The What Time Is Love Story

The What Time Is Love Story is a six-track mini LP released in the wake of the success of What Time Is Love? in Europe, gathering various cover versions collated by The Orb’s Alex Paterson.

According to rumours the original title was to be “Now That’s What I Call What Time Is Love!” until the producers of the “Now That’s What I Call Music” series complained. While this rumour has yet to be confirmed a slight variation of the slogan (“An LP for under a fiver, now that’s what I call love!”) featured on the sticker coming with the LP.

Compilation Contents

The versions included on the LP had previously been released in Belgium and Italy, though not necessarily under the same name. Most of them wouldn’t even credit Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty as the original songwriters.

JC: It came as a complete surprise. People from an Italian company rang wanting to license the single. So we set up all these meetings which they never came to. The next thing we know the Italians have set up their own band, The KLFS and they’ve done their own acidic cover of the tune!

BD: In fact it was a big noise in Italy. Our tune went into the Italian Top 40 just on exports alone. And given what we’ve been up to in the past, the irony of ourselves being ripped of lock, stock and Waterman, was not lost on us. […] Soon as we knew, of course, we were on to our publishers shouting, ‘Sue the bastards’.<span class="su-quote-cite">NME, 26 Aug 1989</span>

However, rather than pursuing legal action the duo decided to return the favour in the most fitting way: knowing that the “original” artists could hardly argue against it, they put some of the cover versions out in the UK on their own compilation instead, selling for half the price of a conventional album.

With masters obviously not available all versions had to be recorded from their original 12″ releases, though, hence there is some vinyl surface noise present even on the CD release.

The album closes on a live version of What Time Is Love? performed by The KLF at the “Land Of Oz” chill-out room at London nightclub Heaven.

Authorship Speculation

Around the time of release some people speculated that all of the alleged cover versions were in fact the work of The KLF in disguise, and with the extensive online knowledge of websites like Discogs not available back in 1989 you can hardly blame them.

However, even though such a move would be very much in the spirit of The KLF, these rumours have long been debunked as most of the artists featured on the LP possess an independent discography beyond their cover version of What Time Is Love? both under the same name or further aliases.

Promotion & Advertising

The upcoming release of The What Time Is Love Story had been announced through Info Sheet #6.

The next release will be JAMS LP4 – THE WHAT TIME IS LOVE STORY (25th Sept).

This is a six-track, 40 minute mid-price LP. It’s a sample of some of the illegal (it’s in their karma) cover versions of everybody’s favourite arm-waving-in-the-lasers track, that have been popping up all over Europe this year. Also included is a recording of the K.L.F.’s premier live performance at The Land of Oz on 31st July 1989.<span class="su-quote-cite">KLF Info Sheet #6, Aug 1989</span>

The What Time Is Love Story replaced the then still planned (and eventually scrapped) White Room Soundtrack as JAMS LP4.


The original version is thoughtfully included but other mutilations of the same are equally inspiring. The mysterious Dr Felix’s ‘Relax Your Body’ is the stand-out cut. […] Elsewhere, remix chores are performed mechanically (the obligatory Italian mix) but even at its least innovative, ‘What Time’ is still compulsive lights-out listening.

Hardly the KLF at their most controversial but at least one of these six variants on the KLF’s finest oment really should be yours. But whether you’re willing to fork out a fiver for the privilege is entirely up to you.

Damon Wise, Sounds, 30 Sep 1989
Damon Wise
This LP collects the original, a live version, plus various house, Italian and Belgian-style “tributes”, of which one wonders why all the vocalists sound so alike (and British, even when praising Allah), and wouldn’t it be a good scam if you released 18 different versions scattered across Europe? On the other hand, seeing as the whole thing sells for under a fiver, you could just enter into the spirit of it all and just have fun with some rather good dance music.
Ian Cranna, Q Magazine, Dec 1989
Ian Cranna
If you do the right thing and fall asleep with this album in your headphones or trip the light fantastic, you become covered with more goosebumps than any self-respecting plucked Christmas bird and start having very pleasant dreams about vampires dipping their fangs into your expectant jugular.
Helen Mead, Unknown
Helen Mead

Tracks & Formats

JAMS LP4 (“What Time Is Love LP”)

LP Album / 25 Sep 1989
A1 The KLF: What Time Is Love? (Mix 1) 7:05
A2 Dr. Felix: Relax Your Body 6:32
A3 K.L.F.S.: What Time Is Love (Italian Mix) 6:10
B1 Liasons D.: Heartbeat 5:55
B2 Neon: No Limit (Dance Mix 4’58) 4:58
B3 The KLF: What Time Is Love? (Live At The Land Of Oz, 31 Jul 1989) 8:43

JAMS CD4 (“What Time Is Love CD”)

CD Album / 25 Sep 1989
1 The KLF: What Time Is Love? (Mix 1) 7:05
2 Dr. Felix: Relax Your Body 6:32
3 K.L.F.S.: What Time Is Love (Italian Mix) 6:10
4 Liasons D.: Heartbeat 5:55
5 Neon: No Limit (Dance Mix 4’58) 4:58
6 The KLF: What Time Is Love? (Live At The Land Of Oz, 31 Jul 1989) 8:43

11 thoughts on “The What Time Is Love Story

  1. So, has anyone ever heard a clean rip of this album from the CD? I’ve grabbed several digital copies of it over the years online all have been crackly vinyl rips, I digitised my own vinyl copy a while back but it was rough to start with, so not much better, one day I’ll find a CD copy that won’t need me to sell one of the kids first to finance it, though it’ll probably be bronzed to death by then

  2. @Jones:

    About 10 years ago I bought the original CD at ebay for about EUR 70. 2 years later I sold it on ebay again. I made an exact copy of the original CD using the program EAC.
    Let me know if you need a copy of this item, I transfered the WAV to FLAC.

      1. Let us know when you have sent this so we can delete Wolf’s email from his comment. Don’t want his inbox being flooded with requests. 😉

  3. Ok, thanks a lot.

    A pleasure to help this time, but I can’t save the world 🙂

  4. Hey, I am exactly here for the same question: Where can I find a digital copy of JAMS CD4 / LP4?

    I own the LP4 since ’89, but it has been played a hundred times or so, and for this reason is completely worn out.

    So I would greatly appreciate if you could share it with me. (Markus)

    1. Hey, if no one else replies I can hook you up with the digital copy that I got above, I can send you a dropbox link later on today when I get home if you haven’t got one already.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *