Sunday, 31 August 2014

My Sexy Robot : Black Nylon Corporation

I know virtually nothing about this Spanish disco funk act apart from the fact that they're called Black Nylon Corporation and have so far released one single titled My Sexy Robot. Written, performed and produced by one Carlo Coupé and recorded in 2013, this ode to automaton rumpy-pumpy sparkles in every direction... and really is one for all those lovers down there in the dark.

Whilst devouring that slice of easy funk cake, I've discovered that Carlo Coupé has also released two albums titled 'Estereo Espectacular' (2000) and 'Mis Balas Llevan Tu Nombre' (2002), as well as being one half of the duet Penelope Y Carlo, who released the album 'Musica Para Un Guateque Sideral' in 1999... so it appears that Black Nylon Corporation is just the latest project from Carlo Coupé: real name Jesús Trujilo (the bloke with the 'tash), and My Sexy Robot is the first of hopefully many more releases.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Robot Love : Mayer Hawthorne

I should really be saving this for Valentine's Day, but that's months away so I'm posting it today. From California's Mayer Hawthorne is Robot Love, which to me fits in quite well with my last two posts, and with the robot song I've got lined up for tomorrow. It's not the world's greatest robot song, but it is on topic and that's the main thing.

Don't forget to vote. Leave a comment if you can be bothered and let me know of any robot songs you think should be featured on 101 Songs About Robots.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Sexy Robot : The She Creatures

Since returning to their home planet, little has been heard from these vivacious yet vindictive and reportedly violent vixens. It has been suggested that The She Creatures may be plotting the second wave of their invasion of Earth, but that is little more than a rumour. The sleepy backwater village of Bristol in the sleepy backwater country of England witnessed the first wave of their invasion and its inhabitants recall the sheer power of their sonic onslaught all too well... but like anyone who's witnessed the terror of an extra-terrestrial attack, they'd rather not talk about it.

It should come as no surprise that any news of their first invasion was suppressed by both the media and government. It is only through chance that I stumbled across a few burnt fragments of a highly classified document which revealed The She Creatures to be an invasion force from Venus, possibly on a scouting mission. Witness statements testify that any human male who came into contact with the seductive Princess Slayer, the ravishing Nancy Raygun, the enchanting Haley Comet or the irresistible Elektra Static were captivated then appropriated, plasticised and mechanised, intoxicated then automated, subjugated and allocated before being transported to the planet Venus in a space rocket.  For what purpose? We can only guess.

This leaked video footage demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt just what the terrifying She Creatures are capable of... watch and learn, for they may return!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Amazing Robot Girlfriend : Rhett & Link

Enough of these robots going on and on and on about exacting their revenge on humanity and how lonely they are or how they dance like robots (quelle surprise!) or exactly how floppy or hard their peripheral components may or may not be... what we need is a human perspective.

Rhett and Link are one of those newfangled internetertainer duos, in that they entertain via the internet and bizarrely, seem to make a living from it whilst keeping their clothes on! They have what some would call a dream job... make a silly video, watch it go viral and earn sh!t loads from the online advertising. The only thing I've had go viral is only ever mentioned in hushed tones as I pick up my prescription at the chemists.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Robot Revenge : Ugress

Wrapping up this chunk of robot songs with robot voices is Robot Revenge by Ugress; a Norwegian maestro of electronica with a back catalogue dating back to the distant future (the year 2000). Robot Revenge is taken from the third instalment of his 2011 'Planet U' project titled Wulfhoken Spaceport Affairs, and does everything a good robot song should do... it bleeps, creaks, clunks, clangs and bangs like a bullbot in a china shop.

Robot Revenge, along with the entire 'Planet U' series of EPs can be downloaded for free* from the Ugress website.

*in exchange for your flesh, limbs & internal organs for the creation of our cyborg army at some point in the near or distant future.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Robot Sings (as if...) : Buffalo Daughter

Although I've had this track for many years, I've never bothered finding anything out about the artist... until now. Buffalo Daughter are a Japanese trio who's music I'll attempt to describe as easy electronica with acoustic undertones. Others may describe it as synth-pop and save about twelve syllables... Why didn't I think of that? And talking about syllables, the full title of today's robot song is Robot Sings (as if he were Frank Sinatra with a half-boiled egg and the salt shaker on a breakfast table), which makes it the longest robot song title I've ever seen. Taken from their 2001 LP 'I', Robot Sings (...) isn't so much a song about robots, it's a song by robots! Cybernetic Japanese Robots!! 

There's a curious sound at around three minutes ten seconds in that suggests a good strong coffee goes right through both synthetic and organic lifeforms.

Monday, 25 August 2014

14 Zero Zero : Console

There seems to be a theme within a theme going on on 101 Songs About Robots. Over the last few days I've posted The Mechanical Man from the 1960s, The Robots from the '70s, R.O.B.O.T. and Cyborg Dance from the '80s... so today, it only seems right to post a robot song with a robotic voice from the 1990s... and it's not been easy!  Songs about robots seem to be a bit thin on the ground in the '90s, and those I have don't feature a good robotic voice, so I've spent the morning scouring the interweb to find one, and found one I have.

Console is a one man band fronted (and backed) by Martin Gretschmann; a prolific programmer who's also part of the German indie-electronica band The Notwist. He's worked on five albums with The Notwist and has released a further twelve albums as Console, as well as collaborating with a heap of other artists. Taken from the 1999 re-issue of his 1998 LP 'Rocket in the Pocket' is 14 Zero Zero.

I dunno about you lot but I'll certainly be checking out the rest of Console's output.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Cyborg Dance : Newcleus

Sticking with a robot-voice theme, this excellent slice of electro from Brooklyn's Newcleus pushes all the necessary buttons. Taken from their sophomore LP 'Space is the Place' (1985) and B-side to the single release of the title track is Cyborg Dance... and I'm sure the cyborgs danced!

Best described as space-hop, Newcleus only really released two LPs with much of their post '85 output being company produced compilation and remix LPs released under the Newcleus banner. Fortunately their 1st album 'Jam on Revenge' (1984) features tracks titled Auto Man and I'm Not A Robot, so you can be fairly certain that this isn't the last you'll hear from Newcleus on 101 Songs About Robots.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

R.O.B.O.T. : David Zed

This is David Zed's second feature on 101 Songs About Robots, and coincidentally his second single, released in 1980, it's R.O.B.O.T.

[note] None of the YouTube videos for R.O.B.O.T. have decent audio, so you might want to whack the volume up a tad.

Since Mr Zed was a bit of a one trick pony, his next two singles, Balla Robot (1980) and Ballarobot (1983) will be posted in due course... [click here] for David Zed's first single, I Am A Robot.

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Mechanical Man : Bent Bolt & The Nuts

One may be forgiven for believing that Kraftwerk pioneered the whole robot-voice-singy thing... but you'd be wrong. In an interview with Look-In magazine, Kraftwerk's Ralph Hutter said "Ich lieh alle meine ideen von Bent Bolt, vor allem die roboter-stimme, aber bitte erzähle niemandem oder ich würde für plagiate verklagt werden" there you have it, no Bent Bolt = no Kraftwerk!

But how on earth did Bent Bolt manage to sound so robotic in the mid sixties? Well there's three possible explanations. 1. He used a vocoder. 2. He's a robot. 3. He used a vocal technique called overtone singing. Even the real identity of Bent Bolt is a bit of a mystery. Some say he's one Teddy Randazzo, others suspect it may actually be Popeye (the sailor). I guess we'll never know the truth about Bent Bolt, but what we do have is the legacy. Before 1966 there was only a small handful of robot songs, none of which featured a real robot voice (as far as I know anyway), but since that year there's been hundreds of robot songs and robot singing. It could be argued that this is the first real robot song, but it does have The Tin Man's If I Only Had A Heart to contend with. From 1966, it's Bent Bolt & The Nuts with The Mechanical Man.

Get in touch know if you know of any older robot songs... I'd love to hear some from the 40s and 50s.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Robots : Kraftwerk

After yesterday's disaster of a robot song, it's high time I let the Germans demonstrate how to do 'it' properly. What can I say about this seminal robot song that you won't already know?  It's one of the greatest and best known robots songs of all time... and space. The Robots was originally released Kraftwerk's 1978 LP 'The Man Machine', but this version is from their 1991 LP 'The Mix'.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Robots : Kate Ryan

This one's a brand new find... and it's got to be a new low in robot songs. It's so poor I'm not sure why I'm posting it... I think I'm in shock. Kate Ryan, whoever you are... please just stop!   This pile of $#!t£ makes Johnny Walsh's Girl Machine sound good, and that's saying something!!  Europoptrash at its worst, from 2012, it's Kate Ryan with Robots.

I for one do not intend to ever click 'play' on this clanger again... the only way is up!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Robot Song : The Radioactive Grandma

From County Cavan in the Irish border region is The Radioactive Grandma; a threesome of lads who play guitars and bang on a box and sing songs and most importantly of all... sing a song about a robot!  If you like their Robot Song, have a listen to the rest of their début album and maybe even buy it!  The album sounds great and I get the feeling these guys sound even better live, so if they're playing anywhere near you, go and have a look and a listen... and guys, if you're playing anywhere near me... let me know!

So here it is, track number five on their self titled 2012 début album, Robot Song by The Radioactive Grandma... they even made a video for Robot Song which is nothing short of utterly charming.

If any song deserves a place in the top 101 songs about robots, it's this one... I've cast my vote*, have you cast yours?

*let me know via the comments if you can't see the voting widget, and let me know which browser you're using... I know it doesn't appear on my Android phone, and I understand some IE users aren't seeing it either... which suggests that some people still use IE :o

Monday, 18 August 2014

Monsieur le Robot : Les Lutins

Les Lutins hail from Canada, so why they feel the need to sing in foreign I've no idea... what's wrong with the Queen's English eh?! Canada is part of the Commonwealth after all.  I can only assume that the swinging sixties swung so much in Canada that Les Lutins forgot which language they spoke and just made up a new one on the fly. I'm joking of course, but I know so little about this band I don't know what else to say. From Quebec, Canada, singing in foreign on their 1968 single, it's Les Lutins with Monsieur le Robot.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

I Love You (Miss Robot) : Buggles

First off, I just want to pull up Wikipedia for it's repeated inaccuracy regarding the name of this band...
it's Buggles, not The Buggles, just Buggles.  If you don't believe me, here's the covers to their singles:

Now we've got that little bugbear cleared up, on with today's post. Buggles formed in 1977 and are probably best known for their 1979 début single Video Killed The Radio Star which, for those of you who didn't know, was the UK's 444th number one single (according to Wikipedia, who can't even get the band's name correct!). But enough about Video..., because that song ain't about robots, and according to Geoff Downes, neither is I Love You (Miss Robot). In a Smash Hits interview, Downes reportedly stated that the song is really about being on the road and making love to someone you don't really like, while all the time you're wanting to phone someone who's a long way off.  Maybe he was getting I Love You (Miss Robot) mixed up with one of the whimsical dirges he was saving for Asia, but we'll never know. Anyhoo, in spite of Downes denying the obvious robotic theme, here it is, from the 1980 LP 'The Age of Plastic', I Love You (Miss Robot) by Buggles... not The Buggles, just Buggles.

Stay tuned for even more songs about robots from top pop acts including The Kraftwerk, The Royksopp, The Goldie Lookin' Chain, The Modern Talking and the many more...

...and don't forget to cast your vote!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Sad Robot : Pornophonique

Like a version of Simon & Garfunkel from the distant future, Pornophonique consist of a guitar playing singer and a Nintendo Gameboy button pressing bloke on a stool. From Germany and thankfully singing in the universal language of both robots and humans (English, of the British not US variety), Pornophonique formed in 2003 and after finding their feet, their fan-base and international success releasing their music for free on the interweb released their first LP in 2007 (what?... you expect us to pay for this stuff all of a sudden?!).

Taken from their first LP: 8-Bit Lagerfleuer, (trans: campfire) is Sad Robot... a charming and jaunty number about a er... well... the title says it all.

Pornophonique still appear to be active and do have a website at But before you pop off elsewhere on the interweb, don't forget to cast your vote on this, or any other songs about robots :)

Friday, 15 August 2014

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots - part one : The Flaming Lips

So it'll be about 2002, maybe 2003 and there I am sat on my sofa listening to The Flaming Lips when all of a sudden I think of the title for an imaginary compilation or mix tape... and that title was 101 Songs About Robots!   Here I am over a decade later, finally doing something with all those songs I sourced and I reckon it's about time I posted thee song that inspired me... from 2002, it's The Flaming Lips with Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots: part one.

Of course I'll also be posting One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21 from the same album... but I still haven't posted any Kraftwerk or Buggles or Styx or Frank Zappa or Miley Cyrus yet... WTF! :P

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Still Alive : GLaDOS

I've never been very good at these newfangled video game thingamajigs... even as a kid I couldn't really summon even the most basic level of hand/eye co-ordination to get beyond the first few levels of any game, no matter how basic its game play. Shame really as I love the idea of them, especially Portal, from which today's robot song is taken. If I was adept at video games, I'd have a bash at Portal. I imagine that after completing level after level of ever increasing difficulty, I'd eventually be rewarded with this beautiful yet haunting song by GLaDOS, the main antagonist in the game's storyline. But since I'm totally & utterly pants at video games, I'll not bother trying and take the easy route* to hearing Still Alive.

*the 'easy route' is clicking play by the way :)

Still Alive is written by Jonathan Coulton and this is his first feature on 101 Songs About Robots... but it certainly won't be his last.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Giant Robot-Birdhead : The Aquabats

This has got to be one of my favourite robot songs to date. I'd have never heard of The Aquabats if I hadn't started scouring the interweb for songs about robots, and I'm glad I did. When they're not saving the world from a horde of evil foes, they're singing about saving the world from a horde of evil foes... and even their songs which aren't about robots are mostly excellent and I wholeheartedly recommend the rest of their catalogue. Formed in 1994 and still going strong, The Aquabats recorded Giant Robot-Birdhead in 1999 for their third album: The Aquabats vs. The Floating Eye of Death.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Robot : t.A.T.u.

Here's one by the Muscovite faux-lesbots t.A.T.u. From their 2001 début album and rolling their Rs better than anyone I've ever heard, it's Robot.   Let's all have a sing along!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Robot Man : Scorpions

Another one from the 1970s today, 1975 to be pacific. Scorpions formed in Germany in 1965 and released their first album in 1972. From humble beginnings as a gigging beat group, Scorpions went to enjoy global success as one of the world's biggest heavy rock bands and gained themselves a fan base that spanned both the Atlantic and Specific oceans. Possibly inspired by Black Sabbath's Iron Bloke is Robot Man from the Scorpions' third LP 'In Trance'... and no, it's not a Connie Francis cover.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Are Friends Electric? : Tubeway Army

I'm having problems with my main PC again so I'm posting from my painfully slow and positively ancient laptop. It's so shoddy that it won't play video, nor does it have any sound... but it'll just about get me online to add today's song about a robot.

More machine than man, Gary Numan fronted the post-punk synth-pop pioneers Tubeway Army before going solo. In an interview, Gary stated that this song is set in a future world where 'friends' can be purchased in much the same way that one buys a toaster, and as the song states, his 'friend' has broken down and he's left with no one to love. Some people may deny that this song is about robots, but I reckon it's bang on topic. From 1979, I present Tubeway Army's Are Friends Electric?.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Automatic Lover : Dee D. Jackson

With a career that spawned fourteen singles, four albums and spanned over thirty years, Dee D. Jackson only really had one hit single in the UK. She's been a film producer, worked with a myriad of other artists and producers including the hugely influential Giorgio Moroder and written songs for no one I've ever heard of... but who cares about that?  All I'm bothered about is her robot song, which incidentally is also her only significant UK hit single, Automatic Lover from 1978, and looking at the robot in the video, it's no wonder she was smitten.

I guess it's best described as a crap song with a good chorus... and a cracking robot of course!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Bionic Skillz : Bassi Maestro

Here's another of those songs that leaves me wishing I'd paid a bit more attention at school... if I'd listened in language class I'd have a much better understanding of Foreign. I'd be able to tell you all about Bassi Maestro's Bionic Skillz. I'd talk endlessly about its themes and perspectives, its setting, how it offers a critique on contemporary culture as so many robot songs do... but I can't because it's foreign.

What can I say? Foreign rap-hop at it's most average... it does get better... honest :)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

We Are The Robot Pirates : Songs To Wear Pants To

I may only be 31 songs in, but this has got to be in the top three so far.
Robot songs don't get much better than this. Pirate songs don't get much better than this.
Robot Pirate songs don't get better than this... and that's a factoid!

...told you!

We Are The Robot Pirates is a song by Andrew Huang who seems (or seemed) to go by the name Songs To Wear Pants To. I don't know about you but this song makes me grin from ear to ear for approximately two minutes and forty-odd seconds, then I play it again and grin some more :D. I must confess I don't know anything about the artist, but there is a website so you can find out for yourselves (and buy the download) at but before you go, cast a vote to ensure We Are The Robot Pirates gets a well deserved place in the top 101 Songs About Robots.  

[edit] I've found an alternate video for We Are The Robot Pirates on YouTube, which is pants in comparison the the video featured above... however the sound quality is so much better, here it is:

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Iron Man : Black Sabbath

Iron Man first featured on Black Sabbath's second LP 'Paranoid' (1970), and was released as a 7" single in 1971.   It's questionable whether iron man is an actual robot, or just an iron bloke... and for any youngsters out there, it's got nothing to do with the Marvel character in the recent movie franchise. I may be called a heathen by some, but I'm not going to post the original Black Sabbath version of Iron Man (sorry)... instead I'm posting the version by Ozzy Osbourne & Therapy?, taken from the album 'Nativity in Black': A Tribute to Black Sabbath.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Machine Man : Judas Priest

Are you ready to rock!? Are you ready to robot rock?!?  No it's not Daft Punk with their repetitive two word ode to robots, it's the devil worshipping, middle America bothering Judas Priest with Machine Man featuring Tim 'Ripper' Owens on vocals.

The Judas Priest track I really really wanted to post is Electric Eye from 1982 and featuring the far superior Rob Halford on vocals (who apparently left the band to start a chain of shops selling car parts and cheap bicycles). But the question of 'what exactly constitutes a robot' had to be asked and since Electric Eye is actually about a spy satellite, admittedly a self conscious one, I'm not sure whether it belongs on 101 Songs About Robots or not... so would a self aware satellite with an unblinking eye, armed with lasers and orbiting the earth be classed as a robot?

Robot: [rəʊbɒt]
  1. A machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer: "half of all American robots are making cars or trucks"
  2. (Especially in science fiction) a machine resembling a human being and able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically: "the robot closed the door behind us"
  3. A person who behaves in a mechanical or unemotional manner: "public servants are not expected to be mindless robots"
Well there's three definitions from the OED... and after a quick look at the lyrics for Machine Man, I reckon Electric Eye is more on topic than today's post, even if it is about a satellite (most of which look like R2-D2 with additional solar wings anyway)... so I guess I'll have to include it at some point soon.


Monday, 4 August 2014

Marvin I Love You : Marvin The Paranoid Android

Alongside a fruitful yet ultimately depressing career in TV and Radio, Marvin the Paranoid Android also had a thoroughly fruitless stint as a pop-performer which depressed almost everyone. There's a time and a place for novelty songs but there's no time and no place for this clanger (except here of course!). Taken from Marvin's 2nd single, 'The Double B-Side' is Marvin I Love You, which features Kim Wong-O'Brien as the voice of a love letter found deep in Marvin's data banks. Being a B-side to a B-side, I hope your expectations are suitably low...

There are three further songs recorded by Marvin The Paranoid Android, namely Marvin, Metal Man and Reasons to be Miserable, which may well be posted here on 101 Songs About Robots the next time I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Robot Song : Nancy Kepner

Today's song about robots comes from the amorous, humorous & roboticus Nancy Kepner. Yes I know I still haven't posted any Kraftwerk or Flaming Lips, but there's plenty of time to post the robot songs everyone knows. For the time being, I'm going to continue rooting out the lesser known robot songs because it's a lot more fun and more often than not... they're better!

Whilst many robot songs tend to be a nightmare vision set in a dark future, Nancy gives us an altogether more positive scenario. Robots are not our enemies. They are not the destructor of civilisation. They are not a problem that needs solving... in fact they are the solution to all of our problems, as Nancy so eloquently explains...

According to a reliable source, robot beings will rule the world in the distant future, and I intend to appease our robot masters with my blog in their honour... so I'd better be careful what I say.
Hail Robots... (especially if they have a great big gigantic machine gun) ...your wish is my command!

What's that robot master? You want another robot song posting tomorrow? It shall be done... but I can't promise that it'll be better than The Robot Song by the wonderful and possibly inimitable Nancy Kepner.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Cyborg 009 : Italian Anime Theme

I've no idea who's performing this theme song, nor am I entirely certain which particular version of Cyborg 009 it's from, apart from the fact it's from the Italian airing. According to wikipedia, Cyborg 009 first aired in 1966, but this theme sounds more recent than that. The 1979/1980 anime TV series was popular in Italy, so it could be the theme from that, or possibly from a 1980 movie version of the series. There was also another remake of the TV series in 2001, and another film in 2012, and with little information to go on, I'm not sure what the actual year of this theme song should be. I'm guessing 1979 or 1980, but it could well be from 2001*... if anyone can shed light on this, I'd be grateful.

Anyway, enough of my inane ramblings, here's the song...

*from the info on Wikipedia and from what i can gather from the title sequence in the video, it is from 2001... but I've still no idea who the artist is. Clearly I need all the help I can get, so please don't be shy :)

Friday, 1 August 2014

Girl Machine : Johnny Walsh

25 posts and still no Kraftwerk! Not even any Gary Numan!! There's plenty of  'top X robot songs'  lists available online, but the majority tend to feature the same handful of songs about robots that everyone knows, plus a bundle of songs that aren't about robots yet feature robots in the video. Sorry people but a robot in a music video isn't enough to qualify, so the rap-tastic Intergalactic by The Beastie Boys won't be featured here. But what about Kraftwerk?   There's plenty of time to post the robot songs everyone knows and loves, so for the time being, I'm going to continue routing under the radar to bring you the lesser known robots songs.

Written as the male response to Connie Francis' Robot Man is Johnny Walsh's Girl Machine from 1961.

I don't know about you but I'll give that a '2' for effort.