The Turn of a Friendly Card

The Turn of a Friendly Card

(1980)

Inspired by the theatricality of casino gambling as exemplified in Las Vegas and Monte Carlo. The concept of ‘risk’ at the gambling tables has obvious parallels to the risks we take in life.

Tracks

Tracks

  1. May Be a Price to Pay
  2. Games People Play
  3. Time
  4. I Don’t Wanna Go Home
  5. The Gold Bug (Instrumental)
  6. The Turn of a Friendly Card (Part 1)
  7. The Turn of a Friendly Card: Snake Eyes
  8. The Turn of a Friendly Card: The Ace of Swords (Instrumental)
  9. The Turn of a Friendly Card: Nothing Left to Lose
  10. The Turn of a Friendly Card (Part 2)

Memories

Memories

(Eric Woolfson) “I’ve often, in common with many other writers, been inspired at the oddest of moments and one of the things that did start the creative juices flowing was actually sitting in casinos in Monte Carlo, with the din going on of people with machines, people talking, people moving about, and all the hustle and bustle that goes on there. It stimulated the writing of the track in particular ‘Turn of a Friendly Card’ and of course the track ‘Snake Eyes'”

As Eric was living in Monaco at the time this album was being prepared, and as life in Monaco tended to revolve around the casino, it is no surprise Eric found inspiration there for his work. In the mid 60s, Eric had written a song called ‘Turn of a Friendly Card’ which was totally different to what eventually appeared on this album. Although he wasn’t satisfied with the original song, he really liked the title and re-worked it for this album which was of course related to the theme of gambling.

The whole album is meant to be a warning about the dangers of casino gambling. The song ‘Snake Eyes’ has the lead singer singing the lines “Snake Eyes, Seven Eleven” and on the craps table if one were to make the bets known as ‘snake eyes’ as well as ‘seven eleven’, one would always lose, much like betting on red and black at the same time at the roulette table. There was a well known psychology book entitled ‘Games People Play’ which Eric’s wife Hazel was reading at the time and Eric found this title translated nicely to the gambling medium. “The Gold Bug” title of one of the instrumental tracks is the title of an Edgar Allan Poe short story. “The Ace of Swords” title came from a pack of Tarot cards.

Lyrics

Lyrics

All lyrics by Eric Woolfson & Alan Parsons © Woolfsongs Ltd / Careers Music, Inc.

May Be A Price To Pay

Something’s wrong in this House today
While the Master was riding the Servants decided to play
Something’s wrong in this House today
Something’s been going on there may be a price to pay

There’s evil brewing, getting out of control
And I’m helpless I can’t put it right
Something’s unrighteous is possessing my soul
And it’s cold in the heat of the night

Something’s wrong in this House today
While the Sorcerer slept the Apprentice decided to play

While the Master was hiding the Servants decided to play
Might be too much Sun or too much of something in the Air
Whatever’s happening nobody else is aware

There’s evil brewing, getting out of control
And I’m helpless I can’t put it right
Something unrighteous is possessing my soul
And it’s cold in the heat of the night

Something’s wrong in this House today
Something’s been going on there may be a price to pay

Games People Play

Where do we go from here now that all other children are growin’ up
And how do we spend our lives if there’s noone to lend us a hand

I don’t wanna live here no more, I don’t wanna stay
Ain’t gonna spend the rest of my life, Quietly fading away

Games people play, You take it or you leave it
Things that they say, Honor Brite
If I promise you the Moon and the Stars, Would you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Where do we go from here now that all of the children have grown up
And how do we spend our time knowin’ nobody gives us a damn

I don’t wanna live here no more, I don’t wanna stay
Ain’t gonna spend the rest of my life, Quietly fading away

Games people play, You take it or you leave it
Things that they say, Just don’t make it right
If I’m telling you the truth right now, Do you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Games people play, You take it or you leave it
Things that they say, Honor Brite
If I promise you the Moon and the Stars, Would you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Games people play, You take it or you leave it
Things that they say, Just don’t make it right
If I’m telling you the truth right now, Do you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Time

Time, flowing like a river
Time, beckoning me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river
To the sea

Goodbye my love, Maybe for forever
Goodbye my love, The tide waits for me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea

Till it’s gone forever
Gone forever
Gone forevermore

Goodbye my friends, Maybe for forever
(Goodbye my love, now I must leave)
Goodbye my friends, the stars wait for me
(Who knows when we shall meet again)
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea

Till it’s gone forever
Gone forever
Gone forevermore

Forevermore
Forevermore

I Don’t Wanna Go Home

Go back home you damn fool
Surely you know you can’t win
You should never have come near this place
You should have stayed on the outside (lookin’ in)

It’s too late to turn back
Nobody asked you to try
But they blinded you with diamonds
And all the money that money can buy

And I’m so afraid of being on my own
But I don’t wanna go home

You can’t win you damn fool
You drank all the wine from the cup
And your painted lady’s gone now
And you’re way back on the downside (lookin’ up)

You can’t catch the monkey on your back
Nobody asked you to try
But for every heart they held a spade
And you lost more than money can buy

And I’m so afraid of being on my own
But I don’t wanna go home

I’m like a washed up rag, tattered and torn
I wish I’d never been born

And I’m so afraid of being on my own
But I don’t wanna go home

I’m like a down and out just blowin’ my horn
Oh I don’t wanna go home

I’m like a washed up rag, tattered and torn
Oh I don’t wanna go home

The Gold Bug

(Instrumental)

The Turn of a Friendly Card

The Turn of a Friendly Card (Part 1)

There are unsmiling faces and bright plastic chains
And a wheel in perpetual motion
And they follow the races and pay out the gains
With no show of an outward emotion

And they think it will make their lives easier
For God knows up till now it’s been hard

But the game never ends when your whole world depends
On the turn of a friendly card
No the game never ends when your whole world depends
On the turn of a friendly card

There’s a sign in the desert that lies to the west
Where you can’t tell the night from the sunrise
And not all’s the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Have prevented the fall of the unwise

For they think it will make their lives easier
And God knows up till now it’s been hard

But the game never ends when your whole world depends
On the turn of a friendly card
No the game never ends when your whole world depends
On the turn of a friendly card

But a pilgrim must follow in search of a shrine
As he enters inside the cathedral…

Snake Eyes

Snake eyes
Seven eleven
Don’t let me down boys
Gimme
Snake eyes
Seven eleven
Don’t let me down tonight
No don’t let me down tonight

Just one minute more, Give me just one minute more
It’s gonna be alright, It’s gonna be alright

Just one minute more, Then I’ll walk right through that door
It’s gonna be alright, It’s gonna be alright, if ya gimme

Snake eyes
Seven eleven
Don’t let me down now
Gimme
Snake eyes
Take me to heaven
Don’t let me down tonight
No don’t let me down tonight

Just one minute more, Gimme just one minute more
It’s gonna be alright, It’s gonna be alright, But’cha gotta

Gimme one minute more, Gimme one more, Gimme one minute more
It’s gonna be alright, It’s gonna be alright

Snake eyes
Seven eleven
Don’t let me down boys
Snake eyes
Seven eleven
Don’t let me down tonight
No don’t let me down tonight

Just one minute more (Gimme one more)
Then I’ll walk right through that door (gimme one more, gimme one more)
It’s gonna be alright (alright)
It’s gonna be alright, But’ya gotta

Gimme one marker more (Gimme one more)
Then I’ll
 walk right through that door (gimme one more, gimme one more)
Gimme one more (don’t let me down)
It’s gonna be alright, alright, alright

The Ace of Swords

(Instrumental)

Nothing Left to Lose

Nothing’s good the news is bad
The heat goes on and it drives you mad
Scornful thoughts that fly your way
You should turn away cause there’s nothing more to say

You gave the best you had to give
You only have one life to live
You fought so hard you were a slave
After all you gave there was nothing left to save

You’ve got nothing left to lose (you’ve got nothing left to lose)
No you’ve got nothing left to lose (who’d wanna be standing in your shoes)

You read the book you turn the page
You change your life in a thousand ways
The dawn of reason lights your eyes
With the key you realise
To the kingdom of the wise

You’ve got nothing left to lose (you’ve got nothing left to lose)
No you’ve got nothing left to lose (who’d wanna be standing in your shoes)

Nothing ventured nothing gained
No more lingering doubt remained
Nothing sacred or profane
Everything to gain
Cause you’ve nothing left

The Turn of Friendly Card (Part 2)

There are unsmiling faces in fetters and chains
On a wheel in perpetual motion
Who belong to all races and answer all names
With no show of an outward emotion

And they think it will make their lives easier
But the doorway before them is barred

And the game never ends when your whole world depends
On the turn of a friendly card
No the game never ends when your whole world depends
On the turn of a friendly card

Expanded Edition

Expanded Edition Includes these Bonus Tracks:

Amongst this collection of bonus material, there are several examples of the magical early takes and in this re-mastered version of Turn Of A Friendly Card , for those interested in the process, there is a unique opportunity to glimpse behind the curtain of the recording process.

Here is a track listing of the bonus material included on the ‘Turn of a Friendly Card’ expanded edition album to whet your appetite!

May Be A Price To Pay (Intro/ Demo)

It was always intended that this piece would become the opening “fanfare” for the album, but it was later butted up to the main part of May Be A Price To Pay and became a part of that track.

Nothing Left To Lose (Basic Backing Track)

We have included three aspects of ‘Nothing Left to Lose’ which in a way is an anatomy of a recording. As with many Project tracks, the original track was built around a keyboard part played by Eric and was then eventually replaced by guitars. Alan felt that if a song was written on the piano and recorded with a piano, it was too restrictive and this bonus material when compared with the final mix, shows the kind of development that happened on most Project recordings.

Nothing Left To Lose (Chris Rainbow Overdub Vocal Compilation)

The section of Chris Rainbow magic, which was often incorporated on Project recordings, can really be heard in all its glory when isolated as we have done here.

Nothing Left To Lose (Early Studio Version with Eric’s Guide Vocal)

The marvelous accordion solo which was added later, had its genesis as a basic keyboard sample in this attempt.

Time (Early studio attempt)

The recording process for an individual backing track could literally take days and ideas developed as the musicians became more familiar with the material. This is an example of an early take of ‘Time’ which was subsequently developed and refined considerably. Sometimes, you can quickly reach a point of satisfaction with the basic track, but usually in the case of Projects, the process was quite exhaustive and many months were spent in the studio on each album – a luxury which is rarely possible in today’s music business. This album, however, was an exception and was recorded from beginning to end in six weeks in Paris. Despite the time constraints they were under at the time, both Alan and Eric consider ‘The Turn of a Friendly Card’ album to be one of their best recordings, though no doubt if they had had six months available they would have probably used it all!

Games People Play (Rough Mix)

Many Project recordings used a loop instead of an electronic click or metronome and ‘Games People Play’ was a good example where the loop which controlled the tempo was incorporated itself in the final mix. To make this loop, Eric recorded a keyboard section to a click and a good section was cut out and edited into the full length. This rough mix is not far away from the final version except that it has “More Cowbell” as Christopher Walken and Will Farrell would have liked on Saturday Night Live!

The Gold Bug (Demo)

The main keyboard sound on this demo is an original Hohner Clavinet with damped strings and a repeat echo (not a synth) which was also set up for the final studio version. It was difficult to get it in tune because of the short duration of the notes. ‘The Gold Bug’ was the title of an Edgar Allan Poe short story.


Credits

Credits

1 MAY BE A PRICE TO PAY 5:00
Vocal – Elmer Gantry
Piano and Organ – Eric Woolfson
Guitars – Ian Bairnson,
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

2 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY 4:23
Vocal and Vocal FX – Lenny Zakatek
Keyboards – Eric Woolfson
Projectron – Alan Parsons
Guitars – Ian Bairnson,
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Backing Vocals – Chris Rainbow

3 TIME 5:15
Vocal – Eric Woolfson
Additional Vocals – Alan Parsons
Piano – Eric Woolfson
Pitched Shifted Guitar – Ian Bairnson
Acoustic Guitar – Ian Bairnson, David Paton
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Background Vocals – Chris Rainbow
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

4 I DON’T WANNA GO HOME 4:52
Vocal – Lenny Zakatek
Piano – Eric Woolfson
Guitars – Ian Bairnson,
Bass – David Paton
Drums – Stuart Elliott
Backing Vocals – Chris Rainbow

5 THE GOLD BUG (Instrumental) 4:34
Human Whistle, Echoed Clavinet, Autoharp and
Finger Clicks – Alan Parsons
Tremolando Acoustic Guitars – Ian Bairnson, David Paton
Guitars – Ian Bairnson, Bass – Daivd Paton
Drums and Harmonized Rotating Triangle – Stuart Elliott
Sax – A session player in Paris whose name escapes us
Vocals – Chris Rainbow

6 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD
TOTAL TRACK TIME 16:05
(I) THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD (PART ONE)
Vocal – Chris Rainbow
Piano and Harpsichord – Eric Woolfson
Guitars – Ian Bairnson, Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

(II) SNAKE EYES 3:16
Vocals – Chris Rainbow
Piano – Eric Woolfson
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Chorus Vocals – All band and studio staff

(III) THE ACE OF SWORDS (Instrumental) 2:58
Harpsichord and Clavinet – Alan Parsons
Piano – Eric Woolfson
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

(IV) NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE 4:08
Vocal – Eric Woolfson
Acoustic Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – David Paton. Drums – Stuart Elliott
‘Button’ Accordion – An unidentified Parisian session player
Backing Vocals – Chris Rainbow

(V) THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD (PART TWO)
Vocal – Chris Rainbow
Piano and Harpsichord – Eric Woolfson
Guitars – Ian Bairnson
Bass – David Paton
Drums and Percussion – Stuart Elliott
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Andrew Powell

Produced and Engineered by Alan Parsons
Executive Producer – Eric Woolfson
Mastering Consultant – Chris Blair
Recorded Between 1979 and 1980. at Acousti Studio, Paris, France;
Orchestra and Choir Recorded at Arco Studio, Munich, Germany
The Orchestra Of The Munich Chamber Opera c/o Eberhard Schoener,
Leader Sandor Farcas, Orchestra coordinator Curtis Briggs

Chris Rainbow and David Paton appear courtesy EMI Records

Special thanks to Colin Caldwell, Kika, Elyane, Bob, J.B., Alain,
Richard, Michel, Clement, Joseph and of course, Scoubidou,
all of Acousti Studios; Dave Siddle, David Rockberger, Leonard Green,
Roger Selby, Peter Dean at Publison, Roger Trinder, George Bozier and
Bill Timmins, Ken Townsend, Aron Misan, Smokey, Hazel and Kath
Very special thanks to Charles Levison and Bob Buziak,
Sleeve concept – Lol Creme & Kevin Godley

All tracks written by Eric Woolfson & Alan Parsons
Published by Woolfsongs Ltd/Careers Music Inc, (BMI)
Administered by Universal Music
(p) 1980 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment


DELUXE VERSION

Turn of a Friendly Card 35th Anniversary Deluxe Version


A Deluxe re-mastered version of the Turn of a Friendly Card album released 6th November 2015 to mark its 35th Anniversary.

As well as including all the Expanded edition bonus tracks, the following additional tracks are included in the Deluxe version:

ERIC’S SONGWRITING DIARIES – Sally Woolfson

“In the Autumn of 2014 my sister Lorna and I were going through many boxes of Dad’s material (he kept absolutely everything) and came across over 100 audio cassettes and various old Sony Walkmans and cassette machines. Dad had always intended to go through these cassettes and had even bought a special cassette to MP3 converter machine but never actually got the chance to do it.

As Lorna and I started to listen to them, we realized that they were an extremely special and precious find. We put them into album order which was not always easy with so many previously unreleased songs and cross-overs with songs written during the making of one album but which obviously ended up on the next. It became a great game as to who could spot which album the cassette related to first.

It has been a deeply moving experience to listen to them, particularly as they form the soundtrack to our childhoods as we were often in the room next door and would hear him writing songs and playing like this all the time.

The cassettes contained over 100 hours of Eric’s writing diaries. Private moments of creativity captured on tape as songwriting memos to himself. As he didn’t read or write annotated music, this was how he developed the songs he wrote. They give a wonderful fly on the wall insight into the creative process where you can literally hear the song evolve as the ideas come out of his head. In some cases a familiar song from ‘Turn of a Friendly Card’ is intertwined with another previously unreleased song, which eventually got unraveled during the writing process.

These are very precious to the family and it was extremely difficult to pick out the tracks to include on this album from the 10 hours worth of material for this album alone. We hope you enjoy this rare insight into the birth of the songs from ‘The Turn of a Friendly Card’ album.”

These tracks were all recorded on Eric’s portable cassette recorder so the sound quality is basic but authentic!

1. May Be A Price to Pay (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
2. Games People Play (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
3. Time (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
4. I Don’t Wanna Go Home (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
5. The Turn of a Friendly Card (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
6. Snake Eyes (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
7. Nothing Left to Lose (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
8. TOFC/ Snake Eyes/ I Don’t Wanna Go Home (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)

EXTRA BONUS TRACKS

In addition to the bonus tracks on Disc 1, we have included some unreleased, newly uncovered items. Track 9 features an early version of ‘Maybe A Price To Pay’, which is pre-orchestra and features a guitar solo, which was later replaced by the lush strings solo. There’s a very early version of ‘Games People Play’, (Track 10) and an interesting mix of ‘Time’ where we hear just the orchestra and Chris Rainbow’s backing vocals (Track 11). Early versions of ‘The Gold Bug’ , The Turn Of A Friendly Card Part One, and Snake Eyes are also included (Tracks 12, 13 & 14). Two early versions of ‘The Ace of Swords’ are featured – one with synthesized orchestration and one with Alan playing piano before he recorded the harpsichord part. Finally, Track 17 is a pre-orchestration mix of ‘The Turn Of A Friendly Card Part Two’ which features a superb extended guitar solo by Ian Bairnson which was somewhat sadly mixed out in favour of the final orchestral arrangement

9. May Be A Price to Pay (Early Version – Eric Guide Vocal & Unused Guitar Solo)
10. Games People Play (Early version – Eric Guide Vocal)
11. Time (Orchestra & Chris Rainbow Backing Vocals)
12. The Gold Bug (Early Reference Version)
13. The Turn of a Friendly Card Part 1 (Early Backing Track)
14. Snake Eyes (Early Version – Eric Guide Vocal)
15. The Ace of Swords (Early Version with Synth “Orchestration”)
16. The Ace Of Swords (Early Version with Piano on Melody)
17. The Turn of a Friendly Card Part Two (Eric Guide Vocal and Extended Guitar Solo)

SINGLE EDITS (Tracks 18-20)

These are edited versions of three of the songs from the album for single release, which were mainly used for radio play, since the manufacture of singles in sale in stores was already diminishing. The ‘Snake Eyes’ single was never actually released.

18. Games People Play (single edit)
19. The Turn of a Friendly Card (single edit)
20. Snake Eyes (single edit)