A single from the stadium prog rock band Styx, from their 1983 rock opera album Kilroy Was Here.The story of the opera is of Robert Orin Charles Kilroy (ROCK), a rock and roll performer who was placed in a futuristic prison for "rock and roll misfits" by the anti-rock-and-roll group the Majority for Musical Morality (MMM). Kilroy, over powers a "Roboto", and hides inside its emptied out shell. The song tells of Kilroy's meeting with another character, as the robot, and his eventual unmasking. (Yeah, it was the early 80s, these guys had probably taken a lot of drugs in the 70s!) When the band performed the rock opera, they had robots designed by special effects genius Stan Winston, which featured on the album cover.
The video for the song, features the band dressed in the robot costumes, long before Daft Punk were ever around. And despite the over-the-top acting and dramatics of the video and the band's performance, the robots do add a creepy dystopian element to what is otherwise a bad 80s music video. Though I'm still confused as to how the prisoners in the video manage to over-power robots by a punch in the guts! Bit a design flaw in poor old Mr. Roboto.
The vocoded chorus is what the song is most well known for, with the repeated Japanese line, "dōmo arigatō misutā Robotto". Making the song popular in Japan. In 2002, the Japanese new wave band Polysics recorded a cover version of the song, which was a hit in Japan and Korea. And was accompanied by a fun video that paid homage to Japanese giant robot sci-fi movies and TV shows of 1960s, like Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot (1967-1968).
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