Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Turn of A Friendly Card (The Alan Parsons Project, 1980)

This is the only actual suite in APP's discography, a 16 minute title track, divided into five movements, most of which could easily be considered as stand alone songs: "The Turn of A Friendly Card (Part One)", "Snake Eyes" (also released as a single in the USA), "The Ace of Swords", "Nothing Left to Lose" and finally "The Turn of A Friendly Card (Part Two)". It's a bombastic, diversified epic, whose sections easily follow one another, pleasantly changing the tempos and the moods. As you surely know, the lyrics are about compulsive gambling, also tracing a parallel between life and card games.


I  like each and every note from this album!

The main theme - featuring in the first and last parts - is one of the best melodies by Parsons/Woolfson, a majestic and airy one. "Snake Eyes" is a rock song with an evil twist, while the electronic instrumental third section is in the traditional APP's style. The fourth movement, "Nothing Left to Lose", sung by Eric Woolfson himself, is a stunning acoustic ballad, an intimate interlude I particularly appreciate, just before the final crescendo. This suite proves that pop and prog can get along very well as far as great composers are involved.