For what it’s worth, one of Britain’s great unsung musical exports has been its electronica, from bands/artists like Massive Attack, the Prodigy, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada (actually a pair of Scots), 808 State, Tricky, The Chemical Brothers, Portishead, and a whole bunch of other artists that I’m sure people are going to call me out on for forgetting them, but I’m here to talk about one early act that’s shrouded in legend: The KLF.
In the mid-80s, A pair of Cockney, Illuminatus Trilogy-obsessed lads named Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty started off with the name Justified Ancients of the Mu-Mu, releasing two albums before changing their name to The Timelords and having a #1 hit with the song “Doctoring the T.A.R.D.I.S.” , and finally, they changed their name to the KLF, and they did a large number of truly insane publicity stunts that I can’t even begin to talk about here, so I’ll just direct you to the KLF’s Wikipedia article.
Unfortunately for British music historians, one of those stunts was deleting their entire back catalogue shortly after breaking up in 1993. But, unexpectedly, it came to pass that their back catalogue was suddenly released to Amazon’s MP3 store, iTunes, and Spotify.
The albums that were released are: “The White Room,” “Chill Out”, “The Lost Sounds of Mu Vols. 1 and 2,” and “Space.”
The availability of the albums was spotted by KLF fan twitter feed: KLF Updates.
Some of the tweets given:
*”No idea how these got on iTunes but there you go. Will they be there for long?”
* “I seriously don’t believe this! I really don’t. I must have woken up in a parallel universe”,
* “Lost Sounds of Mu and White Room OST on amazon too. None of these were legitimate releases maybe the KLF bootlegged themselves!”,
* “Listening to KLF via Spotify. It must be about 20 years since you could get KLF through recognised channels.”
But, it was not to last. Apparently, it turned out that the MP3s were put up by a bootlegger without the consent of the band, and, as a result, the albums were pulled from the websites, and the band discourages their fans from hunting down illegitimate editions. However, it should be noted that, somehow, iTunes and Amazon still have the MP3 album of “The White Room” for sale.
And, just so you can have some idea as to what the band was like, here’s their other #1 UK single, and their only Top 10 single in America, “3 a.m. Eternal.”