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27.11.09

Klaatu




Klaatu - Sun Set - 2005 - Bullseye Records Of Canada

"Sun Set" is an excellent 2 Disc, 41 track compilation of Klaatu ecordings from January 1, 1973 to November 13. Supposedly, all tracks are previously unreleased on CD. Klaatu were a very enigmatic band over 33 years ago, when Steve Smith, a reporter for the Providence Journal in Rhode Island wrote a rather theoretical article, in which he claimed that Klaatu were really The Beatles in disguise. This was mainly due to the fact that Klaatu's first album, "3:47 EST" had a sound very reminiscent of the Lennon & McCartney sound. In fact, Klaatu were an ordinary Canadian studio band, but nobody knew who the members actually were. The album gave no details on band members, and to all intents and purposes, the Beatles story was very feasible. After Steve Smith's article was published, the usual blitz of rumours and bizarre stories circulated, only adding to the Klaatu mystique.This hype earned the band much success, but in the long term, the rumours had a detrimental effect on the band's popularity. When their real identities became public, many people were disappointed that the band wasn't really the Beatles. At the time, this "let-down" was understandable. A Beatle's reunion album in any form would have been sensational. However, Klaatu were definitely no "con job". The band was composed of very talented musicians and songwriters, and were a cut above most pop rock bands of that era. Although the band disbanded in 1981, they reformed for the occasional sell-out concert. Obviously, many Klaatu fans didn't give "a rat's fandango" whether the band included John Woloschuk or John Lennon!. There is info on Klaatu's "Hope", "3:47 EST", and "Solology" albums on this blog

TRACKS

CD 1 1973 - 1977

1.1 Hanus Of Uranus 2:48
1.2 Sub Rosa Subway 4:14
1.3 Cherie 3:01
1.4 Doctor Marvello 3:31
1.5 For You Girl 2:38
1.6 California Jam 3:02
1.7 True Life Hero 3:26
1.8 Calling Occupants (Of Interplanetary Craft) 6:25
1.9 Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III 3:37
1.10 Little Neutrino 4:59
1.11 We're Off You Know 3:20
1.12 Around The Universe In 80 Days 4:44
1.13 Madman 2:46
1.14 Long Live Politzania 9:11
1.15 The Loneliest Of Creatures 3:38
1.16 Prelude 5:26
1.17 So Said The Lighthouse Keeper 6:07
1.18 Epilogue 0:42
1.19 Hope 3:48

CD 2 1978 - 1981

2.1 A Routine Day 3:08
2.2 Juicy Luicy 3:45
2.3 Everybody Took A Holiday 3:04
2.4 Older 3:19
2.5 Dear Christine 3:35
2.6 Mister Manson 2:37
2.7 Tokeymor Field 3:05
2.8 Sir Rupert Said... 2:41
2.9 Sell Out, Sell Out 4:48
2.10 Howl At The Moon 3:31
2.11 I Can't Help It 4:12
2.12 Paranoia 3:52
2.13 Set The World On Fire 4:17
2.14 Dog Star 4:03
2.15 All Good Things 2:26
2.16 There's Something Happening 2:42
2.17 I Don't Wanna Go Home 2:52
2.18 At The End Of The Rainbow 3:13
2.19 December Dream 5:41
2.20 Mrs. Toad's Cookie 3:12
2.21 Magentalane 3:29
2.22 Ambrose Lightship 1:00

COMPOSERS

Dee Long (tracks: 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, 1.10, 1.12, 1.13, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6, 2.11, 2.14, 2.16, 2.18,)
Dino Tome (tracks: 1.2, 1.6, 2.10,)
John Woloschuk (tracks: 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 1.9, 1.11, 1.14 to 1.19, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.7, 2.9, 2.10, 2.12, 2.13, 2.15, 2.17, 2.19 to 2.21)
Terry Draper (tracks: 1.8, 2.19)

MUSICIANS

Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Bass - Dee Long
Vocals, Keyboards, Bass, Guitar - John Woloschuk
Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Keyboards - Terry Draper

SHORT BIO

In August of 1976, the self-titled debut album by an unknown group called Klaatu was released on Capitol Records to little notice. The following February Steve Smith, a writer for the Providence Journal in Rhode Island, wrote an article titled "Could Klaatu Be the Beatles? Mystery Is a Magical Mystery Tour." The article began the rumor that Klaatu was "more than likely either in part or in whole the Beatles." These conjectures, fueled by a series of articles in trade magazines like Billboard created a huge amount of hype and Capitol did nothing to deny or confirm the rumors. Throughout 1977, record sales soared and radio stations ran "Is Klaatu the Beatles?" promotions. Reportedly, some of the "clues" as to whether or not Klaatu were the Beatles included backward messages, Morse code, references to the group's identities in the song lyrics, and the word "Beatles" hidden in various places on the record jacket. After several months of conjecture, the group's identity was revealed at the end of year — it wasn't the Beatles after all, it was Terry Draper (songwriter, vocalist, drummer), John Woloschuck, and Dee Long. Immediately, their record sales declined, and due to a backlash generated by the Beatles hoax their four subsequent albums failed to sell. The group broke up in 1981. © Jim Powers, allmusic.com

BIO (WIKIPEDIA)

Klaatu was a Canadian progressive rock group formed in 1973 by the duo of John Woloschuk and Dee Long. They named themselves after the extraterrestrial by the same name portrayed by Michael Rennie in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. The band released the singles Anus Of Uranus/Sub-Rosa Subway and Dr. Marvello/For You Girl on GRT Records before being taken under the wing of Daffodil Records and its president Frank Davies. Drummer Terry Draper was signed soon thereafter and the singles California Jam and True Life Hero followed. The band struggled to get radio recognition. By 1975 Davies, along with producer Terry Brown, managed to land the band a deal with Capitol Records in the US. Their first album, 3:47 EST (named Klaatu in the US due to a misunderstanding), had a Beatlesque sound, particularly in the song "Sub-Rosa Subway", but contained no biographical details, thus inspiring a rumour that the album was an anonymous project by The Beatles. This rumour was wide-spread, and was taken seriously by many people. Their most famous song, "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", was covered by The Carpenters in 1977. Their second album Hope included orchestral contributions by the London Symphony Orchestra, and is considered by most fans to be an equal, if not superior effort, compared to the first album. Sir Army Suit, their third album, is notable for the track "Silly Boys", which contains the entire lyrical portion of "Anus of Uranus" – a song from their first album – backwards-masked and interspersed between the song's normal lyrics. In 1978 the group embarked on an ambitious but uncompleted animated film project entitled Happy New Year, Planet Earth. The project, had it been finished, would have been about 30 minutes long and would have contained six Klaatu songs. The only example of the project that has ever seen the light of day is the video for "A Routine Day", which consisted of footage filmed for the project. However, in 2005 the group permitted the film to be screened in its uncompleted state at the KlaatuKon convention in Toronto. Upon the release of their fourth studio album, 1980's Endangered Species, the band was eventually revealed to consist of drummer Terry Draper, keyboardist/bassist John Woloschuk and guitarist Dee Long, with no musical connection to any former Beatle. Although forced by Capitol to record Endangered Species in Los Angeles using established studio musicians to shore up the group's commercial chances, the album was a critical and commercial disaster. The album's poor showing resulted in Capitol Records dropping the group. Now lacking a record label, Long and Draper temporarily formed a top 40 cover band, called FUNN, as a way to make ends meet. Eventually signed by Capitol's Canadian division, Klaatu released their final album, Magentalane, in Canada in 1981. A considerably better effort than Endangered Species, the album saw the group returning to their brand of Beatles-influenced pop/rock. As a contractual obligation to Capitol-EMI in Canada, the band were forced to tour from November 1981 and expanded to a sextet (using members of Max Webster and Nightwind) for live performances. However, in April 1982 Dee Long - never all that fond of performing live in the first place by most accounts - quit the group. Although Woloschuk and Draper carried on performing for a few more months, the group officially disbanded in August of the same year. The trio very briefly reunited in 1988 at George Martin's Air Studios in London to record a single, "Woman," though no one was particularly happy with the results since the song was written by someone outside of the band (Paul Vincent Gunia) for the German TV series Tatort. The single was only released in West Germany, and did not chart, making it an extremely rare item in the Klaatu catalogue; particularly since it wasn't included on the two later rarities collections. The three former members of Klaatu reunited on May 7, 2005 for a brief - and mostly acoustic - performance at Toronto's KlaatuKon. The set list consisted of "At the End of the Rainbow," "I Don't Wanna Go Home," "Cherie," "Magentalane," "Little Neutrino," and "All Good Things." A full-blown Klaatu reunion - apart from occasional fan club performances such as those in 2005 - is extremely unlikely at this point due to Woloschuk's work commitments. However, Woloschuk has also been quoted as regarding the idea of a Klaatu reunion with orchestral backing as "tantalizing." Klaatu's albums were released on CD format rather late, and up until the 2000s several companies including Capitol Records released the albums, in some cases with incorrect track orders. Finally, Bullseye Records, with the help of the band itself, released the albums in their original track listings. Bullseye also released a tribute album to Klaatu, Around the Universe In Eighty Minutes. In 2005 Bullseye Records released a 2-CD collection entitled Sun Set: 1973-1981, which compiled a number of rarities, demos, rare early singles, and other odds and ends recorded during the group's career. Perhaps most interesting was the original version of Hope which had been delivered to Capitol Records, including the complete contributions made by the London Symphony Orchestra, which had largely been removed from the version which was eventually released. The set also included a 40-page booklet including interviews with all of the former members of the band. 2005 also saw Raarities, also from Bullseye Records Of Canada. Oddly enough, this collection has only been released in a vinyl LP format so far. Raarities probably appeals more to the group's hardcore fans since most of the material on the record consists of alternate mixes and single versions, as opposed to Sun Set, which focused on unreleased material and the alternate version of Hope. A CD version titled "Sology" includes the "Raarities" LP as well as concert recordings. It was released in March, 2009. Today Dee Long is a producer who has also written a drum loop program called the DeeSampler. He has released several solo albums and has recently begun performing live again. Terry Draper worked in Toronto as a roofer for a number of years following Klaatu's breakup, and now owns a bar. He has also worked as a producer (often with Dee Long), and has also released two solo albums, as well as a live album with his current band Twilight Zone. Following Klaatu's breakup John Woloschuk recorded a now-rare children's album called Robotman, but soon afterwards retired from music altogether and is today a music industry accountant in Toronto. Though Woloschuk was the group's primary songwriter, he has sometimes been regarded by fans as something of an enigma and a recluse. However, interviews with Woloschuk have shown him to be quite affable and perfectly willing to discuss Klaatu, stating that the only reason he retired from music was because he felt he could be a good musician, or a good accountant, but not both at the same time. Woloschuk has said he gets together with friends occasionally to play for the fun of it, but that's the extent of his interest in playing music at this point.

17 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK Pt 1

LINK Pt 2


p/w aoofc

Mike said...

Looks like I'll give it a try. I mean why not?

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Mike. They're big files. So think about it. TTU soon

Mike said...

I got them alright. Much of the stuff present was on other releases from them. I can hear the influences of The Beatles, Elton John, and several others. A Routine Day is an interesting track. On the earlier demo/outtake, it was just the piano/strings arrangement, so I wondered how the vocals would work. What you get is somewhat Paul McCartney-esque.

Thanks again. You need to e-amil me so that I know where to send the stuff. Later.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Mike. A lot of trax to wade thru, but I think most of them are worthwhile recordings. The main influence throughout is definitely Beatleesque. Easy to see how people thought K were the Moptops in disguise. Thanks for comment, & ttu soon

Anonymous said...

I've bought this awhile ago--I just had too....these guys were one of a handful of bands that 'saved' me from bland Top 40 radio & Disco back in the late 70's. Anyone, I thought at the time, who could pull off something so close to the Beatles WITHOUT losing any originality in the process was alright by me. It takes big ones the size of grapefruits to be blatantly making post Psych/Prog Pop back then in the late '70's. My heroes. ^_^

I've recently got the "Solology" CD which has the 'missing' 3rd disc from this collection plus the live reunion cuts included as well. Worth getting folks, but please start with the "3:47 E.S.T." album (also call "Klaatu") if you're just starting on your Klaatu journey.

BTW: If anyone out there needs more info on this band, check out their website @klaatu.org

D.Moose

Anonymous said...

Oh...almost forgot the fantastic Ted Jones artwork on almost all of their albums. Love to have his artwork on the wall!!

D.Moose

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey, D.Moose. I have a few of his prints. Beautiful artwork, and great music! TTU soon

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers! D.Moose. You're right about the originality. Amazing the way Klaatu produced some Beatlesque sounds, and still kept their identity. For anybody reading this check out D.Moose's link. Klaatu are a unique band worth some research

shadesofindigo said...

Hi again , any chance you have Klaatu Sir Army Suit hiding somewhere in your blog?
thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Thomas. Try
http://capitaodo
rockclassic.
blogspot.com
/2009/10/klaatu
-discografia.html

Some great Klaatu there. Thanks, & TTU soon

Anonymous said...

Thanks for part 2....mananged to get part 1 a while back from somewhere else.....thanks for sharing....cheers.

A.O.O.F.C said...

No probs. Thanks Anon.

Russell said...

thank you!!!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Russell. Thanks for your time & interest...Paul

wyseman said...

so many thanks for this - great site - thanks again!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,wyseman. No probs, & thanks. Why not update your blog. It's always worthwhile. TTU soon...Paul