe's short story about a madman who kills and dismembers an old man by whose "evil eye" he feels haunted soon outgrew the high school class assignment it had originally been for me; and the narrator's nightmares began to haunt me, too. (Yes, I was an impressionable 16-year-old, but Poe really *was* the master of horror for all ages.) Alan Parsons's rendition of the story on the third track of "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" does full justice to its sense of lunacy masquerading as clairvoyance, and the urgency of the narrator's acts, driven by the sound of the old man's beating heart, hidden below the floor boards of his room, and symbolized here by the steady bass and drum beat underlying the entire track - except for the deceptively serene bridge ("And he won't be found at all, not a trace to mark his fall nor a stain upon the wall"), after which it returns with all the greater force, accentuated by the grating sound of an electric guitar which, along with the bassline and drums, causes some to describe this song as more of a traditional rock song than the other parts of this album.
The album starts with an instrumental based on the poem "Dream Within a Dream," and the brief Poe quote from 1846's "Marginalia" (where "Dream Within a Dream" was also published), spoken by Orson Welles and added only on 1987's remastered CD. In many ways, this quote sets the theme for the entire album, and for Poe's work in general: "There is ... a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy which are not thoughts ... These fancies arise in the soul, alas how rarely ... at those weird points of time, where the confines of the waking world blend with the world of dreams. ...
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Format: Audio CD
This is a fine album, an absolute classic but I have still to learn to love the CD version with Mr Parson's tinkering.
I find the addition of synth and guitars irritating as some of the best musical passages are obscured by unnecessary additional instruments.
The addition of Orson Wells to the start of "A Dream Within a Dream" is simply scandalous! The opening of this track was a lovely build up to the beautiful craftsmanship that is the rest of the album, instead this is masked by a narrative.
Parsons formed the project on the back of his work with Pink Floyd and the quality of the production is testimony to his pedigree.
For me, the original recording does not need any enhancement it stands the test of time as a classic. This version remains excellent and it is a delight to hear the clarity but I would prefer to be listening to a CD of the original.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a review of the Blu-ray audio version of this album The Alan Parsons Project Tales Of Mystery and Imagination 40th Anniversary Edition. The album always had exceptionally good sound, as can be expected from Mr. Parsons (who was the sound engineer on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon). The high resolution audio versions on this disc offer the closest available approach to listening to the actual analogue master tapes. The 1987 version of the album (with added narration by Orson Welles) has been remixed in 5.1 by Alan Parsons. The result is spectacular. The sound field is as immersive as it can be, with some neat but never gimmicky surround effects and a wide dynamic range. The original 1976 version of the album is included in high resolution stereo only. This exact version can also be downloaded with a code from the enclosed voucher. A 16 page booklet with lyrics, artwork, credits and a technical note by Mr. Parsons is included.
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Format: Audio CD
The problem with many '70's pop/rock recordings is that they were often mixed very "close up" and, sometimes, almost in mono, with little bass and treble energy, so the LP medium could best cope with it. Such is almost certainly the case with this wonderful collection of tracks. I love the flow of the original version, especially the thunder claps/knocking sequence on The Fall Of The House Of Usher, which I still have (the gatefold sleeve's artwork is great too...).

There is a real danger that if this original version had been released on CD as-is, "we'd" all be complaining about the sound [...]. It would appear that Mr Parsons decided to redo the mix [...] for CD...

There's no doubt at all of the superior "layering" of the sounds in this version. The drums have been mixed back in perspective to give everything else room to breathe. A couple of parts have been re recorded to remove the "analogue" hiss and distortion. The orchestration on "side 2" now has a better perspective to my ears - one can hear the musicians well spread out in front of you, rather than all clumped together in a sometimes muddy puddle.... The shame for me was the timing relationship between the thunder and door pounding on 'Usher has been changed. Still, I've lived with this mix now for twenty years or so...

The thing is, the mastering techniques for "vintage" seventies multi track recordings have improved so much in recent times that a good overall job could probably now be done with the original...

The album as it currently stands MORE than deserves 5 stars.
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