Alan Parsons had a well-known pedigree in the early 70s. He had worked at Abbey Road studios as an engineer working the Beatles’ Let It Be and Abbey Road LPs. But it was his work with Pink Floyd, first on Atom Heart Mother in 1970 and then on Dark Side of The Moon in 1973, which raised his status as an engineer legend. He also received his first Grammy nomination for Best Engineered album. He would begin producing as well as engineering starting with the English band, Pilot which had a Top hit in 1975, Magic. Alan would engineer the first two Ambrosia LPs, getting 2 more Grammy nods. But all of this was a warm for a different ‘project’ he had in mind.
In 1976 took himself off the market and focused on the Alan Parsons Project, a group which would release 11 albums of prog-pop, each one a themed after a specific concept. [Alan did produce Al Stewart’s Year Of The Cat & Time Passages, but otherwise, it was all about APP]. His 2nd album, I Robot, was based on science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov’s first 2 books of his Robot series, The Caves of Steel and the Naked Sun, as well as his short stories, I, Robot, exploring a world that was slowly becoming more dependent on technology.
The first single was I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You which gave us the feelings from the robot’s point of view, comparing himself to the human, saying in effect, you may be better than me, you may be smarter than me, but I don’t want to be you. Every time I hear this track, I’m surprised it never rose higher than #36 on the charts. Backed by the members of Pilot, singer Lenny Zakatek, who would also sing of later APP hits gives a soulful reading over a dark, chunky disco beat. With its ominous Rhodes chords slinking in and then sliding the song out, you would never hear this in a disco, but you may hear in the background of a bar scene on Baretta. Then again it may make you wanna dance the robot.