Endangered Species is the fourth and penultimate album by the Canadian progressive rock band Klaatu, released in mid-1980. The music on the album was a stark contrast from any other Klaatu album, as it featured only standard, radio-friendly pop rock songs, as opposed to the usual unconventional, ambitious progressive and psychedelic rock sound they were known for. The band had virtually no artistic control over the music on the record; it was more a project of Capitol Records. To quote the Official Klaatu Website's FAQ (by Dave Bradley):
"An outside producer was brought in, most of the instruments were played by Los Angeles based session musicians, and the band members were asked to add their voices and (usually) one lead instrument per song. The band was sent home before the album was even mixed."
To add to this, the session musicians overdubbed most of the very few recorded parts by the band. In a question and answer session with fans, John Woloschuk, bass player of Klaatu, explained that all of Dee Long's lead guitar parts were overdubbed by Chris Bond, with the only exception being Long's guitar solo on "Sell Out, Sell Out."
The stylistic difference between this album and the rest of Klaatu's work was immediately apparent. The band evidently resented this, as one track on the album ("Sell Out, Sell Out") was a searing attack on Capitol's attempts to "jump on the bandwagon." As it turned out, Capitol's attempts to turn the band into a more conventional and radio-friendly pop/rock band were completely in vain since the album was a commercial and critical failure. As a result, the band was dropped shortly afterwards by Capitol, though Capitol's Canadian division picked up the band and released their final album Magentalane in Canada only.
The following tracks were recorded but not included on the final album:There's Something Happening (Dee Long)
Inflation Blues (Dee Long)
C'mon Dance With Me (Dee Long)
All Over Morocco (Terry Draper)
Tribute to Walt Disney (John Woloschuk)
I'll Miss You (John Woloschuk)
List of Endangered Species (John Woloschuk and Dino Tome) - later re-recorded and released as "Blue Smoke" on the band's final studio album "Magentalane".
Regular Klaatu artist Ted Jones - who had not painted the cover for the group's previous album, Sir Army Suit - returned to paint the album cover.