. . . From My Friends
[This column examines the newest releases that do not qualify as Beatles or solo recordings, but may be of interest to Beatles fans.]
By Brad Howard

Light Years Later
Bullseye Records BLP-CD 4010
Terry Draper

The  name, Terry Draper, may not be familiar to you, at first.  But, if you have  ever  heard a Klaatu song, then you know Terry Draper.  He was one of the  lead  singers  and  songwriters  for  the  group.  This Canadian group reached  international  fame  with  a  rumour  that  they just might be The Beatles  under  a pseudonym.  After all, Ringo's album, Ringo, featured his face superimposed over the body of Klaatu (from the film, The Day The Earth Stood  Still).  The Klaatu song, Sub Rosa Subway, was very Beatle-sounding, and the title was very similar to Paul's Red Rose Speedway.  Also, Klaatu's first  album  was  on  a  label,  Daffodil  (kinda  like  Apple)  that  was distributed  by  Capitol  Records in America (GRT Records, in Canada).  You could not have asked for better PR!

It must have been challenging for the group to be mistaken for The Beatles, with the release of their first album.  How could they live up to that kind of  expectation or pressure?  Could they continue to produce a high-quality product?   Yes.   The  group went on to have a half-dozen hits and released four more albums and a greatest hits package.

Terry's  new  album is a gem.  It shines.  He crosses the Klaatu sound with that of the Moody Blues.  The tradition of the famous Klaatu art covers, by Ted  Jones,  is  continued.   Ted's imagery of the mythical, Klaatu airship emerging  from  a dark, stormy sky towards a lush, land of rainbows is very positive.

The  CD opens with We're Not Alone, a song that was originally destined for a Klaatu reunion album.  Co-written by Terry and former Klaatu member, John Woloschuk, it also features the musical talents of the other Klaatu member, Dee Long.

The entire album promotes hopeful notions.  Songs like It's A Beautiful Day,  My  Girl  Overseas, and Family, and even the more sombre, Here's To You, Fly Away, and the title track, Light Years Later are inspirational.

Winter  In  Peru  is  a previously unreleased Klaatu song, with all members present.   Who  Is  That  Girl is a soft, delightful song.  Fly Away, could easily  be  a sequel to Klaatu's December Dream (a song about John Lennon's death, although Fly Away is not specifically about John Lennon.)

Back  In  Acapulco  is  Terry  doing  Jimmy Buffett, while Be With You is a simple,  love  song.   I  Don't  Care  About  That  might  be considered an anti-love song, about the breakup of a marriage.

The  album  closes  with  Sunset  Years.  This track screams to be a Klaatu song.   It  is reminiscent of Little Neutrino, with the drums exploding and harmonic  electric  guitars.   But,  a secret song, Good Night Sleepy Heads actually  ends  the  CD.   This charming lullaby is in the same vein as The Beatles' Good Night, or Lennon's Beautiful Boy.

This  might  be  considered  a  transitional album for Terry Draper.  It is difficult  to  separate  him  from  the  group  with  whom he is so closely
identified.   Even  Terry  must  admit  this, with the inclusion of the two Klaatu tracks.

Run  to  your  local  CD  store and buy this album.  If you have difficulty finding  it,  then  contact  Legend  Records  in  Ottawa at (613) 596-5766, immediately.

©1997 TWBF Publishing.  Reprinted and used with permission from The World Beatles Forum, 69 Dalecroft Cr., Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA K2G 5V7 (published and mailed 6 times/year: $15 in Canada, $15US in U.S.A., $20US for the rest of the world.)