The KLF remake scrapped 1987 album and donate it to British Library

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British duo The KLF have donated a reconstructed version of a scrapped 1987 album to the British Library. 

The record, originally titled 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?) and released under the name The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, has been recreated under the alias The Ice Kream Van and retitled The Acetate. 

1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?), released in June 1987, contained a number of unauthorized samples, most notably sampling ABBA's Dancing Queen on The Queen and I. After a legal complaint was made, all unsold copies of the album were withdrawn from sale in August 1987 and the band were forced to hand over the master tapes to the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society.

Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty of The KLF even travelled to Sweden in an attempt to meet ABBA and smooth things over, with little success. The duo, who will be remembered by many for burning a million pounds in cash as a performance art stunt, subsequently burned several copies of the scrapped album in Gothenburg before tossing the remainder overboard during their ferry journey home across the North Sea. 

The KLF have also donated all surviving master tapes from their record label, KLF Communications, to the British Library's collection. The duo have issued a statement from the Ice Kream Van regarding the donation: “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.”

The Acetate is available to stream in the Library's Sound Gallery until August 30th; after this, fans will be able to listen by visiting the Library's Reading Rooms. British Library curator Karoline Engelhardt says that the Sound Gallery's mission is 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."

Find out more on the British Library's website.

Matt Mullen
Tech Editor

I'm the Tech Editor for MusicRadar, working across everything from artist interviews to product news to tech tutorials. I love electronic music and I'm endlessly fascinated by the tools we use to make it. When I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard, carefully crafting the beginnings of another project that I'll ultimately abandon to the creative graveyard that is my overstuffed hard drive.

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