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The Alan Parsons Project - The Turn Of A Friendly Card CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

3.49 | 361 ratings

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3 stars Turn Of A Friendly Card is the fifth Alan Parsons Project studio album, and the second to draw its inspiration from the work of the brilliant 19th century Amercian writer Edgar Allan Poe. While the 5 part title track and the opening fanfare might lead you to believe that this is a prog-rock record, all such thoughts will disappear the moment the Foreigner/Survivor style main rhythm of May Be A Price To Pay kicks in.

The jazzy piano runs aside, May Be A Price To Pay really is as prog as Paul McCartney & The Wings' Band On The Run, but I happen to really like it. The AOR feel continues through Games People Play (which again is an excellent pop/rock song), although the truly beautiful Pink Floyd-influenced Time (yes, I know it's got that title, but it's closer in style to Us And Them) makes for an abrupt change of pace. Despite an interesting intro and some jazzy inflections, I Don't Want To Go Home is another middle of the road rocker. The sax- driven instrumental The Gold Bug is pretty ordinary, despite its somewhat spacey, dreamy rhythm and vocal backing.

The highlight of this album however has to be the 5 part title track which is not really a prog work per se but a few shorter songs strung together. Part (ii) Snake Eyes is yet another (excellent) rock stomper and part (iii) The Ace Of Swords is great orchestral prog, albeit with disco-ish backing! However parts (i) The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Part One), (iv) Nothing Left To Lose and (v) The Turn Of A Friendly Card (Part Two) are some of my favourite melodies all of time. By any band! I really, really love these parts, with glorious lyrics and tunes that speak directly to my soul.

There is a usual gamut of guest vocalists like Elmer Gantry, Lenny Zakatek and Chris Rainbow, although Parsons' musical partner Eric Woolfson delivers two of the most moving leads in Time and Nothing Left To Lose. As usual the session musicians are super-tight and don't play with much individuality, leaving me somewhat conflicted when I assess this album. It's my favourite APP album and I rate it among my top couple of hundred albums ever. I love it a lot, and I feel that everyone ought to hear it, but I must warn you that I do question its prog credentials. ... 69% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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