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Discussion in 'Music: Musicians & Musical Acts' started by Doctor Omega, Feb 18, 2017.
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Klaatu was a Canadian rock group formed in 1973 by the duo of John Woloschuk and Dee Long. They named themselves after the extraterrestrial character Klaatu in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. After recording two non-charting singles, drummer Terry Draper was added to the line-up; this trio would constitute Klaatu throughout the rest of the band's recording career.
Their first album, 3:47 EST (named Klaatu in the US as Capitol Records' executives found the original title too obscure), was released in September 1976, in North America. The band elected to include no photos, no individual musician credits, and no biographical information in the album package; all songs were simply listed as being written and published by "Klaatu." (Note that this collective writing credit covered songs earlier credited solely to Long or to the team of Woloschuk and Tome — even though Tome was not actually a member of Klaatu.) The album was met with moderately positive reviews but by Christmas of that year, sales had stalled.
The album had a Beatlesque sound, however, particularly in the song "Sub-Rosa Subway." This, coupled with the lack of biographical details offered up by Klaatu, helped inspire a rumor concocted by Providence Journal reviewer Steve Smith in February 1977, that the album might be an anonymous project by the Beatles themselves. The rumor turned into a global phenomenon with Beatles fans being fed "clues" by radio stations and print media alike. Subsequent to the Beatles rumor, the songs "Sub-Rosa Subway" and "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" became minor hits for Klaatu in 1977. "Calling Occupants" was covered by the Carpenters that same year, becoming a Top 40 hit worldwide.
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