Songfacts®:

  • Written by APP leaders Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, this song is told from the perspective of a person or thing that constantly malfunctions, and gets ignored when broken.

    "We tried to make it vague whether we were talking from a robot perspective, or a human talking to a robot," Parsons told Songfacts. "I think we could argue that robots could break down just like humans do."
  • Before forming The Alan Parsons project, Parsons did engineering work for The Hollies, where he befriended their lead singer, Allan Clarke. With The Project, Parsons used an array of vocalists, and on "Breakdown" Clarke takes the lead. Hollies harmony vocalist/guitarist Terry Sylvester appears on the first Alan Parsons Project album. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Neil - Skokie, IL
  • This follows the theme of the album, which is robots. The songs are loosely based on the work of science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, who published a collection called I, Robot in 1950.
  • Parsons used a homemade device called a Projectron to process the female backing vocals on this track. The Projectron was similar to a mellotron in that it looked like a keyboard but was filled with tape loops that could be triggered by the keys.
  • The New Philharmonia Chorus appears on this track, conducted by Andrew Powell. Other musicians to appear are:

    Vocals: Allan Clarke
    Acoustic Guitar: Alan Parsons, Ian Bairnson
    Bass: David Paton
    Drums: Stuart Tosh
    Wurlitzer Electric Piano: Eric Woolfson
    Guitar: Ian Bairnson
    Wurlitzer
    Synthesizer: Duncan Mackay

Comments: 3

  • R.l. from Payson, AzI had to check this vocalist... I would have bet that it was Lindsey Buckingham.
  • Ed from Canton, OhThis song is from a concept album about robots (computers?) struggling with human emotions. Breakdown is a robot struggling with frustration. other songs on the album deal with robots coping with love and friendship
  • Jack from Tulsa, OkThis is not Alan Parson First Album. His first album was "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" which was based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
    My favorite is his version of The Cask of Amontilldo. Haunting...
    Alan Parson did have a hit on that album called (The System of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether.
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