The Alan Parsons Project – “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You”

Basically tonight’s post confirms that I’m truly a middle-aged man with fleeting nostalgia of his youth. Don’t mind me.

This listen is still funky, though.

The Alan Parsons Project is the duo of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, two ambitious, likeminded Brits who joined together in the mid-’70s to create experimental rock, driven by novel production techniques and idiosyncratic themes. Parsons engineered records for The Beetles and Pink Floyd, and was seeking an outlet with total creative control. Woolfson had a mind for science fiction and horror, and wanted to create stories. Together they would create a pretty solid music act, one which is fondly remembered by suburban dads everywhere.

For a time in the late ’70s and ’80s, the Project would be known for their spacy, far-reaching jams, employing innovative production techniques and out-there concepts. It’s wonderful music to get high to (uhhh…not that I have if my employer is reading this), and get lost in the music and themes.

From 1977, I Robot was originally intended to be a concept record around Asimov’s famous story, but the group couldn’t land the rights. Nonetheless, the album still keeps a heavy focus on AI, robots, and the fall of man. Just late ’70s rock things. (Ditto). I’ve been curiously diving into this album over the past week, and it’s been an interesting jaunt.

“I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You” is the album’s sole single and one of the group’s enduring listens. I really have been digging this listen a lot. That driving bass, the steady guitar lick on the intro and outro that brings to mind “Eye of the Tiger” really puts you in a mood. The song is propulsive and bleak, with singer Lenny Zakatek taking on the role of an android looking down on fickle and flawed humans. It’s quite a jam.

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