Monday, January 22, 2018

"Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)" by Alan Parsons Project

Song#:  2293
Date:  04/27/1985
Debut:  90
Peak:  71
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  The Project's eighth studio album, Vulture Culture, didn't get off to a great start with the first single, "Let's Talk About Me," stalling in the bottom half of the Pop chart (#56). It was the first time since 1978 that a single from one of their albums didn't crack the Top 40. Hoping to turn things around, they chose this smoother, more AC-friendly track as the next single. While the song returned them to the AC chart (#11), it just didn't click at Pop and it stalled after short few weeks. With neither single making a mark, the album fell flat and peaked at #46 - the lowest result of all their studio albums to this point. It also became their first to miss the gold sales mark since their 1976 debut LP. A third single attempt was jettisoned and the Project would have to retreat, regroup, and record their next album.

ReduxReview:  The sound of this track falls more in line with other singles from the Project rather than the pseudo-Supertramp-ish "Let's Talk About Me." It's a really good song, but after the first single tanked, this one got ignored. At least it picked up some airplay at AC. I still think the track "Sooner or Later" should have been issued as the lead-off single from the LP. Had that one done well, prospects for this song might have been better. Overall, Vulture Culture was not one of APP's strongest efforts, but the a-side of that album is stacked with some solid pop/rock tunes like this one.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Although Eric Woolfson's voice would drive the Project's biggest hits, there was also a stable of singers that Woolfson and co-collaborator Alan Parsons would use to head up various songs on their albums. While David Paton sang lead on "Let's Talk About Me," this song was sung by Chris Rainbow. Rainbow had done lead vocal work on the Project's previous four albums with one song he did for 1980's Turn of a Friendly Card, "Snake Eyes," becoming a minor charting single that got to #67, which was just a hair better than the results of this song. Rainbow (real name Christopher Harley) had a brief solo career in the UK issuing three albums between 1975 and 1979. Two of his singles would be minor entries on the UK chart. In addition to working with APP, Rainbow provided vocals or backing vocals for several other artists including Culture Club. He passed away in 2015 after battling Parkinson's Disease.


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