on October 24, 2003
I, too, was first drawn to Klaatu by the rumor that they were the secretly reformed Beatles. I bought their first album, "Klaatu" and pored over it, looking for clues or proof. Certainly, some of the Fab Four's orchestral imagination was in evidence, swirly, brassed-up pomp & circumstance a la "Sgt. Pepper", but, in all, the sound belonged only to Klaatu themselves.
I went on to buy "Hope" and, many years later, "Magenta Lane". For the most part, I loved the trippy, happy music that often told wonderful, lighthearted stories, like "Anus of Uranus", "Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III" the story of the only man whose been to "Hell and come back alive". But they were capable of much more serious and thoughtful work, as well.
Klaatu was, without a doubt, a product of the 70's. Such lush, pensive music was a staple of bands like Led Zeppelin, Marillion, Rush, Genesis and Styx, but could not be produced today. But if you like that sound and you're open to trying new, old things, give them a listen.
on August 22, 2003
People were very curious about this band for a while when they thought these guys might have been the Beatles in disguise. They fooled a lot of people and their debut record sold very well for a while. But as soon as it was discovered who they really were or weren't in this case, Klaatu practically became a footnote in music history. Forgotten was the fact that these guys had put out a very nice album that was every bit as good if not better in some respects (Taboo I know) than the Beatles latter day material. But unfortunately who you are is all that matters with most people too.
I wouldn't classify this band as great, admittedly these guys were mimics in a lot of ways but they were good mimics too. They never really carved out a path to call their own either but if people had cared a little more about the music these guys did put out instead of who made it then they would have had a lot more success than they did. But then again how many similar stories like this could be told too? Remember the Yes and Starcastle similarities... Yes and who??? lol
Taking nothing from the greatness of the Beatles at all but the public has always been a fickle crowd with a very short memory and the truth is that once your established you can almost put garbage out and have it called great. But don't confuse them with the fact that this album would most likely be double platinum and considered some of the Beatles finest had it really turned out to be them.
If you enjoy music more than who makes it then put this in your CD player and sit back and enjoy. Klaatu put out some classy stuff. And if you are not a total Beatles fanatic who knows every tune by heart then you may not even know the difference, as many others didn't once upon a time.
on April 9, 2004
The best songs of this uneven Mop Top imposter collection will bring back memories of the most pleasing melodies of the 60s, set to kitchen sink arrangements with lyrics as meaningless as any ever committed to vinyl. One minute you're listening to the greatest Beatles bootleg never uncovered, the next an incomprehensible piece of tripe that sounds like McCartney being sucked into a blender playing a Casio harpsichord. Standout tracks include Calling Occupants, Sub-Rosa, We're Off You Know, Loneliest of Creatures, and Hope. The highs will give you a nosebleed, but have the remote ready at all times.
on March 11, 2004
klaatu es un grupo de rock canadiense (un trio)el cual emergio a mediados de los 70s con un estilo muy pero muy influenciado por la ultima etapa de los beatles.tanto asi que todo el mundo penso que en realidad klaatu eran los beatles que se habian vuelto a unir bajo ese seudonimo.la edicion original del cd no hace nada por contradecir esta leyenda ya que no incluye informaicon alguna sobre la banda ni fotos tampoco.la musica que incluye este cd viene siendo como algo parecido a donde los beatles se quedaron ,unos arreglos e instrumentaciones marivillosas muy parecido tambien a elo.de este magnifico grupo solo eh escuchado su primer album klaatu(o 3:47 est)nunca eh oido el hope pero segun comentarios es un tipo de rock sinfonico a la queen.aqui en esta edicion vienen los dos incluidos.lo recomiendo a los fanaticos de los beatles y electric light orch.excelente produccion,excelente calidad de sonido,excelente musicalidad ,pero klaatu despues de todo no son los beatles (en los 70s) es solo un grupo canadiense de muy buena calidad.
on March 12, 2003
I'll confess up front: my perceptions of Klaatu were formed by the original US release on vinyl, way back in the olden times.
The sound I remember from that LP was nothing short of stunning. Previous experience with Capitol's repackaging of classic albums prepared me somewhat for less than ideal reproduction, but this CD hurts a bit worse than most, because it falls short of such a high standard to begin with.
About the only things Capitol got right were that they mostly left the bass alone, and they did not attempt to reposition any of the sound sources or tinker with the ambience. This CD, especially in the tracks from the first album, will still make the walls sway and your skull throb.
On the other hand, unless your hearing has been impaired significantly more than mine has, you'll need to turn the treble way, way down. The original album's sound was crisp, but it wasn't sibillant! And, the dynamic range has been so compressed that a lot of the more subtle effects on the first album come out rather squashed. Then, there's the sacrilege of snipping the two mouse squeaks...the one that ends the first album, and the one that opens the second album...down to one. Creativity by committee, no doubt.
None the less, this is a good CD to have if you want both albums handy on a single disc.
Musically, no one can fault the variety of styles represented on the first album (Klaatu, now also known as 3:47 Est). Once in a while, though, the lyrics become just a little too precious, even for the mid-Seventies. But the playing is precise, the vocals are right on target for the subject matter, and the arrangements are creative and sometimes downright surprising.
The second album, Hope, starts off as promising as the first. It's lively and witty, right up through the pointedly satirical "Long Live Politzania."
As it works its way toward a dreadful end, however, the album bogs down badly. The title track itself...well, there's just no hope. Not many groups could carry off something that heavy; Klaatu didn't.
Instead of being the affirmation it was intended to be, "Hope" comes across as lifeless and forced. The guys probably should have rung up Yes and gotten their advice. If the lyrics are going to get preachy, you have no choice but to make the music itself all the more interesting. Didn't happen here.
Even so, this is a good CD to have in your collection. There's a lot to like about Klaatu as a group. But in retrospect, perhaps it wasn't such a good career move to attach the band's name to a planet that got wiped from the face of the Universe in only their second album.
on July 19, 2002
...maybe not, but they sure came close! What strange songwriting by this most bizarre of bands. Ranging from psychedelic to hard rocking to progressive to just bizarre--I don't know if listening to this is a guilty pleasure, or if it really is as good as I think it is.
I won't bother with Beatles comparisons, others have written about that. I will say that the music contained here lies somewhere between post-Sgt. Pepper era Beatles, early Alan Parsons Project, Meddle to Animals era Pink Floyd, and (yes) Radiohead. Then again, other songs remind me of other bands: "California Jam"(Beach Boys), "Anus Of Uranus" (Crack The Sky), Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby (The Boston Symphony meets The Muppets). It is just a strange mix of demented music.
What is most amazing to me about this CD is the production of the music. The sound quality is just awesome, with all sorts of effects, guitars and keys swirling around inside your headphones. Now keep in mind that I say this about the double album CD version. I have heard that this is actually a very flawed mix compared to the individual remasters. I have not heard the other versions, but I can say that I think the double album version is great. (I may have to buy them seperately to hear what everyone's been talking about!)
Anyway it is in the production of sounds that draws my comparison to Radiohead. To me, listening to this CD for the first time was much like listening to "OK Computer" or "Kid A" for the first time. There is a lot to listen to, and I mean that in a good way.
At the price that Amazon has this available for, I would recommend the two-fer package. If you want to check the remasters individually, I would recommend the following:
Klaatu: (a.k.a. 3:47 EST) Buy this one if you are more interested in the more rocking "Beatles-ish" sound.
Hope: Buy this one if you are more interested in the "Pink Floyd-ish" sound.
Hope this helps.
on March 5, 2002
This is my 3rd KLAATU CD purchase and I really like this band alot - for what they really are. For those of you who are not really familiar with all of the hype surrounding this band, there are alot of reviews, opinions and such comparing them to the Beatles. Originally, when the band released their first album, no one really knew who they were or where they came from. Rumors were circulating that the band was comprised of the 3 remaining Beatles after the tragic death of John Lennon - supposedly they sounded similar to the Beatles. Whoever started those rumors must have been on a "Magical Mystery Tour" of their own because the only thing that even comes close (and use the word "close" loosly) is the production on a couple of the songs. The vocals aren't even close to sounding like the Beatles. So, if you're looking for a great "original" sounding band with a bit of an "Abbey Road" production flair, check these guys out. If you're looking for the reincarnated Beatles, don't waste your time!
on July 3, 2000
Putting the first two Klaatu albums on one CD was a smart move on the part of Collector's Choice Music. One flows beautifully into the next. If you loved these two albums when they first came out, purchase this CD. The reproduction on this CD is incredible. Forget your scratchy LPs - I don't remember my old albums sounding this good. Yes, we all know the untrue rumours that these were the Beatles together again. But, with the sound reproduction on this CD, you'd almost think it was the Beatles. Kick back and relax to the 16 tunes on this CD which will - take you to space and back again; take you to mythical places and allow your fantasies to come alive; and take you on one heck of a musical journey. If you like Klaatu, the Beatles and Pink Floyd - may I suggest another CD to purchase: British Rock Symphony - the music of the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd & The Who as performed by Roger Daltry, Paul Rodgers, Tommy Shaw, Alice Cooper, Ann Wilson and more. Excellent!
Klaatu (the album) is very good but Hope is by far my favourite. I am not really into albums with an over riding story but this one plays out really well. This story (a space opera I suppose) really has me listening and feeling for the characters. The music is excellent and varies from rock to orchestral in an organic way. My wife talked though most of the music, when I broke this out of the packaging for the first time, but even she was silenced by the sad tale of the light house keeper. While most people really like the last cut (Hope) I always found it a bit too emotionaly sticky. The sound dynamics of these remastered albums has been criticized by other reviewers but I found the dynamic range very wide, unfortunately causing me to constantly adjust the volume when I play it in my car, due to road noise obscuring the quieter passages. At home, however, this plays out nicely and enhances the mood of the music. The sound quality overall is excellent.
on June 24, 2001
A reviewer from Indiana says this is a CD to ignore because the sound quality is terrible. Well, this reviewer must need a new stereo because the sound quality is as clear as a bell. Ignore that reviewer. If you are afraid to purchase this Collector's Choice release of these two magnificent albums because of what that Indiana reviewer said, ignore that review. This is a piece of musical history! After practically wearing out my LP copies, I was thrilled with this CD release. Klaatu was influenced by more than the Beatles. They were also influenced by other great Canadian bands of the day such as Prism and classic R&R artists such as The Beach Boys. Their music had wit and humor, as well. As for the whole Beatles connection, I must admit that many tunes do sound very much like the mid-70s solo work of Paul McCartney, in my opinion.