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The KLF Share Unreleased Music Via British Library
Christian Eede , August 24th, 2023 15:14

The only physical copy of a reconstructed version of the band's debut album will be added to the institution's KLF Kollection

Previously unreleased music by The KLF is to be made available via the British Library's free Sound Gallery later this month.

The only physical copy of a reconstructed version of the duo's debut album, 1987 (What the F** Is Going On?), originally released under the band name The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu, will be added to the British Library's existing KLF Kollection. All surviving master tapes will also be added to the collection.

It will be available to hear upon request in the institution's Reading Rooms from August 30, following a single-day listening event earlier this week. The original version of the album was regarded as a landmark release in British rave culture but also caused some controversy at the time due to its wholesale use of unauthorised samples by acts such as ABBA.

After a complaint about the album was upheld upon its release, all unsold copies were ordered to be destroyed. The KLF chose to set a number of copies on fire in a field outside Gothenburg, Sweden, while other stock was thrown overboard on the ferry journey from Sweden back to the United Kingdom. The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society said all master tapes and "other parts commensurate with manufacture of the record" should be surrendered.

In a statement about their partnership with the British Library, The KLF said: "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 than their original version. That said, I am very aware, even if they are not aware that I am aware, that my ageing Ice Kream Men have 'pirated' a copy of my re-enactment and have had an acetate cut of it and have 'donated' their pirated copy to the British Library for those that visit such places."

Find out more about the British Library's acquisition here.