The Turn of a Friendly Card
The Turn of a Friendly Card is the fifth studio album by the British progressive rock band The Alan Parsons Project, released in 1980 by Arista Records. The title piece, which appears on side 2 of the LP, is a 16-minute suite broken up into five tracks, with the five tracks listed as sub-sections. The Turn of a Friendly Card spawned the hits "Games People Play" and "Time", the latter of which was Eric Woolfson's first lead vocal appearance.
|The Turn of a Friendly Card|
|Studio album by|
|Released||February 1, 1980 (US)|
|Recorded||Late 1979 to January 1980|
|Studio||Acousti Studio, Paris, France|
|The Alan Parsons Project chronology|
|1.||"May Be a Price to Pay"||Elmer Gantry||4:58|
|2.||"Games People Play"||Lenny Zakatek||4:22|
|4.||"I Don't Wanna Go Home"||Lenny Zakatek||5:03|
|1.||"The Gold Bug"||Instrumental||4:34|
|2.||"The Turn of a Friendly Card
||Chris Rainbow (1, 2, 5) Eric Woolfson (4), Instrumental (3)||16:24|
Though numbered as a single work, "The Turn of a Friendly Card" is split into five tracks.
The Turn of a Friendly Card was remastered and reissued in 2008 with the following bonus tracks:
- "May Be a Price to Pay" (Intro/demo)
- "Nothing Left to Lose" (Basic backing track)
- "Nothing Left to Lose" (Chris Rainbow overdub compilation)
- "Nothing Left to Lose" (Early studio version with Woolfson's guide vocal)
- "Time" (Early studio attempt)
- "Games People Play" (Rough mix)
- "The Gold Bug" (Demo)
- Stuart Elliott – drums, percussion
- David Paton – bass guitar
- Ian Bairnson – electric, acoustic and classical guitars; pedal steel guitar on "Time"
- Eric Woolfson – piano, harpsichord, lead vocals
- Alan Parsons – projection (synthesizer) on "Games People Play", whistling and finger snaps on "The Gold Bug", Clavinet on "The Gold Bug" and "The Ace of Swords", harpsichord on "The Ace of Swords", additional vocals on "Time"
- Chris Rainbow – lead and backing vocals
- Elmer Gantry – lead vocal
- Lenny Zakatek – lead and backing vocals
- The Philharmonia Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Andrew Powell
- Ted Jensen Original LP UK & US Pressings.
"The Gold Bug", which references the same-titled short story by Edgar Allan Poe, includes a whistling part by Parsons, who imitates the style of Ennio Morricone's legendary Spaghetti Western film themes, and wordless vocals by Rainbow, while the main theme is played on an alto saxophone. The saxophone player, originally credited as Mel Collins, is instead credited on the liner notes for the remastered edition as "A session player in Paris whose name escapes us"; this refers to the fact that the saxophone part is a composite of several separate takes. Similarly, the accordion part on "Nothing Left to Lose" is credited in the liner notes to "An unidentified Parisian session player". Also on "The Gold Bug", the newer liner notes credit a "Harmonized Rotating Triangle" to drummer Stuart Elliott. This refers to the phasing sound effects heard throughout the rhythm-free introduction to the piece.
|1980||The Billboard 200||13|
|1980||UK Albums Chart||38|
Certifications and salesEdit
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||7,500^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- The Turn of a Friendly Card at AllMusic
- Ennio Morricone's main theme for the 1964 film A Fistful of Dollars (as heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_UD-zxgRUs) similarly features a whistled melody over an arpeggiating acoustic guitar.
- Liner notes on The Turn of a Friendly Card remastered CD booklet
- "Canadian album certifications – The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of a Friendly Card". Music Canada.
- "French album certifications – The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of a Friendly Card" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (The Alan Parsons Project; 'The Turn of a Friendly Card')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
- "Dutch album certifications – The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of a Friendly Card" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter The Turn of a Friendly Card in the "Artiest of titel" box.
- "New Zealand album certifications – The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of a Friendly Card". Recorded Music NZ.
- "American album certifications – The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of a Friendly Card". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.
- "The Alan Parson Project. Phenomenon". Billboard. 25 July 1981. Retrieved 19 September 2018.