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Friday, April 25, 2008

Music: Today's Disco Rock Song of The Day -- You've Been Dissed by Alan Parsons

"I'm recording a tasty lick you wanker..."

An Ongoing Unearthing by Noah Mallin

Before he invented Dr. Evil's laser, Alan Parsons was an engineer at EMI's studios. He's the man responsible for the crystalline sound of both The Beatles Abbey Road and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon. Inside Parsons was a recording artist struggling to emerge -- it finally did on The Alan Parsons Project's first album Tales of Mystery and Imagination in 1975.

Parsons and his Project really hit it with the follow-up 1977's I, Robot, a much more faithful rendering of Isaac Asimov's sci-fi classic than the later Will Smith film would prove to be. In amongst the beautifully arranged art rock was their first single, the chilly disco of "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You." Like many rock bands doing disco (see Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in The Wall Pt. 2"), the use of a disco arrangement is meant to be a bit of a putdown, a satire on the facelessness of a producer-driven medium. The fact that Parsons himself gained fame from his knob-twiddling skills only adds a level of irony.

The Alan Parsons Project would have several more hits after this, most notably "Eye in The Sky", but none that attempted the booty-shaking cool of "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You." The video features a guest appearance by Univac which is likely shamed by today's Macbooks and a very naughty flower-hating robot.

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