KLAATU

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KLAATU

Postby 2 of 3 » Fri Jun 20, 2003 11:27 pm

Here were a bunch of studio musicians, who were minding their own business..released an album, and the rest was history. No it wasn't the Beatles..but a couple of their albums were pretty good. I must admit..I listened to their albums very closely in the beginning and a few times said "could it be?"??????? Nahhhh!...Hmmm?[?]
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Postby DylansMrJones » Sat Jun 21, 2003 2:52 am

I remember all too well how KLAATU's debut album made many people, including myself, wonder if they were indeed The Beatles recording under a psudonym. I remember listening over and over trying to decide, and my final opinion was that it could have been. My friends and I theorized that IF Klaatu was a version of the Beatles, they had additional band members, and the original Beatles' voices were disguised by vocal effects just enough to confuse those of us who thought we were on to them! The album was a debut album from a faceless band, released on Capitol Records. There were no photos of the band, and the songwriting credits merely claimed the songs were composed by Klaatu. It's rare to see a debut album that doesn't list who's in the band and what they play. KLAATU told us nothing about who they were.

Why did the Beatles do this, according to the theory we discussed? We figured that they wanted to make new music together without the confines of being The Beatles. Or that possibly George Harrison was not involved - as there didn't seem to be any songs that sounded like Harrisongs. There was a singer that really didn't sound like a Beatle at all, especially on TRUE LIFE HERO and ANUS OF URANUS. At the time we theorized that this other singer was Denny Laine. Especially since to us ANUS OF URANUS sounded like an outtake from VENUS AND MARS. We all agreed that the producer was George Martin.

CALLING OCCUPANTS sounded exactly how we'd expect John to sound if he wanted to NOT sound at all like himself. Somewhere toward the end you can hear a mellotron playing an I AM THE WALRUS-like repeating riff, at the same time a piano can be heard playing a series of notes very much like the short instrumental bits that connect the verses of Paul's version of MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB. The one KLAATU track that really made you feel like Paul McCartney was in on this was SUB ROSA SUBWAY. The lead vocal, and the music as well, sounded like something left over from a Wings session circa 1973. And the goofy SIR BODSWORTH RUGGLESBY III seemed like the obvious Ringo song for the album. The vocal, we deduced, was Ringo singing at the wrong speed to music also recorded at the wrong speed.

Not long after this album got attention for being MAYBE THE BEATLES, it was discovered that Klaatu were not The Beatles at all. In a way I was a bit disapointed. On the other hand I was relieved...after all, this wasn't exactly a brilliant album by Beatles standards.

Many years later I've acquired a CD burn of the album. Listening now I can't believe that I even considered the possibility that this was The Beatles. The vocals we thought were Denny Laine sound NOTHING like Denny. In 2003, SUB ROSA SUBWAY still sounds like a Wings outtake to me, if I stretch my imagination a little.

I think at the time wishful thinking made me hear things that weren't really there.
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Postby theDingle » Sat Jun 21, 2003 3:44 am

I didn't hear it until a couple of years after it had been released, so the controversy about who they really were was already over.

I will say though, that to me, Sub-rosa Subway was an excellent stab at mimicking the Beatles, and the Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby production was very George Martin.

I give 'em an A+ for effort on those two.

Anyone remember Emmitt Rhodes, the Macca sound-alike? A little corny, a little too obvious, but still, quite close to the genuine, IMHO.
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Postby dsnito » Sun Jun 22, 2003 6:06 am

I have the first and the second Klaatu´s albums and I think those were quite well produced. The lead vocal has really a similarity to Paul in some moments of the albums. I don´t know if their CDs are still availabe in the US or UK, ´cos I never find those anymore in my country, if don´t, I recommend to get the songs on the web. Try to get "Sub-Rosa Subway", "Routine Day", "Tokeymor Field", "Dear Christine" and you´ll have the IMPRESSION that´s Paul singing...

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Postby dsnito » Sun Jun 22, 2003 6:08 am

Oh yeah, and there´s also the Klaatu´s song "We´re Off You Know" that I got by the web, that´s very Macca-alike...just try it!!

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Postby dsnito » Sun Jun 22, 2003 6:25 am

Good comments Mr.Jones!! That really was happened the way you did comment...at that time, Klaatu was the mysterious group that people thought was the disguised-Beatles group(they didn´t put authors, musicians, producers names in the album credits, but only KLAATU), and the album sales were quite good to them for that mystery. But soon that was discovered that they were just a canadian Beatle-wannabe band and the spell was broken and the sales felt down all over the world...
I consider the two albums I have, very well produced works better than many releases of that time.

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Postby DylansMrJones » Sun Jun 22, 2003 7:30 am

I was able to find all the songs from their debut album on Kaaza Lite, and I burned them to a disc. I haven't seen any KLAATU on CD in years.
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Postby Mike » Mon Jun 23, 2003 11:20 am

Well, where do I begin. I got the album as soon as it came out, the rumors, yes a complete tape just turned up on a Capitol executive's desk one day. I've have all their stuff.

FACT: I did an English thesis back in college on this very subject, I have not been able to find it as much of my notes got destroyed some years back.

FACT: I saw Paul McCartney live at Maple Leaf Gardens in May of 1976 and on Paul's amp is the Klaatu, logo, the sun. I have several pictures throughout the concert to prove it. A roadie must have put it on probably paid by the record company to further the rumor. To this day I have never seen any published report from any newpaper or magaizine ever referring to this stunt. Am I the only one who noticed ?

FACT: Klaatu indeed was bunch of Canadian studio musicians who came out of the studio and did a small Canadian tour. I saw Klaatu live in a packed night club in Waterloo, Ontario. Without digging out the poster I think it was in 1981. I still have the T-shirt from it and a poster promoting the event. They presented a live show that sounded remarkably identical to the album, no lipsync or pre-recorded material I could detect. The bass player used a blonde Ricky, the same model I have.

That same year I saw Badfinger in a nearby bar in Cambridge that had 2 original memebers. The whole performance was being taped for presentation on the Canadian Global TV network but never got showed. Joey Molland busted a string some halfway throught the gig and just continued to play. Didn't replace it til much later. That of course took away much from No Matter What. I was much younger and drank a bit that night and stood up screaming after most songs. Briefly talked to Joey. Years later I put up a Badfinger website that got his attention and had some nice conversations with him and his wife. I haven't done anything to the site since I got MACCA-Central going.

Back to Klaatu, I like a lot of their later stuff too like Routine Day. A very McCartneyish song, Everybody Took a Holiday has always been my favourite. Dear Christine, Hope, Knee Deep in Love are other great songs that came after the debut album. I think Knee Deep in Love was the last song that made the charts here in Canada.

Though their attempt to sound Beatlish was very successfull, I think they were much more closer to Badfinger except with more keyboards. There are a couple of songs that sound like a ripoff but I'd have to go back and research again to tell you which ones.

I always have a ball playing bass on SubRosa Subway, it is such a great bass line, that combined with the so obvious Beatle tricks it did get people thinking. It was a time of wishful thinking the John and Paul did record together and this was the result. Hey man, it was the 70's
Last edited by Mike on Tue Sep 21, 2004 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dsnito » Mon Jun 23, 2003 6:45 pm

Yeah...the 70s...as time goes by!! I miss all that 70s(and 60s too though was just a child)mood...
I'amazed that you defended such thesis on the college, Mike!! It's a pity that you lost your elaborated work...
Klaatu was a mystery in occasion of the 1st release in Brazil too, most of Beatle-fans was excited for the fact that was a "Maybe-The Beatles" group , and those who were a bit freaky(maybe including ME [:D]) were searching for Klaatu's clues to relate to The Beatles...that's so funny thinking about now...
I think I heard briefly about the "sun logo" on Paul's sound equipments, beyond the main vocal Paul similarity, also the Ringo's heavy drumming style was commented too... There were also comments about some chords that remind some of the Sgt.Pepper's mood...Around '74, Ringo released "Goodnight Vienna" having a cover with KLAATU, the main carachter's name of the 50's classic sci-fi movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still", that was also related with Klaatu group, when was known they were recording some of the tracks in that period. The fact they had been used backward tricks as The Beatles did sometimes and some undistinguishable vocals to confuse the fans, not forgettin' the detail on ALL the album credits that was just credited to KLAATU and nothing more!!
Somepeople had related even "Mr.Manson"'s lyrics to that Beatle-period(1969)relating to that Charles Manson's"Helter Skelter"sickness and the massacre in the Polansky's mansion where Sharon Tate was brutally murdered.
Well, there were too many clues to find and people found severals searching for each detail... After few years, the group released an album with their real names on the credits and since then that was publicly known that Klaatu were canadian musicians(very good musicians)and that spell had been broken...
They made fine music and deserved a Karen Carpenter's nice version of their song "Calling Occupants...", though I do prefer the original version yet.

Peace.
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Postby 2 of 3 » Mon Jun 23, 2003 7:00 pm

Interesting that you mentioned Knee deep in Love as sounding like Badfinger Mike...now that you mention it, it really does sound like a Tom Evans song...even the vocals...similar to Lost Inside Your Love.
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