REVO Remastering: Klark Kent – Komplete Klassics [REVO 043]

REVO | CD | 2007 | REVO 043

Klark Kent: Komplete Klassics CD [2007]

  1. Don’t Care
  2. Away From Home
  3. Ritch In A Ditch
  4. Grandilinquent
  5. Guerilla
  6. My Old School
  7. My Excesses
  8. Theme For Kinetic Ritual
  9. Thrills
  10. Office Girls
  11. Too Kool To Kalypso
  12. The Police – On Any Other Day
  13. Office Talk
  14. Yo Ho Ho

Yesterday’s button post put me in a mind to add this REVO release to the blog. This was a fast bit of work, but no less the necessary reissue. I had always loved the Klark Kent records that Stewart Copeland of The Police had issued between 1978 and 1980. I owned the 10″ LP and all of the green vinyl singles issued on Kryptone records [save for the final single, “Ritch In A Ditch,” which had no non-LP material] and I swear I was planning for years to make a CD of the whole mess but then IRS Records, in its death throes, released the Klark Kent “Kollected Works” CD in 1995.

Brilliant! It had all of the b-sides and several unreleased cuts? Joy! To be sure, I had paid dearly for the Japanese CD of the straight 10″ LP when it came out in, what… 1986? So having paid $35 plus shipping for it then I was less inclined to basically buy it again [albeit with the all important bonus cuts, I know!] unless I saw maybe a used copy or some such. You know me – don’t call me cheap – I prefer thrifty! Except that IRS, being in their death throes, probably distributed a pittance of these discs.

In short order it became an OOP premium disc. If you want a copy right now, there are dealers on Amazon who will charge you $70-400 for the privilege. Yikes! REVO to the rescue! Better yet, when I was researching this disc, I discovered that the three unreleased cuts on the IRS disc were technically not Klark Kent material! One Derek Holt played with Copeland and the resultant music was issued under the name Colts. Moreover, the running order of the CD was apaprently random, missing the flow of the original eight cut 10″ LP. The final cherry missing from the dessert was that a true Klark Kent track, “Yo Ho Ho,” was not present on the IRS disc. That cut was issued on an IRS Christmas sampler called “Just In Time For Christmas” from 1990.

Now what is on this disc? The basic eight cut 10″ material, all of the 7″ a/b-sides, the track from the IRS Christmas disc and the one Police cut which is actually a Klark Kent track in everything but name, “On Any Other Day.” The Colts material is not there, but it’s not true Klark Kent Kanon… so deal with it! So you’re asking yourself, “Hey REVO! Why would I want this? Make me care!”

Wellsir, the not so elusive charms of Klark Kent are manifold. First of all, no matter what you think of The Police [I have serious “issues” myself…] none would decry the talent of Stewart behind the drums. But here he plays every note! It’s obvious he really didn’t need those other bums in The Police! These cuts sound like The Police in every way… except for the sense of playful, snotty “punk” fun that overflows in these tunes! I’d bet dollar$ to doughnuts that these were demos presented to the band as album material and sent skulking out of the room, serenaded by gales of Sting’s merciless, Aryan laughter! Sting’s loss is our gain!

“Away From Home” was not the first Klark Kent song I heard, but it certainly made the biggest impression! So much so, that when my friend Tom got his own place, it became his official theme song. And anyone reading these words would recognize perhaps the most accomplished Kent track “Theme For Kinetic Ritual” as the kickin’ theme to IRS Records “The Cutting Edge” TV series of yore. To this day I think of John Cale and goldfish when I hear it. “Too Kool To Kalypso” is a non-LP a-side that would have been welcome on the original 10″ but the running time would have pushed it to a less correct 12″ record, I fear.

Thematically, Stewart seems to have an obsession with 9-5 office life. There’s “Office Girls” where he plots wooing some of these urban vixens and the [admittedly overlong] “Office Talk” which features round-robin pub audio-verite by those selfsame office girls over which what sounds like an instrumental cut that may have evolved into “Bombs Away” by The Police warbles on for an incredible seven minutes. “Yo Ho Ho” sounds aberrant – a full-on late 80s production to be sure, and that would place it at the end of Klark Kent’s 10 year lifespan. Digital keyboards predominate but the inherent goofiness of the track saved it in a way that its production style couldn’t. In the end, it was definitely Klark Kent Kanon.

In closing, I’ll trumpet the one superiority this disc will have over every other, lesser, Klark Kent CD. It absolutely replicates the brilliant packaging of the original UK 10″ LP! Yes, REVO went kami! At least this time…

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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3 Responses to REVO Remastering: Klark Kent – Komplete Klassics [REVO 043]

  1. Echorich says:

    Completely agree with your assessment of On Any Other Day. Obviously Stewart won a wrestling match with The Tantric One and got a track on an album. The Police were at their best when they went to Jamaica or went quirky.
    KK material is really something special. It even gets it’s own section in my music archive, not just lumped next to The Police albums – mind you I change the sorting system ever few years.

    Like

  2. chas_m says:

    “I’d bet dollar$ to doughnuts that these were demos presented to the band as album material and sent skulking out of the room, serenaded by gales of Sting’s merciless, Aryan laughter!” is probably the funniest line I’ve seen on this blog!

    This release is one of my most treasured REVO collectibles!

    Like

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