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Does Alan Parsons Think Lady Antebellum Ripped Him Off?

Lady Antebellum‘s ‘Need You Now’ was a crossover smash in 2010, and a multiple Grammy winner the following year, but it was also dogged by accusations that it was an obvious (and uncredited) rewrite of the Alan Parsons Project’s 1982 hit ‘Eye in the Sky.’

Parsons has heard those accusations, as he admitted during a recent interview with Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times — but he’s too diplomatic to weigh on the controversy himself. Asked if he agreed with those who say ‘Need You Now’ borrows too heavily from ‘Eye in the Sky,’ he demurred, “I’ve heard people say that. No comment on that from me.”

In fact, these days, Parsons is far more interested in touring than in recorded music in general; as he told Zwecker, “I seem to be doing a lot of live performing, which pays the rent, but also something I really enjoy. Frankly, it’s more rewarding in many ways than merely selling records — instant gratification. That’s what it’s all about.”

Part of the problem, he admitted, is that “We don’t live in an album world anymore. Everything is a single download. Record sales and CD sales are down significantly. Everybody’s going to Pandora and Spotify and iTunes and that’s the way people are getting music delivered now.” And while that doesn’t mean he’s abandoned the studio — he said he’d be working on a follow-up to Steven Wilson’s ‘The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)’ — he is dissatisfied with the way people are listening to his work.

Saying he’s trying “to make the MP3 format go away,” Parsons argued, “There are better quality formats out there. In fact, my new single, ‘Fragile,’ which we are just now releasing, we are offering as a less-money download than the MP3. We’re trying to set a trend with that.” As he told Billboard, ‘Fragile’ might be the start of a new full-length effort. “It’s got the makings of a new album,” he mused. “We’ve actually got three or four candidates for an album now — but what’s an album in this download world? It’s quite different now than it was in the ’70s. So we’re thinking about putting out a full-blown album, but for the moment we’re concentrating on live stuff.”

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