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
ProducerAlan Parsons
The Alan Parsons Project chronology
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
I Robot
Singles from I Robot
  1. "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You"
    Released: August 1977
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Christgau's Record GuideC[3]

I Robot is the second studio album by British 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 stories, exploring philosophical themes regarding artificial intelligence.[2] It was re-released on vinyl and cassette tape in 1984 and on CD in 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.[4][5] 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.[6]


The album cover photo features Storm Thorgerson's assistants in the escalator tubes of the circular Terminal 1 building of the Charles de Gaulle Airport outside of Paris.[7] 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.


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.


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 aluminum 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 DVD-Audio and 24 bit/96 kHz DVD-Video). 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.

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
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[8]
  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
2013 Sony Music Entertainment reissue bonus tracks[9]
  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



Chart (1977/78) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[10] 10
Canada 11
Spanish Albums Chart 2
UK Albums Chart 30
USA (Billboard 200) 9


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[11] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Germany (BVMI)[12] Gold 250,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[13] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[14] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[15] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Houle, Zachary (3 December 2013). "The Alan Parsons Project: I Robot (Legacy Edition)". PopMatters. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "I Robot – The Alan Parsons Project". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: P". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 10 March 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  4. ^ "Official Website". 13 March 2014.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "Interview: Alan Parsons: The Artist and Scientist of Sound Recording". BlogSpot. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  7. ^ Eric Woolfson interview - I Robot album sleeve
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "I Robot (Legacy Edition) by the Alan Parsons Project on Amazon Music - Amazon.com". amazon.com. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 229. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  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. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "American album certifications – Alan Parsons Project – I Robot". Recording Industry Association of America.
  16. ^ "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" ...
  17. ^ "Pat Benatar". Billboard. 1979. Retrieved 29 April 2009. "Don't Let It Show" is an Alan Parsons song and this tune perhaps ...
  18. ^ A mother and two daughters. 1982. p. 292.