…just let it go

It was an autumn day in 1967 and the wide-eyed eighteen year old couldn’t believe his luck as he made his way over a (soon-to-be-famous) zebra crossing and entered the (yet-to-be-celebrated) Georgian townhouse at No. 3 Abbey Road in St. John’s Wood.  Having first found work in the EMI tape duplication facility, young Alan Parsons had somehow managed to land a job as an assistant recording engineer here at Abbey Road Studios.

His very first project? The Beatles’ “Let It Be” and yes (!) he was there for the legendary rooftop session.  Next came “Abbey Road” recorded after “Let It Be” but released first. Parsons adeptly continued to apply himself and worked his way up to recording engineer, a title that soon expanded to that of recording “director” as he mixed and recorded a number of Paul McCartney and Hollies albums, as well as Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat” and most significantly, Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” (for which he was nominated for a Grammy) among other projects.

Pink Floyd wanted him back for “Wish You Were Here” in 1975 but by then Parsons had moved on to something new, in conjunction with musician/composer/lyricist, Eric Woolfson.  It was called The Alan Parsons Project and using a variable lineup of studio musicians its focus was on concept albums (releasing ten of them over the next decade or so) that were heavily instrumental and generally featured several vocalists rather than a single lead.

Written by Woolfson and Parsons, “Don’t Let it Show” was first released on “The Project’s” second such album, “I Robot” in 1977, as sung by Dave Townsend. Though initially based on Isaac Asimov’s “I, Robot” stories (with his enthusiastic support), because the rights had been granted elsewhere, the album’s title was changed (by dropping the comma) and the futuristic theme was shifted away from Asimov, while retaining the “rise of the machine/decline of man” premise.

A few years later, Pat Benatar covered the song on her debut album, “In the Heat of the Night”.  Although both versions are remarkable, we favor the rendition by a woman who trained as a soprano coloratura (let’s just say she could reach the high notes) prior to becoming an ‘80s rock icon.  Benatar infuses it with a meaning that’s far removed from an alarming science fiction future…and closer to the realm of a young person at a crosswalk, who’s about to take a lucky break and (“damn the torpedos”) run with it for all it’s worth.

 LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Tuesday 27 March

Don’t Let It Show

 If it’s getting harder to face everyday

Don’t Let It Show, Don’t Let It Show

Though it’s getting harder to take what they say

Just let it go, just let it go

And if it hurts when they mention my name

Say you don’t know me

And if it helps when they say I’m to blame

Say you don’t own me

Even if it’s taking the easy way out

Keep it inside of you

Don’t give in

Don’t tell them anything

Don’t Let It

Don’t Let It Show

Even though you know it’s the wrong thing to say

Say you don’t care, say you don’t care

Even if you want to believe there’s a way

I won’t be there, I won’t be there

But if you smile when they mention my name

They’ll never know you

And if you laugh when they say I’m to blame

They’ll never own you

Even though you think you’ve got nothing to hide

Keep it inside of you

Don’t give in

Don’t tell them anything

 Don’t Let It

Don’t Let It Show

Even though you think you’ve got nothing to hide

Keep it inside of you

Don’t give in

Don’t tell them anything

Don’t Let It

Don’t Let It Show

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