Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weekend Diversion: The KLF

This week I picked a song that I actually didn’t know about until I moved to New Zealand: “Justified and Ancient (Stand by the JAMs)” by The KLF (also known as The JAMs, for Justified and Ancient of Mu Mu) from their album, The White Room. The history of the song is so convoluted that I won’t even try to summarise it here. Instead, check out the Wikipedia article on the song, and also the article on the band, which are both pretty good.

I heard the song because Nigel had it—on vinyl, I think. The song reached number one in New Zealand, number 2 in the UK, number three in Australia, number 8 in Canada and number 11 on Billboard’s Hot 100. So, it was reasonably popular, and I can certainly understand why: I thought it was trippy, campy, catchy and a whole lot of fun. The vocals by Tammy Wynette added the perfect touch.

When we made a trip to the US in 1997 or 99 (I forget which), we were browsing in a CD store and I found The White Room CD there, so we bought it.

The song has a link to two previous Weekend Distractions: Wax Trax! records, which I mentioned last week when I talked about Ministry, distributed songs by The KLF, just as they did with songs by Ministry and also by Laibach. Small world.

I still think this song is fun.

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