Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday Tunes: Justified & Ancient

I seem to recall saying I would use this feature to review some of the more obscure acts in my music collection.

I'm not sure if the KLF really fit that, since 1990's What Time is Love? brought them to the attention of most of the world, and they didn't exactly avoid publicity, but that's where we'll start.

I can't remember what it was about them (although I'm sure the whole Mu Mu thing had me curious) but something got me hooked, and a lot of my pocket money in the early 90s was spent buying up any record I could find by the KLF or their alter-egos the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, resulting in a collection of remixes of some tracks, none of which sound anything like the radio version...

And lately, thanks to the wonders of e-bay, I have started to fill the gaps in my collection, notably a copy of The JAMs' original and unedited LP 1987, an album which straddles the thin line between genius and lunacy as only Drummond & Cauty can.

The album wavers from the sublime to the ridiculous right from the opening Hey Hey We Are Not The Monkees ('We don't even like the Monkees/I don't think I ever liked the Monkees', King Boy shouts, before the now familiar refrain 'We're justified, and we're ancient...') and frequently detours to the utterly insane - random sampling from last weeks Top of the Pops anyone?

The (then) new technique of sampling other people's records was abused pretty much indiscriminately, at its best on Don't Take Five (Take What You Want), which takes its title from Dave Brubeck's heavily sampled Take Five, and All You Need Is Love, which starts with a Beatles sample, and relies heavily on the Government's 'Don't Die of Ignorance' AIDS awareness campaign and Samantha Fox's Touch Me to make what sounds suspiciously like a political point...

Side 2 starts, bizarrely, with Mu Re Con, apparently recorded by accident when a Vietnamese session musician sang it while the tapes were running, and Bill and Jimmy happened to like it...

From there we descend again into madness: The Queen And I, the infamous track which took pretty much the whole of Dancing Queen without permission and had Abba forcing withdrawal and destruction of the record... which subsequently became the basis of much of the JAMs 'mythos', right up to the KLF's huge hit 3am Eternal.

The final track on the album, Next, takes similar liberties with copyright, taking obvious samples from Stevie Wonder's Superstition, and The Lonely Goatherd from The Sound of Music, among numerous, less obvious, others.

It is completely bonkers, and at times virtually unlistenable, but with far more high points than low. And it's an essential part of the JAMs/KLF story, which so intrigued me as a yoof...

Now, since I had such fun tracking down obscure Mars related songs the other week, I thought I'd add another little feature to Tuesday Tunes...

Sci-fi Song of the Week

Normally I'd suggest you all try and track it down from your favourite download site, but you might need to hit e-bay for the inaugural offering, which, to tie in with the rest of the post, is of course...

Doctorin' the Tardis by The Timelords (also known as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, furthermore known as the KLF).

3 comments:

Mirtika said...

Well, I'd never heard of them. :) But I"m listening now via Rhapsody.com (They don't have Doctoring hte Tardis, but I've got What Time Is Love? playing. And they've got other KLF tracks.

Fun.

Mir the Formerly Missing in Action

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I quite like the KLF.

UKSteve said...

For some reason that surprises me Matthew. Don't know why that should be.

And welcome back Mir, I'm glad to be broadening your musical horizons (and that you seem to be enjoying it so far).