Record Details

Differences between international releases. the recording of Chill Out and the other sound of Mu, covering the early Brilliant releases as well as the K Foundation and the One World Orchestra.

Record Details

If you are simply after a convenient way to listen to their original tracks again you are in luck because since 2021 parts of The KLF’s catalogue have been made available in digital form through various streaming services.

However, if you are strictly after physical releases, note that all releases on the band’s KLF Communications label (UK) were deleted when they retired. While non-UK licensors of the music (including Arista and TVT in the US, Liberation in Australia, and Toshiba/EMI in Japan) will still have the right to produce KLF records for several years this will be for a finite amount of time.

Since it seems unlikely that Drummond and Cauty will ever release their products in physical form again, so you should think seriously about purchasing what you can now, while you can. Of course, original KLF Communications releases still crop up in second-hand record shops, and Facebook group members occasionally sell some things off. In the UK most of the foreign CD’s are available on import quite easily, while the original KLF Communications issues can be found in internet shops including eBay and Discogs.

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First of all, you have to keep in mind that the commercially available version of It’s Grim Up North was a very polished remix of the original version that had been released in December 1990 and which was clearly influenced by their Pure Trance series. They dropped Pete Wylie’s vocals and had Bill Drummond re-record them and added the orchestral outro ‚Jerusalem On The Moors’ to the end of it.

Ok, that’s what happened to most of the Pure Trance singles as well which were part of the Stadium House period of The KLF. But why did they credit it to The JAMS then – who were apparently dead after their second LP? As we all know, It’s Grim Up North was meant to be one of the tracks of the ever-rescheduled ‚Black Room’ album which went through various different styles. In 1991, on a norwegian radio show Bomlagadafshipoing (really!), Bill indeed talks about the recording of the track as a part of the upcoming album.

Jimmy went to a club, a rave, once, last November, and the PA had broken down. It was like… It wasn’t very good. And all the walls were concrete. And there’s this sound to all the records, a very horrible, hard sound. And we wanted to get some of that. And we… I mean… we had decided we not wanting have snares. All these little things. Just, just. The only drum sound is the bass drum sound. And everything else is almost just noise. That’s what we wanted on the Black Room. […] [It’s Grim Up North] was the first track when we first decided to do The Black Room album. It was the first track we did for the album. We hope to redo that track and make it commercially available. And then it’ll be the main track on the The Black Room album.

This leads to the conclusion that they had already decided to release ‚The Black Room’ as the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu when they first came up with it, so It’s Grim Up North naturally got credited to the JAMS as well.

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Tag: igun

The legendary unreleased LP, the darker, harder twin to the White Room LP. It was referred to in interviews for ages, even before the White Room was released. Originally it was planned to be harder techno (like It’s Grim Up North), then it was going to be heavy-metal techno (like America…) and then it was going to be a thrash-metal collaboration with Extreme Noise Terror (like the TOTP version of 3 am Eternal).

It was originally scheduled for the end of ’91, which was later put back to March ’92, and they were still recording in February ’92 when they scrapped the sessions. It’s unknown how much of each incarnation was complete before it was scrapped and recording was re-started.

Jimmy said of it in December ’90: “The ‘Black Room’ album will all be this kind of electro turbo metal. It’s not really industrial like, say, Throbbing Gristle, because it’s coming from house and has an uplifting vibe about it. But it’s so heavy it will just pin you to the floor.”; while Drummond said of it in March ’91: “It’s the compete yang to the yin of ‘The White Room’. It’ll be very very dense, very very hardcore. No sort of ‘up’ choruses or anthems. I think it’s going to be techno-metal, I think that’s gonna be the sound. Techno-metal. Which’ll be, you know, a cross between Techno and Heavy Metal. Megadeth with drum machines.”

One NME article noted that the “Black Room” was actually an ante-room to the recording studio they used in West London.

Lyrics from the song 38, recorded in mid-February by Bill Drummond during these sessions were reproduced in the July ’92 issue of Select.

“I’m looking for something but it wasn’t there/(Next line indecipherable)/I’m 38 and I’m losing control/And when I find it I’m going to take it/And when I find it I’m going to make it/And when  I’ve found it I’m going the break it/I’m 38 and I’m losing control/I’m looking for nothing that I can’t feel/I’m looking for something that I can’t see/I’m 38 and I’m losing control.”

Mark Stent, the engineer/producer for these sessions, thought the music was pure genius.

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Mark StentSelect, July 1992 The most awesome track for me was one called “The Black Room and Terminator 10” which was like a very slow tempo thrash. It was mad. It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant, and it would have shown a lot of people up because it was as ballsy as hell. Guitars screaming all over the place, Bill doing his vocals and Dean [of ENT] doing his. There was such a raw power to it. It was so different from anything anyone else had ever heard. This was really heavy.

Despite their performance at the BRIT Awards in February ’92 and their announcement of having left the music business, recording sessions for the album were still in progress.

William Shaw (Select)Select, July 1992 Drummond would burst into the studio clutching his notebook, full of ideas for that week’s recording, discuss them with the quieter, more laid-back Cauty, and then tell the group what they wanted them to do. ENT followed the plot as best they could.

Dean Jones (ENT)Select, July 1992 Basically we didn’t really see what they were doing.

However, by the end of a week Bill and Jimmy had lost interest and would scrap the entire session, but as far as ENT and Mark Stent understood things, the intention at that point was to go back into the studio at some point in the near future and re-record the songs.

There are some mp3 files on file sharing networks and ftp servers which apparently are taken from the ‘Black Room’, and although they are mislabelled, then ENT bass player Mark Bailey confirmed to us that these files were indeed taken from an early demo tape they recorded for the ‘Black Room’ album. How they got there remains a mystery to him, though. The full interview with Mark Bailey features many more details about the plans of Bill and Jimmy as well as some more details about their sessions, so you might want to read that as well.

Furthermore, in Bad Wisdom, on page 206, Bill says:

Z asks about the Black Room album that me and Jimmy as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu started but were too afraid to complete. I tell him how, when I was standing in the twilight of the recording booth, the microphone in front of me, Jimmy’s magnificent metal guitar riffs roaring in my headphones, a voice came out of me which I had never heard before, words flowed that I had never written and a precipice appeared before me. I crept forward and looked over the edge: the abyss. The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu’s LP, The Black Room, was never finished.

But Z keeps talking and I’m warming to his persuasions. He feels that Jimmy and I are evading our responsibilities; we should return to our war-horse and complete the task. And yes, right now I believe Z may be right. But maybe Jimmy and I should wait until we are both over fifty before we record the sound of us as battle-scarred veterans of a hundred mercenary campaigns, when the music would not be drawn from our fading libidos but from the horror of life spent confronting that abyss – kinda like Milton backed up by Megadeth.

See the NME ‘KLF vs. the BRITs’ and Select ‘Who Killed The KLF’ articles in the Articles section for further details.


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Tag: black-room

While some international variants have different track markers than JAMS CD6 there are basically only two different versions of The White Room.

Most obviously, the original UK version – like its European variants – presents the first five tracks (What Time Is Love? through Last Train To Trancentral) as a kind of “mini-concert” with sampled crowd noise from, among other places, U2’s Rattle And Hum. All five tracks are segued and mixed. The US version eliminates the crowd noise, with some tracks ending very abruptly, probably due to the copyright problems over the crowd noise.

Apart from that there are some further differences between the individual tracks.

  • The US edition features the full 7″ radio version of What Time Is Love? whereas the UK edition drops the song’s second verse.
  • Make It Rain is around 30 seconds shorter on the US edition and lacks the Stevie Wonder sample (“Say yeah!”) throughout the track. A full unmixed version including the sample is available on the MU EP, though.
  • The outro of 3 a.m. Eternal lacks the Scott Piering sample (“Ladies and Gentlemen, The KLF have now left the building…”) on the UK edition and segues into Church Of The KLF instead.
  • The most radical difference might be the inclusion of the single mix of Last Train To Trancentral on the US edition instead of the mellower UK album version.
  • The US edition of No More Tears has been edited down to 6:42 instead of 9:24.
  • There is a little more wind noise at the end of the closing Justified And Ancient on the US edition.

Later reissues by Arista also came with the CD single of Justified And Ancient, albeit with a slightly different tracklist than the original UK CD single.

The Japanese version mostly follows the US format apart from featuring the extended single mix of Last Train To Trancentral. In addition it also includes three bonus tracks – the Moody Boys remix of What Time Is Love?, the Guns Of Mu Mu version of 3 a.m. Eternal, and the 120 Rock Steady version of Last Train To Trancentral.

The swear words were removed from the ‘Burn The Beat’ 7″ in an attempt to receive radio play. There may be some minor mix differences between the 12″ version and ‘Burn The Bastards’ but they’re not obvious. Also the bells/party outro is cut so that all that’s left is Den shouting: “Shut up! It’s that time again, kick out the old, welcome the new”. Which could almost be the JAMs motto. The instrumental club mix is more trancey and contains more samples.

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Here are the tracks from the releases in question:

Shag Times (UK double album)

All You Need Is Love
Don’t Take Five (Take What You Want)
Whitney Joins The JAMS
Down Town
Burn The Bastards
Doctorin’ The Tardis

Whitney Joins The JAMS (remix)
I Love Disco 2000
Down Town (remix)
Burn The Beat (club mix)
Prestwich Prophet’s Grin (dance mix)
Porpoise Song (dance mix)
Doctorin’ The Tardis (minimal)

The last seven tracks (the second disc on the LP version) are labelled only by (innacurate) BPM; these above are the actual tracks.

Shag Times (European single album)

All You Need Is Love
Don’t Take Five (Take What You Want)
Whitney Joins The JAMS
Down Town
Burn The Bastards [edit]

History Of The JAMS a.k.a. The Timelords (US version)

All You Need Is Love
Don’t Take Five (Take What You Want)
Whitney Joins The JAMS
Porpoise Song (dance mix)
Down Town
Burn The Beat
Doctorin’ The Tardis
Gary In The Tardis [CD only]

History Of The JAMS a.k.a. The Timelords (Australian version)

All You Need Is Love
Don’t Take Five (Take What You Want)
Disaster Fund Collection
Burn The Beat (ext. 7″ mix)
Porpoise Song
Down Town
Burn The Bastards
Doctorin’ The Tardis

“Burn The Beat” is mislabelled “Whitney” on this release.

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There are at least two releases on 12″ vinyl in existence. Both are one-sided and feature the same mix as on “Shag times”, but both have numerous intrinsic variations:

Scottish release, September 87, limited to 500 copies, the etched matrix is “JAM 24T A2”, however, at least one copy is known to have the matrix “JAMS 24T”. One sided (B- side is smooth). The A side label reads: “bpm 120 Whitney joins the J.A.M.s” This is repeated on the B side, but some DJ copies have blank B-labels. There might even be a small “MADE IN ENGLAND” sticker. Comes in plain black sleeve or generic KLF sleeve A.

Re-release at a later date, unknown quantity, etched matrix is “JAMS24T”. The B side is not smooth, but has a tone-groove which plays as a high-pitched whine. One run-out groove on the B-side it may say LP FB 12 X, where the ‘X’ is a ‘3’ and a ‘O’ overlaid. This matrix is typical of tone-grooves. Comes in generic KLF sleeve A. Some labels state “bpm 120 Whitney joins the J.A.M.s” with “Made in Scotland JAMS24T” but others don’t.

Most of the differences can be put down to different production runs. The reason for the “Made in Scotland” inclusion is probably because it was, despite rumours that it was only ever released in Scotland. But most of their other releases state “Made in England” and various other locations. We think this is due to a EEC regulation which means records pressed in the EEC must state the country of origin. The 1987 album was “Made in France” also because it was! As with many ‘independent’ records at that time, it was pressed by MPO in France, because they were cheaper even with re-importation costs and actually better quality that many of the existing UK plants at the time, and would do more limited runs of records too. However the ‘Who Killed the JAMS’ LP label says “Made in Wales”, which is a complete mystery to all, as it wasn’t an MPO pressing.

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Towards The Trance was the second part of the Shag Times UK double LP. The first part, Shag Times was definitely released as a single album in Europe (and omitting Doctorin’ The Tardis). No-one has ever seen Towards The Trance as a separate single album release. It may be that it never got released, and then they decided to run with Shag Times in the UK to cash in on the Doctorin’ The Tardis success, and bundled it with Towards The Trance.

Some discographies include it as “Towards The Trance KLF LP1”. The catalogue number and above details came from Bill himself when asked in a letter from Culf, what happened to “Towards The Trance”. Most of the LP is the second disc of Shag Times, i.e. a collection of remixes showing The JAMs progressing towards The KLF.

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The bootleg UK CD version of 1987 (‘What the : is going on?’ KLFCD007 with the orange/white cover) plays as 3 tracks. The first two of which are made up of the tracks which were on either side of the original 1987 release.

However, track 3, the bonus tracks that are listed in the discography actually play as a live performance by firstly, american (?)-metal band Big Black and then another similar band called Rifle Sport do a few tracks. The origin of this session is unknown.

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Tags: 1987, bootleg

None of the stuff has any intrinsic value – it’s worth exactly a) what you’d take from someone else for it or b) what someone else would pay you for it, whichever’s higher 🙂 . To convert a price listed in the various guides to cash, you have to find someone willing to pay you that amount. You won’t make a killing as record dealers generally pay you only about a fourth of the listed value.

Among KLF collectors some of the harder-to-find stuff is obviously going up in value e.g. ‘Space’ CD; but The KLF aren’t exactly Led Zep or Kate Bush in terms of having a widespread fan base, so in the larger market, you’re probably not going to have much luck making $50 off your “All You Need Is Love” 12″. In fact the price of the KLF releases is actually falling with time (or to be more accurate they are not selling at the higher price any more, yet record shops haven’t noticed this and reduced the price yet).

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‘KSTJ’ is about two of Australia’s biggest stars in the late 80s, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, starring in the soap ‘Neighbours’. Unfortunately (?) I have never seen this show myself, so I can’t give you a summary of what happens, but I [i]do[/i] know that Kylie and Jason (or at least the characters they played) get married in the show.

Kylie and Jason’s characters in the soap Neighbours were so popular that they really made the show a success, attracting regular audiences of about a third of the entire population of the UK! And bizarrely no-one referred to the characters by their names Charlene and Scott, they were known as Kylie and Jason. So Stock-Aitken-Waterman (it all connects of course), recognising the British public’s stupidity, took K+J and made a series of bland boy meets girl electro-pop singles with them and between them and together sometimes they must have had something like 10 No.1’s from 1987-1989.

There are many more references to various popular artists and TV shows all across the lyrics:

I was smokin with Felicity
The good life begins in bed
Richard was in the garden
Or I think that’s what she said

Felicity Kendall and Richard Briers also appeared in a TV series called ‘The Good Life’ (‘Good Neighbors’ in the US). No idea why that particular Good Life begins in bed in that song – maybe Bill and Jimmy had a crush on Felicity…

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em

…was a famous UK 70’s sitcom.

Then in walks Skippy (party)
The bush kangaroo (party)

Skippy is pretty much the most famous bush kangaroo from another famous Australian TV show.

Rolf playing “Sun Arise” (party)
And playing the didgeridoo (party)

Rolf Harris who was famous for his appearance on Kate Bush LPs and his cover version of Led Zep’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ on which he blows the didgeridoo himself. “Sun Arise” was a mid-60’s single by Harris, produced by George Martin.

With Angry singing ‘Suddenly’

‘Angry’ refers to Angry Anderson, who sang the song ‘Suddenly” that Kylie and Jason got married to in ‘Neighbours’. Naturally, the song was a massive hit in the UK.

… and Kylie reading LAM.

This is likely a reference to the London’s Australasian Magazine (later Living Abroad Magazine), a publication aimed at independent travellers already in the UK and those planning to visit there.

Cover of an 1987 issue of London’s Australasian Magazine (LAM)

Funny enough, there have been reports on the mailing list that one of the actors (Pete?) apparently had a huge KLF poster on the wall of his room!

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