Saturday, January 15, 1983

Alan Parsons Project charted with “Old and Wise”

Old and Wise

Alan Parsons Project

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

First Charted: January 15, 1983

Peak: 21 AC, 74 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 9.8 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Alan Parsons started out as an engineer, working on such classic albums as the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. In 1976, he formed the Alan Parsons Project. While the collective featured a rotating roster of musicians, singer/songwriter Eric Wooflson appeared on all ten of the group’s albums from 1976 to 1987.

The group found its greatest success with 1982’s Eye in the Sky, a top ten album in the U.S. which featured the #3 title track. “Old and Wise” was also released from the album. It didn’t fare nearly as well, but it did mark the Project’s first UK chart entry and was a minor hit on Billboard’s adult contemporary chart.

Parsons and Woolfson co-wrote the song “about a man approaching death, addressing those he knew with fond remembrance.” SF They recorded a version with Woolfson singing lead – as he often did on songs by the Project – without the orchestration or saxophone solo which was featured on the final album version. Woolfson’s vocal version is, however, featured on the 2007 reissue of the Eye in the Sky album. WK

For the version initially released, however, the Project used a vocal by Colin Blunstone. Parsons knew him from his days in the Zombies when Parsons was an engineer on the group’s 1968 Odessey and Oracle album. SF Blunstone had worked with the Project before, having sung “The Eagle Will Rise Again” on the group’s 1978 Pyramid album.

Woolfson and Blunstone were both at Abbey Road studios and Woolfson told him, “I’d like to play you this song.” SF Eric sat down at a piano in the same studio where the Zombies had recorded “Time of the Season” and played “Old and Wise.” Blunstone thought it was wonderful and Woolfson asked if he’d take a stab at the vocals. SF Blunstone would record other songs with the Project, but this was the only single released by them which featured Blunstone on vocals. WK

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First posted 12/24/2019; last updated 7/14/2021.

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