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Klaatu Sir Army Suit album cover
2.97 | 64 ratings | 11 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Routine Day (3:08)
2. Juicy Luicy (3:36)
3. Everybody Took A Holiday (2:58)
4. Older (3:14)
5. Dear Christine (3:52)
6. Mister Manson (4:12)
7. Tokeymor Field (3:27)
8. Perpetual Motion Machine (3:11)
9. Cherie (3:06)
10. Silly Boys (4:58)

Total time 35:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Dee Long / acoustic & electric guitars, synth, drum programming, vocals
- John Woloschuk / piano, organ, synth, clavinet, Mellotron, bass, acoustic guitar, percussion, bells, vocals
- Terry Draper / drums, percussion, tambourine, triangle, gong, anvil, bell tree

- Eric Robertson / arrangements

Releases information

Artwork: Hugh Syme

LP Daffodil Records ‎- SBA 16059 (1978, Canada)

CD Bullseye Records Of Canada ‎- BLR-CD 2512 (2003, Canada) Remastered by Joe Lambert
CD Bullseye Records Of Canada ‎- PACE-6012 (2010, Canada)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KLAATU Sir Army Suit ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

KLAATU Sir Army Suit reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Klaatu's superb beginning probably made it impossible to top, (how could it with such an incredible second outing as Hope), but this third album can look like a collective admission of failure to better themselves. By avoiding to make a Son-Of -Hope, this was maybe a courageous move, but this stepping back was also admitting defeat and furthermore, the quality of their debut was not even approached either. From the start, things were not right, as they hated Hugh Syme's artwork (of Rush fame - I for one, do not think this artwork is bad at all: certainly not as superb as Hope, but certainly better than their future albums), as they finally decoded to drop the mask and are represented on the back cover and in the inside sleeve. There is still the famous Klaatu sun reference, but clearly the band is walking away from it and therefore away from most progheads and me.

Most of the tracks are still in the pop realm hovering between Beatles, ELO and 10 CC, but simply fails to reach the brilliant levels of previous albums. Apparently capitol made a strong investment in promoting the album, but to my remembrances, this album sank without a trace - to the image of their single A Routine Day: it was alright!! It must be said that by now, the Beatles influences were working against them and punk was also sweeping thiongs up across the pond. This is still finely chiselled and crafted pop tunes, but the inventivity was simply not there and no magic happening either. If Woloschuk gad taken the main share of the songwriting in Hope, here he will gladly let Dee Long that the better half of it, but Woloschuk's contribution do not raise the level of the album. Just the final track is above the mediocre level, silly Boys, but it is synthetically-derived from their very first track (dating from 73), Hanus of Uranus, even if it does hold some resemblances to the track from their debut album, their reworking of it is quite different, but hardly worth the investment in this poor album.

Please note that the 25 th anniversary edition of this album avoids to reprint the impressive inside sleeve photo montage showing their three faces emerging from a sea of fog. An average pop album, with very few to please the proghead, but much worse is to come.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A routine album

Not being familiar with Klaatu's back catalogue (I only have this album and "Endangered species"), I have to approach reviewing "Sir army suit" in isolation. On that basis, it is difficult to find any reason for this album, or indeed the band, to be listed on a progressive rock site. The album consists of 10 tracks lasting a total of 35 minutes, virtually all of which can be summed up as pleasant pop rock.

All the songs are written by John Woloschuk and/or Dee Long. Those by Long, tend to be slightly harder and a bit more complex, but its all relative. "Mister Manson" for example has similarities to Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't' fear the reaper", with some fine guitar work, and good old phasing. The final track, "Silly boys" is reminiscent of 10cc, with backward processed vocals, and a bit more of a sense of adventure.

Elsewhere, there is generally a late 60's pop feel to the album, with plenty of hints of The Beatles, and ELO. The opening track "A routine day", has good harmonies, and decent guitar breaks, but it's little more than a pop song. Likewise "Everybody took a holiday" has a good strong melody, and fine instrumental work, but is dominated by the vocals.

"Dear Christine" sounds similar to the chart songs of America (the band), with Beach Boys type harmonies. "Tokymor field" is light bouncy pop, with hints of the Hollies, and dare I say even The Wombles! "Perpetual motion machine" is another Dee Long track, along the lines of Crosby Stills and Nash's "Marakesh express". "Cherie" is a pleasant, orchestrated soft pop ballad, with something of a mediaeval feel, in part due to the harpsichord backing.

In all, a pleasant pop album, with short tight tracks, commendable harmonies and good but brief instrumental work.

The CD I have combines this album and "Endangered species" on one disk. The packaging is poor, with very little in the way of sleeve notes or historical information.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Compared to the band’s first two albums this one is more pop-flavored, which is saying something since all their albums were really just well-done pop anyway. The band sort of ‘revealed’ themselves for the first time via sketches on the back cover. Unlike their other albums, this one was painted by Hugh Syme who is better known for his many metal album covers and sporadic keyboard appearances with Rush. The copy I have is a 1979 Capitol/EMI re-issue on vinyl, so the record must have sold at least a few copies, although it wasn’t a hit by any means.

The band seemed to have abandoned its fantasy themes for more middle-fare pop love songs and Beatlesque ballads, especially on the front half of the album. “A Routine Day” and “Everybody Took a Holiday” are both in the finest tradition of mass-appeal Beatles tunes. “Juicy Lucy” sounds like a half-hearted attempt at a disco tune, but then this was the late seventies so I suppose that was to be expected.

“Older” reminds me of early Foreigner for some reason (probably the guitars), with Dee Long lyrics lamenting that the world has passed him by and regretting the things he’s missed. But this is Klaatu after all, so one can’t get too worked up.

The sailor ships out to sea on “Dear Christine”, and is writing a letter back to the lover he left behind. This one has a very early seventies folkish feel to it that I find quite appealing, and that ranks this as the most memorable track on the album. As with so many sentimental Klaatu works, the glass is half-full and the forlorn sailor is content in knowing his maiden will sit waiting for his return (not likely, but it’s a nice thought).

I guess “Mister Manson” is about Chucky Manson, the demented psycho who had several books and movies (and apparently songs) written about him back then. A weird choice of topics for this band, with a guitar/keyboard sequence that sounds remarkably like some old Siouxsie & the Banshees albums I have. Except for the vocals of course.

“Tokeymor Field” is a “Day in the Life” kind of lilting story-song, although most of the lyrics are gibberish so it’s a bit hard to follow.

On “Perpetual Motion Machine” the drum tracks border on disco once again, but the vocals have a really polished feel that is closer to Hall & Oates than to the Beatles, making for a rather quirky tune, even for these guys.

“Cherie” is another mellow love song with more light and shallow Dee Long lyrics. I actually don’t know why this one was put on the album, except that it would have probably been considered an EP otherwise.

Finally, “Silly Boys” has a handful of references to earlier Klaatu albums (madmen, the Sun, evil human nature), but is mostly known for its backwards-masked vocals. Turns out that the ‘Satanic’ message is actually the lyrics to “Anus of Uranus” from the band’s debut album. Sorry Tipper, no evil plot to possess your kids here.

So this is a pretty forgettable album but it’s from a fairly likeable bunch of guys, so I think I’ll err on the side of positive and bump it up to three stars. Mildly recommended for fans of Utopia, Super Furry Animals, and other pseudo-prog bands that don’t take themselves all that seriously. But probably not very appealing to anyone else.


Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars If you would except that the creative arrangements are quite less creative, that the melodies are less charismatic, that prog ideas are replaced by more pop ones; you could say that not so much has changed in the "Klaatu" music. But this is course a shortcut.

When all of the above is combined, it only offers a decent album: vocal harmonies are still crafted, but there are no jewels available on this "Sir Army Suit" like previously. Average rock ("Juicy Lucy", "Older") to nice and sweet rock ballad like they used to write ("Everybody Took A Holiday")

As a kind of remembrance from the good old past and their beatles-esque attitude, the melodic and catchy "Dear Christine" might well be one of the best track from this offering. But again, while they were inventive in their arrangements on their first two albums, this song sounds very straight forward and (too) simple to compete with prior jewels of the band.

"Mister Manson" is a weird track showing a darker and heavier side of their music. Not too good unfortunately. As a balance, the light "Tokeymor Field" is welcome. Again, the "10CC" feel is very much present (as it was on their earlier works).

The fireworks of "Hope" are no longer of circumstances: we'll just get some popish ensemble, performing nice music but not a memorable one ("Cherie"). Some other attempts to a heavier rock with "Silly Boys" as a closing and forgettable track.

Like their first two albums, there was a release on one CD for their third (this one) and fourth one for a cheap price. Nice thought! But this album is just average. Two stars and a half.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3(-) Yeah! Exactly this rating, because when you assume all elements, consider them, compare with other albums, from this artists, from this genre, on this site and add Marty's rating system, this is exactly the number you will get.

I remember "Hope" album, I listened it recently few times again. And well, let's make this album as main comparison point. There are few tracks similar, some are poisoned by 80's vices in music and overall it's far more pop, less grandiose and pompous, but these attributes were what I liked on previous album, so this one will be worse for sure.

There still is this symphonic element I so admired and enjoyed, but changed, corrupted. There's even this electronic voice (as on Hope's "Madman" or "Long Live...")

But this album tries to impress so hard, but has wrong ammunition that it almost makes me sad.

Latest members reviews

2 stars What's the bloody point......of playing the game? With so much to loose.....yet so little to gain, you sell yourself away. After such an epical masterpiece that was 'Hope', it seemed Klaatu had little to do but retreat back to their comfortable Beatle's like 'poppish' songs that could be foun ... (read more)

Report this review (#181924) | Posted by mothershabooboo | Saturday, September 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Just6 a quick review here for those who may want the short version of why they should give this album a listen. On this album, Klaatu went back to shorter simpler tunes. The Beatles' influence is apparent, but we also see more clearly how Klaatu could mention the Moody Blues as a major influence ... (read more)

Report this review (#113413) | Posted by | Saturday, February 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Klaatu's fascinating career would make an intriguing book! After a Beatles/Floyd-ish first album, their second was a full-blown prog opus about the end of the world, then they did another sharp turn and returned to Beatle-style pop on this, their third LP. I actually go back a long time with t ... (read more)

Report this review (#50672) | Posted by | Saturday, October 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I got my first copy of this shortly after it was released, and still listen to it today. True, this is not Yes, or Genesis, or "real" progressive music, in that the tracks are short, etc, but this is just a fun album, period. If you want traditional progressive music, check out their album " ... (read more)

Report this review (#43597) | Posted by | Saturday, August 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Sir Army Suit reaches a little farther than Klaatu's musical arms can reach. There are fine songs on here (Silly Boys, Everybody Took A Holiday), funny songs (Perpetual Motion Machine) and a couple not-so-good ones too (Tokeymore Field, Cherie). Overall, a good listen and above the level of radio ... (read more)

Report this review (#4278) | Posted by gryphonpoet | Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars How "Mr Manson" & "Silly boys" escaped the attention of the larger base of music lovers is a mystery to me...those two songs are classic rockers that are above anything I've heard from several "mainstream" bands, media attention getters. The rest of the cuts are euther good or very good too (with th ... (read more)

Report this review (#4276) | Posted by | Saturday, January 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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