Justified And Ancient (Stand By The JAMS)

Front cover scan of The KLF's "Justified And Ancient" single, showing the ice cream van with the last remaining copy of their "1987" LP in the rear window

The final single released by The KLF in 1991, featuring country music singer Tammy Wynette on vocals.

Despite everybody’s predictions Justified And Ancient was denied a Christmas No. 1 spot due to the re-release of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in November 1991.

Freddie Mercury died, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was re-released and we had to settle for the Number Two slot. A singer dying always messes up the agenda.Bill Drummond, 45

Promotion & Advertising

Adverts for Justified And Ancient started to appear in the NME during the second half of November. The ad did not give away the single’s name and “Freshly Made For You” only instead as a reference to the ice-cream theme.

Advert for The KLF’s “Justified And Ancient” (NME, 23 Nov 1991)

To further promote their single after its release The KLF also released a full-page A3 advert in the following issue of the NME, featuring the single’s cover artwork and Scott Piering’s narrated lyrics from the song’s breakdown.

Full-page advert for The KLF’s “Justified And Ancient” (NME, 30 Nov 1991)

Meanwhile German publisher Intercord released similar full-page A4 adverts in local industry magazines.

German advert for The KLF’s “Justified And Ancient” (Unknown, 1991)


Half of the Smash Hits office is sick to death of this record because the other 50% of us insist on playing it 99 times a day.
Smash Hits, Nov 1991 (Single Of The Fortnight)
‘Justified And Ancient’ lacks the sheer frantic rush of ‘Last Train’ and the gobsmacking gonads of the remainder of the Stadium House trilogy, but in a dance world riddled with the humourless, de-humanized likes of Altern 8 and Bizarre Inc (bleep bloody bleep, as Roadrunner once said) The KLF model a spiritual crown which elevates them several tower blocks above their amateur peers.
NME, 7 Dec 1991
English art-school losers hire country legend to sing an unbelievably beautiful disco song about an ice cream van. Any questions?
Unknown, Rolling Stone, 13 May 1999

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