The front cover shows small versions of the two front covers of the albums, complete with original Capitol Records logos. They have no cut-out holes as some past CD releases showed and the Hope album cover actually has the song titles around the artwork like the original LP did (the previous CD releases were without those song titles). The top right of the front cover shows the disc’s title: “Two Classic Albums from KLAATU” and the lower left of the front cover shows the “Collectors’ Choise Music” insignia.
If you open up the booklet, the inside left is the back cover of the first album, complete with original Capitol Records credits. The inside right is the back cover of the second album, complete with original Capitol Records credits.
The back cover of the booklet is split down the middle with a line. Above that line is the CD title again (Catalog # is 72435-22335-2-6). On the left side of the line are the song titles from the first album. On the right side of the line are the song titles from the second album. Under the song titles for “Hope” it says, “Tracks 1-8 taken from Capitol LP 11542. P 1976 Capitol Records, Inc” “Tracks 9-16 taken from Capitol LP 11633. P 1977 Capitol Records, Inc.”
The bottom right of the back cover of the booklet has the Collectors’ Choice Music insignia and their address, phone number and web site information (www.ccmusic.com).
The bottom left of the back cover of the booklet says:
“P 1999 EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets. Product of EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets. 1750 N. Vine St., Hollywood, CA 90028. C 1999 Critics’ Choice Video, Inc. Collectors’ Choice Music is a mark of Critics’ Choice Video, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws. Executive Producer: Gordon Anderson. Printed in U.S.A."
The spine of the tray card shows: “CCM – 121 – 2” “Two Classic Albums from KLAATU” “EMI Capitol Music Special Markets” “72435-22335-2-6” Next to the part that says "EMI Capitol Music Special Markets" is a logo that looks like a bullseye, tilted at a slight angle.
The tray card itself is a modified version of the back of the booklet. The layout is the same. Tiny versions of the two album covers appear in the upper corners above their song title listings. The information at the bottom of the tray card is the same as the information at the bottom of the back cover of the booklet except that there is also a bar code added and the Compact Disc Digital Audio logo. HOWEVER, here’s something I find VERY interesting! The “tracks 1-8 taken from…” section has been replaced with “Album Covers Furnished by Record Rama Sound Archives, Pittsburgh, PA. Executive Producer: Gordon Anderson.” It would appear that Capitol either no longer had artwork for the albums, or their artwork (with the cut-out holes) wasn’t desired and Collectors’ Choice Music went to a record store (?) to get copies of the artwork for this release!
The disc label is an orange color. The disc label itself has the Collectors’ Choice Music insignia, address, phone number, web address on the left hand side. On the right is the Compact Disc Digital Audio logo. At the bottom is the logo that looks like the bullseye, “EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets” “72435-22335-2-6” “CCM – 121 – 2” “P 1999 EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets. C 1999 Critics’ Choice Video, Inc. COLLECTORS’ CHOICE MUSIC is a mark of Critics’ Choice Video, Inc. Made in U.S.A.”
At the top of the disc label is the title of the CD: “Two Classic Albums from KLAATU” .
Down the middle of the disc label is a line that ends in the middle of the logo at the bottom of the disc (the one that looks like the bullseye).
Now that I’ve spent a whole printed page telling you about the physical appearance of the package and the disc itself, on to the music.
This disc has more hiss than it should on the tracks from the first album. It almost sounds as if Collectors’ Choice Music took the Capitol 2-for-1 and played it on a CD player, using the ANALOG output as the source for this disc. The hiss is more pronounced than on the Capitol releases, but the edits and changes made by Capitol in 1992 for it’s 2-for-1 are present on this disc.
The first album, “Klaatu” outside Canada or “3:47 EST” in Canada, has appeared on CD in England (haven’t heard it), Holland (haven’t heard it), Canada and the US. Rumors of releases in other countries such as Germany haven’t been confirmed. In every country except Canada, the quality has been good, but not great. In the U.S., Capitol released it in 1990 on CD by itself and in 1992 on CD with Hope as a 2-for-1 disc. In both instances the music was thin and in some places even muddy compared to the original vinyl. In Canada, however, a great sounding release was put out on Justin Records in 1990 and on Attic Records in 1993. That quality has yet to be matched by any of the Capitol releases and this Collectors’ Choice Music release, unfortunately, is the same as the Capitol ones. It’s good. It’s certainly enjoyable to listen to. It’s not as good as it could be, as evidenced by the Justin and Attic releases.
The original Justin release in 1990 had the mouse squeak at the end.
The original Capitol release in 1990 had the mouse squeak at the end.
The Capitol 2-for-1 release in 1992 had the mouse squeak missing as Little Neutrino was faded a couple of seconds early in an attempt to make both albums fit on one CD.
The Attic release in 1993 had the mouse squeak missing (Terry Draper personally takes the blame for this one stating he forgot it was there).
This 1999 release which appears to use the 1992 Capitol 2-for-1 master, is also missing the mouse squeak.
At the end of Calling Occupants, there is a pause of a few seconds silence on the original LP and the Justin, Attic and (I think) original 1990 Capitol Records CD release. On the Capitol 2-for-1, that pause has been removed (gotta save that 5 seconds doncha know). This disc is also missing that space.
Little Neutrino does a quick fade at 8:06 and the mouse squeak that follows IS NOT the one from the original master of the first album. The mouse squeak is part of the start of track 9, the one from the original master of the Hope album.
Otherwise, this release is a decent release of the tracks from the first album. More hiss than there should be, not the best sound quality that it could have, but overall a decent release.
On the Hope tracks I find the quality a little different.
First, some history.
This album has been released a number of times on CD over the years as well. It was released in 1991 on Justin Records in Canada and the quality was real bad. There was a ton of hiss, pre-echo like you would sometimes hear on vinyl in the 70s and 80s (probably a tape print through problem), and some extraneous noises near the end of the last track which were not on the original vinyl. It was released in the US in 1992 as part of the Capitol 2-for-1 in very nice quality, but edited, and that extraneous noise at the end of the last track was there just like on the Justin release. It was released in 1993 on Attic Records In Canada and the remastering job was the most outstanding job done yet. Truly the standard to strive for. And the noise near the end of the last track is NOT there on the Attic release. Fortunately the quality of this new release on Collectors’ Choice Music from 1999 is the same quality as the 1992 release, but unfortunately it also has the same edits as that Capitol release had.
Like with the first album on this disc, there is more hiss than there should be on the tracks from the second album. It almost sounds as if Collectors’ Choice Music took the Capitol 2-for-1 and played it on a CD player, using the ANALOG output as the source for this disc. The hiss is more pronounced than on the Capitol releases, but the edits and changes made by Capitol in 1992 for it’s 2-for-1 are present on this disc. Also, the music is slightly muddier than the Capitol release, especially during quiet passages.
Here are the complaints I have with the presentation of this album on this new re-release.
During Long Live Politzania, the Capitol release from 1992 has the bass almost non-existent from 4:00 to 4:10. This disc suffers from that same problem. Since the two Canadian releases (and all vinyl I’ve ever heard) do not have this problem, and I know this is not an “alternate” mix, this has to be a mastering problem.
The Loneliest Of Creatures has it’s last note split between that track and the next track. Minor annoyance.
Prelude. On all vinyl releases, and on the two Canadian CD releases, Prelude ends completely. There is silence at the end. Then when So Said The Lighthouse Keeper starts there is wind noise. That wind noise is AFTER the silence. On the Capitol 2-for-1, AND on this new Collectors’ Choice Music 2-for-1, the wind noise for the start of So Said The Lighthouse Keeper is crossfaded with the final note of music from Prelude. There is no silence between tracks. This edit is uncalled for.
So Said The Lighthouse Keeper. See “Prelude” for the major complaint.
Hope. This song starts right on the tail of the end of So Said The Lighthouse Keeper. There is no pause between them at all. They aren’t crossfaded, just tightly spliced. The Canadian releases as well as all vinyl releases have a second or two of silence between these two tracks. The Capitol 2-for-1 had this tight edit as well. I have to presume this edit was also done in the interest of making the two albums fit on one CD.
In summary, this release has the problem of slightly edited content that the Capitol Records 2-on-1 disc had back in 1992, suffers from too much hiss (especially when compared to the 1993 Attic releases) and has good, but not outstanding sound quality, slightly muddier and hissier than the Capitol Records 2-on-1 disc was.
While the music of Klaatu, especially from these first 2 albums gets a full 5 stars out of 5, for technical presentation, this particular re-release gets 2 ½ stars out of 5.
Here are my previous CD release ratings.
For “3:47 EST” aka “Klaatu”:
Capitol – 1990 – 4 out of 5.
Justin – 1990 – 4 out of 5.
Capitol – 1992 – 3 out of 5.
Attic – 1993 – 4 ½ out of 5 (the only thing preventing a 5 out of 5 is the missing mouse squeak).
Collectors’ Choice Music – 1999 – 3 out of 5.
Justin – 1991 – 2 out of 5. Low marks for quality.
Capitol – 1992 – 2 out of 5. Low marks for editing the world’s most perfect album and partially for quality.
Attic – 1993 – 4 ½ out of 5 (revised after hearing the Bullseye Release).
Collectors’ Choice Music – 1999 – 2 out of 5.
Many Klaatu fans have waited anxiously for the re-release of the band’s music on CD. When the albums went out of print (on Attic Records) in February of 1999 it was a travesty. This re-release, though, doesn’t help matters.
Would I recommend this CD to Klaatu fans who already know the music and want it on CD? Only if they can’t find copies of the out of print Attic releases.
Would I recommend this CD to people who are unfamiliar with the band’s music and want to hear for themselves the first hand technical merits of Klaatu’s recordings? No way.
My recommendation to someone wanting to find out about the quality of
the band’s music and the quality of the band’s recordings (which FAR outshone
anyone else recording in Canada and the US at the time) is to find the
Bullseye Records CD releases at www.bullseyecanada.com).
- Dave Bradley – February 29,
2000, revised January 24, 2004.