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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Raarities LP (Vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

When this was originally released the label sent me the record along with a bunch of Klaatu reissue CDs. Well, at the time I didn’t have a working turntable – so this just sat. I decided, since I now have a turntable, I should go back and review it. I’d say this thing has some pretty cool alternate takes of songs. In some cases, these songs are pretty similar to the originals. In other instances the variances are pretty big. This is highly recommended to Klaatu collectors. I like it a lot and am glad I have it. There’s some great stuff here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Side 1
Calling Occupants (Of Interplanetary Craft) (alternate 7” single edit)
I’ve always loved this song in every format. At just over three and a half minutes in length, this is quite a bit shorter than the album version. Still, it manages to capture all the magic in a shorter time frame. I tend to prefer the extended listening experience presented by the full album rendition, but this is cool nonetheless. It’s also well worth having.
Sub-Rosa Subway (Terry Brown Mix)
This rendition, as the parenthetical to the title suggests, was mixed by Terry Brown of Rush fame. Don’t worry, though, it still sounds like Klaatu. Somehow, to me, the sound feels a bit more like a wall of sound. That to me means it’s got a bit more oomph, but also misses some of the subtlety. Still, as a different version I like this a lot. The song is good no matter how it’s mixed, anyway.
The Loneliest of Creatures (European 7” Single Edit)
Here we get an alternate single version of one of my favorite cuts from the second Klaatu album. This has all the symphonic drama and pop rock fun of the original. I like it a lot.
Juicy Luicy (12” Single Mix)
This rocking little tune is represented well in this version. It’s still a lot of fun even all those years later.
December Dream (Alternate 7” Single Edit)

A real classic rock winner, this is pretty and lush. I like it a lot no matter the version. It’s quite a proggy tune.

Hot Box City (Live – Nov. 15 1981)
I love the hard rocking sound of this live tune. It’s sort of in a similar vein to Sweet in some ways. It’s a good tune and this is well worth having.
Side 2
We're Off You Know (7” Single Edit)
Bouncy and quite pop-like, this cut seems ready made for a single release. So, this version is quite good.
A Routine Day (Orchestral Composite Outtake)
Lush and quite beautiful, I like this intriguing piece a lot. It’s got some rocking going on in the rhythm section and calls to mind ELO a bit.
California Jam (Instrumental Outtake)
While this is called “instrumental” there are (mostly) non-lyrical backing vocals. It’s a fun rocker that works well with or without the vocals.
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III (Instrumental Outtake)
Bouncy and fun, I think I might like this better without the tongue-in-cheek over theatrical vocals. It’s kind of cartoon-like at times and a bit like soundtrack music in some ways, but it’s fun.
Silly Boys (Suna Sunar Mix)

This alternate mix of the cut is cool. It’s got the backwards tracked vocals we heard on the original version and works pretty well.

The Love of a Woman (Alternate Mix)
There’s almost a disco vibe here. I really love the saxophone solo and this has quite a catchy chorus.
Come One, Come All (Unreleased Song Demo)

As the parenthetical suggests, this is a short little demo for a song. It’s got the chorus and some structure. It’s not a complete song, really in terms of the song structure, but the production and arrangement would work for a finished piece in some ways.

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