Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

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"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"
side-A label
Side A of the US retail single
Single by Klaatu
from the album 3:47 EST
A-side"Sub-Rosa Subway"
RecordedMarch 13 – August 1975[1]
StudioToronto Sound Studios[1]
Length3:23 (single edit)
7:14 (album version)
LabelDaffodil (Canada)
Capitol (rest of the world)
Songwriter(s)John Woloschuk, Terry Draper
Producer(s)Terry Brown[1]
Klaatu singles chronology
"True Life Hero"
"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"
"We're Off You Know"
Music video
"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" on YouTube

"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" is a song by Canadian rock band Klaatu, originally released in 1976 on their first album 3:47 EST. The song was played to open night-time transmission of the pirate radio station Radio Caroline. The year following its release, American soft rock duo the Carpenters covered the song, using a crew of 160 musicians.[4] The Carpenters' version reached the top 10 in the UK and Canada, and charted at number 1 in Ireland.


Klaatu members John Woloschuk and Terry Draper wrote the song together, with Woloschuk assigned 75% of composer royalties because the music was mostly his work. The lyrics were written equally by both.[5] Woloschuk 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!"[6]


Chart (1977) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[7] 45
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 62
US Cash Box Top 100[8] 91
US Record World Singles Chart[8] 100



Carpenters version[edit]

"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"
Artwork for the US single, painted by designer Andrew Probert
Single by Carpenters
from the album Passage
B-side"Can't Smile Without You"
ReleasedSeptember 20, 1977 (US)
GenreSpace pop[9]
Length7:06 (album version)
3:59 (single edit)
Songwriter(s)Terry Draper, John Woloschuk
Producer(s)Richard Carpenter
Carpenters singles chronology
"All You Get from Love Is a Love Song"
"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 the track.[10]

The vocal melody ranges from B♭3 to G♭5.[11][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.

Reaching number nine in the UK Singles Chart in 1977, in a UK television special on ITV in 2016 it was voted fifth in The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Song.[12]


Weekly Charts[edit]

Chart (1977-1978) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[13] 13
US Billboard Hot 100 32
US Cash Box Top 100 23
US Cashbox Radio Active Airplay Singles 14
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 18
Canadian RPM Top Singles 9
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[14] 10
UK Singles Chart 9
Irish Singles Chart 1
New Zealand (RIANZ)[15] 19

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1978) Position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[13] 78

Music videos[edit]

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. ^ a b c d "Klaatu Track Facts by John Woloschuk". Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  2. ^ Havers, Richard (8 October 2020). "When The Carpenters Met Prog Rock". UDiscoverMusic.
  3. ^ Johnstone, Bruce (16 November 1981). "'Triple-bill' has share of unusual". The Leader Post. Retrieved 5 May 2021. Aside from an unfortunate rendition of the space pop tune, Calling Occupants, Klaatu was surprisingly upbeat and lively
  4. ^ "Carpenters •• Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft". Retrieved 2021-08-07.
  5. ^ Bradley, David (June 2020). "Authorship Fact Check". Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  6. ^ Woloschuk, John. "Klaatu Track Facts" (quote used by permission). The Official Klaatu Homepage. Retrieved 2007-04-18.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5261a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7.
  9. ^ "The Carpenters biography". Apple Music.
  10. ^ "Carpenters official web site". Passage album notes. Retrieved 2007-10-14.
  11. ^ "The Carpenters '"Calling Occupants" Sheet Music In Bb Major (transposable)". Peer International Corporation. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2018. Voice, range: Bb3 to F#5.
  12. ^ "The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Song". ITV. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Kent Music Report No 236 – 1 January 1979 > National Top 100 Singles for 1978". Kent Music Report. Retrieved January 8, 2022 – via
  14. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". 1977-11-26. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  15. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". The Official NZ Music Chart. 27 September 1981.