Song Of The Week: “I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You” by The Alan Parsons Project

It’s not unusual for a band from a certain country to have hits exclusively in that country. Lyrics, fashion, cultural differences…any number of factors can turn music into a local phenomenon.

Hey, Americans! Ever heard of UK group Showaddywaddy? Of course you haven’t, because their music never even came close to approaching these shores, but they scored ten Top 10 hits in their homeland, including a #1. That kind of thing happens all the time. What’s less common is the opposite — for a band to have no success at home, all the while being absolutely huge in a foreign land.

Say hello to The Alan Parsons Project!

The APP are unique for a few other reasons, too:

  • Formed in London in 1975, the core of the band consisted of only two guys: Alan Parsons (known primarily as a sound engineer on albums by The Beatles and Pink Floyd’s seminal Dark Side Of The Moon) and pianist/composer Eric Woolfson. A revolving cast provided lead vocals and other instruments over the years.
  • Their first record was a concept album based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
  • They existed only in the studio, never touring or performing live.
  • Their name led to decades of people satirically naming themselves The “Such and Such” Project.
  • And of course, they scored eight Top 40 hits and 3 Platinum albums in the US. In their native UK? Zero.

Recorded for their second album (another concept record, this one about robots or technology or something), the surprisingly funky “I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You” broke The Alan Parsons Project on American radio in 1977 and also helped establish the band’s trademark sound which, for many years, was basically, “What would Pink Floyd sound like if they were a pop band?”

Also, when the muted guitar comes in on the intro it may explain where Survivor got the idea for the opening to “Eye Of The Tiger” a few years later. Crazy speculation on my part? Most likely.

So if you have a mind to, grasp the concept …. with The Alan Parsons Project.


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