Geeky Song of the Day, July 26, 2017 – Are ‘Friends’ Electric? by Tubeway Army

Watch Are “Friends” Electric here

Gary Numan was at the forefront of the electronic music revolution, relying highly on synthesizers and keyboards for his iconic sound.
So why wouldn’t a person with an obvious eye on what technology can achieve not write a song based on Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi short stories collection about robotics and morality, titled I, Robot?
Having initially been seen as a punk group, this song was a major departure for Tubeway Army, and despite being their biggest hit, reaching number 1 in the UK, #3 in Ireland and top 10 in the Netherlands and New Zealand, it was to be their final release before Numan went solo.
In a 2014 interview, Numan admitted that the song was built around some short stories he’d written as a teenager in which, in a futuristic London, robots known as ‘Friends’ came to your door to perform various services.
Your neighbours never knew the visitors were robots, as they looked human.
The robot friend in this particular song is a prostitute. “I had a No 1 single with a song about a robot prostitute and no one knew,” he said.
If the music sounds familiar to younger pop music fans it is because the Sugababes sampled it for their cover version of Adina Howard’s Freak Like Me in the early 2000s.
Of course Tubeway Army weren’t the only music act to be inspired by I, Robot. The Alan Parsons Project brought out an album with that title in 1977, inspired by Asimov’s writings, while Deus ex Machina from Singapore had a 2009 album titled I, Human.
And rapper Will Smith was so inspired by the work that he made a sci-fi action movie based on the concept.


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