I Robot (album)

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For other uses, see I, Robot (disambiguation).
I Robot
The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot.jpg
Studio album by The Alan Parsons Project
Released June 1977
Recorded December 1976 – March 1977 at Abbey Road Studios
Genre Progressive rock, art rock,[1] funk rock
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]

I Robot is the second studio album by the English progressive rock band The Alan Parsons Project (Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson), released by Arista Records in June 1977. It is an art rock album that draws conceptually on author Isaac Asimov's science fiction Robot trilogy, exploring philosophical themes regarding artificial intelligence.[1] It was re-released on CD in 1984 and 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.[2][3] 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.

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. This illustration appears in a two-dimensional form on the label of the record. 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.

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 (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 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.[4][5] Gail Godwin describes it as "much more sentimental than the usual Alan Parsons."[6] "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.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson.

Side one
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. "I Robot"   Instrumental 6:02
2. "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You"   Lenny Zakatek 3:22
3. "Some Other Time"   Peter Straker & Jaki Whitren 4:06
4. "Breakdown"   Allan Clarke 3:50
5. "Don't Let It Show"   Dave Townsend 4:24
Total length:
21:44
Side two
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. "The Voice"   Steve Harley 5:24
2. "Nucleus"   Instrumental 3:31
3. "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)"   Jack Harris 3:49
4. "Total Eclipse"   Instrumental 3:09
5. "Genesis Ch.1 V.32"   Instrumental 3:28
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

[7]

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. ^ Official Alan Parsons Project website
  3. ^ "I Robot 1977, Alan Parsons Project 2nd Album, Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson". The-alan-parsons-project.com. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "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" ... 
  5. ^ "Pat Benatar". Billboard. 1979. Retrieved 29 April 2009. "Don't Let It Show" is an Alan Parsons song and this tune perhaps ... 
  6. ^ A mother and two daughters. 1982. p. 292. 
  7. ^ "I Robot 1977, Alan Parsons Project 2nd Album, Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson". The-alan-parsons-project.com. Retrieved 28 August 2012.