K (album)

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KulaShaker K.jpg
Studio album by Kula Shaker
Released 16 September 1996 (UK)
22 October 1996 (US)
Recorded January–May 1996, Eden, RAK, Townhouse, Chipping Norton, Livingston, The Pierce Room, Wessex, Maison Rouge, Eastcote Studios
Genre Psychedelic rock, Raga rock, Britpop
Length 48:51 (not including 13:04 silence)
Label Columbia
Producer John Leckie, Shep & Dodge, Crispian Mills
Kula Shaker chronology
Summer Sun E.P.

K is the debut album by Kula Shaker, released on 16 September 1996. When it was released, it became the fastest selling debut album in Britain since Elastica's debut the previous year.[1] The album reached the #1 position in the UK charts, however in America it stalled at #200 in the Billboard charts.

The track "Grateful When You're Dead/Jerry Was There" is a homage to Jerry Garcia and his band The Grateful Dead.[citation needed] The Grateful Dead's psychedelic rock style is an influence on Kula Shaker's first and second albums. The hidden track after "Hollow Man" is a recording of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, speaking about his own guru.


The cover art (by comic-book artist Dave Gibbons) consists of various images related to the letter K, including: John F. Kennedy, Lord Kitchener, Karl Marx, Gene Kelly, Katharine Hepburn, Ken Dodd, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Danny Kaye, Kal-El (Superman), Boris Karloff (as Frankenstein's monster), Krishna, King Kong, Martin Luther King, Jr., 2 Knights (a pair of Keys on one of them), a Kettle, Kali, the Kaiser, Nikita Khrushchev, Grace Kelly, the number 11 (symbolizing K), and Rudyard Kipling's book Kim.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [2]
The Austin Chronicle 3.5/5 stars [3]
Robert Christgau C [4]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [5]
Rolling Stone favorable [6]

In 1998 K was placed at number 44 on Q's 100 greatest albums of all time list.[citation needed] In 2011, K once again made into a Q Magazine list for the 250 Greatest Albums of All Time.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Crispian Mills except where indicated. 

Original track listing
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Hey Dude"     4:10
2. "Knight on the Town"     3:25
3. "Temple of Everlasting Light"   Mills, Alonza Bevan 2:33
4. "Govinda"     4:57
5. "Smart Dogs"     3:16
6. "Magic Theatre"   Mills, Bevan 2:38
7. "Into the Deep"   Mills, Bevan 3:49
8. "Sleeping Jiva"   Mills, Bevan, Jay Darlington, Paul Winterhart 2:02
9. "Tattva"     3:46
10. "Grateful When You're Dead/Jerry Was There"     5:42
11. "303"   Mills, Bevan 3:08
12. "Start All Over"     2:35
13. "Hollow Man (Parts 1 & 2)" (plus 0:12 hidden track after – 13:04 silence)   6:10


Kula Shaker are:

  • Crispian Mills – Singing, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Tamboura.
  • Alonza Bevan – Bass, Piano, Tabla, Backing Vocals
  • Paul Winterhart – Drums
  • Jay Darlington – Organ, Mellotron, Piano.

Guest musicians:

  • Sarod on "Sleeping Jiva" by Wajahat Kahn.
  • Tabla on "Govinda" and "Jerry Was There" by Himangsu Goswami.
  • Backing Vocals on "Govinda" by Gauri.
  • Horns on "Start All Over" by The Kick Horns.
Preceded by
New Adventures in Hi-Fi by R.E.M.
UK number one album
28 September 1996 – 11 October 1996
Succeeded by
Natural by Peter Andre


  1. ^ "Kula Shaker Classic Rock Archive". Classic Rock. March 2000. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Allmusic review". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  3. ^ "Record Reviews - Music Review". The Austin Chronicle. 1996-11-15. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  4. ^ "CG: Kula Shaker". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  5. ^ Tracey Pepper (25 October 1996). "K Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived 18 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

  • K at YouTube (streamed copy where licensed)