Song of the Day, December 1: Damned If I Do by the Alan Parsons Project

Today’s song is Damned If I Do by the Alan Parsons Project. Frequently introduced by Casey Kasem on American Top 40 with the question “When is a band not a band?” the Project was a loose conglomeration of studio musicians and guests working with the core duo of songwriters Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. Parsons had worked as an engineer (notably on Abbey Road and The Dark Side of the Moon) before hiring Woolfson to manage his career as a producer. He produced numerous Top 40 hits in the U.S. and the U.K. but was consistently frustrated with the inability to completely achieve his vision for a work while compromising with the artists he produced.

Parsons and Woolfson had two separate ideas for an album (the works of Poe and the cinematic vision of a director like Hitchcock), which they merged into the Project’s first album, 1975’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination. On the strength of that outing, Arista signed the “band” and they released a number of strong concept albums over the next decade. They logged eight Top 40 hits (and another nine in the Hot 100), including two top 20’s from The Turn of A Friendly Card (my favorite of their albums) and the #3 monster hit Eye In the Sky in 1982.

Damned If I Do was a #27 hit in 1979 and was my introduction to the group. It has remained a favorite song and my appreciation for the complexity of its production has certainly increased over the years. The song peaked on this date 32 years ago; enjoy it today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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