Monday, May 26, 2014

Give us a sign that we've reached you (Klaatu) #191

Klaatu Calling Occupants/ Sub-Rosa Subway (Capitol, F 4412, 1976)

Klaatu were supposedly The Beatles in disguise in 1976, which was clearly preposterous - given the weak sound on display here.

Calling Occupants isn't so bad a song - Karen Carpenter recognised its potential and did a wonderful cover version that showed up the weaknesses in the original - most notably in the vocals. How anyone could have thought this was the fabs is beyond me. It's a vaguely McCartney-esque song, but sounds nothing like him.

The first Klaatu album had a Beatlesque sound, this coupled with the lack of biographical details offered up by Klaatu, helped inspire a rumour concocted by Providence Journal reviewer Steve Smith in February 1977 that the album might be an anonymous project by the Beatles. Like the Paul Is Dead story, the rumour turned into a global phenomenon with Beatle fans being fed "clues" by radio stations and print media alike.

Yes, I admit it, I was as desperate for new Beatles product as others (Lennon was in hibernation by this point) so I bought the single. It's now become a real oddity for me - a single I bought because it was part of a rumour!

Hidden gem: More of the same on the B side - if anything this one's even more Beatle-esque. Both tracks are on the parent album.

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