In the unrelenting mania of life, i missed an incredibly sad piece of news earlier this month...
1945 – 2009
The New York Times Obit can't capture the breadth of this man's work, nor can any words i write fully express the musical influence that it had on me. As the "other half" of The Alan Parsons Project, Woolfson's heartfelt songwriting and business savvy perfectly complemented Parsons' arranging and production genius. Though he never considered himself a vocalist, his voice leads some of the group's most acclaimed tunes.
The Project was one of the first bands i was seriously into, hallmarking what i'd consider the beginning of my self-realizations about the depth of my love of music. Their work was rock-centric, but freely explored adjacent styles, focused on creative production, and brought diverse elements into their orchestrations such as large classical arrangements, vocal ensembles, and the ever-emerging synthesized sounds of the era. The project had no fixed lineup, but was formed around the two-man nucleus, with a family of performers moving in and out for various productions, some short-term guests, some veterans.
After ten groundbreaking albums with the Project and a prolific solo career -- seemingly always happy to peek out from halfway behind the stage curtain -- Eric left us in the early hours of 02 December (coincidentally on the anniversary of another major loss in my life, perhaps even to the hour).
He also left us a hell of a legacy. As is reportedly said of The Velvet Underground, relatively few people listened to The Alan Parsons Project, but i'll bet most of them started bands.
Please include me in that count.