Friday, May 25, 2007

Eric Woolfson

@ Wiki
Eric Woolfson is a Scottish lead singer, songwriter and lyricist, executive producer, pianist, and co-founder of The Alan Parsons Project.

After splitting up with Alan Parsons during the recording of Freudiana, Woolfson has pursued musical theatre. Those are mainly performed in Germany and Austria, but also in Korea and Japan.

Life before The Alan Parsons Project
He was born on March 18, 1945 in the Charing Cross area of Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland, and raised in the Pollokshields area of the same city. He belongs to a family of Jewish descent.

He started composing music in his early teens. He moved to London where he found work as a session pianist, at the age of eighteen. The record producer for the Rolling Stones, Andrew Oldham, signed him up as a songwriter. During the following years, Woolfson wrote songs for such artists as Marianne Faithfull, Frank Ifield, Joe Dassin, The Tremeloes, Marmalade, Dave Berry, and Peter Noone. His songs were recorded by over one hundred artists both in Europe and America. During the sixties he worked with two then-unknown writers, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

In the early seventies, Eric turned his hand to management and was instantly successful. His first two signings were Carl Douglas (whose record Kung Fu Fighting was one of the biggest selling hits of all time) and engineer/record producer Alan Parsons.

The start of The Alan Parsons Project
In 1975, Woolfson joined forces with record producer Alan Parsons who was a recording engineer on many Beatles and Paul McCartney albums as well as having engineered Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.

Eric and Alan formed a new kind of collaboration that would allow Parson’s engineering skills to be exploited to the full and at the same time give Woolfson a vehicle for his talents as a songwriter/lyricist. The Alan Parsons Project was born. From 1976-1987, Eric conceived and wrote the lyrics for all ten albums by The Alan Parsons Project (he and Parsons collaborated on writing the music), which have achieved world-wide sales in excess of forty million.

On every Project album, Eric would sing a 'guide' vocal track for every song, which the album's regular lead vocalists would later go by. Some of these guide vocal tracks can be heard on the new remastered editions of the various Project albums, released in 2007. Eric himself was the actual singer on many of the Project's biggest hits, such as "Time", "Don't Answer Me" and "Eye in the Sky".

Splitting up
Freudiana was originally meant to be the eleventh album by The Alan Parsons Project. While recording the album, Brian Brolly entered the picture and he helped steer the album in a new direction. Brolly was previously a partner with Andrew Lloyd Webber, and together they created such musicals as Cats. With Brolly's help, Woolfson was able to turn Freudiana into a stage musical.

Before the Freudiana stage production opened in 1990, a double-length studio album was released. The musical had a successful run, and it was planned that the show would open in other cities. However, plans were put on hold when a lawsuit broke out between Brolly and Woolfson, each fighting for control of the project. In the end, Brolly won.

The studio disc (the "white" album) was quite difficult to obtain for a while. There was also a double-length cast disc (the "black" album) which is currently out of print.

The afterlife
Woolfson was eager to write for musical theatre. He explained his career switch during an interview by MusicalWorld on July 7, 2004: "I eventually developed The Alan Parsons Project as a vehicle but then I realised that there was more to it than that and that Andrew Lloyd Webber was right and that the stage musical was a fulfilling media for a writer like myself. I got into stage musicals in the mid-eighties." His musicals are mainly performed in Germany. This was for two reasons: The Alan Parsons Project was well known in Germany, and at that time the arts were very well funded there.

His first musical premiered in Vienna in 1990: ‘FREUDIANA’. The success of this first work led to Woolfson’s second musical Gaudi 1995. It has run for over five years in several German productions. GAMBLER, Woolfson’s third musical also premiered in Germany in 1996 and had a first run of over 500 performances. GAMBLER has had five productions in Korea, one of which also toured Japan in 2002 (the first time a Korean language production had been staged in this way). Woolfson was also active in the British Social Democratic Party or SDP.

* 1990 Freudiana
* 1991 Black Freudiana (German Original Cast Musical Soundtrack)
* 1996 Gaudi (Musical)
* 1997 Gambler (Das Geheimnis Der Karten)
* 2003 Poe: More Tales of Mystery and Imagination

To be released
* 2005 Gaudi
* 2005 Gambler The Gambler album (1997) has not been available in record shops. It was only sold during the musical performance at the theatre.

The next project new name will probably be Dancing with Shadows (previously it was known as A Forest Fire). It is an anti-war play about the futility of war written by the minister of South Korea during the 1950s. It is a joint production on North and South Korea and is meant to contribute to the peace between the two countries. The Premiere of the musical will be in July 2007 in Korea. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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