12 sci-fi inspired albums
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The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe (2010)
Sci-fi isn’t just for books and movies. Check out these 12 albums. There’s plenty of synth and dystopia to go around.
Monu00e1e’s debut LP continued the story of Cindi Mayweather, an android who falls in love with a human and faces disassembly. Mayweather goes on to become a hero in Monu00e1e’s ongoing allegory where androids represent marginalized “others” in society. Fritz Lang references abound.
2112 by Rush (1976)
Ever noticed how tales from the future always seem to be… what’s the word… bad? In 2112, art, including music, is controlled by temple priests. A guy discovers a guitar and tries to save music.
I Robot by The Alan Parsons Project (1977)
If you like Isaac Asimov, you might like I Robot, a concept album by The Alan Parsons Project, loosely based on Asimov’s works. As Asimov had granted the rights to his writing years earlier, The Alan Parsons Project had to go a bit more broad on the album.
The Golden Age of Wireless by Thomas Dolby (1982)
If you know nothing else about this album, you’ll at least be familiar with “She Blinded Me with Science,” the album’s most successful song that went to number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Time by Electric Light Orchestra (1981)
ELO’s concept album Time deals with a man from 1981 who gets a glimpse at the state of the world in 2095.
The Machine-Man by Kraftwerk (1978)
“The Robots,” “The Machine-Man,” “Spacelab”; you can figure the thematic thrust behind Kraftwerk’s critically acclaimed 1978 album.
Year Zero by Nine Inch Nails (2007)
Trent Reznor and company depict a brutal police state in the not-so-distant future. There’s almost too much wrong to mention.
The Mothership Connection by Parliament (1975)
The Mothership Connection wouldn’t be the last spacey, mythology-building entry in the Parliament discography.
Replicas by Tubeway Army (1979)
Can’t get enough androids? There’s always Replicas, an album with thematic ties to Philip K. Dick’s work. Also, know that in the future dystopia, synth is alive and well.
Cyberpunk by Billy Idol (1993)
Rolling Stone thought Idol got a bit over ambitious on this 1993 outing into dystopian tech, based on William Gibson’s Neuromancer.
Travellers in Space and Time by Apples in Stereo (2010)
The Apples in Stereo delivered this poppy album heavy with spacey sounds and references. Pitchfork called the album “slippery space disco.”
Discovery by Daft Punk (2001)
When it comes to Daft Punk, there’s always something of a sci-fi angle — they are robots, after all.