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Klaatu Magentalane album cover
2.62 | 47 ratings | 11 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Millions Miles Away (3:45)
2. The Love Of A Woman (3:30)
3. Blue Smoke (4:38)
4. I Don't Wanna Go Home (2:50)
5. December Dream (4:06)
6. Magentalane (2:33)
7. At The End Of A Rainbow (3:25)
8. Mrs. Toad's Cookies (3:07)
9. Maybe I'll Move To Mars (5:00)
10. Magentalane ( Feel So Good) (0:45)

Total time 33:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Dee Long / electric & slide guitars, mandolin, Korg synth, vocals
- John Woloschuk / keyboards, piano, bass, acoustic guitar, electric sitar, vibes, glockenspiel, ocarina, vocals
- Terry Draper / drums, percussion, tambourine, trombone, Polymoog, vocals

- Jack Lenz / string arrangements
- The Armin String Quartet / strings (2,5,9)
- John Johnson / sax solo (2)
- Memo Acevedo / congas (2)
- George Bertok / piano (3)
- Ken Wanamaker / bass
- Frank Watt / drums
- Paul Irvine / trumpet & trombone (5,9)
- Lorne Grossman / timpani & chimes (5,9)
- Jill Vogel / backing vocals (8)
- Anna Draper / backing vocals (8)
- Linda Davies / backing vocals (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Ted Jones

LP Capitol Records ‎- ST-6487 (1981, Canada)

CD Permanent Press ‎- PPCD 52701 (1995, US) Remastered by George Graves
CD Bullseye Records Of Canada ‎- BLR-CD-2516 (2007, Canada) Remastered by Joe Lambert

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KLAATU Magentalane ratings distribution

(47 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(9%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (36%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

KLAATU Magentalane reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars Well OK , it's pretty bad, I can even say it stynx but there is worse than this album. It is disappointing but then again so was the previous two ( Endangered Species and Sir Army Suit), so this was no real surprise that they stuck to shorter songs. By the time this album hjad come out, Klaatu was clearly a spent force.

I just heard it but never bought it so I did not have to throw it away. If I have a cd that stynx I give as a frisbee to the dog so it serves at something useful.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars This was the final studio release from Klaatu, and in many ways represented a return to form after a couple years of rather directionless activity by the band. The songs here are pretty pop-oriented, much like the debut 3:47 E.S.T. album of 1976. With the notable exceptions "Calling Occupants" and "Little Neutrino", Klaatu's first album was comprised mostly of short, pop-influenced little ditties that can't really be described as progressive music, but were certainly well-crafted with thoughtful lyrics, and were extremely well-produced. Magentalane also fits this description, the only difference being there are no hidden prog gems in the vein of 'Calling' or 'Neutrino' (although "December Dream" comes close).

But that's not to say this isn't an album worthy of some consideration. The instrumentation is a bit leaner than 3:47 or Hope as the album was recorded on 16 tracks, while 3:47 had a number of 24-track recordings, and pretty much the entire Hope album was recorded on 24 tracks. So there are a wider variety of instruments, overdubbed vocals, and sound effects on those albums than what is present on Magentalane. But the band managed to work in quite a few orchestral tracks on the songs here, as well as some more esoteric sounds with a sitar, 12-string guitar, vibraphone and glockenspiel, congas, and a tabla. And the keyboards are exercised aplenty with grand piano, Wurlitzer organ, reed organ, and lots of Korg and moog synthesizers.

The songs themselves are largely poppish tunes, pretty light and airy for the most part, and not at all unlike most of the tracks on the debut album and on Sir Army Suit. Another interesting note on this album is that the rumor of the band being an incognito incarnation of the Beatles was officially dispelled with the photos and names of the band members appearing on the back cover, and with the band's first and only supporting live tour following the album's release. Unfortunately Dee Long left the band early into that tour, followed somewhat later by the band folding altogether. The album was originally only released in Canada, as the band had been dropped by Capitol Records and the recording sessions ended up being financed by Capitol Canada. There was eventually a release in Mexico as well, and throughout the 90s a number of CD reissues were made, including in the U.S. and in South Korea. The album is rather difficult to obtain today, and those interested in listening to it would probably be best off using an on-line service to purchase it as a download.

The songs are nothing that will go down in history as timeless classics, but some of them are quite good, and the album overall is a pretty fun listen.

"A Million Miles Away" is a heavily synthesized rhythm overlaid with a small and up- tempo string section and melodic vocals. I've seen this track described as a 'lost George Harrison song', and I think that's a pretty good description. The theme is basically about daydreaming (hence the title).

For "The Love of a Woman" the band brought a number of Toronto-area studio musicians to provide a richer, guitar and drum-driven sound and what could easily be mistaken as a McCartney tune.

On "Blue Smoke" I assume the band was trying to project a kind of world-music feel, which fits with the lyrical theme of anti-industrialization and ecological awareness. The lead-in sitar and maracas combine with a tight guitar riff and mandolin, and again the vocals are in the vein of later Beatles ala Revolver or maybe Sergeant Pepper's. I've read this described as a song about smoking pot, but a careful read of the lyrics make me think it's actually describing the blue smoke of pollution, not of reefer.

One of the better songs on the album is the mild and airy "I Don't Want to go Home", which very much reminds me of a lot of folkish pop of the mid-70s like England Dan & John Ford Coley or America. This is a largely acoustic work with some light organ work and multi-layered vocal harmonies. This is a love song, and one not unlike some of those that Ray Thomas contributed to some of the early Moody Blues albums. While this is a pleasant tune, "December Dream" is definitely the one hidden gem on the album. This is a sort of depressing tribute to John Lennon, specifically a lament on his murder. The piano here is just beautiful, and the vocals again sound very much like some of the more reflective works George Harrison put out in the 70s. I'm not sure what the thought process was to include quite a bit of soft brass here, but it works out pretty well to flesh out the basic harmony of the track. I actually have this track on a couple of mellow music compilation CDs I travel with, and have been asked several times by uninitiated listeners who the group is that performs it.

The title track is only a couple minutes long, and is very much a throwback to the fantasy-world music of the band's first two albums. The song's working title was "The Land of Kinkajous, Butterflies and Mushrooms", so that should give a pretty good picture of what to expect.

"At the End of the Rainbow" is another classic Klaatu sound, with an irrepressible positive message, light guitar and melodies, and harmonic vocals that practically ooze a feel-good vibe. This has a strong Beach boys feel to it and is bound to stick in your head after hearing it a few times.

"Mrs. Frog's Cookies" is almost completely a synthesized work again with some light string sections, and also some faint female backing vocals. This again is a throwback to early Klaatu music.

The most 'proggish' track (albeit in a casual psychedelic way) is "Maybe I'll Move to Mars", the last song Dee Long contributed to the band. This has all the spacey organ and moody vocals that made Hope so appealing, and the overall arrangement is not unlike some of the milder ELO tracks from Out of the Blue.

At the very end of the album there's a sound of a mouse scurrying around and followed by the snap of a mousetrap, supposedly signaling the end of the band as represented by the little rodent. But in a charmingly pretentious move, that is followed after a few seconds by a very faint sound of tiny feet pattering off into the distance. Pretty funny.

This is definitely not a Klaatu album that will attract new fans for the band, and not one that is likely to win over those who wrote the group's music off years ago. It is quite likely to be embraced by fans of the band, and may be appealing to those who have an affinity for the lighter and more accessible side of proto-prog and progressive- influenced music as represented by bands like ELO, Moody Blues, or Alan Parsons. Overall I think it represents a positive finale for a group after the disastrous Endangered Species album, and may be a fun exercise for those who like to hunt down obscure, out-of-print vinyl recordings. With all the disclaimers above, I'll give it three stars.


Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is definitely a pop album with some psychedelic approach. No one would argie that this band was heavily influenced by The Beatles and probably the early years of Pink Floyd. In terms of composition, all tracks were designed with straightforward structure: intro-verse-chorus-verse-outro or something similar like that. The use of acoustic guitar augmented with keyboard and vocal harmonies are the characteristics of Klaatu music. As for my taste, this album does not stimulate something emotionally. I feel that everything moves so flat from one track to another. Probably, there is only one track that has nice melody and vocal harmony, ie. "Maybe I'll Move To Mars". It does not necessarily mean that this is a bad album. I truly believe that the musicians have carefully made their best efforts to craft good music for all of us.

"A millions miles away" (3:45) is an acoustic guitar rhythm and keyboard music with vocal harmony and medium tempo style. "The love of a woman" (3:30) is typically an R&B music with string arrangements. The melody is quite nice for most people who like pop music. "Blue smoke" (4:38) is a pop-rock outfit in rock'n'roll style. "I don't wanna go home" (2:50) uses acoustic guitar fills and vocal harmonies. "December dream" (4:06) has melodic string quartet intro with mellow vocals. "Magentalane" (2:33) is Beatles influenced song with acoustic guitar fills and McCartney-Lennon style of vocal harmonies. "At the end of a rainbow" (3:25) and "Mrs. Toad's Cookies" (3:07) are also other Beatles influenced compositions. "Mrs. Toad's Cookies" reminds me to "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" by The Beatles.

Overall, this album is good for collectors who really want to have collections of vintage bands. The music of Klaatu has been mostly influenced by The Beatles. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars This is definitely not an album that deserves a track by track description because the hole of this album is pretty weak indeed.

"Klaatu" was quite innovative (or at least creative) with their "10CC" oriented music in the late middle seventies and produced some jewels with "Hope" to only mention their greatest work.

Unfortunately, after this peak: only downwards could be considered. Damned low I have to say. Such an awful disco tune as "The Love Of A Woman" sets the pace for the whole of this album.

Even if the band is trying to rock at times, they aren't convincing for a penny ("Blue Smoke"). The problem is that when they are even thinking of performing some melody ("I Don't Wanna Go Home"); they are just cheesy, no more.

At the end of the day, very few positive comments can prevail after the listening of such a work. Maybe that "December Dream" reminds such the great fab four that it can be reminded as a great tune (which it is).

The hype is all gone for sure, quality music is only perceptible, and arrangements are far from being great.

In all: I can only rate this album withy two stars.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's strange but

3(-) again, because there's not so big difference between this and their previous album. It's only more poppy and straight-down-rocky. They were pop (at least to some extent) even on their best album "Hope" and further they went, the more pop they've been becoming. However this line was hard to determine exactly, as this element was ever-present in their music.

This album has beautiful cover that is really pleasure to look at. Their music is pleasure to listen. Sad thing is that what used to be (at least to some extent) very Symphonic Rock becomes Symphonic Pop.

Positive thing is that I'm still enjoying it, even it's getting less and less interesting.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Trust a bunch of prog-addled nerds to dislike this album. Anyone giving it a low score approached it with the completely wrong mindset. The strength of this band was always the way they managed to marry the pop sensibilities of the Beatles to the spacey leanings of ELO and the absolute perfect ex ... (read more)

Report this review (#397474) | Posted by herpderp | Thursday, February 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A modernised Moody Blues tone throughout. While it marked the end of the band, many fans saw it as a return to Klaatu's true talents & sound, after the harder edged Endangered Species. Acoustic guitars, reveries written after Lennon's murder (December Dream), symphonic synth pieces such as Maybe ... (read more)

Report this review (#113414) | Posted by | Saturday, February 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I finally downloaded the tracks from this CD. It was pretty much what I had expected. Though there were flashes of old brilliance occasionally, the overall CD sounded like a tired, fighting musical group who maybe held on to the studio time for a few months too long. Nothing really of note for ... (read more)

Report this review (#77097) | Posted by gryphonpoet | Thursday, May 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The best thing you can say about this record is that it makes a happy ending to the Klaatu story -- after the disaster of their 4th LP "Endangered Species", they very nearly broke up in disgust with the music biz and their utter failure to sustain a career being true to their original musical ... (read more)

Report this review (#50676) | Posted by | Saturday, October 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Magentalane isn't really a masterppiece, that's right. But on the other hand it was a typical 80's pop album, and even that kinda album, most of the poppie Klaatu fans were waiting for. In my own opinion there are only a few good songs, I really like the title song, Rainbow & Mrs Todd . The o ... (read more)

Report this review (#4286) | Posted by Abominog | Wednesday, June 2, 2004 | Review Permanlink

1 stars It was so boring I threw the cd in the trash...and I am not exagerating!This was rather shocking because I bought the original KLAATU album...and I loved it... just incredible...I highly recommend the original!! ... (read more)

Report this review (#4284) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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