Saturday, December 6, 1980

Alan Parsons Project “Games People Play” charted

Games People Play

The Alan Parsons Project

Writer(s): Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 6, 1980

Peak: 16 US, 18 CB, 13 HR, 12 RR, 8 CL, 9 CN, 95 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 5.3 video, 20.98 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Turn of a Friendly Card came at roughly the mid-point of the Alan Parsons Project’s career. It was their fifth of ten albums released between 1976 and 1987. An argument could be made that it was also their peak. They did have a couple of other albums which were bigger chart successes; 1977’s I, Robot and 1982’s Eye in the Sky hit the top 10 while Card peaked at #13, but all three achieved platinum status.

However, the real kicker was that Card was the only album of the Project’s career to produce two top-20 hits. In fact, the only other album to generate even two top-40 hits was 1984’s Vulture Culture. The only bigger singles for the Project were 1984’s “Don’t Answer Me” (#15) and “Eye in the Sky” (#3). As the lead single from Card, “Games People Play” their fourth top-40 hit and, more importantly, a song which has become a staple on album-rock radio. It is what calls “one of the most high tempo, rock-style songs that this progressive group recorded.” SF

The song also arguably does a better job of conveying its album’s theme than any other Project song. Each of the group’s ten albums was wrapped around a concept, but the message wasn’t always clear. However, the themes behind Card about gambling and playing with others’ emotions were readily apparent on “Games.” Parsons explained that they were living in Monte Carlo at the time and that “it’s very linked to the content of the album…which was all about gambling, gamblers, the problems of gamblers, and games people play.” SF

The song features Lenny Zakatek on vocals. He also stepped up to the mike on two of the band’s previous top-40 hits – 1977’s “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You” and 1979’s “Damned if I Do.”


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First posted 7/7/2022; last updated 10/30/2022.

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