The 20 Most Memorable Songs of 1991: The KLF & ‘3am Eternal’ (PopMatters)

Click on the image or read below. Justified. 

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The Kopyright Liberation Front, a controversial British group fronted by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, were known for their DIY punk attitude and sampling music illegally. But unlike U.S. hip-hop artists (who had to clear samples with copyright holders as a result of the significant Grand Upright v. Warner Brothers lawsuit in 1991), they got away with it. Drummond and Cauty followed their own musical ritual based on their book, The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way), which resulted in “3 A.M. Eternal”. This now classic song is composed of unlimited hooks ranging from KLF chants to sampled bleeps to Maxine Harvey’s delectable “3 A.M.” vocals, which are saturated with simulations of live crowds. KLF’s postmodern music blended genres like hip hop, soul, rock, and dance in ways that appealed to people regardless of age and musical tastes. It provided insight into other musical genres, especially as the UK rave scene was dying. The song invited the audience to sing its most insinuating lines—“KLF’s gonna rock ya”—which is why this track feels eternal. Along with the song, we recall KLF’s obsession with sheep and an incident involving the burning of £1,000,000, though does anyone else remember Ricardo Da Force’s “brick” cell phone?  © Shara Rambarran (2011)