Alan Parsons Project – I, Robot

Alan Parsons Project - I, RobotThis album set the pace for the Alan Parsons Project for the remainder of the 1970s, though in a way it pales in comparison to most of the rest of the Project’s output. A theme album about a grim, technology-dominated future, I, Robot suffers a fate uncommon to most other Parsons albums – it suffers from being a product of its time. The result is a disco leaning that is hard to swallow – most of the attempts at disco on this album aren’t even necessarily skillful! At the same time, you probably remember the single “Breakdown” from this album, as well as a song that Pat Benatar later covered, “Don’t Let It Show”. This latter song begins a fine tradition on Parsons’ albums, what I call the Parsons Heartbreaker – very somber, poignant songs that have a tendency to deposit a lump in the throat of the listener. “Don’t Let It Show” features the recently deceased trying to deliver one last message back to the world of the living, and even with a hint of hopefulness, it’s a depressing song – even the cathedralesque organ in the tune’s opening seconds seems to transport you to a chapel full of people dressed in black. If you can 3 out of 4survive this song, the rest of the album is listenable, if somewhat average. At the time, it must’ve been an amazing sound – 1977 was a good year for orchestrated rock between this album and ELO’s Out Of The Blue. This album also features the first lead vocal by Project cofounder Eric Woolfson, whose Orbisonesque vocals you’ll probably remember from later hits “Eye In The Sky” and “Time”.

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  1. I, Robot (6:01)
  2. I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You (3:23)
  3. Some Other Time (4:05)
  4. Breakdown (3:53)
  5. Don’t Let It Show (4:25)
  6. The Voice (5:24)
  7. Nucleus (3:22)
  8. Day After Day (The Show Must Go On) (3:57)
  9. Total Eclipse (3:13)
  10. Genesis Ch. I v. 32 (3:24)

Released by: Arista
Release date: 1977
Total running time: 41:07