Daily Song Study

The Alan Parsons Project – Old and Wise

In songs on February 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

I’ve mentioned the more progressive side of Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson before, but here is a gem from the poppier end of the spectrum.

This tune has many strong points. The melody is sweetly sad, with an arrangement to match, as are the lyrics. The production is understated, and Parsons cleverly holds back a section of the orchestra until the 3-minute mark to give some extra punch as the song progresses.

The real stroke of genius here was drafting former Zombies vocalist Colin Blunstone. As good a singer as Woolfson is, Blunstone inhabits the narrator’s voice with a pitch-perfect melancholy delivery that makes any other voice seem unthinkable in retrospect.

The tune’s sax-driven coda may turn off some listeners, and it certainly time-stamps the record. But for me at least, it doesn’t diminish the overall listening experience. Parsons & Woolfson always drew on a mixture of the old & new, and this song retains a distinctive mark of that combination.

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