Friday, 25 July 2014

Everyday Robots : Damon Albarn

When I started thinking about making a compilation titled 101 Songs About Robots, I could think of maybe ten or twelve robot themed songs that included Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips, Robot by Hawkwind, The Robots & Man Machine by Kraftwerk, Sy-Borg by Frank Zappa, a handful of songs from Mother Gong's Robot Woman trilogy, Goldie Lookin' Chain's rap-tastic Half Man, Half Machine and of course Black Sabbath's Iron Man.

Then after a lot of digging and searching on Soulseek the list grew to over 250 tracks, but once I'd whittled out the instrumentals (I, Robot - Alan Parsons), the tenuous (Electric Youth - Debbie Gibson) and the songs with a robotesque title but nothing in the lyrics to back it up (Bionic - Placebo)... my big list was quickly whittled down to about 60-70 songs about robots. I'd occasionally do a new search to try to unearth another song or two about robots and each search usually did unearth something... but I still felt I was a long way from my target of 101 'good' songs about robots.

After a couple of years in the doldrums and a catastrophic hard drive failure, the project was well and truly on the back burner. Then I heard Damon Albarn's beautiful and haunting Everyday Robots on the radio earlier this year and was inspired to reboot my search. I only expected to dig up another two or three tracks worthy of inclusion, when all of a sudden my list went from around 75-80 half decent songs about robots back to around the 200 mark in the space of a couple of days! Only this time the list was bang on topic with no instrumentals and nothing too tenuous.  This left me wondering how I was going to whittle the list down to 101 songs about robots as I now have more than enough, and searching the likes of Grooveshark the list is only getting larger.

That's when I decided to do a blog instead of a personal compilation. Not only does this give me an online archive in case I suffer another hard drive failure, but also means others can listen to the archive, rate each song and send me their own suggestions via the comments. I've no plans of stopping when I've posted 101 songs about robots as this is going to be a huge ever growing pulsating blog that rules from the centre of the roboverse!   "But what about the music!?" you may shout. Well, today it's the song that rekindled my love of robot songs: Damon Albarn's Everyday Robots... Mr Albarn, I thank you.

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