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November 17, 2016

The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn Of A Friendly Card (1980) – Lp

by Record Facts

The Alan Parsons Project were a British progressive rock band, active between 1975 and 1990, consisting of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson surrounded by a varying number of session musicians and some relatively consistent band members such as guitarist Ian Bairnson, bassist and vocalist David Paton, drummer Stuart Elliott, and vocalist Lenny Zakatek.

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Artist:  The Alan Parsons Project
Title:  The Turn Of A Friendly Card
Year:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:   Arista Records
Catalog#  203000

The Turn of a Friendly Card is the fifth studio album by the British progressive rock band The Alan Parsons Project, released on 1 November 1980 by Arista Records. The title piece of the album, which appears on Side 2 of the LP, is a 16-minute suite, which was broken up into five tracks, with the five sub-tracks listed as sub-sections. The Turn of a Friendly Card album spawned the hits “Games People Play” and “Time“, the latter of which was Eric Woolfson‘s first lead vocal appearance.

With two of the Alan Parsons Project‘s best songs, the lovely ballad “Time” and the wavy-sounding “Games People Play,” The Turn of a Friendly Card remains one of this group’s most enjoyable albums. Parsons‘ idea, the subject of the album’s six tracks, centers around the age-old temptation of gambling and its stranglehold on the human psyche. On “Games People Play,” vocalist Lenny Zakatek sounds compelling and focused, giving the song a seriousness that aids in realization of the album’s concept. With “Time,” it is Eric Woolfson who carries this luxurious-sounding ode to life’s passing to a place above and beyond any of this band’s other slower material. The breakdown of human willpower and our greedy tendencies are highlighted in the last track, entitled “The Turn of a Friendly Card,” which is broken into five separate parts. “Snake Eyes,” sung by Chris Rainbow, is the most compelling of the five pieces, and ties together the whole of the recording. As in every Parsons album, an instrumental is included, in this case an interesting number aptly titled “The Gold Bug.” Like most of the band’s instrumentals, its flow and rhythm simulate the overall tempo and concept of the album, acting as a welcome interlude. Although short, The Turn of a Friendly Card is to the point and doesn’t let down when it comes to carrying out its idea.

 

Side one
1.  May Be a Price to Pay  (lead vocal Elmer Gantry)   (4:58)
2.  Games People Play  (lead vocal Lenny Zakatek)   (4:22)
3.  Time  (lead vocal Eric Woolfson backing vocal Alan Parsons)   (5:04)
4.  I Don’t Wanna Go Home  (lead vocal Lenny Zakatek)   (5:03)

Side two
1.  The Gold Bug  (instrumental)   (4:34)
2.  The Turn of a Friendly Card (Part One)  (lead vocal Chris Rainbow)   (2:44)
3.  Snake Eyes  (lead vocal Chris Rainbow)   (3:14)
4.  The Ace of Swords  (instrumental)   (2:57)
5.  Nothing Left to Lose  (lead vocal Eric Woolfson)   (4:07)
6.  The Turn of a Friendly Card (Part Two)  (lead vocal Chris Rainbow)   (3:22)

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