The Turn of a Friendly Card (Expanded Edition)
Alan Parsons needs no introduction. In addition to his production credits on albums like The Beatles' Abbey Road and Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon, this iconic musician achieved success with his own band, The Alan Parsons Project. With the remastered version of his classic 1980 album, The Turn of a Friendly Card (Expanded Edition), fans now have a chance to listen to previously unreleased alternate takes and demos. I'm not usually big on remastered versions of classic albums—to me, nothing beats the sound of a vinyl record—but the sound is very good on this. I don't have a copy of this album on vinyl to compare the sound with, but they seem to have done a good job at preserving the warmth and integrity of the sonics.
The Turn of a Friendly Card is a concept album that tells the story of a gambler and the toll it takes on his life. The album swoops from dramatic highs to melancholy lows as the “Friendly Card” turns out to be not-so-friendly. Solidly written and tightly executed, this album is a pleasure to listen to. As with any prog-rock record, the album ambles and wanders; while there are times it might benefit from being a tad shorter, the songs are very compelling with an almost cinematic quality.
There are seventeen tracks on this album—the first ten are the remastered songs from the original album; the remaining seven are bonus tracks—treating the listener to alternate versions of “May Be a Price to Pay,” “Nothing Left to Lose,” “Time,” “Games People Play,” and “The Gold Bug.” These mixes make for an interesting listen, with the inclusion of demos and early rough mixes. These bonus tracks will probably be of more interest to die hard fans than casual listeners, but there are some standouts—you don't have to be an audio buff to enjoy “Nothing Left To Lose (Chris Rainbow Overdub Vocal Compilation),” which highlights Rainbow's striking vocals. I think any lover of classic rock will enjoy The Turn of a Friendly Card (Expanded Edition)—I'd be willing to bet on it.