Klaatu Celebration Week Concludes: John, Dee, Terry (and Alan) Pick Favorite Klaatu Songs

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By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Picking your favorite songs by your favorite artists can sometimes be a fairly unreliable exercise, because your three favorites today might be totally different tomorrow.

Nevertheless, John Woloschuk, Dee Long, and Terry Draper were happy to play the favorite songs game when I spoke with them recently. Each of them chose three Klaatu favorites, and here they are, along with three of my favorites because, well, I wanted to play, too (my choices appear at the bottom of this page) (right-click on the audio streams to save them to your computer).

And with today’s post, we wind up our weeklong celebration of Klaatu’s Sir Army Suit, released 40 years ago this month. It’s been a lot of fun walking down memory lane; we hope you’ve had as good a time as we have.

John Woloschuk talks about three of his favorite Klaatu songs

Dee Long talks about three of his favorite Klaatu songs

Terry Draper talks about three of his favorite Klaatu songs

Alan Haber: Proud Music Geek!And now, without further ado, here are five of my favorite Klaatu songs (“Sub-Rosa Subway,” from 3:47 E.S.T., resides in its own little exalted corner of my brain and so does not appear here):

  1. “Blue Smoke” | Magentalane (1981)
    Originally titled “The List of Endangered Species,” this blazing rocker from Klaatu’s fifth and final album features particularly perky piano, John Woloschuk’s sitar, and Terry Draper’s stylish slide trombone, and rocking guitars too (crunchy and otherwise), all dressed up in the band’s usual fanciful wrapping. (John talks about this song here.)
  2. “All Good Things” | Endangered Species (1980)
    Short (under two minutes) and particularly sweet, this wistful, acoustic song, last in the running order on the Endangered Species album, also has an interesting story (John tells the tale here). Surely one of John’s prettiest melodies.
  3. “Hope” | Hope (1977)
    The glorious second Klaatu album’s closing and title song sports another of John’s prettiest melodies and offers up as positive a message as anyone could summon. Note the creative bass line that perfectly complements the melody. John told me that when he wrote this song, he was working above his pay grade. “When faith gives way to fear/When motivation disappears/All is lost if one abandons hope,” he sings. Words for every beating heart.
  4. “Calling Occupants (Of Interplanetary Craft)” | 3:47 E.S.T. (1976)
    This signature song, a grand statement if ever there was one, leads off Klaatu’s eclectic first album. Anything I could say here would be superfluous, especially since John and Terry, who co-wrote the song, speak so eloquently about it in their interviews posted above (Dee also talks about it). I will say, however, that any song that preaches friendship–even friendship across the galaxies–is okay in my book.
  5. “Perpetual Motion Machine” | Sir Army Suit (1978)
    Dee Long’s sprightly toe-tapper about the gift you didn’t know you needed is one of four solo written numbers on Sir Army Suit (he cowrote “Silly Boys” with John). What it’s really about, though, is anyone’s guess, but its lyrics speak to the collector in me (“You can have one today just send right away/We deliver right to your home”), so I’ll go with that.

radio1Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premiere website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. The 24-hour Pure Pop Radio stream ran from 2013 to August 25, 2018. Welcome to your number one home for coverage of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today.

Classic In Conversation: Meet Ben Folds

Listen to this Classic Ben Folds Interview from 1996 as You Lose Yourself in the Just-Released Box Set, Brick

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ben folds brick box set coverThe release of the massive, 13-disc box set Brick (Edsel), covering all of the Ben Folds Five and Ben Folds solo releases and a whole lot more, prompted me to set the WAYBAC machine for March 26, 1996–just one year after the original, weekly Pure Pop Radio show began.

On that day, more than 22 years ago, I conducted a short but oh-so-sweet interview on the run with the great Ben Folds, just after his high-energy (read: energetic and LOUD) Ben Folds Five show at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club concluded. The self-titled, first Five album had been released only seven months prior, but you would never have known it by the roaring reaction from the packed crowd.

My power-packed chat with Ben began just outside his dressing room and continued down to the stage where he and his band set to breaking down his setup and packing their instruments and equipment into a waiting U-Haul truck. This included Ben’s 1972 well-worn Baldwin piano, a well-used specimen if ever there was one. Ben and I talked about his approach to playing piano, being compared to Elton John and Billy Joel, and his love of  the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” which the band played that night and subsequently covered on record. And lots more.

This is one of my favorite interviews that I’ve done over the years. I hope you enjoy it.

pprListen to my interview with Ben Folds from March 26, 1996 by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day (broadcasts end August 25). Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: The Davenports’ Scott Klass (Airdate: July 18, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

the davenports don't be mad at me album coverThe Davenports’ Scott Klass joined me for a typically in-depth hour on the July 18 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation to talk about his wonderful new album, Don’t Be Mad at Me, another feather in the Davenports’ cap. That’s a particularly apt way to describe a collection of 10 melodically-charged, literate pop songs gathered under one roof.

The lovely title song, one of my favorites from Klass’s esteemed catalog, and one of the finest melodic pop songs in recent memory, barely scratches the surface of the joys that this album brings. “I Don’t Know What to Do,” a miraculous Klass and David Myhr cowrite, and the first single, a fine ballad called “Where Shall We Hang Elena?”, are two more gems that will no doubt burrow in your brain upon first listen.

Scott and I spoke about his songwriting, collaborating with Pure Pop Radio favorite David Myhr, and Don’t Be Mad at Me’s attractive art direction (by Winterpills’ Philip B. Price). We also played and looked deep into three of the songs on his miraculous new album, and took a Davenports classic from Speaking of the Davenports, “I’ll Come Down,” for a spin.

Get your vinyl or CD copy of the Davenports’ Don’t Be Mad at Me at the band’s website store. Alternatively, purchase the download version at Amazon or iTunes.

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pprListen to my interview with the Davenports’ Scott Klass from the July 18 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

Two Als Talking Tunes (aka Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation) Podcasts: Al Sussman (Airdate: July 11, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

al sussman

Beatlefan Executive Editor Al Sussman joined me on July 11 for another rousing edition of Two Als Talking Tunes, for which we redressed the virtual Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation set as if it were on the beach to allow us to play some favorite sun-soaked records and toss out some earth-shattering chart facts and figures.

Our theme for this go-round was summer songs that were about the season or were hits under the summer sun. Al and I, after slathering on the SPF (it was virtually hot out there!), chose three each and played and talked about them in our usual joyous, easygoing, fact-filled style. Al’s picks: Nat King Cole’s “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer”; Bruce and Terry’s “Summer Means Fun”; and Aretha Franklin’s version of “I Say a Little Prayer.” I chose Stevie Wonder’s “Summer Soft”; Sly and the Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime”; and the Association’s “Windy.” The show ended with a bonus classic from the Beach Boys–the single version of “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

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pprListen to the summer songs edition of Two Als Talking Tunes with Al Sussman, originally broadcast on July 11, by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

Take the songs played during this show for a test drive by clicking on the following Spotify links:

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

The Davenports’ Scott Klass Visits Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, and an All-New Pop Tunes Deejay Show Spins a New Weeklings Single and Much More

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

The Davenports’ Scott Klass brings melodic joy and talk to this week’s Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, and the new single from the Weeklings powers an all-new edition of Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show. In other words, it’s another wonderful week of catchy pop on Pure Pop Radio’s specialty shows.

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the davenports don't be mad at me album coverTomorrow night (Wednesday) at 9 pm ET, the Davenports’ Scott Klass joins me for for a typically in-depth hour on the latest Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation program. The Davenports’ new album, Don’t Be Mad at Me, is another feather in the band’s cap, offering up 10 melodically-charged, literate pop songs for your listening, dancing and romancing pleasure.

The lovely title song, one of my favorites from Klass’s esteemed catalog, and one of the finest melodic pop songs in recent memory, barely scratches the surface of the joys that this album brings. “I Don’t Know What to Do,” a miraculous Klass and David Myhr cowrite, and the first single, a fine ballad called “Where Shall We Hang Elena?”, are two more gems that will no doubt burrow in your brain upon first listen.

pop tunes disc smallAn hour’s worth of songs that will also burrow in your brain will happily spin during this Thursday night’s all-new Pop Tunes Deejay Show (8 pm ET), which offers up new and new-to-you tunes from the Weeklings–a tantalizing cover of the Beatles’ “Baby, You’re a Rich Man”–and three more Weeklings classics; new tracks from Nick Piunti, Bubble Gum Orchestra, Farrington, Dana Countryman, Ginger Root, Sean Solo, Astral Drive, and Vanilla; and classics from Harpers Bizarre, Jim Boggia, Matthew Sweet and Susannah Hoffs. Plus: a fun set devoted to the music of NRBQ.

Don’t miss this week’s Pure Pop Radio specialty shows, broadcast as always on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio. Also make note of Pure Pop Radio’s 24-hour stream of the greatest melodic pop in the universe from the ’60s, ’70s and today; click on the Live 365 Listen Now button below to take our mix for a spin. Enjoy!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

The Weeklings’ New Single (and More) Spin on this Week’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, and Two Als Talking Tunes Spins Summer Songs on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

We’ve got another pair of fun Pure Pop Radio specialty shows for you this week. Do you like summer songs? We’ve got you covered. How about a new Weeklings single? We’ve got you covered there, too.

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The fun begins this Wednesday, July 11 at 9 pm ET, when Beatlefan Executive Editor Al Sussman joins me for one of our every-once-in-a-while, just-for-fun episodes of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation we call Two Als Talking Tunes, during which we each pick a bunch of songs and talk about and play them.

This time around, Al and I take a look at summer songs that are about and were popular in the summer. Well, it is that time of year! Al goes in-depth on summery tunes from Nat King Cole, the Fantastic Baggys, and Aretha Franklin, and I play summer faves from Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, and the Association. Grab your sunscreen and join us!

pop tunes disc smallOn Thursday night at 8 pm ET, an all-new edition of Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show rolls with the brand new single from the Weeklings, a typically Weeklings-ized version of a Beatles tune. This time around, they’ve made “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” their own, and embedded an Easter egg–the Weeklings’ specialty–that you have to be paying close attention to catch. But don’t worry–I’ve provided a clue for you all.

Also on this week’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show: the latest from Poppermost, Farrington, My Little Brother, Nick Piunti, Lannie Flowers, the Crushing Violets, Astral Drive, William Duke, Andy Partridge, Paul McCartney, and the Doughboys, along with classic tracks from the Fab Four, the Honeycombs, and Status Quo. An eclectic mix? For sure. And a fun listen, too.

Don’t miss this week’s Pure Pop Radio specialty shows airing exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio. And don’t forget to tune into Pure Pop Radio’s 24-hour stream of melodic pop music from the ’60s to today, with a special emphasis on new releases. We’re on the air right now; click on the link below to listen.

Enjoy!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: Dave Sheinin (Airdate: June 27, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Dave Sheinin, Washington Post sports scribe and melodic popster, joined me on the June 27 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation to talk about his wonderful album, First Thing Tomorrow.

dave sheinin first thing tomorrow coverFirst Thing Tomorrow is a bona fide melodic pop smash, full of lovely, catchy melodies and songs. In addition to talking about three of the songs on the album, Dave took listeners on a tour of his history: Currently a national baseball writer for the Washington Post, he almost became a professional opera singer before swinging into professional journalism (he’s worked at the Post for nearly 20 years).

We played, and Dave talked about, these three fine numbers: “Oh, Amelia,” “What’s the Matter,” and “Goodbye City” (listen to each by clicking on the titles). Sample some of Dave’s other songs featured on First Thing Tomorrow, and then purchase the album on Bandcamp, or at Kool Kat Musik or CD Baby. You’re sure to treasure this lovely, melodic gem.

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pprListen to my interview with Dave Sheinin from the June 27 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.