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Charted: February 1, 1986

Rating: 3.118 (average of 13 ratings)

Genre: progressive rock lite

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Stereotomy [7:15] v: John Miles
  2. Beaujolais [4:27] v: Chris Rainbow
  3. Urbania (instrumental) [4:34]
  4. Limelight [4:39] v: Gary Brooker
  5. In the Real World [4:17] v: John Miles
  6. Where's the Walrus? (instrumental) [7:34]
  7. Light of the World [ 6:22] v: Graham Dye
  8. Chinese Whispers (instrumental) [1:02]
  9. Stereotomy Two [1:18] v: John Miles
All tracks written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. The ‘v’ after the song listing indicates who does lead vocals.

Total Running Time: 41:28


sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 43
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Stereotomy (1/18/86) #82 US, #5 AR

Alan Parsons Project
"The Alan Parsons Project’s conceptual grandeur began to lose its potency right around the mid-'80's” (DeGagne). On Stereotomy, "one must really pay attention to the profound lyrics and loose structuring of the music to attain the concept that Parsons metaphorically dances around” (DeGagne). "The theme circles around the way in which the modern world molds the personality, the character, and the livelihood of the human being. People are but a slave to their lifestyle and their environment, and they are destined to be thrown into this situation at birth” (DeGagne).

"Stereotomy‘s identity as an album…was so dilute as to be nonexistent…the lack of unity and cohesion means that [this] is merely a collection of good songs and not a work in its own right” (Egbert).

"The elegant, Appolonian keyboard-based sound of albums like Eye in the Sky and Vulture Culture was gone, replaced with a drum and bass-heavy throb on the opening track. The production was still crisp and clean, the engineering exquisite” (Egbert), but "in many ways this was the end of any pretensions that Alan Parsons' was progressive rock…this was a stripped down and…almost…funky?…Project” (Egbert).

"John Miles’ angriness on the title track kicks things off, and his forceful voice makes for a passable rock tune” (DeGagne). This time around, the song notched a fitting place on the album rock tracks (#5), but once again was shunned by pop radio, peaking at a mere #82.

This is followed by the "new wave-tinged dance of Beajolais" (Egbert), a decent, but not overly memorable song.

"Limelight is almost Broadway in its sheer power” (Egbert). It is a beautiful song and one of the rare highlights on the album.

"Again with the help of Miles’ assertiveness” (DeGagne), In the Real World is a "vocal standout” (DeGagne) and "one of the greatest rock songs you've never heard” (Egbert). This song should have followed “Stereotomy” on to the album rock charts.

"Light of the World is a passionate, powerful ballad about spiritual seeking and longing” (Egbert).

"Two of the album's instrumentals, Where's the Walrus? and Urbania, conjure up mood and keep the listener slightly poised, causing some musical buoyancy among the blandness of the other tracks” (DeGagne). "The synth-laden wistfulness of Chinese Whispers" (Ebert) make up the third (!) instrumental on the album.

While The Project’s instrumentals may be a selling point to many fans, the presence of three of them, not to mention a very unnecessary reprise of the title cut, make the album feel lazy. Coupling that with Parsons’ growing weakness for presenting readily apparent concepts well supported by the songs makes for a mediocre effort. "Parsons's genius can be better investigated on numerous past releases, as this album proves to come up short (DeGagne).

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

previous album: Vulture Culture (1985) Alan Parsons Project’s DMDB page next album: Gaudi (1987)

Last updated April 4, 2008.