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Error In The System
Error In The System is the first English album by Peter Schilling, which was released in 1983. It is the counterpart of his German album Fehler Im Sistem, which was released in 1982. It features the artist's only hit song "Major Tom (Coming Home)".
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Tracklist:

Side One

  1. "Only Dreams"
  2. "Lifetime Guarantee"
  3. "The Noah Plan"
  4. "Error In The System"

Side Two

  1. "Major Tom (Coming Home)"
  2. "Major Tom, Part 2"
  3. "(Let's Play) U.S.A."
  4. "I Have No Desire"
  5. "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (Silent Night, Holy Night)"

Tropes below us, drifting, falling...

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In "Only Dreams":
    "But other computers talk about revenge, give instructions, give commands, unfeeling, uncaring."
  • Album Title Drop: "Error In The System" has "looking for the error in the system on this star".
  • Ancient Astronauts: "Error In The System" suggests that humanity was descended from them.
    "Far beyond the farthest corners of our stratosphere,
    While the planets go on spinning, we are banished here."
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht", though it's only sung in German.
  • Apocalypse How: "The Noah Plan" has the Earth's orbit falling into the sun. The tides reverse, and the atmosphere is blown away.
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  • Apocalyptic Log: A line from "Major Tom (Coming Home)".
    "Across the stratosphere, a final message: 'Give my wife my love.' Then nothing more."
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Implied with Major Tom near the end of "Major Tom (Coming Home)".
    "No one understands, but Major Tom sees. 'Now the light commands. This is my home. I'm coming home.'""
  • Atmosphere Abuse/Polluted Wasteland: "(Let's Play) U.S.A." cheerfully tells listeners this:
    "Go on and pollute the land. Clean air will be sold in cans."
  • Can't Take Criticism/Trigger Happy: In "(Let's Play) U.S.A.":
    "Won't it be a lot of fun? Every man will own a gun. Shoot the ones whose point of view makes a point that bothers you."
  • Crapsaccharine World/Disney Owns This Trope: Suggested in "(Let's Play) U.S.A.":
    "Did you hear the master plan? One nation under Disneyland."
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  • Crapsack World: "I Have No Desire" paints the current world situation as this.
  • Death by Transceiver: The same story from David Bowie's "Space Oddity" was covered in "Major Tom (Coming Home)". Subverted on this version as the next verse implies that the Major Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The singer of "I Have No Desire" is so depressed with what he hears going on in the world that he'd rather not want to get up in the morning and would remain retired to his room.
  • Down in the Dumps: The video for "Major Tom (Coming Home)" takes place in a junkyard, with Peter and his band sitting within a stack of old abandoned cars.
  • Eagleland: "(Let's Play) U.S.A." is a nasty version of The Boorish with a cheery pop beat.
  • The Evils of Free Will: In "Lifetime Guarantee":
    "In your mind is a foolish thought, a dangerous notion.
    To think on your own this way only stirs up emotion,
    And anyone so naive finds himself in trouble."
  • Face on the Cover: Peter Schilling standing against a dotted background.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Major Tom (Coming Home)" —> "Major Tom, Part 2".
  • Homeworld Evacuation: In "The Noah Plan", the Earth's orbit decays as it drifts towards the sun, and the people on Earth prepare for evacuation by "returning to the universe".
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: In "Only Dreams":
    "Every day you sit near the TV. Who always gets the girl? Wish it were me.
    Every night you look out on the street, wanting to talk to the woman you see."
  • Instrumentals: "Major Tom, Part 2".
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Only Dreams" has the singing and the music start simultaneously.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "(Let's Play) U.S.A."
  • Mind-Control Music: In "Lifetime Guarantee":
    "Harmonious melodies that sound familiar,
    Specialized in mind control;
    From computers they offer
    Less obvious merchandise for the believers."
  • Mondegreen: In the video for "Major Tom (Coming Home)", the phrase "floating weightless" is interpreted as "floating waitress" as we see a bunch of roller-skating carhop waitresses circling around over a fog-covered floor near the end.
  • Mysterious Watcher: In "Error In The System":
    "Somewhere a computer records us from afar, looking for the error in the system on this star."
  • Record Producer: Armin Sabol and Peter Schilling.
  • Scatting:
    • The chorus of "I Have No Desire" consists of "ya de da, ya de da de da..."
    • "Only Dreams" has scatting during the middle part and the ending.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "The Noah Plan" has a spoken intro by the singer himself explaining the situation in the song.
  • Title Track: "Error In The System".
  • Virtual Celebrity: Possibly hinted at in "(Let's Play) U.S.A.":
    "Soon the robots we create will be starring on the Great White Way."
  • Your Cheating Heart: In the video for "Major Tom (Coming Home)", Major Tom's wife is already seen with another man just as he leaves her with a final message before passing on to the great unknown.
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