Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s British duo KLF (Bill Drummond and Jimmy Kauty) became a world-renowned name with their hip-hop-inspired and sample heavy records, often inspired by esoteric novels.
Now the duo has reconstructed one of their earlier albums titled 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?) originally released under The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, one of the monikers they operated under, and have now recreated it under the alias The Ice Kream Van and retitled The Acetate.
As Music Radar reports, the album was originally released in June 1987 and contained a number of unauthorized samples, most notably sampling ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” on “The Queen and I.” After a legal complaint was made, all unsold copies of the album were withdrawn from sale in August 1987 and the band was forced to hand over the master tapes to the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society.
The duo even traveled to Sweden in an attempt to meet ABBA and smooth things over, with little success. The duo, who will be remembered by many for burning a million pounds in cash as a performance art stunt, subsequently burned several copies of the scrapped album in Gothenburg before tossing the remainder overboard during their ferry journey home across the North Sea.
The KLF has also donated all surviving master tapes from their record label, KLF Communications, to the British Library’s collection. The duo has issued a statement from the Ice Kream Van regarding the donation: “As a lifetime, card-carrying and founding member of the KLF Re-enactment Society, I felt it my duty to not only ‘re-enact’ the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu’s album 1987 (Blah, Blah, Blah?) but present it to the world in a way far superior to their original version.”
The Acetate was available to stream in the Library’s Sound Gallery until August 30th; after which, fans will be able to listen by visiting the Library’s Reading Rooms.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.