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I ROBOT

Alan Parsons Project

Crossover Prog


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Alan Parsons Project I Robot album cover
3.75 | 353 ratings | 51 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Robot (6:06)
2. I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You (3:19)
3. Some Other Time (4:05)
4. Breakdown (3:50)
5. Don't Let It Show (4:21)
6. The Voice (5:21)
7. Nucleus (3:35)
8. Day After Day (Show Must Go On) (3:43)
9. Total Eclipse (3:05)
10. Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32 (3:37)

Total Time: 41:02

Bonus tracks on 2007 Arista 30 Anniversary Edition (2007):

11. Boules (I Robot Experiment) (1:59)
12. Breakdown (Early Demo Of Backing Riff) (2:09)
13. I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You (Backing Track Rough Mix) (3:28)
14. Day After Day (Early Stage Rough Mix) (3:40)
15. The Naked Robot (10:19)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- David Paton / bass
- Stuart Tosh / drums and percussion
- Ian Bairnson / electric guitars
- Ian Bairnson, David Paton, Alan Parsons / acoustic guitars
- Eric Woolfson, Duncan Mackay, Alan Parsons / keyboards
- B.J. Cole / steel guitar
- Eric Woolfson, Alan Parsons / projectron and vocoder
- John Leach / cimbalom and kantele
- Allan Clarke, Steve Harley, Jack Harris, Peter Straker and Jaki Whitren, Dave Townsend, Lenny Zakatek / vocals
- Hilary Western, Smokey Parsons, David Paton, Stuart Tosh, Ian Bairnson, Tony Rivers, John Perry, Stuart Calver, Eric Woolfson, Alan Parsons, The English Chorale and the New Philharmonia Chorus / additional vocals

Releases information

US CHART POSITION #9, GOLD RECORD (9/16/77), PLATINUM (10/25/78), UK CHART POSITION #30

LP 1977 Arista
Arista 82876 81524 2 CD Remastered 30 Anniversary Edition (2007)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Tuzvihar for the last updates
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ALAN PARSONS PROJECT I Robot ratings distribution


3.75
(353 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
23%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
49%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

ALAN PARSONS PROJECT I Robot reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Another one of these concept albums extremely well produced (from Parsons , the opposite would be unthinkable) and done by great musicians but as always with APP you can talk about songs as they are just that - songs. With other Prog Archives artists, I usually use the word piece or track because they don't fit the song format. This is important for me , I see songs as generally reducing music to a radio-friendly format as APP did just that : Radio-friendly songs in conceptual albums for a broad appeal (and he succeded) to both top 40 and album-buying publics.

All pedantics and semantics aside, many excellent songs on this album and on another site , I might have given another half star to it.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#5561) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Sentient?

It was always going to be hard for Alan Parsons to follow up such a definitive debut album as "Tales of Mystery and imagination..". Had he shown his hand too soon, and peaked with his debut album? In retrospect, the answer is probably yes, as that album tends to overshadow all that succeeded it. That is something of a pity, as the Project did go on to make many good albums, although arguably they never again reached the lofty heights of their debut.

With "I Robot", Parson deserves full marks for effort, the album being another well written and impeccably produced product. That said, the quality of some of the tracks is not up to the standard of said predecessor, and there is certainly no feature track to match "The fall of the house of Usher". "I robot" is far more representative of the many albums which were to follow, being art rock from the pop end of that spectrum.

The various guest vocalists do a good job with their allocated tracks, and the orchestration fills out the sound well. Slower tracks such as the ballads "Don't let it show", and "Day after day" are probably the most successful, although the instrumental opening (title) track is also worthy of note.

"I wouldn't want to be like you" and "Breakdown" appear to be geared more towards singles output, or at least radio play, and are little more than good quality pop.

In all, a pleasant, unchallenging album, with a few notable highlights.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#5562) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 01, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This album has been with me for a better part of my life, ever since my dad bought a cassette of this back in 1984. While "Tales of Mystery & Imagination" features no synths, PARSONS' second album "I Robot" has since became his most synth-heavy album I have heard. Many of you are familiar with "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" and "Breakdown" which radio stations still continue to play to this day, but there's some other great stuff as well. Like the title cut, which tends to be heavily electronic, with lots of great synths, as well as a cimbalom (Hungarian dulcimer) and kantele (Finnish zither) being used, courtesy of John Leach.

This album also premiers the vocals of Lenny Zakatek, as demonstrated on "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You". The largely acoustic "Some Other Time" is truly amazing, and definately overlooked, especially by radio programmers. "The Voice" has that nice repetitive bass line, great string synths, and a great funky solo in the middle. Then there's the ambient experiment "Nucleus" which then segues in to "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)", which is by far the best ballad APP has ever done, in my opinion. Then it segues in to "Total Eclipse", which is orchestral conductor Andrew Powell's turn to shine. This piece is downright creepy, complete with sinister voices and equally sinister strings. Then the album closes with "Genesis Ch. 1 V.32" (a supposedly non-existent bible verse, as GENESIS is supposed to have only 31 verses, but don't quote me on that since I'm not too familiar with the bible), it's another heavily electronic instrumental cut that's very similar to the title track.

I don't think The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT ever created an album with the quality of "I Robot", to me, I think they started repeating the same thing over and over, making all the later albums sound the same (despite the changes of technology by the mid 1980s), so if you're not the biggest APP nut, like me, this is definately one of the albums you need.

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#5553) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 26, 2004

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Warning! Warning! Wimpy progressive rock approaching. "I Robot" does get some of it right: basing an album on ISAAC ASIMOV's tale of man's fall and machine's rise (in theory anyway), including trippy instrumental passages drawn from the same inscrutable inkiness as "Dark Side" and "Wish You Were Here". But APP wasn't content just to be a prog band; they sought a broader audience by trapping the sensitive '70s songwriter in their high towers of sonic achievement. The result, musically, is akin to being sucker punched. Instrumentals "I Robot" and "Nucleus" set you up for it, and -- wham! -- a mushy ballad like "Don't Let It Show" hits you in the groin. I suppose that's my problem with THE PROJECT: I'm usually on my guard against '70s pop and yet I can't help but drop my defenses during the instrumental sections. Midway through a pleasant daydream, I'm roused from my imagination asking the question "What the hell am I listening to?" There should be a wall of division between disco music and progressive rock, and I can't give APP any credit for tearing the wall down. Anyway, all that carping aside, this is arguably THE PROJECT's best album. Half of it's terrific, from the hits "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" and "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)" to magical instrumentals like "Nucleus" and "Total Eclipse." The Pink Floyd comparisons hold true for the instrumental sections, while BOB WELCH and SUPERTRAMP come to mind during the vocal songs. What doesn't come to mind is ASIMOV's book; if this album has anything to do with robots, I missed it. And that sort of shallow coolness pervades "I Robot".

The Seventies, which saw the rise of both PINK FLOYD and PINK LADY, represented a transitional period where pop art prevailed. And so you get the pop/disco/prog amalgam of "I Robot", a swimming pool of sounds that features a deep end and a shallow one to suit all swimmers without satisfying any one group completely.

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#5554) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Compared to the first album, "I Robot"'s formula is more short simple tracks, less progressive. It is well known that Alan PARSON is capable of producing accessible and catchy short tracks. Indeed, we have couples of interesting ones here: "The Voice", sounding almost disco; the FLOYD-esque "Day After Day"; "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You"; the poignant and nostalgic "Some Other Time", which is my favorite one; unfortunately, I find the rest not bad but unexciting: I believe Alan PARSON has to be more complex, and if not, at least more catchy if he tries the pop way: we'll have to wait for the next album "Pyramid", one of his catchiest album ever made!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#5563) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars As this moved away from Tales of Mystery and Imagination it was still equal if not better IMHO.My vinyl version of I Robot is probably the best quality pressing I have ever had the pleasure of owning too. As far as the album goes there is not a dull moment and Alan Parsons for me demonstrates more maturity on his second offering. ' I Robot' perhaps his best song ever written along with 'Fall of the House of Usher'. His collective musicians on this album also come up with a perfect blend seldom repeated on his follow ups. All the songs are solid so I strongly recommend any one looking at Alan Parson's works to acquire I Robot without hesitation.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#5564) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After the huge, somewhat unexpected success of the "Tales" album, Parsons and Woolfson decided to go beyond their producer's album experiment and make it a permanent producer's album recording career. So, after the statement of APP as a proper 'band', the duo went for another concept, this time a somber perspective of the conflictive relationship between humans and robots, with the former divided between their roles as masters and dominated, and the latter gaining some kind of self- awareness that motivates them to toy with the idea of becoming autonomous once and for all. Musically speaking, the rock factor is more enhanced in comparison to the "Tales" album, though the orchestral thing still remains undoubtedly crucial in the making of the APP sound. Another notable element is a major presence of synth layers and effects, properly conveying the future ambience for the robotic-centered conflict in the concept. The namesake instrumental opener is a catchy electronic based number, sustained on a funky-like rhythm pattern, where the combination of electric piano, synth, choir, and ultimately the kantele and cymbalom, grows fluidly and naturally interconnected. The funky stuff remains consistent in 'I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You', this time on a rockier basis (great singing by Lenny Zakatek, soon to become a regular collaborator for Parsons & co.). 'Some Other Place' replaces the previous number's insolence with a sense of confused vulnerability, properly made more dramatic by the solemn orchestral stuff. The same feeling, in a more overwhelming degree, is conveyed in the emotionally charged 'Don't Let It Show': the moving claim for an extra effort to keep the secrecy of secrets during the sung part finds a proper counterpart in the pompous, explosive instrumental finale - one of the finest APP songs ever! Between the two is 'Breakdown', which is basically a funky-rocky piece (one more) that meets its full splendour after the last chorus, when the epic choral/orchestral climax bursts out, spreading itself all along the fade-out: a weird idea that works really beautifully. So far the listener may notice that APP is basically a song-based rock band with progressive tricks and odds, more than a genuine prog act per se. Their more recurrent merit in the "I, Robot" repertoire is based upon the introduction of prog oriented shifts, and/or electronic ornaments, and/or classy (almost OST) orchestrations, in some specific parts of attractive ballads and catchy rock tunes. The vinyl side 2 starts with the wicked 'The Voice', an R'n'B number heavily reconstructed through an air of mystery thanks to the presence of steel guitar licks, eerie string arrangements, bass guitar overdubs, vocoderized warnings and synth stuff. The resulting ethereal ambience works as a proper musical portrait of the subtle tension in a robot guarded society: the same goes for the spacey instrumental 'Nucleus', before the human touch reappears in the candid acoustic-based ballad 'Day after Day (The Show Must Go On)', a self-pitying hymn to the long lost dreams of a long lost youth. Then comes the 'Total Eclipse', a chaotic collapse of disturbing dissonance (anyone remembers the last space flight in '2001: A Space Odyssey'?. well, you may have an idea of what 'Total Eclipse' is all about). Once this sinister storm is concluded, a new dawn of life and hope is announced in 'Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32', the beautiful closure that lowers the album's curtains with elegant solemnity. Conclusion - a very good album that pretty much anticipates better things to come in albums such as "Pyramid" and "The Turn of a Friendly Card".

(Review gratefully dedicated to Alan Parsons and his supporting band, who gave a very exciting concert in Lima, Jan 19 2005)

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#5568) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 21, 2005

Review by Fishy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Not really a prog masterpiece but this comes close. A highly accessible album with some excellent melodic 70's pop/rock with progressive flavours. "Break down" is a fine example of this. A catchy melody with progish vocal harmonies and wonderful orchestrations from Andrew Powell in the end. The opening track sets the scene with rising futuristic keyboards and a thin choir voice. Soon you're aware of the typical sounds of a Parsons instrumental track. But on I Robot the rhythm section also includes real basses, guitars and drums which makes is more worthwhile for a prog lover.

From its early beginning Parsons used the skills of some of the greatest vocalists in the music business at the time. Like on other project releases vocalist Lenny Zakatek gets the rock track. "I wouldn't want to be like you" is one of the most catchy tunes the band ever issues in its history. Great, filthy lyric also !"Some other place " is one of the few moments of pure progressive greatness even if the vocalist sounds a bit timid. Quiet at the beginning with some Hackett/ Fripp acoustic guitars, bombastic interludes later on. Listening to this wonderful song makes you wonder why other prog bands didn't use any orchestra instead of keyboards. I suppose it must have been an expensive idea. "Don't let it show" tends to be quite pathetical but again, those great orchestrations on the final notes saves it from being too cheesy. "The voice" opens in a mysterious way with some spacey sounds till Steve Harley's distinctive voice turns up. Then there's this excellent chaotic instrumental brake of orchestral sounds along with Ian Bairnson's psychedelic guitar lines. The Alan Parsons project used to put interludes like that on other albums as well, but here it sounds fresh and original. Parsons called himself the real producer of Dark side of the moon and the first Project releases does let it show. "Nucleus" is one of the moments where it's obvious he's right, the space effects at the beginning are proof of that. This dreamy piece of sound would fit in nicely on Porcupine Tree's The sky moves sideways another album in the Pink Floyd vein. "Day after day" is reminiscent to "Us and them" but only more cheesy, still it's enjoyable all the way. The purpose of "Total eclipse" seem to be a bridge between this and the great closing theme, it's an excerpt that doesn't stand on his own. It sounds as a leftover form the "House of Usher" suite of the "Tales of." album. Overall this album is much more light hearted when compared to the project's debut album which isn't a surprise as we all know Tales was a musical interpretation of the horror stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Still Parsons kept the mystery from Tales on I robot. Listening to the amazing space sounds and the futuristic artwork, the main theme on this album must be progress but it isn't really coming through in the lyrics, so I don't believe this really was meant to be a concept album. Although "Genesis ch 1 V 32" recaptures the atmosphere of the opening track, it adds some wonderful keyboard melodies which do sound typical seventies if you 're familiar with the music of Jean Michel Jarre and again, Pink Floyd. Later on there's a climax which makes a worthy ending for this fantastic album or is my mind troubled by some memories of the time this album was released ? Anyway I don't think this will come across very outdated when young proggers hear this album for the very first time one of these days. It can't be a coincidence Parsons still performs lots of stuff from this album while being on tour.

"I robot" is a great, though not fantastic, effort and there's only few Project releases which can top this but the chart successes of the early eighties were still to come in 1977. This album combines the many different moods to a unit where other Project releases fail in a misplaced trial to please everyone which they did by the way.

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Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars By profession, I'm a workshop facilitator. Am now running a Corporate Culture workshop for the largest (with 21,000 employees!) national bank in my home- country. I usually use classic rock as well as progressive rock music to create the "right" ambient for my workshop - usually during experiential learning and/or self reflection phase. [Tell me my friend, is there any kind of music that is conducive enough to create a great ambient of a dynamic workshop?? Only PROG my friend!] Or sometimes during the assignment where all participants write something at their work book. At my last session , a lady participant approached me during break and asking me how come I dare to use songs like "Firth of Fifth", "Hairless Heart", "I Know What I Like" (Genesis), "Humble Stance" (Saga) as well as "The Friends of Mr Cairo" (Jon and Vangelis)? She claimed that she enjoyed the workshop ambient with that kind of songs as background. During the discussion she also asked me whether I know a band with its name using something like "project". So I did mention: "It must be The Alan Parsons Project". "You got it right!" she said. She asked me how to get the CD for that kind of music. The long discussion follow and to make it short the discussion led me the way to spin again my collection of The APP and write the review after listening to it. "I Robot" started first. [Phew !!!. such a long intro. So sorry . Talking about music is talking about life - even, I can write a novel about it . but, who's gonna buy? No one! So I'd better talk about this album .] You might call this as progressive pop music as it contains mostly poppy stuffs with a bit of rock favor. Put off the prog boundary, it's a good album by Alan Parsons Project that colored the classic rock era of the seventies. The album starts off with an atmospheric keyboard effects and female chanting through "I Robot". It might bring your memory into Pink Floyd stuff - but it's not really. "I wouldn't want to be Like You" is a nice pop rock with good vocal line in upbeat style. Hit like "Some Other Time" was very common by the time and people in my country really enjoyed this track. I remember how my friends generally liked this song because of its melody. Some radio stations put this track as hit and made it popular during that period. "Breakdown" brings the music into a mellow pop music with good melody and good rhythmic guitar and choirs. "Don't Let It Show" is my favorite Alan Parsons Project song with powerful and memorable melody. The vocal is really excellent. The organ sound that accompanies the vocal reminds me to the seventies type of music combined with melodic keyboard and electric piano. "The Voice" starts with repeated chords of bass and keyboards in atmospheric setting followed with great vocal line. I also really enjoy the concluding track which has a very good composition "Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32".

It's an excellent album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Friday, April 21, 2006

Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars This is another album that I inherited from an older sibling. She had a habit of getting great albums, and rarely listening to them. Eventually, they became mine. This one grabbed me from the start. It also didn't hurt that my local FM station had already been playing a couple of tracks. What does all this mean? It means that "I Robot" has been a friend for a long time. There have been long stretches of neglect, but it always comes back, and never lets me down.

The title track is a spacey, techno-operatic piece, with a groove. Setting up the mood perfectly

We then get into a very radio friendly tune, with "I wouldn't Want to be Like You." You want funk in your opus to a technological society? You got it. It's really a great groover.

"Some Other Time" is a lament about being disconnected. Made powerful by haunting vocals, and synthesized horns.

"Breakdown," a song about alienation, brings back the funky bass, but moves on to more familiar rock forms. It builds, and adds to its emotional power. By the end we have a full chorus calling for freedom.

"Don't let it show" is a touching ballad about coping, and buried emotion. It starts with an organ, tender vocals, and sounds as if it was performed in a church. In the style already laid out, more is added, and it becomes more orchestral. By the end, the tempo is up, and there is tympani in the background.

"The Voice" is a testament to paranoia. The style is almost borrowed from the soundtrack of a "Shaft" movie. Once again, there is the build up. This time we get a cool bass, strings, and clapping groove.

"Nucleus" is where the prog really comes in. A steady beat (lightly reminiscent of a moving train), carries the listener through waterfalls, or waves, of lush, but delicate sound.

"Day After Day" just makes you want to grab your significant other, and have a loving slow dance.

Of course, anyone who has seen "2001 a Space Odyssey" will recognize "Total Eclipse." It's downright creepy, unsettling, and awesome.

"Genesis CH. 1 V. 32" takes us out in the same style as the opening, only with a lot more subtlety. Thus coming full circle.

It may sound dated, maybe even a little cheesy at times, but get past it. This is a gem, and should not be overlooked.

H.T. Riekels

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Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars The story here was that Alan Parsons wanted to follow up his classic-literature-meets- rock “Tales…” album with a similar concept piece, this time a treatment on Isaac Asimov’s “I, Robot”. He even reportedly met with Asimov to discuss the idea. But Asimov had unfortunately long since abdicated the commercial rights to this book series. So Parsons removed the comma from the album’s title and intentionally dumbed- down any apparent associations between his songs and Asimov’s book, and “I Robot” was born.

The title track opener marks the second instance where Parsons begins an album with an ethereal instrumental. This track is full of synthetic instrumentation, spacey backing choruses, and dated but effective sound effects, and while it’s not particularly progressive in composition, it’s a decent enough opening with a pretty catchy rhythm and some nice keyboards. A bit repetitive, which in itself isn’t all that unusual in the progressive music world, but one would expect some variations on the main musical theme as the song progresses, but that doesn’t really happen here.

I’m pretty sure “I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You” was the Project’s first Top-40 single in America. This is another catchy rhythm (one would expect no less from Parsons), and has some very good guitar and bass, but is really just a well-produced pop song.

“Some Other Time” totally reminds me of some of the more mellow stuff Jeff Lynne was doing with ELO around the same time, maybe like “Starlight” or “Steppin’ Out” from “Out of the Blue”, but a bit spacier in the vein of Pink Floyd. A pretty good song all things considered, although pretty short and with not particularly deep lyrics.

Yet another hit single with “Breakdown”, again with pretty decent guitar work amid the plethora of keyboards Parsons has always been known for. Former Hollies front-man Allan Clarke has one of those voices that is just really pleasant to listen to, although he isn’t necessarily all that talented. His tone just blends pretty well with the guitars, and contrasts the chamber backing chants quite nicely. This is probably one of the most recognizable songs in the Project’s repertoire.

Well, along with “Don’t Let it Show”, that is. Apart from the front side of the “Tales…” album, this is my favorite Project composition. This is a very mellow song with pretty minimal instrumentation, but when the string and woodwind arrangements kick in toward the middle of the song, the sound really fills out well. And David Paton (Camel, Pilot) is a pretty decent bass player too, which shows most on this track. The woodwind and keyboard sequence toward the end is pure 1970’s so the track has a bit of a dated feel to it, but it’s a nostalgic feel and reminds me a lot of bands like Pilot, Paper Lace, John Hall (did you know he's active in New York politics now?), and Orleans (Hall's old band) – just this side of pop and largely forgettable, but for a brief moment between about 1974 and 1977, this was a great sound.

Cockney Rebel Steve Harley has a decidedly different tone on “the Voice”, with it’s suspenseful bass line and creative string arrangement. He reminds me of Ian Hunter for some reason – maybe the accent. Anyway, this is kind of filler with it’s odd percussion and slightly chaotic synthesizers. For me this is one of the weaker tracks on the album.

The “Nucleus” instrumental is another pretty well-known piece of Project music. This is quite beautiful stuff, and if it would have been found on a Tangerine Dream album it would have been considered brilliant ambience music, but hidden here on what’s really an art rock album, it tends to be underappreciated. 10CC did some tunes a lot like this one in their day as well.

Parsons seems to favor mellow, melodic tunes on this album. “Day After Day” is no exception. The largely unknown Jack Harris delivers some absolutely gorgeous vocals here. Harris also appeared on “Tales…” and would become a recurring guest on Project albums until he abandoned the music industry for a career in graphic arts.

“Total Eclipse” marks the third instrumental on the album. Frankly I think Parsons took a bit of a risk by having this many instrumentals on an album he was obviously trying to pitch in the commercial popular market. Things work out since the album ended up at something like #5 in the States and spent time on the British charts as well, but still I think this was a bit of a stretch for him. Especially with this particular track, which is interesting enough with its expansive keyboards and moody backing choruses, but it is not really developed into anything appreciable at all.

The album closes with another instrumental (“Genesis 1:32”), named after a verse in the Holy Bible that doesn’t exist (for all you pagans and the uninformed, the book of Genesis ends with verse 31). Anyway, I suppose this is a revisionist verse suggesting that robots and computers constitute the unfinished creation of our world. This one has a really cool guitar lick that is repeated to decent effect throughout the whole song, although again I think Parsons and Eric Woolfson could have spent a bit more time developing this particular compostion.

All told this is a very decent album, but it has enough flaws (mostly in the form of underdeveloped compositions and unexplored concepts) that it can’t really be considered essential by any means. But it is as well-produced and tightly arranged as anything else the Project pair of Parsons and Woolfson would produce. So three stars seems about right.

peace

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Posted Sunday, October 08, 2006

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Following up their impressive debut from the year before wasn't an easy task but with "I, Robot" The Alan Parsons Project did a damn good job of it. The smartest thing Parsons and Woolfson did was to avoid attempting to make an imitative sequel and to boldly create cutting-edge music that was in many ways even more progressive by utilizing state-of-the-art synthesizer technology and generally expanding their horizons. The result was their first platinum LP due in no small part to a more radio- friendly approach on a couple of tracks and the resultant top twenty single that gave them much-needed visibility in the marketplace.

The instrumental title cut features a lengthy, mysterious fade in that shows they were willing to patiently take their time in setting up the futuristic premise. Even the drums take a few loose bars to gel with the programmed keyboards before the groove locks into place and the piece starts building layer by layer, adding a huge chorale and unusual but delightful bell effects along the way. "I Wouldn't Want to be Like You" begins with what always reminds me of something lifted from a secret agent flick soundtrack but maybe that's just me. I can forgive them for employing the dreaded disco beat here because when they recorded the song that vile scourge upon the music industry was still in its adolescence and no one knew it would demonically devour enormous bites of creativity for the remainder of the 70s. On the up side the tune has marvelous put-down lyrics delivered with gleeful vengeance, Ian Bairnson's ever-tasteful guitar stylings are a treat and the fact that the single ascended to #16 did wonders for sales of the album. Mission accomplished.

"Some Other Time" is a full-bodied pop ballad that has fluid 12-string acoustic guitars, lush orchestration and a memorable melody. "Breakdown" can't help but sound like The Hollies to me because of Allan Clarke's inimitable vocal tone that characterized so many of their AM Top 40 hits in the 60s. Don't get me wrong, that's not a bad thing at all. As a matter of fact, one of the best things about this album is that so many of the numbers change/evolve as they go along and this tune serves as a great example of that when the cavernous "freedom" chorus and underlying symphonic score come in toward the end. Very cool. A lone vocal accompanied by a beautiful church organ starts the well-written contemporary ballad "Don't Let it Show" that also transitions into something much larger in scope with a driving rock beat and luxurious orchestration making a delayed entrance.

"The Voice" has a psychedelic opening feel and an ominous, warning vocal before changing into a dynamic instrumental that resembles my favorite aspect of The Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" with very up-front, punctuating string interjections and soulful handclaps. While much of APP's later material could fairly be judged as blatant rip-offs of other genres, this one is so thrilling that it stands on its own despite the comparison. If anything it's a loving tribute rather than mimicry. The cosmic atmosphere continues with the excellent "Nucleus" as deep-toned synthesizers and some deft drumming create a soundscape not unlike what Weather Report was exploring at the same time. It's totally unexpected. The calming "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)" is what I refer to as Pink Floyd "lite" in that it has a dreamy aura surrounding a pretty much straightforward ballad but it lacks that classic band's distinctive charisma. No surprises, in other words.

The most progified moments come during the other-worldly "Total Eclipse," an eerie mix of ultra-modern chorale voicings and an avant garde symphony score that was obviously influenced by the neo-classical compositions of Gyorgy Ligeti whose music enhanced Kubrick's masterpiece of cinema, "2001 - A Space Odyssey." It's a brilliant cut. (If these guys would have continued to challenge their listeners in this way we all might be talking about what prog rock giants they were. Alas, they got seduced by the intoxicating power of the chart-topping single, instead, and that's a rotten shame.) They skillfully segue into "Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32," a more standard instrumental fare that does an exemplary job of melding guitars, synthesizers, a massive chorale and dense orchestration together. The extended fade-out leaves you wanting more, ever the sign of a quality record.

In some ways I actually like this album more than their head-turning debut but they're both superb in their own different ways. This was the timeframe when Parsons and Woolfson were still producing the thought-provoking and intriguing progressive-tinged music that justifies them being on this site. What followed in the years to come was, with few exceptions, a gradual but steady decline into mediocrity and crass commercialism that forever tainted their reputation in my book. However, if you want to know what all the fuss was about circa 1977 with these studio artists then "I, Robot" will make an excellent addition to your prog collection. 3.8 stars.

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Posted Monday, September 10, 2007

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Alan Parsons and company basically deliver on my expectations with I Robot: heavily produced and layered music, cool sounds and effects, and as a result a lack of emotion and rawness that is also sometimes needed. I Robot may be presented as somewhat of a concept album, but though the songs don't entirely fit together musically. I always appreciate diversity on an album, and there is tons here. The caveat is that you also are likely to find some material that doesn't work for you. The end result is an album that is defnitely worth owning, but APP certainly haven't hit a home run with this one.

I find the first half of the album to be very high quality--almost masterpiece status. The title track is about as progressive electronic as I am ready to endure (eventually that will change!), but it develops quickly enough that I don't lose focus. I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You is the radio hit, for good reason. I appreciate the vocalist cutting loose a bit, and the guitar and intro/close are all highlights. The quality continues with Some Other Time and Breakdown: both use dynamics, synths and guitar to tasteful effect. I especially enjoy the defiant chorus to end Breakdown. Given this material, the ballad Don't Let It Show fits nicely here--and it still has an upbeat ending to prog-ify it a bit.

Unfortunately the second half cannot keep up in quality. For me, The Voice (repetitive and pushing further into disco territory than I'm willing to go), Nucleus (uneventful ambient synthesizing) and Total Eclipse (ditto) are skippable. Fortunately, between the ambient tunes we have Day After Day, which is a lazy, Floydian piece. Good but not great.

Fortunately it all comes together for the finale: Genesis. This is one of my absolute favorite pieces of instrumental music. APP really throw the kitchen sink at the listener here, building and building to an absolutely MASSIVE conclusion. How they could have made an I Robot movie and not used this song is beyond me--I can literally picture a camera pan showing ever more threatening robots along with the musical swell to great effect. Maybe that's just me :)

In short, you will like at least some parts of this album--I guarantee it. Just don't expect to like all of it, and don't expect it to reveal more depth and ingenuity with each listen, and you'll be happy to have I Robot in your collection.

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Posted Friday, September 14, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I Robot is another extremely well produced album by the Alan Parsons Project. This one is based on Isaac Asimov's collection of robot stories under the same title. The original concept for this album was to actually follow the stories Asimov wrote but Parsons was unable to obtain the rights and thus altered the concept. An overarching theme is a view of the future through today's eyes. The album also brings to the front of Man creating robots in his own image and paralleling that with the last song on the disc called Genesis Ch.1 v.32. In the Bible, chapter one of Genesis only had 31 verses. The 32nd verse is implying the place where robots have taken over. Musically Parsons incorporates these themes by using "spacier" and machine-like sounds (like in the self-titled instrumental).

Again, like their debut, the music is generally pop music with progressive tendencies, but is all tied together with the aforementioned underlying themes. Guest vocalists featured on I Robot include Lenny Zakatek, Allan Clarke (Hollies), Steve Harley (Cockney Rebel), among others. B.J. Cole (Cochise) guests on steel guitar. The lineup isn't as star-studded as their debut, but overall the album seems more cohesive, yet less progressive.

Overall, this is a nicely done album and an enjoyable listen. I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You, Breakdown, and the I Robot instrumental received a lot of radio play. But generally, this album only slightly touches progressive rock and falls into that gray area of "is it progressive or not?" It's about as good as their debut, but if it had a more progressive style I'd rate it higher. Three stars. Good but not essential. A must have for APP fans.

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Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Alan Parsons Project is a band that alows you to get involved in progressive rock in a gentle way. At the time I bought this record I just had a vinyl record player and so the music of the '70 was to come. For that time I mostly listened to metal bands, but I was seeking for a new thrill.

The record starts of beatifull with symphonic sounds and a high female voice. Then the instrumental I Robot starts of. Great track recorded alongside with a beautifull choir. As mentioned a lot before me, the production is awsome! One slight difference from their debut is to be noticed; The production serves the music, instead of the music serving the production. On Tale of.. I though there had been too much interests in the production. On I Robot their is more eye for the song themselves.

I wouldn' want to be like you, the first song of the album rebuilds the tension build on the opening track. Slowly we get into a nice song wich is actually a bit simple, but it work pretty well. Nice and slow compositions. Some other time is a beatifull emotional song with again great symphonic amplification. You'll get carried away in this wall of sound coming to you!

Breakdown is a song that starts of normal. In the middle a new theme is introduced, later to be sung by a choir again. This makes the song rememberable. It's a strong catchy line: Freedom, freedom, we will not obay!. All the vocals are very clean and professional giving it a classic rock sound.

Don't let it show is one of my favourite APP songs. Again beatifull arangements and good vocals. Side two begins with The Voice wich is my least favourite part of the record. It's a bit to slow and not very interesting, but OK... it isn't a bad song. After this a kakaphony of sounds come out of your speakers. A psychadelic composition on a alan parsons record? Yes it happened. Though I don't find it a very beautifull track, it does make the next track Day after Day even better. It's a good introduction for a dreamy song like day after day. Just let me type you one verse of it:

Remember your daddy, when no one was wiser your ma use to say that you would go further then he ever would with time on your side

Somehow this song gives me hope. The nice keyboardpart on this song is peacefull and shapes a nice vibe very contrary to the previous composition. After this their is more room for experimentation and so Total Eclipse is born. This track is based on drums and synthisizors. Another psychedelic track but this time a bit more melodic. I like it. An ending is found in Genesis ch.1. v.32. A tracks that finishes the album and gives you the final ingredient: you've listened to a whole complete record. This is something I find very important. When my vinyl record has stopped and it feels like a movie is over or the final page of book is read. This give me great satisfaction.

In summary: great songs, great orchistrations, great vocals and some nice solo's. I think this record is even better then their debut. It's an album you'll get attached to. Four stars!

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Posted Monday, July 14, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Robotic Rock

I Robot is quite different from Tales Of Mystery And Imagination. The typical formula that the Alan Parsons Project would follow on most of their 80's albums had not yet been fully established; the Project was still at this point a band that was somewhat exiting and not too predictable. There are some Disco sounds on this album that put me off on the first couple of listens. Particularly, the I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You track is one of the most horrible creations. However, if you can get past this there is actually a lot to enjoy on this album.

The bass guitar sound is better here than on any other Alan Parsons Project album that I've heard. Also the electric lead guitar sounds good when it is present (which is not a lot). The drums are always the biggest problem with any Alan Parsons Project album; they sound a bit too stale and a bit robotic (to fit the theme of the album maybe?). The keyboards are rather stale too sometimes come off as a bit cold and patterned, but not as much as on most of the Project's 80's albums.

Acoustic guitar, choirs and orchestra are used on some tracks to great effect, I think. The contrast between these acoustic, more organic and genuine sounds and the more artificial sounds of the keyboards and drums is quite interesting and the balance and integration between them is very successful.

The whole thing is of course very well produced as always with Parsons (after all, he is a producer first and foremost). The most important factor in any kind of music is, of course, to have good songs and the songs here are all well-written and catchy (sometimes too catchy for my taste though).

There are several invited guest vocalists on different tracks, but surprisingly this does not give this album a disjointed feel (like almost all other Alan Parsons Project albums including Tales Of Mystery And Imagination). The concept of this album is a bit silly but it does not distract too much.

This is actually one of the better albums by the Alan Parsons Project.

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Posted Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Critcs start to bash Alan Parsons Project albums from their second offering on. And I always suspect that that was more due to the fact APP was a huge commercial success than to some decrease of musical quality. And if you hear APP´s Tales of Mystery and Imagination and this one you´ll seee not much difference between the music in general. Sure, I robot is more polished and had one song that reached the carts (I Wouldn´t Want To Be Like You), but that´s about it. The project always had this flair for the melodic, accessible approach since the beginning, so there is no real ´betrayal´ of their prog past as some claim.

Having said that, I must admit I was a fan. Hearing this CD after all these years reminded me of how versatile, creative and prolific they were. The production is so perfect is almost absurd. The many singers invited do a great job and certainly Woolfson and Parsons know how to craft great tunes. I was surprised to find members of that pop band Pilot playing in such sophisticated project but Ian Bairnson and David Patton proved to be better musicians than most people (me included) thought they were. I liked the themes of their conceptual works too. It was quite unsual for an act to work always with concept albums and come out with such constant success.

There is no real challeging music here. Nothing too original or groundbreaking, either. But I guess it was never their goal anyway. Nevertheless, it was nice music, very well done and with tasteful arrangements. Their progressive influences (very strong on I Robot) would wear out in future releases, but they never ceased to amaze me with the quality of their songwriting abilities. I Robot is a very conving CD and my rating is something between 3,5 to 4 stars.

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Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars On "I Robot", APP's tribute to Isaac Asimov's great prescient work, the rough edges of the debut album are largely smoothed out. This is a much slicker effort that fits snugly in the late 70s even as punk hammered away at anything remotely establishment. On the surface, one might cry "sell out" and move on to the next new thing, but "I Robot" is triumphant on so many fronts that it succeeds in partly overshadowing its predecessor.

Back in the old LP days, side 1 was as nearly flawless as 5 tracks could be. Beginning with the engaging instrumental title cut, it shows virtually every facet of the Project, and is notable for several stunning tracks, in particularly the back to back impact of "Some Other Time", with a reflective beginning, slow and fitful buildup to its masterful climax, and "Breakdown", where Alan Clarke simply gives himself over to forces beyond his control, played by the ominous choir. On the surface, these are just 2 well crafted pop songs, but beneath, layers of sensitivity and complexity.

On Side 2 the inspiration flags somewhat, although "The Voice" is the quintessential vocoder song, in which singer and instrument meld in a way that would have left Peter Frampton writhing on the floor. It's atmospheric and haunting, with a beat to boot. "Day After Day" is a decent Floydian styled ballad. Elsewhere, the instrumentals come off mostly as half hearted spacey forays, the best of these being the closer. Nothing as seminal as "Fall of the House of Usher" here.

While not as generally consistent as "Tales of Mystery..", "I Robot" hits some highs for accessible progressive rock that made it the record du jour in 1977, and a deserving commercial windfall for APP. Leagues ahead of the superficial claptrap of QUEEN and ELO, it was also more humanist, dystopian themes notwithstanding.

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Posted Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I guess that I am one of the very few who considers that this second APP album is on par with his debut one. This is only due to the fact that I was not overwhelmed by ''Tales?'' which was a good album but that couldn't really impress me at the time of release.

This album didn't gain so much the attention of the media as follow-up of a so-called masterpiece, and APP disappeared from my radars as well. I only rediscover these albums at the turn of the century.

I would say that this album is more commercial-oriented and more easy-listening. Some disco-based elements are also present (''I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You''): this is not particularly the best times of the whole.

Catchy melodies, top notch production of course and an impressive list of guests (musicians, vocalists) are certainly ingredients that by all means generated this good album. The sweet, and at times Floydean, ballad ''Some Other Time'' and the fine instrumental 'Nucleus'' are some examples. The electronic and more experimental opener and title track is another one.

Most of this work wouldn't require too much attention to be appreciated, it is a nice succession of good tracks, lacking perhaps some grandeur. The overall quiet mood adds to a certain tranquillity conveyed here.

''I Robot'' is an enjoyable album, but nothing from the other world. The closing instrumental is another one of the very good tracks (total four). Three stars.

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Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars ALAN PARSONS PROJECT is one of those bands that is mentioned as a guilty pleasure in most Progressive Rock forums, and the explanation is simple, many progheads don't forgive success, and "Eye in the Sky" was a successful album that combined good Pop music with amazing Prog arrangements and a wonderful production.

But people forget that ALAN PARSONS PROJECT started their career as a Prog band with three solid albums, being "I Robot" not only one of them, but in my opinion the one that combined more elements of different sub-genres with great skills and the first one in which the band really discovered a unique sound after a fantastic but hard to listen debut.

"I Robot" begins with the title track, a song that mixes elements of Electronic and Symphonic Prog incredibly well, the peculiar use of keyboards would be the trademark of the band, but the strength of "I Robot" rests in the capacity of Andrew Powell to combine Orchestra and elaborate chorus to add a touch of drama. If I had to describe the song with one word OI would choose "delightful".

"I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" is a short track that always sounded a bit out of place on this album, not because lack of quality, because the whole band with Lenny Zakatek in the vocals sounds great, but the structure is simpler, more suitable for later works like "Eye in the Sky" or "Vulture Culture", but still an excellent song.

"Some other time" starts with a heartbreaking piano and synthesised flute and the dual vocals by Jaki Whitren and Peter Straker enhance the effect. Again the star of the song is Andrew Powell with his outstanding arrangements for Orchestra (specially the characteristic and pompous winds), another excellent song.

"Breakdown" is an odd rack that combines both sides of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT; the poppy and well produced sound with the orchestral and Progressive elements,as usual the choice of vocalist is more than adequate, being that Allan Clarke with his acute range makes the perfect contrast with the sober and formal choirs, another delightful song.

After the previous pomp, it was necessary to light a bit the atmosphere and that's what Alan Parsons achieves with the dramatic ballad "Don't Let it End", in which Dave Townsend's voice supported by a church organ make the perfect contrast between the sacred and earthly, and after this long intro, the song develops delicately in a combination of light and elaborate sections that fit one after the other with perfect synchronicity .

"The Voice" is the weaker track in the album the monotonous bass line and annoying voice of Steve Harley are so weak that not even the addition of sound effects and vocoder can help, and what is worst, the instrumental break sounds so Disco oriented that reminds me of VAN MC'COY..............Well, the album was released in 1977 when Disco was king. Weak choice.

"Nucleus" is a weird combination between experimental sounds and light Jazz, which I enjoy very much and works as an interlude before the effective "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)", a melancholic ballad with wonderful instrumentation and production, a delicate piece of art.

Before we reach the end is the turn for choral "Total Eclipse, where Alan Parsons allows Andrew Powell to display his obsession for the dark and haunting style so vastly used in the dark debut "Tales of Mystery and Imagination", simply scary and ideal to prepare people for the final song.

"Genesis Ch.1 V.32" closes the album with the strongest track of all the album, Mister Parsons hits us with everything he has, don't ask me if the song is mainly electronic or Symphonic, because I can't say....But who cares? Is' one of the best expressions of the band with Andrew Powell adding his orchestra and chorus as only he can do, outstanding.

Not a perfect masterpiece, because of one or two weaker tracks, but I would not be honest if I gave this album less than 4 stars.

A great addition for any musical collection.

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Posted Monday, August 10, 2009

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The Alan Parsons Project had more downs than ups with me in terms of how I enjoyed the music. I have been getting progressively disinterested in the project and EVE really put my non-interest in the band into perspective. Yet, I still had the curiosity to listen to I, ROBOT, maybe to feel the need to find something from APP that I could sink my teeth into.

The title track, believe it or not, is that something that I've been looking for in APP. This song is the perfect representation of the project; meaty, bouncy synth lines all over the place with a steady drum beat to keep everything in check. I...love...this. I think it's the best thing from APP that I've heard thus far. I have high hopes for this one.

All of those hopes are destroyed once ''I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You'' shows up. I find this song as nothing more than substandard disco, really. Unimaginative disco to the highest degree, the album quickly plummeted from its global maximum to its global minimum over the span of a track change.

Thankfully, I don't feel that the album fall into any more pits, but it doesn't achieve the heights that the first instrumental does. The songs with singing fall into what I've typically come to expect out of the project; nice pop, but very forgettable and ultimately unsatisfying. The instrumental tracks, while stronger than the vocal ones, don't have anything for me to keep coming back.

The title track might be the best APP song I've ever heard. The rest of the album is quite disposable in my opinion. I'm in an extreme minority on this one, but that's how I feel.

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Posted Saturday, November 07, 2009

Review by Matthew T
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Six degrees of separation seem to be the case with this 1977 production by Alan Parsons, this being his 2nd album with Eric Woolfson and released under the name of The Alan Parsons Project. When one looks at the personnel on the album there are surprises with Ian Bairnson who was a member of Pilot ( January ) was the big single and also provided guitar on Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights. Next we have David Paton ( Bass,acoustic guitar) and Stuart Tosh ( Drums) and both were early Bay City Rollers and members of Pilot with Ian Bairnson. Paton also was on Wuthering Heights and Tosh went on to 10cc but all of them became to be members of The Alan Parsons Project. Lenny Zakatek is from the the UK funk band Gonzsalez, Alan Clarke from the Hollies and Steve Harley who had his own band Cockney Rebel and the big hit Make me Smile are three of the vocalists with five others listed as contributing to the album. B. J. Cole does pedal steel and previously had been contributing to Elton John's early albums and also with Marc Bolan. Of course Alan and Eric are on Keyboards with Duncan Mackay as well.

The album commences with the instrumental and the title track I Robot which is the theme of the album. With a slow quiet introduction over keyboards which slowly build in volume and once the rythmn is introduced the track builds in intensity throughout. I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You which was one of the singles from the album follows up and Lenny Zakatek is the lead vocalist which is quiet a catchy tune with a great rock feel.The 3rd track is Some Other Time as is a lot more introspective than the previous but still comes in with the big finishes that Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson used frequently in their songwriting. Alan Clarke gets his turn on lead vocals on the following song Breakdown and once again is one rocker of a song but the standout and that is perhaps because it is unusual for his style is the last song on side one of the record and that is Don't Let it Show with that organ intro and more sentimental than his usual style of writing but I wish he had done a few more like this as it primarily is a ballad that is thumped right up and is one grab of a song. With the usual huge finish of course.Side two of the record did not seem to gather the amount of plays that side one did but there are some great instrumentals ( 3 in Total) and with the song The Voice, Steve Harley gets his go and the other track with vocals from the five on that side of the record is Day After Day ( The Show Must Go On ) which is quite a nice song. Nothing wrong with the flip of the album at all but side one was always the real meat of the album with those songs contained within.

This is the most liked Alan Parsons album that I own and is frequently played in the house by not only myself but other members of my family and really has stood the test of time over the years since its release in 1977. Great Stuff

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Send comments to Matthew T (BETA) | Report this review (#264424) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 05, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars It didn't take long for the Alan Parsons Project to follow up their debut album and it's clear that they were at a creative peak around the time of this release.

This time around we are treated to an entirely different concept album concerning the famous science fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov. If you know nothing about these stories then please don't be discouraged because Alan Parsons Project has never really been about the linear lyrical content and instead concentrated on the thematic aspects of their concept albums like the loose overall themes. Besides, the album is more generically about robots rather than anything specifically related to the Asimov universe, so just relax and enjoy the ride!

Unlike the debut I Robot is a mixed bag of goods, but that's not necessarily a bad thing since most of the material here is top notch. We are treated to some of the most beautiful ballads of the 70's like the wonderful Don't Let It Show and some of the most technically progressive sounds of the era like the opening title track.

I consider it somewhat of a pity that they had to add two rather bland and generic singles that make this album a bit of a dated affair. Still it's by far my favorite Alan Parsons Project release to date and I will actually go as far as calling this an excellent addition to any progressive rock collection!

***** star songs: Some Other Time (4:05) Don't Let It Show (4:21) Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32 (3:37)

**** star songs: I Robot (6:06) The Voice (5:21) Nucleus (3:35) Day After Day (Show Must Go On) (3:43) Total Eclipse (3:05)

*** star songs: I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You (3:19) Breakdown (3:50)

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Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars In the endless pursuit for more Prog in my teenage years, someone suggested the Alan Parsons Project to me, and after being charmed by their debut, the second album seemed a logical step forward to get acquainted with the artist. Unfortunately, the music turned out to be quite a few steps backwards. For me this album serves as an example for one of the most painful listening experiences ever to be associated with the progressive rock tag.

It starts decent enough though, the opening title track has a nice soft porn groove with funky guitars and a touch of Tangerine Dream majesty. It sounds a bit aged and cheesy now but there's a good composition at the core. It fades into the funk-disco-pop of I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You. APP couldn't have chosen a better track to prove he had given up on writing challenging or remarkable music entirely. It's a nice and catchy tune but it's so old and cliché, and unashamedly commercial.

Apart from the art-rocky track The Voice and a couple of average instrumentals the remainder of the album sounds simply horrible. The music never rises above sugar sweet pop ballads and cringe worthy funk-soul-disco. It's amazing how corny this material is and how badly it has aged. Did APP want to write a batch of songs to submit for the European Song Festival contest? They would sure have fit in perfectly. For people from across the Atlantic, the European Song Festival is the ultimate European Television freak show of bad taste, flat pop commercialism and mainstream balladry cheese.

I Robot is a dreadful album but I'll save it from the one star damnation because of its nice opening track and because the remainder of APP's discography is even worse. But I can't forgive this album for associating one of my favourite authors with such stale music. I'll spare you of reviews for the remainder of the APP discography as I don't have the courage to sit through any of those records ever again.

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Posted Monday, April 26, 2010

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Even the Cylons are bored

"I Robot" was the second album for Parsons and fails to truly impress as a progressive work certainly, but even if measured as a rock album solely. I can enjoy the conceptual nature and science fiction themes along with the stellar production/crisp sound. There are some well crafted pop hooks and catchy tracks, but ultimately this is a rather unfulfilling overall experience. I think there are two very good tracks here: the amazing, perfectly constructed "Some Other Time" which used to completely blow me away in the upstairs of a friend's house during our "listening and partying" days. It features a haunting and seductive piano, acoustic guitar, gentle keyboards and emotionally distant vocal, along with song construction that builds beautifully. It literally floats as it captivates the listener. There is also the fine FM radio track "Breakdown" which is pure ear-candy while simultaneously getting darker. Dramatic choirs and orchestration build at the end, and although this is not exactly Magma MDK territory, it is very effective musical storytelling with a rather simple beat and cautious pace. Much of the rest of the album however languishes in a sort of middle gear with flat ballads and quite lightweight instrumental passages. "I wouldn't want to be like you" is a truly dreadful track regardless of whether you seek prog, rock, or pop. Parts of the album can sound more like the background music for your local TV newscast as they head into commercial break, rather than groundbreaking progressive rock. The "instrumental" sections like "Total Eclipse" and "Nucleus" were probably designed to give the album highbrow or proggy credentials but are either too short or too bland for much effect. "Genesis" is only a bit better interjecting some life in the form of a dreamy guitar solo, but again, it simply fades before ever truly compelling you. The album seems to be shooting for a more approachable version of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" but it fails in that respect, it is neither as gripping nor as interesting as what Wright achieved on that track. "I Robot" is not a horrible album but rather one which promises more than it delivers. I think reviewers over the decades have played into that mindset by overstating its importance. While I can occasionally enjoy the album for mostly nostalgic reasons, I have a hard time recommending it beyond fans of the band. It provides a few good moments scattered throughout an otherwise forgettable album.

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Posted Sunday, May 02, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The second album from the Alan Parsons Project tightens up the slack from Tales of Mystery and Imagination and produces an intriguing mix of pop-symphonic instrumentals, moving and soulful power ballads (including the sweeping, majestic Some Other Place or the poignant Don't Let It Show), and up-tempo tracks showing a strong funk influence (such as I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You, Breakdown or The Voice). Impeccably produced as expected, the album is a slick piece of crossover magic which sounds a bit like what might happen if Supertramp and Steely Dan collaborated on an album. Some of you probably gagged a little at the thought of that, but if like me that sounds like an awesome idea, you'll probably find there's a lot to love about I Robot.

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Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review by thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Here super-producer Alan Parsons fuses electronic music and disco with progressive elements, using a range of musicians and singers to bring to life his musical interpretation of the I Robot story. The music isn't always spectacular, but is consistently fun to listen to, and maintains a good balance between music and lyric; hammering home the dystopian storyline without letting the funky grooves suffer. As you'd expect from the man who produced Dark Side of the Moon, the sound is crystal clear, with great dynamic range.

Comparisons to the mediocrities of late seventies AOR have tended to put me off The Alan Parsons Project, but these are less accurate than they appear, because although the songs on this record are hardly innovative, they are, in majority, well-written, interesting, and varied. The general feel is a disco-rock one, but interludes of synthy electronic bleeping and even some Ligeti-style dissonant choirs ensure that the album retains the listener's attention right up to its climax. The songs, a couple of which are single-worthy, have great melodies and rhythms, while the instrumentals help the record stand out from others in 1977. It all flows along seamlessly like a concept album should.

The opening title cut sounds as you'd expect, robotic. But I use this term positively. A very cool groove is reached, with riffs and melodies layered over it generously. The next few songs are decent enough rockers that forward the storyline, and at times show off some neat keyboard and guitar solos. Closing side one, 'Don't Let It Show' creates a beautiful feel with some lush church organ chords, building up to a power-ballad level of intensity, before unexpectedly chhanging course to a high-paced rock jam. It's an excellent song.

'The Voice' is more laid back, and some great timbres are put to use over the hypnotic bass line throughout the song. 'The Show Must Go On' is less appealing, but integral to the idea of I Robot. Three instrumentals complete the picture. 'Nucleus' is a washover of thick, synthy 9th chords and some tip-hop drumming, and 'Total Eclipse' is a surprisingly avant-garde soundscape that just chills me to the core. The closing piece is the epic 'Genesis Ch.1 V.32', which adds layer upon layer of timbre and harmonic interest to an emotional chord progression.

I Robot is a good album, better than I expected. Prog lived on through records like this, not that disco is ever a bad thing anyway.

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Posted Friday, November 18, 2011

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm not alone in feeling the peculiar charm of this album. Way better than the previous (and somehow overrated) Tales of Mystery... That's not because of the hyper production (which is common in whole APP's discography). Probably not even because of the Isaac Asimov's concept (the man's fall and the machine's rise).

I suppose the secret lies in the music itself, in its atmospheric and sombre pace, an element that is wonderfully developed in the opener and in other tracks ("Genesis ch. 1 v. 32", "Nucleus" and the upsetting "Total Eclipse", for instance). I think this is something you cannot find in other albums of this band.

Jumping over the more obvious "Breakdown", "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" and "Some Other Time" there are little gems as "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)", "Don't Let it Show" (magnificient) and "The Voice" that should be re-discovered.

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Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars 'I, Robot' is perhaps the definitive Alan Parsons Project album, certainly the most famous in terms of the opening 3 tracks, and that iconic album cover art. It is the first APP album I heard and I was quite impressed with the strong melodies and catchy choruses throughout. The instrumentals are always my favourite moments on APP albums and here is no exception with the incredible opener I, Robot. The keyboards dance beautifully along a jaunty rhythm and very melodic hook. The female choral vocals are joined by trilling bell chimes and that funkadelic rhythmic keyboard. The tempo is infectious and really locks into a solid meter and is enhanced by Oriental flavoured strings and those gorgeous angelic vocals. It is a masterpiece track that is well revered by Alan Parsons Project fans.

I love how this is followed by bass heavy pulsations building into the huge single I Wouldn't Want to be like You. This is a similar opening to other APP albums that open with an instrumental and then launch into the big album single such as the opening of 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination', and 'Pyramid'. The flute and piano melodies on Some Other Time are beautiful and it has a powerful horn section and acoustic flourishes. Breakdown also has a punchy rhythm with strong bass and it builds nicely from the verses into a catchy chorus. The vocals are well executed and it has a very cool twin lead guitar harmonic break. The huge operatic ending is reminiscent of prog pomp and ceremony from ELP, Queen or Pink Floyd. Don't Let It Show is also a huge hit for the group and features on many compilations. Side one is one of the best things that Alan Parsons Project have done, all killer and no filler throughout.

After this huge opening 'I, Robot' could have suffered from fatigue as other albums seem to, but it opens on side two with one of the most fantastic organic tracks. 'The Voice' is so melodic and I love the mechanised voice 'he's gonna get you'. This track has a hypnotic bassline, a gorgeous synth instrumental section and some ethereal music before it breaks into a fast tempo clappy piece with massive orchestral bursts. The album tends to get more experimental and dark as side two progresses. Nucleus is very atmospheric with odd voices heard and mellotron swells ascending and descending. This is a space rock sound that is unsettling and yet beautiful and it builds with subtle percussion and ambient sounds.

Day After Day (The Show Must Go On) sounds like Pink Floyd vocals mixed into a soft mushy ballad. It still delivers as far as a ballad but I prefer the more experimental rockier side of the group. Total Eclipse is next and is completely out of the box with instrumental sections merging with sound effects of preternatural voices and chilling atmospherics. It actually sounds like the ending of '2001: A Space Odyssey' in every respect. One could easily see the resemblance when you listen to this and then listen to the movie where Bowman is sucked into a starfield and journeys across many planets before reaching the end of the journey and settling in the white Renaissance room. After this odd track Genesis Ch 1 v.32 follows, a non existent chapter of The Bible implying the continuing story of Creation. This is basically another instrumental with guitar and keyboard melodies over a mesmirising tempo of chiming keys and steady percussion.

'I, Robot' is one of the most consistent APP albums that doesn't run out of steam after some awesome opening tracks. The liner notes on the cover state the thematic ideas based on Asimov's novel; 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 album has some wonderful ideas interwoven within and deserves recognition for its thematic content and melodic material that has stood the test of time.

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Posted Friday, January 18, 2013

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I Robot is the second opus by Parson's grandly named "Project", and is, of course, based upon the series of novels written by Sci-Fi great, Isaac Asimov. Actually, as an aside, it would have been interesting to have seen this updated alongside the later fusion by Asimov of these with his Foundation series. I digress, however.

This album, perhaps more than a lot of others, divides opinions amongst prog heads, mainly owing to two factors. Firstly, it was extremely successful commercially (never a good thing in more than a few minds), and it contains more than a splash of the prevalent commercial pop phase of the time, namely disco beats. Gasp!

If you can get past these things, and broad minded people reading this review are more than capable of doing so, then a treat is in store.

Not only do we have an extremely well produced work (not for nothing did Parsons twirl the Floyd knobs), but we have a marvellous fusion of the grandiose, such as on Some Other Time, electronica fused with cool beats, such as on the opening title track, pure electronic prog with Nucleus, and the wonderful, beautiful ballads which were, to me anyway, the hallmark of this entire Project over the years, and there is no better example anywhere than Day After Day, which has at its heart the most delicious Jack Harris vocal. In addition, you also have a couple of power pop rock tracks, Breakdown being perhaps the best, and it was this, of course, which gave such albums a wide commercial appeal. However, in such a mix are some decidedly sharply observed and executed dark passages, well in keeping with the subject matter.

There is a wonderful range of guest artists, and Parsons and Woolfson made this particular facet of the "experiment" last very successfully. Of particular note are Dave Townsend's gorgeous vocals on Don't Let It Show, a dreamy ballad, and the absolute highlight of a wonderful album, the dark, foreboding, The Voice, which simply would not have worked as well without the ridiculously talented Steve Harley at the vocal helm.

I am in the process of revisiting the collection of APP albums I own, and this is a good starting point, as it would be for anyone who wishes to explore this eclectic group of albums from a fresh perspective.

This is progressive rock music strongly tinged with knowing commercial nous, and is quite superb from start to finish. Four stars for this.

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Posted Sunday, February 23, 2014

Review by Isa
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars |B-| An excellent, diverse, and slightly commercial prog album - with great orchestration!

I Robot is the second album by the line-up of musicians known as Alan Parsons Project, after their acclaimed debut album Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Most progressive listeners seem to have a more favorable view of the debut album and mark this one as a step in a more commercial direction. While I still have yet to hear the debut, I would say that this album still has a lot of cool, creative material to offer, and while the commercial-isms do cause some amount of a "dated" sound that hasn't aged as well, they hardly impede the ingenuity that is offered in this work. The orchestration is always effective and great, and for me is the best aspect of the music in the album. Lots of different styles clearly influenced the sound of the album, lending to a tasty album with lots of variety. This is probably not surprising considering the huge line-up of musicians that collaborated for this Project, and Eric Woolfson's evident skill at composition.

Track Commentary: The proggy first track has a neat, progressive sort of intro moving into an almost funk-like grove with touches of choral ensemble and solos from a variety of instruments. This track moves into the catchy and very 70s sounding "Wouldn't Want to be Like You." This track is really good, especially the guitar solo section, but hasn't aged too well, admittedly, and mostly because of the silly 70s pop singing style. Some Other Time is one of my favorite tracks on the album, sounding a bit like a whimsical symphonic prog ballad sometimes, alternating with a synth-heavy hard rock section. I love the orchestration on the song; it adds color and richness, and just works. And what a great vocal melody! My only complaint it how short it is, but this might be personal bias from listening to so much long-winded prog over the years. Breakdown is a cool track with a lot of variety of textures in a very short amount of time, and the orchestration with the choir and orchestra is great, bringing out the esprit de cor of "freedom" and "take the wall away." Perhaps a reference to the iron curtain and the Berlin wall? Maybe. Don't Let it Show is a pretty song, once again with nice orchestration, though with enough 70s pop-isms to dampen the timeless feel that the track might otherwise have. I like the move from the orchestra texture to the rock texture toward the end of the song, very well done. The Voice has a very repetitive bass line leading into electric keyboards and orchestrations that kind of remind of Supertramp or perhaps Steely Dan. This moves into a really interesting "orchestra strings solo" which is very interesting; I think it was really cool of them to experiment with combining orchestra and rock timbres in the way that they did with this track, and it worked great. Nucleus is sort of an interlude instrumental between The Voice and Day After Day, and is quite beautiful, with what sounds like a lot of creative, lush synthesizer material that might remind one of a beautiful rain forest. This leads delicately and nicely into Day After Day, which is a quite Pink Floyd sounding track, with a somewhat less psychedelic sound but quite beautiful, and with a very similar lyrical theme as Pink Floyd's Time. The next track is one of the most interestingly placed tracks in perhaps prog history; Total Eclipse is basically a dissonant and haunting atonal piece of music (like a lot of Schoenburg's material) though one which is creatively done and leads into the final track, Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32.

The last track is a haunting, synth-heavy piece which no doubt is paired with the theme of the album. Evidently, according to my NRSV Bible, there is no V. 32 in that chapter of Genesis. However, if there were, it would be between the sixth day of God finishing his creation of the world and then God resting on the seventh day; perhaps this has something to do with the liner notes: I Robot... The story of the rise of the machine and the decline of man... and a warning that his brief dominance of this planet will probably end, because man tried to create robot in his own image." Perhaps the creators are making a thematic implication with the last track regarding the widely known about (but now somewhat old and perhaps worn out) hypothetical prediction of Robot dominance as man technologically advances. Kind of a cool theme - if only it had lead into some sort of follow-up concept album, but alas.

This album pretty much fits the description of "Crossover Prog" perfectly; thus, if you love diverse textures and instrumentation in your music and don't mind a little commercialism mixed in, this album is a must, and is a fun, cool album for anyone regardless. For those of us who are repelled by any hind of commercialism in music (and understandably so...), perhaps not.

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Send comments to Isa (BETA) | Report this review (#1157590) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 05, 2014

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3 stars I have spend three listening sejours with Alan Parsons Project's second album "I Robot" from 1977. I was amazed by especially three tracks but unfortunately I found the whole quite uneven. As on their first record the number of participants is high but it isn't exactly so many this time. The c ... (read more)

Report this review (#1156529) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Tuesday, April 01, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Very colourful album. What strikes me about this album, is the way it successfully manages to combine so many elements from different genres of music. This makes the album a rather colourful and intricate listening experience, and gives it a certain charm. The album is incredibly retro, yet t ... (read more)

Report this review (#909617) | Posted by The Mystical | Wednesday, February 06, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Alan Parsons Project's sophomore album sees the group finding a distinct sound that they didn't quite find on their previous. Still, the style remains mostly unchanged, for which they combine rock, pop, and even disco and funk in a progressive context. The more proggy moments can be found in ... (read more)

Report this review (#779524) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Many on this site talk about albums they were drawn to by their covers, and this is one of those cases for me. I'd heard of the Alan Parsons Project, but had never heard any of their music, so when I saw the used LP in a record store, I was very curious as to what music that accompanied that ... (read more)

Report this review (#543550) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Wednesday, October 05, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Day after day, the show must go on... My favorite APP album. I Robot is what I feel as the band's musical peak. Creatively, Tales has this one beaten, but I feel the overall music is stronger, here. You have a wide range of diverse styles coming from this album. Funk rock, pop, prog, ambient, b ... (read more)

Report this review (#210840) | Posted by Alitare | Thursday, April 09, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 Stars Really This album has kool elctronic riffs, and the instrumental tracks are all strong.... The vocal songs are poppy....and some are better than others.... Nice horns sprinkled in here and there. A true step down from the first awesome album..... but this is definitely one of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#163845) | Posted by digdug | Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Though already deviating from their first album, "Tales of Mystery and Imagination", towards a more radio-oriented sound, the Alan Parsons Project did very well with "I Robot", their next-best album after the aforementioned Tales. The title track (an instrumental) is easily the best on the album, ... (read more)

Report this review (#151491) | Posted by chimpster | Saturday, November 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is, as many before me have stated, definitely not a shining example of prog. This is, however, just one of many shining examples of Parsons' smooth production. The instrumental passages are very nice, I find, and there are quite a few gems as well. Everyone knows "I Wouldn't Want To Be ... (read more)

Report this review (#147421) | Posted by fighting sleep | Saturday, October 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars APP's "I Robot" was a bit of a disappointing follow-up to the excellently-crafted "Tales of Mystery and Imagination." Really, this isn't a bad album, but most of the songs are just "pretty good." There are only two songs that stick out in my mind as very good: "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" (whi ... (read more)

Report this review (#129965) | Posted by ClassicRocker | Monday, July 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Last summer it happened to me to travel a lot by train, forgetting home any kind of music player (CD or Mp3, even a good old cassette recorder). So, finding myself without the possibility to have my favourite music with me, and unwilling to surrender to commercial radio stations, I started pla ... (read more)

Report this review (#100119) | Posted by paolo.beenees | Thursday, November 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After such an eponymous debut as the album prior to this one, it's hard to believe that APP followed it up with something as strong, if not stronger, but in a different style. The songs on this one are more accessible; some have had some radio time. Regardless of the accessibility, this albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#83867) | Posted by UltimaPrime | Sunday, July 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "I Robot, the story of the rise of the machines and the decline of man" This is the second studio album by Woolfson and Parsons right after Tales Of Mystery and Imagination. This one is also a concept album that deals with the struggle of mankind to overcome the rule of the machines. Parsons is ... (read more)

Report this review (#82936) | Posted by Hans | Thursday, July 06, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A very GREAT album one of his finest. This work called "I Robot" is a concept album and it's clearly influenced by the previous release, expecially in the arrangement of the songs; it alternates good ballads, like "Some Other Time" or "Don't Let It Show" to very catchy songs like "I Wouldn't ... (read more)

Report this review (#69871) | Posted by Malve87 | Saturday, February 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I am an avid Alan Parsons listener, well actually the band is my favorite by far! I'Robot is the definitive collection of what real music is all about. I was 11 when I first heard it in 77 (I beggd my parents to buy me my own album, my brother wasnot nice enought to share). I still, 28 years la ... (read more)

Report this review (#64654) | Posted by | Saturday, January 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I regard this as their 'Magnum Opus', their equivalent of 'Dark Side of the Moon'. I seem to remember reading a review at the time (around 1977) that said these guys make the Moody Blues look positively 'giddy' (in the sense of 'merry'). I would say this albums mood is overall, bleak. That said, ... (read more)

Report this review (#53755) | Posted by | Saturday, October 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars i only own 4 albums from alan parsons ( tales of mystery and imagination, pyramid, eye in the sky and i robot) so i am not the expert to speak for this band. talking about i robot i can easily admit that it is the best album of the 4 that i own. the album includes great melodies and great vocals ... (read more)

Report this review (#36607) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Alan Parsons: poor man's Brian Eno? Probably even worse............ download somewhere the first track of this work, I remembered how I was blown away from this stuff in High School....nice job , really...... but for the rest.... it's silly stuff, YOU CAN'T JUST BASE YOURSELF OVER SOME TOP- N ... (read more)

Report this review (#5572) | Posted by | Saturday, May 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Next to "Tales" this is the best Parsons release IMHO. Well produced with Alan's signature stellar engineering. Alan managed to stay ahead of the curve in the engineering dept. I don't know how he did it, but there are moments in album where the music actually sounds 3 demensional. This album ... (read more)

Report this review (#5571) | Posted by marktheshark | Thursday, April 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "I Robot" was the first album I purchased from this artist. When I first heard this album I got confused. How could this uncommon music be made in 1977 (when I was born)? I couldn't believe it. While punk music was emerging, an excellent music producer (who worked previously with Pink Floyd) w ... (read more)

Report this review (#5570) | Posted by Eclipse1977 | Thursday, February 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I just imagine being in the year when this album was released...I would certanly shout: "This band is damn great!!!!". You know before hearing "Tales..." and you then you hear a maybe not so spooky album like the first, but a second that really demostrate Alan Parsons at his best as a producer ... (read more)

Report this review (#5565) | Posted by Carlos | Saturday, September 04, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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