Below is the text of Klaatu's 4th edition of
their fan club letter, "The Morning Sun". Please note that there is an
address to send money for subscription renewal. The address is no longer
valid. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANYTHING TO THIS ADDRESS. It is unknown who holds
this P.O. Box at this time. Thanks.
Summer, 1981 - Issue No. IV - est. 1980
A Critical Review
By Frank Davies
"MAGENTALANE" is KLAATU's fifth album and having had the pleasure of hearing
it for the first time in its entirety, I'm sure it will be hailed as one
of their best. "MAGENTALANE" contains several of the finest crafted pop
songs the group has written to date and although the overall production
quality of the album would be considered to be well above-average for most,
it is what we have come to expect from this band who have spent the better
part of their career in the recording studio.
"MAGENTALANE" was recorded and produced entirely by the members of KLAATU
at a new studio co-built by the band outside Toronto. It is housed in a
beautiful antique barn and has been jokingly nicknamed "SHABBY ROAD". Now
to specific tracks of the album itself.
A MILLION MILES AWAY
The album opens with this mid-paced pop rocker about the art of daydreaming
at school, a subject I'm sure many of us have excelled in! The song's bridge
drifts into a beautiful and typically KLAATUESQUE spacey half-time segment
that is reminiscent of part of the "HOPE" album. The climactic build-up
at the end of the song is terrific - complete with lead vocals thrown out
to the star stinging guitar lines and a big pounding drum sound.
THE LOVE OF A WOMAN
This song follows the opener and is a fabulous string arrangement in the
best traditions of the Electric Light Orchestra. The group asked me to
mention that they enlisted the musical services of Jack Lenz in putting
together the sting arrangements. The title of the song is self-explanatory.
A seering instrumental break features a hot saxophone solo that will certainly
stand up as one of the best of the year. This track is one which exemplifies
the grandiosity that has become a KLAATU trademark. Listen to the scorching
rhythm guitar that leads into the final choruses towards the end of the
song - just a taste and then its gone. So many other nice arrangement ideas
in the song.
This cut opens with a satiric touch of Ravi Shankar followed by a rhythm
guitar riff that would make Randy Bachman smile and then into various delightful
and sometimes zany arrangement and production touches that are typical
of what separates KLAATU from the majority of contemporary bands recording
today. Essentially this is a rock n' roll song which incidentally was written
originally as the title track for the "ENDANGERED SPECIES" album but shelved
at the last moment for various reasons known only to the band. If you can
imagine a combination of vibes, raunchy "stripper" horns, Sgt. Pepperish
guitar sounds, Jerry Lee piano, bar-room vocal back-up, sitar and assorted
coughing fits set to a Chuck Berry style rocker then you've got this track
all figured out!
I DON'T WANNA GO HOME
This is one of those songs that makes record business people and music
publishers do strange things like take the day off or open their office
window and invite whoever is standing in the street below out to lunch.
In short, it is a "smash", a "hit", a "killer", a "monster" or whatever
currently used expression that signifies a song that will have enormous
commercial appeal. It is skillfully laden with what the industry likes
to call "hooks" and it's likely to be recorded by a dozen other artists
from L.A. to New York to London over the next few years. So just remember
you heard it here first!
Side one of the album closes with a beautifully haunting and very grand
ballad that reminds one of the finest work of the Moody Blues in their
heyday. There is an urgency and pathos rolled into this song which also
takes me back to an early KLAATU masterpiece, "CALLING OCCUPANTS OF INTERPLANETARY
CRAFT". The song ends vocally with what may be interpreted as a subtle
salute to the late JOHN LENNON.
Magentalane opens side two of the album and coincidentally happens to be
the title track. What does Magentalane stand for, you may ask? Well according
to sources close to the band it is a simple allegory symbolizing in words
and music the group's own return to their original musical roots so prominently
displayed in earlier KLAATU albums. Having come through several periods
of change, both musically and otherwise, KLAATU has finally returned "home"
from whence they came. Apparently, the actual writing of the song occurred
during the final weeks in the recording studio as an afterthought and was
completed just in time before the "string" sessions were due to end. The
track itself exudes a happy feeling with its lightly textured orchestration
and positive lyrics and frankly makes you feel as good as the band must
have done recording it. It's permeated with the sounds and production concepts
that are unmistakable KLAATU. A definite up!
AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW
This track is probably the most Beatles oriented track the band have recorded
in some time. From the drum pattern on the intro all the way through to
the vocals and guitar sounds throughout. Another pretty and pleasing song.
MRS. TOAD'S COOKIES
In the tradition of Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III and Perpetual Motion Machine,
this is yet another KLAATU cartoon set to music. A children's song full
of nursery rhyme and fantasy whose thematic message is "moderation in all
things". I understand that the band brought in three girls off the street
to sing background vocals to emulate the sound of children. Perhaps this
track might one day appear on a Sesame Street album.
MAYBE I'LL MOVE TO MARS
This is the story of a friend of the band who decided that he wanted to
move to Mars (one step closer to the stars). No joke! He was deadly serious.
They never saw of heard of him again except for a solitary postcard. The
lyric of the song is conversational dialogue between the band and their
friend. Musically, it has a lovely drifting melody in the chorus with suitable
spacey vocals and seems to float by and away to the end of the album in
which we hear a half minute version of the title track and just enough
lyric to give us a good idea of how the members of KLAATU felt in making
"It feels so good to be at home".
P.S. At the very closing of the album, I detected what appeared to be
the sound of a mousetrap snapping shut. After listening to the masterful
music of MAGENTALANE, I can only hope that the mouse got safely away. I
guess we'll have to wait till the next album to find out.
New Klaatu Album Release
Klaatu's fifth record album, enigmatically entitled, "Magentalane",
will be released by Capitol Records of Canada on October 7, 1981. (Record
Although as of the writing, arrangements have not yet been finalized
for its release in any other country, plans are currently well underway
to secure releases outside Canada in the very near future. The album artwork
was again scribed by that artiste extraordinaire, Ted Jones, and is an
exquisite visual representation of the musical content contained in the
album. Ted has graciously allowed us to reprint the front cover artwork
below so that our fanship can get a sneak preview. This is the first album
to be produced and engineered entirely by the band members themselves and
they are understandably a bit anxious that it meets with the expectations
of their fans.
We hope you like it.
NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS
This issue marks the fourth and final issue of our first year of publication
of "The Morning Sun". We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of
our subscribers for their interest and in addition for their patience regarding
late mailings caused by the recent Canadian postal strike. We apologize
for any delay in getting some of the issues out to you but as you can well
imagine, Klaatu's members have had enormous time demands imposed on them
in the production of their new album and also in ongoing preparations for
a Canadian fall concert tour, yet they still insist on being directly involved
in the preparation of each quarterly issue.
We now invite you to re-subscribe to receive the next four issues of
"The Morning Sun" beginning with the 1981 fall issue and receive free the
all-new KLAATU photo personally autographed!! To re-subscribe, simply send
a cheque or money order for $8.00 payable to Klaatu to the following address:
"The Morning Sun"
P.O. Box 1030
Oak Ridges, Ontario
Please remember to enclose your name and address and do NOT send cash.
P.S. In the first issue of the new season, there will be an itinerary
of the first Klaatu concert tour ever.
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