Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Turn of a Friendly Card|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
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 su... more »
Eric Woolfson's Treatise on the Human Tragedy of Gambling Ad
Parrish A. Highley | Somewhere I've Never Travelled | 08/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If much of Peter Gabriel's lasting artistic legacy will be the principled stands he has taken for the cause of human rights, then a similar legacy should linger long after Eric Woolfson for his insights into the human tragedies of gambling addiction. While many superficial songs have been written on the subject, The Turn of a Friendly Card explores the excitement and disappointment, the folly and the wisdom that can sometimes come when there is Nothing Left To Lose. That song, in particular, embodies an uplifting melody around starkly somber lyrics that together create a sense of quiet resignation, a singularly unique emotion not heard in many songs. But as deeply as this concept album delves into these themes of mental addiction and the power of choice versus the unconscious, Woolfson delves even deeper in his musical GAMBLER where additionally the primal male fantasies of heroism are turned against the hero. This album benefits from not only the stellar production and engineering of Alan Parsons, but also from two of the finest instrumentals Parsons has ever composed: The Gold Bug and The Ace Of Swords.
If asked just what was The Alan Parsons Project, the simple answer would be a couple of musical geniuses who had the good sense to surround themselves with a bunch of other musical geniuses. Even a casual interest in the liner notes will reveal the unique talents of Andrew Powell who was solely responsible for all of the Project's orchestral arrangements. But far less obvious would be the tremendous contributions that guitarist Ian Bairnson made throughout the life of the Project in terms of arrangement and, all too often, extremely complicated key changes. On I Don't Wanna Go Home in particular, Bairnson places a single sheet of paper between the strings and the pickup of his guitar in order to achieve an almost unheard organic quality to his playing. Even Chris Rainbow deserves much more praise for his "rainbow effect" vocal harmonies laden throughout The Project catalog and showcased on the bonus material Nothing Left To Lose (Chris Rainbow Overdub Vocal Compilation) from the more recent remaster.
While I have heard some refer to The Alan Parsons Project as a poor man's Pink Floyd, I contend strongly that The Turn of a Friendly Card stands toe to toe with the best efforts Pink Floyd ever put forth. The range of styles, tempos, and moods are as diverse as those on The Floyd's most successful album Dark Side of the Moon 30th Anniversary Edition, but that should come as no surprise considering Parsons' substantial involvement in recording and engineering that masterpiece. While this album's influence may not go as deep and wide despite the success of the singles Time and Games People Play, it certainly should given the relevance of the subject matter in modern societies where gambling is more widely sanctioned than ever.
(Of the high-definition audio discs Classic Records has released by The Alan Parsons Project, this particular one would be the lesser of the three. While certainly an improvement over the original compact disc released by Arista, it should also be noted that there is quite a bit of tape hiss on this rendering. I would only recommend this HDAD over Sony's recent remaster if dynamic range is your chief concern. I actually prefer the overall presentation of Sony's Direct Stream Digital remaster, but the HDAD does get the honorary nod when it comes to dynamic range.)"
J. Lynch | SC, USA | 01/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must disagree with the other reviewer. The audio on this is WELL WORTH it. That is, IF, you can find this version anywhere!
Clarity like you've never heard before."
If you love The APP , then buy this disc!
Marty Gillis | Los Angeles, CA USA | 10/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently decided to take advantage of my Oppo DVD player's ability to play DVD Audio discs.. The first disc I ordered was Turn of a Friendly Card. I am blown away...... The sampling rates are so high with 24/192 and 24/ 96 respectively (one on each side) that after listening to this album for 30 years I am hearing stuff that was literally buried before. Those with 'good ears' will really appreciate the clarity and detailed sound. The difference between this and a standard CD is astounding.
These are stereo mixes, no surround mixes are offered which is fine with me as I wanted to hear AP's original mix in high fidelity. For the highest resolution mix you must use your analogue outs and ins. For the 24/96 mix you can use your coax or optical digital connection as they can both handle that much data in 2 channel stereo.
Honestly this is the best I have ever heard this album sounding. I was floored within minutes. The better your speakers or headphones are, the more you will appreciate the value of this disc. I am pretty sure Alan Parson's himself would give it a thumbs up. Sure wish the entire catalogue of APP titles were released in this format. Unfortunately most engineers consider DVD-A a dead format now so that is not likely. Glad I found this album before the supply dried up.
Very nice disc!
Steve Smith | USA | 09/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I listened to this album many many times back in the day! And i always liked it then! This is a DVD-A disc which means it's recorded directly from the 2ch master tape... If you have a higher end system you should definitely hear a difference from the normal retail CD. There was never a surround mix of this made "officially," there are a couple out there "faked" from the stereo CD but they're not from the original multi-track recording... AP him self said that he would love to do a surround mix of this album but getting the record company to pay for it is a different story! If it was an official 5.1 disc I would give it 5 stars!