September 2, 2008

3:47 EST

From the Wikipedia entry:

3:47 EST is the first album by the Canadian group Klaatu released in August 1976. The album was renamed Klaatu when released in America by Capitol Records. It is regarded as one of the band's greatest albums, using the same kind of Beatlesque psychedelic rock (in the style of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour), with a few new additions; most notably vocal distortion, more backwards instruments, and some obscure musical instruments such as electric sitars.

Not Beatles - faces clearly meant for radio

For a variety of reasons, rumors spread in the wake of the album's release that Klaatu were, in fact, a secretly reunited Beatles. Although many of the album's songs bear no resemblance whatsoever to anything in the Beatles catalog ("California Jam" and "True Life Hero," for instance), several other numbers — particularly "Sub-Rosa Subway" - are dead ringers for the Fab Four. The album was surprisingly successful in the United States; at least partly a result of the Beatles rumors.

From the group's own website, here are some of the "clues" that led people to believe 3:47 EST was a Beatles album:

  • The record was on Capitol records, the American record company that had released most of the Beatles' records in the US.
  • The record had no names of band members listed on it anywhere.
  • The record had no producer name on it anywhere. It simply said, "Produced by Klaatu."
  • The record had no songwriter credits other than simply, "All selections composed by Klaatu."
  • The record had no pictures of band members on it anywhere.
  • On a couple of songs ("Calling Occupants," "Sub-Rosa Subway") the vocals sound like Paul McCartney & John Lennon.
  • The name Klaatu is taken from the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still in which the alien named Klaatu tells his robot Gort to stop hurting people with the command, "Klaatu barada niktu!" On Ringo Starr's Goodnight Vienna (1974) album, Ringo is seen coming out of the spaceship from that movie and is standing next to Gort.
  • Beetles are heard to be chirping and buzzing at the start of "Calling Occupants." (Sounds more like Crickets and some birds to me.....)
  • The song title, "Sub-Rosa Subway," was thought to be a take off on Paul's Red Rose Speedway.

    And proving anything can be found on the vast Interwebs (truly amazing), here are the songs that made a world clearly yearning for the return of the Beatles to think it had actually happened:

    “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” (covered, of all people, by The Carpenters)

    "California Jam"

    "Anus of Uranus"

    "Sub-Rosa Subway"

    "True Life Hero"

    "Dr. Marvello"

    "Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III"

    "Little Neutrino"

    Nope, not the Fab Four, they'd never really come again....The world would need to wait at least another nineteen years for a sad contrivance of the digital age (which I love - the background vocals during the guitar solo have been known to make me weep, gently):

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