The KLF (Kopyright Liberation Front), more recently known as the K Foundation, also known as The Timelords, furthermore known as The JAMs, was one of the seminal bands around the time of the Acid House movement in Britain in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Founded by Bill Drummond (alias King Boy D, Time Boy) and Jimmy Cauty (alias Rockman Rock, Lord Rock) in the wake of the disbandment of the sampling outfit The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, the KLF went on to release a series of world-wide hits.



Their first taste of UK number one success was the novelty-pop single, Doctorin' The Tardis, by The Timelords. Some people claim that Drummond later lamented about the decision not to release the single under the JAMs moniker. Others dispute this.

They also published the infamous book The Manual, and gained notoriety for various anarchic situationist manifestations which included billboard advert defacements, a Brit awards protest involving a dead sheep and buckets of blood, weird mainstream press adverts, the staging of an alternative art award for the worst artist of the year (The Alternative Turner Prize), and burning a million pounds sterling. The resultant film, Watch The K-Foundation Burn A Million Quid, was toured around the UK. Drummond and Cauty signed a contract preventing them from talking about the incident for 23 years.

Leaving aside all the other incarnations, there were three main phases to their musical career (as the KLF).

  • In 1988-1989 they described their sound as "pure trance", and released a number of (largely) instrumental acid house rave anthems including What Time Is Love? and 3AM Eternal.
  • In 1989-1990 they became "ambient house" and released seminal ambient LP Chill Out as well as ambient video Waiting. Jimmy Cauty was also involved in the ambient side-projects The Orb and Space.
  • In 1990-1992 they became "Stadium House". The original pure trance singles were re-recorded with rap vocals, a pop-rock production and crowd noise samples. These singles, including What Time Is Love?, 3AM Eternal, Last Train to Trancentral, and Justified And Ancient were worldwide hits along with their 1991 UK top ten album, The White Room. Notably, Justified And Ancient featured vocals from American country star Tammy Wynette.

Some people claim that 3AM Eternal was allegedly a reference to their 1987: What the Fuck's Going On? album. The album suffered major legal setbacks because of its use of ABBA's Dancing Queen, and Drummond and Cauty were sued and ordered to destroy all remaining copies of the offending record. After a failed audience with ABBA, they burned the records, as legend has it, at 3AM. The album, minus the offending samples, was later released as a 12" single, complete with instructions on how to create the original album.

Another theory has it that "3AM Eternal" is mentioned somewhere in Schrödinger's Cat, with another obscure reference to an art gallery with a 'picture' consisting of a frame with lots of bills nailed to it, but this has yet to be proven.

KLF also performed a live version of the song, augmented by thrash punk rock band Extreme Noise Terror, at the 1992 Brit Awards ceremony. The band had reputedly also planned to throw buckets of sheep's blood over the audience, but were apparently prevented from doing so due to opposition from BBC lawyers and the 'hardcore vegetarian' Extreme Noise Terror [1] ( The performance was, instead, garnished by a kilted, cigar-chomping Drummond firing blanks from an automatic weapon over the heads of the crowd. Later in the evening the band allegedly dumped a dead sheep with the message "I died for you - bon appetit" tied around its waist at the entrance to one of the post ceremony parties.

Their singles combined dance beats with surprisingly "rock" guitar, and a sequential narrative about the fictional "Mu Mu land", derived from The Illuminatus! Trilogy.

As an art college student, Drummond had originally been involved with the set design for the first ever stage production of the Illuminatus! Trilogy, which opened in Liverpool on the November 23, 1976. The play featured Illuminatus! author Robert Anton Wilson as a naked extra, and the 23-strong cast contained a number of actors, who would later enjoy considerable success. The play moved to London where it was eventually seen by the young Jimmy Cauty.

Some people believe that the seriousness of the whole enterprise may be best indicated by Cauty and Drummond's appearance in one videoclip as leather-jacketed, sunglass-wearing rockers playing sitar. The vast number of sheep references in their work may also be a clue. Some people have compared the group to The Residents for their antics, if not their music.

See also


Justified Ancients of Mu Mu


  • All You Need Is Love (1987)
  • Whitney Joins the JAMs (1987)
  • Down Town (1987)
  • Burn the Beat (1988)
  • It's Grim Up North (1991)


  • 1987: What the Fuck's Going On? (1987)
  • Who Killed the JAMs? (1988)
  • The History of the JAMs aka the Timelords (1988)
  • Shag Times (1989 - UK/Europe version of History)

Disco 2000


  • I Gotta CD (1987)
  • One Love Nation (1988)
  • Uptight (Everything's Alright)(1989)

The Timelords


  • Doctorin' the Tardis (1988)



  • What Time Is Love? (1988)
  • 3AM Eternal (1989)
  • Kylie Said to Jason (1989)
  • What Time Is Love? (Live at Trancentral) (1990)
  • 3AM Eternal (Live at the SSL) (1991)
  • Last Train to Trancentral (Live from the Lost Continent) (1991)
  • Justified and Ancient(Featuring Tammy Wynette) (1991)
  • America: What Time Is Love? (1991 US, 1992 UK)
  • 3AM Eternal (1992 - with Extreme Noise Terror)


K Foundation


  • K Sera Sera (1993)



  • ***K the Millennium (sic) (1997)

External links

fr:The KLF nl:The KLF sv:KLF


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