Bonus Singles: Box One & Two
More than any pop band in history, the KLF ripped off the music industry for a bucketful of loot and got away with it — as illustrated in their own guidebook to creating number one singles, The Manual. Bill Drummond and Jimi Cauty applied the tactics of punk shock-terrorism to late-'80s acid house and became one of Britain's best-selling artists (recording also as the JAMS and the Timelords) just before their retirement in 1992. The duo then deleted their entire back catalog — a potential loss in the millions of pounds — and declared they wouldn't release another record until peace was declared throughout the world.
Cauty and Drummond recorded the classic Chill Out album in late 1989, mixing source material from two DAT machines onto a cassette recorder during a live session. Concurrent to the Chill Out project, Cauty had actually formed another ambient house forerunner, the Orb, with Dr. Alex Paterson. The duo recorded "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From the Centre of the Ultraworld" in addition to material for an album, but split early in 1990 — with Paterson taking the name for his future recordings.
Obviously, the KLF's ambient recordings weren't going to top the charts, so later in 1990 Cauty and Drummond moved back to acid house and earned the greatest success of their career. The single "What Time Is Love?" — the first volume in what became known as the Stadium House Trilogy — hit number five on the U.K. singles charts in August 1990. "3 A.M. Eternal" took over the number one spot in January 1991, and The White Room LP topped the album charts upon its release in March. The final single in the trilogy, "Last Train to Trancentral," also made Top Ten. The KLF's success carried into Europe during 1991, and even the Americans caught on by September, pushing "3 A.M. Eternal" to number five and The White Room into the Top 40 album charts. The U.S.-only "America: What Time Is Love?" reached number 57 in November 1991, and early in 1992 "Justified and Ancient" — the surprising pairing of the KLF with country queen Tammy Wynette — almost reached the American Top Ten. Cauty and Drummond, the best-selling singles act in the world during 1991, were on the verge of becoming superstars.