The KLF's songs are finally available to stream

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

Published
Image source, Shutterstock

After years of silence, The KLF have uploaded a selection of their most famous songs to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music.

The band's music has been officially unavailable since 1992, when they deleted their entire back catalogue.

But eight songs, including dance anthems like 3AM Eternal and What Time Is Love, are now available on an eight-track compilation, Solid State Logik.

Fly posters in London suggested The KLF would release more music this year.

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Solid State Logik collects all of the band's biggest hits - including the Tammy Wynette collaboration Justified & Ancient, and the Gary Glitter-sampling Doctorin' The Tardis.

It comes 29 years after founders Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond turned their backs on music, with a provocative performance at the 1992 Brit Awards - where they tied for best group with Simply Red.

The duo made their disdain for the industry clear by performing 3AM Eternal while firing blanks from a machine gun into the stunned audience, before an announcer said: "The KLF have left the music business."

Driving the point home, they later dumped a dead sheep on the steps of an after-show party with a note reading, "I died for ewe".

Cauty and Drummond later burned £1m of their royalties in bundles of £50 notes, on the remote Scottish island of Jura.

In recent decades the duo have concentrated on book and art projects, including plans to build a "people's pyramid", inspired by the death of Cauty's brother and constructed from bricks, each containing 23 grams of human ashes.

But fans have clamoured for their music - with bootleg clips of their videos and performances achieving tens of millions of views on YouTube, and several "sound-alike" versions of their biggest hits appearing on Spotify.

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When other streaming holdouts like AC/DC and Neil Young relented and made their back catalogues available, The KLF still held out. In 2018, Billboard named their absence as one of the eight most significant gaps on streaming services, alongside records by De La Soul and Aaliyah.

The band announced their surprise resurrection in two posters pasted under a railway bridge in Shoreditch, East London, alongside graffiti referencing The KLF.

The Instagram account of Cauty's girlfriend showed a figure creating the graffiti creating the graffiti on New Year's Eve.

According to a statement on the band's YouTube page, Solid State Logik (named after the mixing desk the band used to create their biggest hits) is the first of five planned releases, covering all of the band's releases, under a variety of names.

It read: "KLF have appropriated the work done between 1 January 1987 and 31 December 1991 by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The Timelords [and] The KLF.

"This appropriation was in order to tell a story in five chapters using the medium of streaming. The name of the story is Samplecity Thru Transcentral."

Image caption,
Posters announcing The KLF's return appeared on Kingsland Road, East London

The text goes on to name several projects that are being prepared for release, some of which have never been heard before, including Kick Out The Jams, the Pure Trance Series, and a second volume of Solid State Logik.

"If you need to know more about the work done by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The Timelords or The KLF, you can find truths, rumours and half-truths scattered across the internet," the statement continued.

"From these truths, rumours and half-truths, you can form your own opinions.

"The actual facts were washed down a storm drain in Brixton some time in the late 20th Century."

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