7/11/08

The Carpenters Make Contact


"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" has to be one of the strangest and most interesting songs in history. Why, you ask? Let me count the ways:
  1. The song was recorded for World Contact Day- a day where people would collectively try to reach beings from outer space via telepathy!

  2. The song was originally recorded by a band called Klaatu. Interestingly, it was a widespread belief, upon the release of their debut album, that they were actually The Beatles reunited and hiding under the code name Klaatu. Read the 1977 article which started the whole wild rumor going. You can also read more about The Beatles connection on a Good Rockin Tonight post.

  3. The song was made popular by an incredibly unlikely pair - The Carpenters. Known for their sad love songs, The Carpenters and this song seemed a strange fit indeed! Check out the bizarre sci-fi lyrics:
In your mind you have capacities you know
To telepath messages through the vast unknown
Please close your eyes and concentrate
With every thought you think
Upon the recitation we're about to sing
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary most extraordinary craft
You've been observing our earth
And we'd like to make a contact with you
We are your friends
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary ultra-emissaries
We've been observing your earth
And one night we'll make a contact with you
We are your friends
Calling occupants of interplanetary quite extraordinary craft
And please come on peace, we beseech you
Only a landing will teach them
Our earth may never survive
So do come, we beg you
Please interstellar policeman
Oh, won't you give us a sign
Give us a sign that we've reached you
With your mind you have ability to form
And transmit thought energy far beyond the norm
You close your eyes, you concentrate
Together that's the way
To send the message
We declare world contact day

Try to imagine Air Supply pulling a song from the Hawkwind or King Crimson catalogue. Or maybe Lionel Ritchie singing something by Pentangle or Os Mutantes. It's this strange combination that makes it so fantastic. How about Jim Croce singing something by Pink Floyd, or Captain & Tennille singing something by Black Sabbath, or .... you get the point.

This early music video for the song has to be seen to be believed. Enjoy!




3 comments:

  1. Gill Baby,

    I loved this tune as a kid. Had the 45! I was a weird, eclectic kid (who grew into an even weirder eclectic adult). Yes, next to the Hendrix, Sabbath, Kinks, Doors and so on, were Neil Diamond, The Captain and Tennille, and The Carpenters - all of whom I still proudly listen to! Seriously, Karen's voice was as smooth as a PAPER CUT! Not to sound too cantankerous (as I am merely, only 38) but the last good decade for just about anything was the 1970s. I have not, however, seen the trippy video before today. Wow, thanks!!

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  2. From one 38 year old to another, we are on the same page musically. ABBA, Zeppelin, Olivia Newton-John, Sabbath, KC & the Sunshine Band, Deep Purple... what's the difference? It was all great music.

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  3. OK, this song exists and I'm not crazy. Heard the tail end of it on "America's Top 40, the 70s" one day and literally couldn't believe my ears.

    And ABBA was great music.

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