Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I ROBOT - The Alan Parsons Project
YEAR: 1977
LABEL: Arista
TRACK LISTING: I Robot, I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You, Some Other Time, Breakdown, Don't Let It Show, The Voice, Nucleus, Day After Day (The Show Must Go On), Total Eclipse, Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32
IMPRESSIONS: This is the first Alan Parsons Project album I bought for myself after hearing their debut "TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION" album as a kid at my parents' friend Ronnie's house and, subsequently after my parents bought the first album for themselves. Of course, I loved the Edgar Allan Poe theme of the first album and the "robotic" science fiction theme of "I ROBOT" was sufficiently bizarre to make it interesting to me as well. Particular favourites are the ballads "Some Other Time" and "Day After Day" with their operatic bombast as well as one of my favourite Parsons instrumentals "Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32".
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: I Robot, I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You, Some Other Time, Breakdown, Don't Let It Show, Day After Day (The Show Must Go On), Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32
GUEST ARTISTS: David Paton (bass, acoustic guitar), Lenny Zakatek (lead vocals on "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You"), Peter Straker & Jaki Whitren (lead vocals on "Some Other Time"), Allan Clarke (lead vocal on "Breakdown"), Dave Townsend (lead vocal on "Don't Let It Show"), Steve Harley (lead vocal on "The Voice"), Jack Harris (lead vocal on "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)")
FACT SHEET: I ROBOT is the Alan Parsons Project's second album. Like Steely Dan, the Project consists of a core duo of producer/engineer/keyboardist Alan Parsons and the late singer Eric Woolfson with a rotating cast of regular sidemen and studio musicians. All the tracks on I ROBOT were written by Woolfson/Parsons except "Total Eclipse" written by Andrew Powell. The album was based on the "I, ROBOT" stories by Isaac Asimov; the noted science fiction author was actually contacted by Woolfson about the album and was enthusiastic. Because the Asimov books were already licensed to a TV/movie company, the comma was dropped from the title and the songs were made less specifically about Asimov's book and more generically about robots. The album cover features the band members inside the escalator tubes in Charles DeGaulle airport's Terminal 1 outside Paris, France. A descriptive paragraph in the album's liner notes 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 tital of the final instrumental track "Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32" implies that robots are "a continuation of the story of Creation" since the first chapter of "Genesis" in the Bible only has 31 verses. Pat Benatar covered "Don't Let It Show" on her "IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT" album.

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