I Robot (album)

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For other uses, see I, Robot (disambiguation).
I Robot
Studio album by The Alan Parsons Project
Released June 1977
Recorded December 1976 – March 1977 at Abbey Road Studios
Genre Art rock[1]
Length 41:05
Label Arista
Producer Alan Parsons
The Alan Parsons Project chronology
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
(1976)
I Robot
(1977)
Pyramid
(1978)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C[2]

I Robot is the second album by progressive rock band The Alan Parsons Project, engineered by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson in 1977. It was released by Arista Records in 1977 and re-released on CD in 1984 and 2007. I Robot is an art rock album that draws conceptually on author Isaac Asimov's science fiction Robot trilogy, exploring philosophical themes regarding artificial intelligence.[1]

Concept[edit]

The album was intended to be based on the I, Robot stories written by Asimov, and Woolfson actually spoke with Asimov, who was enthusiastic about the idea. As the rights already had been granted to a TV/movie company, the album's title was altered slightly by removing the comma, and the theme and lyrics were made to be more generically about robots rather than specific to the Asimov universe.[3][4]

The cover inlay read: "I Robot... The story of the rise of the machine and the decline of man, which paradoxically coincided with his discovery of the wheel... and a warning that his brief dominance of this planet will probably end, because man tried to create robot in his own image."

The title of the final track, "Genesis Ch.1 v.32," follows this theme by implying a continuation to the story of Creation, since the first chapter of Genesis only has 31 verses.

The album cover photo of the band members is of the criss-crossing escalator tubes in the circular Terminal 1 building of Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris. Over this is superimposed a painting of a robot with a stylised atom for a brain. The original vinyl release had a gatefold-style cover; the inside spread had printed the lyrics for the non-instrumental selections and a monochrome photograph of Parsons himself.

Songs[edit]

Three singles were released from the album: "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You", "Don't Let it Show" and "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)." The LP track "Breakdown" went into heavy rotation on AOR stations and continues to be played on classic rock radio.

"Don't Let It Show" was covered by Pat Benatar for her In the Heat of the Night LP.[5][6] Gail Godwin describes it as "much more sentimental than the usual Alan Parsons."[7]

"Some Other Time" was also covered by Arjen Anthony Lucassen in his 2012 album Lost in the New Real.

Reissues and remastering[edit]

I Robot has been reissued multiple times in various formats since its initial release on vinyl, including numerous audiophile releases.

Besides the 8 track, vinyl and compact cassette releases, Arista also released the original aluminium CD along with the rest of the Project albums, up to that time. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) released the album on standard vinyl (MFSL 1-084), UHQR vinyl (MFQR 1-084), and on aluminium CD (MFCD-1-804). Classic Records has released the album in analogue form on 180 Gram Vinyl, as well as digitally on HDAD (24bit/192 kHz & 24bit/96 kHz DVD-Audio).

JVC released the album as a K2 edition, with Ammonia Avenue and Eye in the Sky.

In 2007, as part of a larger campaign, Sony released a remastered version along with bonus tracks on CD. It was later released in Japan as an SHM-CD, with the same mastering.

The album was re-released as a Legacy edition in 2013 on CD, with an extra disc with unreleased bonus tracks, mastered by Dave Donelly. There was also a vinyl edition with the same mastering launched one month later.

Popular Culture[edit]

"I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" is featured in the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V on the fictional radio station Los Santos Rock Radio.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson; except "Total Eclipse" written by Andrew Powell.

Side One[edit]

  1. "I Robot" (instrumental) – 6:02
  2. "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" (lead vocal: Lenny Zakatek) – 3:22
  3. "Some Other Time" (lead vocals: Peter Straker & Jaki Whitren)[8] – 4:06
  4. "Breakdown" (lead vocal: Allan Clarke) – 3:50
  5. "Don't Let It Show" (lead vocal: Dave Townsend) – 4:24

Side Two[edit]

  1. "The Voice" (lead vocal: Steve Harley) – 5:24
  2. "Nucleus" (instrumental) – 3:31
  3. "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)" (lead vocal: Jack Harris) – 3:49
  4. "Total Eclipse" (instrumental) – 3:09
  5. "Genesis Ch.1. V.32" (instrumental) – 3:28

I Robot was remastered and reissued in 2007 with the following bonus tracks:[9]

  1. "Boules" (I Robot experiment) – 1:59
  2. "Breakdown" (early demo of backing riff) – 2:09
  3. "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" (backing track rough mix) – 3:28
  4. "Day After Day" (early stage rough mix) – 3:40
  5. "The Naked Robot" – 10:19

Personnel[edit]

"Some Other Time" harmonies sung by Tony Rivers, John Perry and Stu Calver.

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1977 The Billboard 200 9
UK Albums Chart 30
Canada 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "I Robot – The Alan Parsons Project : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (31 October 1977). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Official Alan Parsons Project website
  4. ^ "I Robot 1977, Alan Parsons Project 2nd Album, Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson". The-alan-parsons-project.com. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Benatar's music creates yearning for life on edge". Deseret News. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 29 April 2009. "Songs such as the title track, "If You Think You Know How to Love Me," "We Live for Love," "Heartbreaker," "So Sincere," a remake of Alan Parsons' "Don't Let It Show" ..." 
  6. ^ "Pat Benatar". Billboard. 1979. Retrieved 29 April 2009. ""Don't Let It Show" is an Alan Parsons song and this tune perhaps ..." 
  7. ^ A mother and two daughters. 1982. p. 292. 
  8. ^ "Some Other Time (I Robot) – Interview with Eric Woolfson". 
  9. ^ "I Robot 1977, Alan Parsons Project 2nd Album, Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson". The-alan-parsons-project.com. Retrieved 28 August 2012.