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

“Chill Out” was apparently recorded live, without edits, in one take, by the KLF only. The whole album was attempted several times, and if a mistake was made, they started again. Here’s what was written in Record Collector magazine # 140:

Cauty: “‘Chill Out’ was done with two DAT machines and a cassette recorder.”

Drummond: “It was a live album that took two days to put together from bits and pieces. It was like jamming with bits from LPs and stuff we had lying around. We’d run around having to put an album on here, a cassette on there, and then press something else to get a flow.”

Cauty: “There’s no edits on it. Quite a few times we’d get near the end and make a mistake and so we’d have to go all the way back to the beginning and set it all up again.”

Drummond then talks of bouncing it from DAT to DAT and playing a few pads on a synthesizer at the notorious Trancentral of legend.

The confusion concerning the recording of ‘Chill Out’ comes from a Volume interview with The Orb’s Alex Patterson, where the interviewer writes the following:

Alex and Jimmy Cauty started the first ‘Chill Out’ room at Paul Oakenfold’s Land of Oz club, upstairs in London’s Heaven. Using two decks and a CD player they mixed tracks by the likes of Kraftwerk and Brian Eno over bird-songs, BBC sound effects and weird tribal chants! Back in Autumn 1989 Alex DJ’d for more than six hours at an eleven-hour ‘ambientathon’ held at the KLF’s Trancentral HQ. And much of the KLF’s ‘Chill Out’ LP is, in fact, made up of cuts from the session! Kopyright Liberation Front: you bet your bottom, matey!

However since this is not a direct quote from Paterson, it is more reasonable to believe the KLF’s actual statements. It is possible that the interviewer was confusing ‘Chill Out’ with the Space album, which was recorded originally as an Orb album by Jimmy and Alex, then they split up and Jimmy kept the master tapes (since they were recording in his house at Trancentral), reworked it, removed Alex’s contributions and added some others of his own, finally releasing it on KLF Communications. There were infamous weekend-long parties held at Trancentral though. Patterson will have had some guiding/inspirational input to ‘Chill Out’, but it’s really the interplay between Bill and Jimmy that makes the KLF great. ‘Chill Out’ is unquestionably a KLF record – just listen to steel guitars and sheep noises.

The best way to listen to this album is as follows:

Close all curtains, and switch off all lights and make sure you won’t be disturbed.
Lie on the floor, pillow under your head.
Close your eyes and relax.
Play Chill Out fairly loud and listen to the whole thing in one go.

Various other good times to hear it include ‘in the office on an afternoon’ or over the piped music in shopping malls or cinemas.

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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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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’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. It was originally scheduled for the end of ’91, which was put back to March ’92, and they were still recording in February ’92 when they scrapped the sessions. Mark Stent, the engineer/producer for these sessions, thought the music was pure genius. “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.”

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.

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.

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The soundtrack album to the ‘The White Room’ film was completed in 1989, and both their 1989 singles state “taken from the White Room soundtrack LP” on the sleeves. When “Kylie Said to Jason” wasn’t a hit they scrapped the release of the album. Studio tapes of this were stolen by the engineer and released to bootleggers, which is how some list members got copies of it. The versions of the songs are substantially different from the remixed versions which appeared on the 1991 White Room album. Many songs appear either in whole or in part on the soundtrack to the White Room film (copies of which are also around). You can download the complete soundtrack from various online sources.

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The US version is, unfortunately, edited. The UK version presents the first five tracks (“WTIL?” through “Last Train”) 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. It doesn’t work nearly as well, and in some places (right after the “Justified” lead-in to “WTIL?”) is downright stupid. This is probably as the crowd noise was sampled from a Doors album and hence the obvious copyright problems.

The US edition also has the single mix of “Last Train” instead of the mellower UK album version, edits “No More Tears” down from 9:24 to 6:42, and adds a little more wind noise at the end of the closing “Justified and Ancient”. The Japanese version follows the US format, and in addition includes three extra tracks. See the discography for more info.

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All releases on the band’s KLF Communications label (UK) were deleted when they retired, but 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. But it will be a finite amount of time, and it seems likely that Drummond and Cauty will never release their product 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 list 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 like Esprit, Netsounds, GEMM and – most of all – on eBay and Discogs.

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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
Candyman
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
Candyman
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
Candyman
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
Candyman
Burn The Bastards
Doctorin’ The Tardis

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

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The UK CD has only one track, 45 minutes long. The US CD separates this into 14 tracks, based on the ‘song’ titles and approximate timings printed on the label of the UK LP. It seems that the KLF consider Chill Out to be one continuous piece of music, but had to invent a separation into songs so that song-writing royalties can be paid to those sampled. For instance P. Green is credited with co-co-writing “3am Somewhere Outside of Beaumont” with Drummond and Cauty, and of course this is Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, writer of Albatross, the melody that is heavily sampled on this track.

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The thing that was released in Europe was the remix 12 inch (JAMS 26T) which has remixes of tracks off Who Killed The JAMs? (JAMS LP2). From JAMs info-sheet 001:

JAMS 26T? When we put Downtown out and gave it the cat no. JAMS 27T it was a mistake. We forgot we hadn’t made a 26T. Then we decided to release Dance Mixes of tracks from the LP. This would be the missing JAMS 26T. We pressed up 2,000 then decided we didn’t like them, so we sold them into Europe. One of the tracks we remixed and is coming out titled ‘Burn The Beat’ by The KLF with the cat no. KLF 002T. If you are confused so are we.

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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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Some discographies note a release “Towards The Trance KLF LP1”. “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”. 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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We have identified several common variants in this release. Again each may have intrinsic variations:

The commercially released version. Dark charcoal grey/blue sleeve, with ‘KLF’ in large black letters on front, Pyramid Blaster on reverse. These and/or the background on the cover may be glossed to different levels or not – put this down to different production runs. The label is in very dark blue print, and may look black under artificial light – probably also different production runs. The matrix on the A side reads “KLF 004X A’ “, which is the ‘Live at Trancentral’ mix, and the B side reads “KLF 004-C-B1”, which is the ‘Techno Gate’ mix. There is a faint ‘DAMONT’ etched on the B side, vertically opposite the matrix. The bar code is 5 017139 224240.

The promo white label. May come in Generic KLF Sleeve A or plain white or black sleeve. Blank label. The A side matrix reads “KLF 004X A’ ” (which is the Live at Trancentral mix) and the B side reads “KLF 004X-C-B1” (which is the Techno Gate mix). It may also have “DAMONT” etched on the B side

The promo white label with the “Wanda-ful” mix. Generic KLF Sleeve A or plain white or black sleeve. Blank label. The A side matrix reads “KLF 004X A’ ” (Live At Trancentral) but the B side matrix is “KLF 004X B’ ” (Wanda-ful mix).

These are the three main ones, but some other variants are:

Release 1 but with black sleeve writing; Release 1, etched KLF 004X-C-B1 on the B side, but which plays the Wanda-ful mix; and Release 1, but actually with KLF 004X B’ etched on the B side (and which plays the Wanda-ful mix).

Each release may also have what appears to be an “R” etched below and between the KLF004X and the A or B, but this is insignificant, as are the letters which may be etched in the 9 o’clock position on the run out grooves.

Just so you know, the Techno Gate mix has vocals only on the intro, but the Wanda-ful mix is “Wanda-full” of her vocals throughout.

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As far as we know, KLF 004P was never a pressing in it’s own right, the matrix was always 004X.

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“Deep Shit” (Cat no. DS1) was a flexi 7″ pressed in 500 copies in September 1987 that should have been released along a comic drawn by Jimmy, but nobody has ever seen it, so we can’t be absolutely sure of its existence.

“At the start of 1993, Jimmy completed one issue [started in 1989] of his graphic novel ‘Deep Shit: The Further Adventures of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu’ but he decided it was ‘crap’ and ‘threw it out’.”

It was on the KLF1 Completeist List as having been pressed, it has never been confirmed.
From JAMs info-sheet 001: “Deep Shit (the flexi)? I’m afraid although we recorded this we never actually got it out. We were hoping to slip it in with the first few copies of JAMS LP2.”
But from JAMs info-sheet 002: “‘Deep Shit’ can never be made generally available, but don’t be surprised if it turns up in odd places.”

They allegedly made the single because in 1987 they received a letter from an American calling himself ‘Don Lucknowe’ who warned them about the “Deep shit” they would be in if they continued with their many links to the “Illuminatus!” trilogy. It all turned out to be a joke (we think!). Their only contact address turned out to be that of a parody news outfit, “Yossarian Universal”. Paul Fericano, the then editor thinks the originator of the letter is James Wallis, a British satirist, and long-time Three Stooges fan (hence the name Don Lucknowe = Don’t Look Now).

It was then, allegedly released in August 1989 as 6 copies only of a 12″ white label (Cat no. KLF 101R), with the A side as “Deep Shit” Parts Two and Three the Illegal Remix” and the B side of “The Lovers Side”, from the original TWR album. The existance of both tracks has been confirmed by KLF Online when two of us had a pressing in our own hands.

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Although listed in the discography, no one has ever found a copy of the promo 12” featuring the benio dub mix of ‘Last Train To Trancentral’. What happened to the dub mix is unknown until today, but chances are that it never existed in the first place. If the running time in the discography is accurate, it could even just be the mislabelled original Pure Trance mix of ‘Last Train To Trancentral’. The KLF MP3 Collection featured an mp3 labelled ‘benio dub’, but unfortunately it was only ‘What Time Is Love? (techno gate mix)’.

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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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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.

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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