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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Immortal/Eric Woolfson

Eric Woolfson, a founding member and creative force behind The Alan Parsons Project, passed away yesterday at the age of 64. Woolfson ended his partnership with Parsons in the late 1980s in order to pursue an interest in musical theater. He wrote and scored a number of shows, including Edgar Allan Poe, a musical about the writer who inspired the very first Alan Parsons Project album in 1975, Tales of Mystery and Imagination. "I envisaged a Volume II though when we moved to a different record company, they were not interested in Volume II because they didn't have Volume I," Woolfson recalled. "I had to wait many years before revisiting Edgar Allan Poe--the man whose life and works inspired me probably more than any other." The song "Immortal" provides the climax to Woolfson's musical and includes the Poe-inspired lyric All that we see/All that we seem/Is but a shadow of a shadow/Of a dream within a dream. Steve Balsamo, who starred as Poe in the show, sings the song on both the soundtrack album, Edgar Allan Poe: A Musical By Eric Woolfson, and on Woolfson's long-delayed "Volume II" of Poe-inspired songs, 2003's Poe: More Tales of Mystery & Imagination. However, in the version on the album Eric Woolfson Sings the Alan Parsons Project That Never Was, released earlier this year, Woolfson handles lead vocals himself. "I think it is a good example of the composer at work singing his own material," he wrote in the liner notes, "and it is certainly a song I consider to be one of my best." It is a fitting song to mark his passing: Free as the wind/Lighter than air/Free from the jealous minds/The scornful bitter words/Won't hurt me there/And I will live/Forevermore/If you remember me/I am immortal.

Learn more about Eric Woolfson's life and work at http://www.ericwoolfsonmusic.com/.

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