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Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" is a song by Klaatu, originally released in 1976 on their first album 3:47 EST. The song would open night transmission of the pirate radio station Radio Caroline. The year following its release, the Carpenters covered the song, using a crew of 160 musicians. The Carpenters' version reached the top 10 in the UK and Canada, and charted at number 1 in Ireland.

"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"
Klaatu - Calling Occupants.jpeg
Single by Klaatu
from the album 3:47 EST
A-side "Sub-Rosa Subway"
Released 1976
Format 7-inch single
Recorded 1976
Genre Space rock, psychedelic pop, progressive rock
Length 3:23 (single edit)
7:14 (album version)
Label Daffodil (Canada)
Capitol (rest of the world)
Songwriter(s) Terry Draper, John Woloschuk
Producer(s) Klaatu



John Woloschuk, a member of Klaatu and one of the song's composers, has said:

The idea for this track was suggested by an actual event that is described in The Flying Saucer Reader, a book by Jay David published in 1967. In March 1953 an organization known as the "International Flying Saucer Bureau" sent a bulletin to all its members urging them to participate in an experiment termed "World Contact Day" whereby, at a predetermined date and time, they would attempt to collectively send out a telepathic message to visitors from outer space. The message began with the words..."Calling occupants of interplanetary craft!"[1]


Chart (1977) Peak
Canada RPM 100 Singles 45
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 62
US Cash Box Top 100[2] 91
US Record World Singles Chart[2] 100



Carpenters versionEdit

"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"
Single artwork painted by designer Andrew Probert.
Single by Carpenters
from the album Passage
B-side "Can't Smile Without You"
Released September 9, 1977
Format 7-inch single
Recorded 1977
Genre Pop rock, soft rock
Length 7:06 (album version)
3:59 (single edit)
Label A&M
Songwriter(s) Klaatu
Producer(s) Richard Carpenter
Carpenters singles chronology
"Can't Smile Without You"
"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"
"The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)"

The Carpenters' version from their Passage album charted worldwide and appeared on several of their hits compilations. The song title appears on the Carpenters' version above the tagline "(The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day)". The success of their version led to the duo receiving many letters from people asking when World Contact Day would be held. The song ultimately led to a successful Carpenters television special, The Carpenters...Space Encounters.

While Klaatu's original opens with various sounds of living species, the Carpenters' version opens with a radio DJ on a request show. The DJ identifies a phone caller as "Mike Ledgerwood". When the DJ asks Mike for his song request, an alien-sounding voice responds. The DJ is voiced by longstanding Carpenters' guitarist Tony Peluso, who can be seen in that role at the start of the video for this track.[4]

Karen Carpenter's vocals range from the low note of B♭3 in the first verse to the high head voice note of F♯5 before the last chorus.[5][a]

The Carpenters' arrangement of the song was later copied on a sound-alike cover released on the 1977 album Top of the Pops, Volume 62.

The cover art was painted by designer Andrew Probert.


Chart (1977) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 32
US Cash Box Top 100 23
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 18
Canadian Singles Chart 9
UK Singles Chart 9
Irish Singles Chart 1

Music videosEdit

The Carpenters had two music videos for "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft":




  1. ^ Carpenters' version is in the key signature of A♯ Major/B♭ Major; this transposition is accurate to their recording.


  1. ^ Woloschuk, John. "Klaatu Track Facts" (quote used by permission). The Official Klaatu Homepage. Retrieved 2007-04-18.
  2. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7.
  3. ^ "The Official Klaatu Homepage". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  4. ^ "Carpenters official web site:". Passage album notes. Retrieved 2007-10-14.
  5. ^ "The Carpenters '"Calling Occupants" Sheet Music In Bb Major (transposable)". Peer International Corporation. Retrieved 14 June 2018. Voice, range: Bb3 to F#5.