In 1987, THE KLF began life with two pop music managers, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty who said they were sick of it all. The music industry was a sham, a scam, and popular hits were made by application of formula over talent, nothing more.
To expose the recording industry and prove their point, they created THE KLF, also known by their brief, previous incarnations as THE TIMELORDS and THE JAMS, pushing a phony, jokey, quasi-religion of The Justified Ancients of MuMu (JAMS).
Well anyone can do that, so what? But THE KLF took it all the way. They were going to be Pure Dance music.
They made a feature film in 1989 then never released it (the fact that we know the road movie, THE WHITE ROOM, exists at all is the bootleg VHS copies that got out). Their music and videos were over-the-top cloy and crawling with undisguised posturing commercialism. Yet they were still catchy, danceable, and good. Their music was syrupy repulsive yet fans loved to hate them.
Why? THE KLF knew the formula. They tapped into what works, and proved it would work even when audiences knew they were being herded (not unlike the formula, KISS, has always followed). As their popularity increased, they'd drive live show crowds crazy by throwing thousands of dollars back at them.
For The Stadium House Trilogy and THE WHITE ROOM album, lead vocals are performed by Wanda Dee and Ricardo da Force.
The moment THE KLF reached the top, at the height of their success, at the 1992 BRIT Awards, they audaciously threw it all away.
"The KLF have now left the music business"
By May they destroyed all tapes of their back catalog recordings, then infamously burned 1 million in English pounds. They scattered the burning garbage of cash into the ocean, polluting a nearby seashore and sending the locals into a frenzy trying to put the peices of damaged money back together.
For all of those who thought THE KLF was just cynically playing a marketing scam, they were right.
For all those who thought THE KLF, flush with the success of wealth and fame, would abandon the principles of their protest, they were wrong.
THE KLF became real because they refused to be.
That was 1992. This is 2017. 25 years later in fulfillment of their marketing prophecy, they're back.
Page copyright 2011 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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