I Robot (album)

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I Robot
The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot.jpg
Studio album by
Released1 June 1977
RecordedDecember 1976–March 1977
StudioAbbey Road Studios, London
Genre
Length41:05
LabelArista
ProducerAlan Parsons
The Alan Parsons Project chronology
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
(1976)
I Robot
(1977)
Pyramid
(1978)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau(C)[2]

I Robot is the second studio album by English rock band The Alan Parsons Project, released on 1 June 1977 by Arista Records. The album draws conceptually on author Isaac Asimov's science fiction Robot trilogy, exploring philosophical themes regarding artificial intelligence.[1] It was re-released on tape/record in 1984 and on CD 2007.

Background and concept[edit]

The album was intended to be based on the I, Robot stories written by Asimov, and Eric Woolfson spoke with Asimov himself, 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 in "I,", and the theme and lyrics were made to be more generically about robots rather than to be specific to the Asimov universe.[3][4] The cover inlay reads: "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.[5]

Artwork[edit]

The album cover photo features the band members in the escalator tubes of the circular Terminal 1 building of the Charles de Gaulle Airport outside of Paris. Over this is superimposed a painting of a robot with a stylised atom for a brain. The robot also appears on the label of the record. The original vinyl release has a gatefold-style cover; the inside spread has the lyrics and a monochrome photograph of Parsons. The pose and angle of the photograph echoes that of the robot on the front cover.

Singles[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.

Reissues[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 (24 bit/192 kHz and 24 bit/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 under Legacy Recordings 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.

In popular culture[edit]

"Don't Let It Show" was covered by Pat Benatar for her In the Heat of the Night LP.[6][7] Gail Godwin describes it as "much more sentimental than the usual Alan Parsons".[8] "Some Other Time" was also covered by Arjen Anthony Lucassen in his 2012 album Lost in the New Real. "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. "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" is also featured in an episode of the Netflix series Mindhunter.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleLead VocalsLength
1."I Robot"The English Chorale6:02
2."I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You"Lenny Zakatek3:22
3."Some Other Time"Peter Straker & Jaki Whitren4:06
4."Breakdown"Allan Clarke3:50
5."Don't Let It Show"Dave Townsend4:24
Total length:21:44
Side two
No.TitleLead VocalsLength
1."The Voice"Steve Harley5:24
2."Nucleus"None3:31
3."Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)"Jack Harris3:49
4."Total Eclipse" (Andrew Powell)The English Chorale3:09
5."Genesis Ch.1 V.32"The New Philharmonia Chorus3:28
Total length:19:21

2007 reissue bonus tracks[edit]

  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

[9]

2013 Sony Music Entertainment reissue bonus tracks, "I Robot (Legacy Edition)" as a 2-album set with the original album plus the following[edit]

  1. "U.S Radio Commercial for I Robot – 1:01
  2. "I Robot (Boules Experiment)" – 1:59
  3. "I Robot" (Hilary Western Vocal Rehearsal) – 1:33
  4. "Extract 1 from The Alan Parsons Project Audio Guide" – 1:04
  5. "Extract 2 from The Alan Parsons Project Audio Guide" – 0:57
  6. "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" (backing track rough mix) – 3:28
  7. "Some Other Time" (Complete vocal by Jaki Whitren) – 3:43
  8. "Breakdown" (early demo of backing riff) – 2:09
  9. "Extract 3 from The Alan Parsons Project Audio Guide" – 0:31
  10. "Breakdown - The Choir" – 1:51
  11. "Don't let it Show" (Eric Woolfson demo) – 3:26
  12. "Day After Day" (early stage rough mix) – 3:40
  13. "Genesis Ch.1.V.32" (Choir session) – 2:18
  14. "The Naked Robot" – 10:19

[10]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1977 Billboard 200 9
UK Albums Chart 30
Canada 11
Spain (AFE) 2

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[11] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Germany (BVMI)[12] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[14] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

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. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: The Alan Parsons Project". www.robertchristgau.com.
  3. ^ "Official Website". 13 March 2014.
  4. ^ "I Robot 1977, Alan Parsons Project 2nd Album, Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson". The-alan-parsons-project.com. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Interview: Alan Parsons: The Artist and Scientist of Sound Recording". BlogSpot. April 24, 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  6. ^ "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" ...
  7. ^ "Pat Benatar". Billboard. 1979. Retrieved 29 April 2009. "Don't Let It Show" is an Alan Parsons song and this tune perhaps ...
  8. ^ A mother and two daughters. 1982. p. 292.
  9. ^ "I Robot 1977, Alan Parsons Project 2nd Album, Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson". The-alan-parsons-project.com. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  10. ^ "I Robot (Legacy Edition) by the Alan Parsons Project on Amazon Music - Amazon.com". amazon.com. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Alan Parsons Project – I Robot". Music Canada.
  12. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Alan Parsons Project; 'I Robot')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  13. ^ "British album certifications – Alan Parsons Project – I Robot". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type I Robot in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Alan Parsons Project – I Robot". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.