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Klaatu - 3:47 E.S.T. CD (album) cover

3:47 E.S.T.

Klaatu

 

Prog Related

3.27 | 72 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars One of those incredible stories coming from Canada in the second part of the 70's, as the whole country was quickly gaining confidence in its musical possibilities, both in Quebec, with its incredible cultural explosion, but the Toronto scene was not far behind (actually it was ahead in terms of sales), with groups like Rush, FM, Saga, Max Webster, Triumph ans the most bizarre and faceless band - they only did their coming-out as the third album was released. One of things Klaatu is remembered for is the hype of the album (self-titled but also called 3:47 EST) being the reformed Beatles, on the bassist of the songs and the sound of the band. Certainly the songwriting was very Lennon-Maca-esque as it was very popish and wide in spectrum, and the fact that they were previously unknown as a group and not a touring band, either. To say that Klaatu started this rumour is not entirely correct, even if their influences were so obvious, but also so perfectly ingested that it became an evidence for young rocker like me to make such an incredible shortcut, even daring such bold statements that this was the very best album the Beatles (n)ever made. Of course, history and maturity were to prove me wrong, but my partiality of today still tells me this we believed this rumour very strongly and certainly helped in spreading it outside of Canada. I was maybe the first one to bring this album that summer to Europe and presenting it (after a few listens) to friends as a Beatles album released strangely on the Capitol label - where most Beatles album were released in the US.

Anybody not falling under the spell of the charming opening Calling Occupants, and superb intro from outer space (as Klaatu was supposed to be a planet out to explore the rest of the universe) and its absolutely beautiful Maca-like melodies, was simply not human to us, Torontonian. A bunch of short tracks such California Jan and Sub Rosa Subway were even more hints of this shady Beatles album. Of course never mind the fact that both Lennon and Maca were writing much different songs by 76 (and were denying this was their album), those tracks were sticking so closely without plagiarism (it is important to point this out) to that instantly recognizable songwriting. There are also a few rockers on the album such Anus Of Uranus or True-Life Hero. Superb Dr Marvello and Eleanor-Rigby styled Rugglesby III (this was stupid because the tracks were very different in instrumentation but the name was inducing the similarity) add up even more to those wild rumours, which everybody WANTED to believe anyway. The last track, Little Neutrino, is a stunning electronics-laced small epic adding even more to the myth from outer space.

Even if you might be drawn back by the Beatles's obvious and rather overpowering influences of this album, this album should be listened to (even de-mythified from the hype) closely as every proghead should find plenty of superb moments that can send you up on Planet Klaatu. And nothing was to prepare us kids for the masterpiece that lay ahead, a few months after this one: Hope is still on the most awesome pop concept ever written and this time, it was evident that it was not The Beatles, but these guys were just as worthy.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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