I Robot [Bonus Tracks]

I Robot [Bonus Tracks]

by The Alan Parsons ProjectThe Alan Parsons Project

CD(Bonus Tracks)

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Alan Parsons delivered a detailed blueprint for his Project on their 1975 debut, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, but it was on its 1977 follow-up, I Robot, that the outfit reached its true potential. Borrowing not just its title but concept from Isaac Asimov's classic sci-fi Robot trilogy, this album explores many of the philosophies regarding artificial intelligence -- will it overtake man, what does it mean to be man, what responsibilities do mechanical beings have to their creators, and so on and so forth -- with enough knotty intelligence to make it a seminal text of late-'70s geeks, and while it is also true that appreciating I Robot does require a love of either sci-fi or art rock, it is also true that sci-fi art rock never came any better than this. Compare it to Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, released just a year after this and demonstrating some clear influence from Parsons: that flirts voraciously with camp, but this, for all of its pomp and circumstance, for all of its overblown arrangements, this is music that's played deadly serious. Even when the vocal choirs pile up at the end of "Breakdown" or when the Project delves into some tight, glossy white funk on "The Voice," complete with punctuations from robotic voices and whining slide guitars, there isn't much sense of fun, but there is a sense of mystery and a sense of drama that can be very absorbing if you're prepared to give yourself over to it. The most fascinating thing about the album is that the music is restless, shifting from mood to mood within the course of a song, but unlike some art pop there is attention paid to hooks -- most notably, of course, on the hit "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You," a tense, paranoid neo-disco rocker that was the APP's breakthrough. It's also the closest thing to a concise pop song here -- other tunes have plenty of hooks, but they change their tempo and feel quickly, which is what makes this an art rock album instead of a pop album. And while that may not snare in listeners who love the hit (they should turn to Eye in the Sky instead, the Project's one true pop album), that sense of melody when married to the artistic restlessness and geeky sensibility makes for a unique, compelling album and the one record that truly captures mind and spirit of the Alan Parsons Project. [Legacy's 2007 reissue is wonderfully remastered and contains demos of "Breakdown," "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You," and "Day After Day," along with the previously unreleased track "The Naked Robot."]

Product Details

Release Date: 03/20/2007
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0828768152423
catalogNumber: 681524
Rank: 18683

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alan Parsons Project   Primary Artist
Allan Clarke   Vocals
Duncan Mackay   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Cimbalom
Peter Straker   Vocals
Jaki Whitren   Vocals
Lenny Zakatek   Vocals
Andrew Powell   Conductor,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
David Paton   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Drums,Background Vocals
Ian Bairnson   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
B.J. Cole   Pedal Steel Guitar
English Chorale   Background Vocals
Steve Harley   Vocals
Jack Harris   Vocals,Background Vocals
Bob Howes   Choir Master
John Leach   Cimbalom,Kantele
John Perry   Background Vocals
Tony Rivers   Background Vocals
Stuart Tosh   Percussion,Drums,Water Gong
David Townsend   Vocals
John Wallace   Piccolo Trumpet
Eric Woolfson   Organ,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Clavinet,Wurlitzer
Alan Parsons   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Vocoder
Hilary Western   Vocals,Soprano (Vocal)
Tony Rivers & the Castaways   Background Vocals
John Frederick Perry   Background Vocals
New Philharmonic Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Stuart Salver   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Andrew Powell   Arranger,Composer,Orchestral Arrangements,Choir Arrangement
Eric Woolfson   Composer,Liner Notes,Executive Producer,Reissue Producer
Alan Parsons   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Audio Production,Loop,Projection
Hipgnosis   Original Sleeve Design
George Hardie   Graphic Design
Jeff Magid   Reissue Producer
Jerry Ewing   Liner Notes

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