Rare classic rock interview with the namesake British recording engineer/producer of the Alan Parsons Project, whose 1977 second album, in collaboration with composer the late Eric Woolfson, was once again based on a famous literary work (their debut Tales of Mystery and Imagination drew storylines from Edgar Alan Poe). This time it was the Isaac Asimov Artificial Intelligence science fiction classic I, Robot. But with a twist. “It was basically to take the title of Isaac Asimov’s book, and then to totally reverse the philosophy,” chuckled Alan Parsons. “Asimov implied that robotic creatures would be designed totally safe and would never be able to harm human beings. Our philosophy was that is not at all what will happen… I believe that there’s a real danger that if we invent thinking machines, then they might ultimately destroy us.”The Alan Parsons Project I, Robot contained a rarity among progressive rock albums: a mas appeal Top 40 hit in “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You”, plus FM rock favorite “Breakdown” with the distinctive voice of Hollies lead singer Allan Clarke.
By the Summer 1982, exactly five years after “the un-Dynamic Duo” ofAlan Parsons and Eric Woolfson first broke through with I, Robot , you could just spin the FM radio dial to any album rock or Adult Contemporary radio station in America and hear various songs from the Alan Parsons Project’s sixth album, such as the hit title song “Eye in the Sky” or “Psychobabble”. Peaking on the album chart at #7, Eye in the Sky received a Grammy Award nomination upon its initial release only to win that Grammy for the 2017 “Best Immersive Audio Album” thirty-five years later. To date Eye in the Sky has sold more than five million copies since release. –Redbeard