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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Aug 2019 > THE WHITE ROOM THE KLF

THE WHITE ROOM THE KLF

SUBSIDISED WITH THE PROCEEDS OF AN 80S NOVELTY HIT, THE

ECCENTRICITIES, VISION AND AMBITION OF TWO MUSICAL MAVERICKS WITH A TASTE FOR ACID HOUSE AND ANARCHY RESULTED IN ONE OF THE FINEST DANCE-POP ALBUMS OF THE 90s.

Bill Drummond and the supine Jimmy Cauty created a vast crop circle of their pyramid blaster logo in a wheat field for KLF’s What Time Is Love video
© Phil Ward

If Queen at Live Aid personified the theatrics and showmanship of stadium rock in the 80s, the dawning of a new decade saw a pair of mavericks inject it with their own brand of anarchy and self-mythologising hyperbole to create stadium rave. Together, they transformed themselves from saviours of the underground Acid House scene to mainstream mavericks, emerging as Europe’s biggest-selling singles act of 1991 thanks to a string of constantly evolving dance classics which were remixed, remade and remodelled to reflect the rapidly evolving scene of which they were at the forefront.

As the undercurrent of Acid House bubbled to the surface of mainstream culture, Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond rode the wave all the way from illegal parties in abandoned warehouses and fields to making music for the masses, the self-proclaimed “creators of trance, the lords of ambient, the kings of stadium house, the godfathers of techno-metal, the greatest rave band in the world ever”.

It was an unlikely mutual alliance with Stock Aitken Waterman that proved the foundation of Drummond and Cauty’s musical brotherhood in 1986. By this time both were well versed in the workings of the music business − as artists and behind the scenes. Drummond had begun his career in Blue Zoo with future Frankie Goes To Hollywood frontman Holly Johnson before managing Echo & the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes as well as working as an A&R man for WEA Records. It was during the latter that he signed Brilliant, a band of which Cauty was a member. Though Brilliant failed to take off, despite having been produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, Bill and Jimmy remained friends following the group’s split in 1986 and it was a mutual passion for hip-hop and the burgeoning dance scene that led to them forming their own musical partnership.

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About Classic Pop

This month, we have a world exclusive with Adam Ant as he prepares for a full-album tour of his experimental solo debut Friend Or Foe. It’s a must-read interview packed full of surprises. The pop mavericks keep on coming elsewhere, too – our classic album is The KLF’s seminal LP, The White Room, and we catch up with the inimitable Wendy James as she unveils new double album Queen High Straight. We meet the people behind Pet Shop Boys’ dazzling new stage show Musik, a return to the world of Billie Trix; playwright Jonathan Harvey and star Frances Barber fill us in on what to expect. Peter Hook tells us the story behind Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures – 40 years on, the band’s debut is still a work of staggering genius. In our album-by-album feature, we take an in-depth look at the recording career of Eurythmics and we meet Will Young to find out how he’s beaten his anxiety issues to create new studio album, Lexicon. Legendary producer Stephen Street talks us through his life in vinyl and we take a peek inside a new book on Soft Cell to uncover unseen photos of the synth-pop duo. Our packed new album reviews section includes Gary Daly, Shura, Friendly Fires, Mabel and more. On the reissues front, we serve up a selection including The Lightning Seeds, Belinda Carlisle, Big Country and Bonnie Tyler. In our live reviews section, we round up our Glastonbury Festival best bits plus check out gigs by Spice Girls, Elton John, Tears For Fears, Pink and more.