In 1973, Klaatu released their first record, a single of Hanus of Uranus and Sub-Rosa Subway on the GRT label. Hanus later evolved in Anus of Uranus for their first album in 1976.
Later that year they also released a promotional single of an early version of Dr. Marvello backed with a song called For You Girl on GRT. For You Girl has never seen the light of day anywhere else.
In 1974, they got the single version of Dr. Marvello on a compilation album on the Daffodil label called "Naturally."
Later that year they also released a single on Daffodil with an early version of California Jam and the single version of Dr. Marvello.
They also got a promo single released on Island in the United States with the single versions of the songs California Jam and Dr. Marvello.
In 1975, the band released an early version of True Life Hero as a single on the Daffodil label with Hanus of Uranus as the B-side.
I asked Dee Long of the band if these early versions were the same recordings used for the LP in 1976 only with new overdubs added. His response was:
"[They were the] same recordings with different overdubs, except for Hanus of Uranus which was the first track ever recorded as Klaatu, without Terry Draper who hadn't joined yet. With Dr. Marvello, we spent a fair bit more time on the album version."
In 1976, Klaatu released their first album. In the United States the album was called "Klaatu" but in some other countries (including their native Canada) the album was called "3:47 EST". (Capitol Records USA messed up the song title for Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III [does this surprise us?] on the original release as Sir Bodsworth Rubblesby III. This mistake carried onto their subsequent reissues until the first CD issue on Capitol which finally corrected this error.) (Another Capitol error appears on the original issue of this album in the US. It lists the title of the last song as "Little Meutrino" instead of "Little Neutrino". This error was fixed by the time they had reissued the album in the early 80s.)
The next year, 1977, brought another album from Klaatu. This one was called "Hope" and again had no names other than Klaatu. The selections were now copyright by KLAATOONS, Inc. ASCAP/CAPAC. The American album said the songs were published by Welbeck Music Corp/ASCAP.
The year after that, 1978, brought a third album by this mystery band, Sir Army Suit. By this time sales were beginning to drop off and the album was not met with the sales that had been expected. Again there was no credit other than Klaatu and Klaatoons. This time the American album had no publishing credits listed.
1979 did not see any Klaatu albums.
In 1980 the band came out with it's 4th album (which also ended up being the last album released in the US by them) called Endangered Species. This time the album gave us some information. It said the songs were published by Klaatoons, but it told us that the album was produced by Christopher Bond. The songs also gave writing credit to Long, Woloschuk, and Tome. Were these the names of Klaatu members?
The following note was also included in the liner notes for the album:
There are three accepted definitions applied when describing the status of declining wildlife: rare, threatened and ENDANGERED SPECIES. The most recent figures published in the Red Data Book, as issued by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, indicate that there are at least 340 animals and 20,000 plants listed as endangered species.
Experts throughout the world agree that unless immediate and effective measures are
implemented to protect the existence of these life forms, their final outcome will inevitably be . . .
Terry Draper, Dee Long, John Woloschuk
For more information, please contact: I.U.C.N., 1110
The album also contained an address to write to the band:
P.O. Box 1030
Oak Ridges, Ontario
Canada L0G 1P0
So now we had songwriting credits to three people and a note from three people (2 of whom had been part of the songwriting credits). Are these the members of Klaatu?
That was the last that the United States heard from Klaatu.
Canada and other countries were treated to two more albums though, a regular Klaatu release and a greatest hits package.
The regular release was called Magentalane and was released in 1981.
The greatest hits package was called Klaasic Klaatu and was released in 1982. By now, Klaatu had broken up and gone their separate ways.
In 1989, Capitol Records in the US released the first album on CD. Sales were disappointing and the CD was taken out of print in less than a year.
Not much more was heard from them until the 1990's. In the early 1990s a company called Justin Records released the first two albums on two separate CDs in Canada and they were distributed by MCA Records. These two are now out of print and Justin Records is out of business. Justin Time Records sued over the use of the name Justin Records and won. Jeff Burns, the company president, re-released them on his new label, BEI Records (Burns Entertainment International).
In 1992, Capitol Records released a CD of the first two albums on one CD called Klaatu, Klaatu - Hope. They cut the ending off the last song on the first album. A whole 10 seconds is gone. This may not seem like much but when you consider that after the fade out of the last song is a mouse squeak and that same mouse squeak starts the second album, then it becomes a matter of them changing the "story" that the two albums presented together. As usual, Capital has no clue that they have screwed up a masterpiece. Unfortunately, this butchered disc is the only available version of the first album by Klaatu on CD in the US.
In 1993, Attic Records Limited in Canada released a CD called Peaks by Klaatu which was another greatest hits package. They included the bands' first publicity photo which shows John Woloschuk, Dee Long, & Terry Draper. Sales of this disc in Canada were good and Attic entered negotiations to release another Klaatu disc.
In 1994, Attic Records Limited released a CD that contained the 3rd and 4th Klaatu albums on one CD called Klaatu Double Header.
On September 19th, 1995, Magentalane was finally released on CD in the USA on the Permanent Press label. This is a true first! Not only is this disc now available in the states for the first time in any format, but the states got it on CD before Klaatu's home country! The reason for this is that since it was never released in the US, Capitol doesn't own the rights and can't sit on it. Since Capitol owns the rights in Canada and doesn't feel it would be profitable for them to release it, it doesn't get released. Several independent labels in Canada are negotiating with Capitol for this, but so far, no one has been successful.
On November 9th, 1995, Dee Long notified me that the band members had talked and that they decided that this web page could be called the Official Klaatu web page!
In 1995, Attic Records released 3:47 EST and Hope on CDs in Canada. I have seen and heard the Hope CD. This release used the identical insert and back cover graphics as the Justin release. They also used the identical CD label. One thing that is NOT the same is the quality. This is by far the BEST release of Hope on CD that I have heard. This is a VERY well done release with superb mastering and excellent handling of noise. I would recommend getting this release!
On January 30th, 1996, Capitol finally released Magentalane on CD in Canada and included the lyric sheet with it!
Except for the 2 for 1 Capitol USA disc, all the CDs are very good or exceptionally good quality CDs. (Although an article (see the articles on this web page) in the press says that Justin's release of the first album is substandard. I disagree. It is not as good as Peaks, but still much better sound than Capitol US's releases that I have heard. I have not heard the very first Captiol CD release from the late 80s though.)