Unique disc acquisition from the KLF and their surviving master tapes

The KLFs horns

The British Library has acquired The Acetate, the only physical copy of a new, reconstructed version of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu’s debut album 1987 (What the F**k Is Going On?)

Published date:

For one week only, the recording will be available for everyone to listen to in our free Sound Gallery, starting from 11:23 on 23 August 2023, and from 30 August 2023, the album will be accessible within the Library's Reading Rooms in perpetuity for research, inspiration and enjoyment.

The Acetate is the only physical copy of 1987 (What the F**k Was Going On?), officially credited to The Ice Kream Van (unpublished by KLF Communications, London 2023).

The KLF, comprising of Jimmy Cauty (alias Rockman Rock) and Bill Drummond (alias King Boy D), also known as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The JAMs, The Timelords and other names, are commonly regarded as one of the most notorious acts in UK music history. Often considered conceptual artists or cultural anarchists, the British electronic band achieved international pop music stardom in the early 1990s with a succession of hits released on their KLF Communications record label.

The Acetate and all surviving KLF Communications master tapes donated by K2 Plant Hire Ltd will be archived as The KLF Kollection. All unpublished items will be catalogued under the collection number C2023.

The KLF have issued the following statement from the Ice Kream Van: “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 aging 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. Yours forever... The Ice Kream Van.”

Karoline Engelhardt, Curator of Popular Music Recordings at the British Library, said: “This is a very special year in the history of the British Library as it marks our 50th anniversary. The Sound Archive became part of the British Library only a decade later and, from the beginning, its mission was to preserve the nation’s sound heritage in all its creative facets. The KLF Kollection is another exciting piece of popular music history that will now be available to explore at the British Library for generations to come.”


Lead image © K2 PLANT HIRE Ltd