The KLF Featuring Tammy Wynette “Justified & Ancient (Stand By The JAMs)”

The KLF were a British house music who released several records and singles in the late 1980s and the early 90s. Their debut album, released under the name the Justified Ancients of  Mu Mu, 1987 (What the Fuck is Going On?) opened with a song called “Hey Hey We Are Not The Monkeys” which featured lyrics including the phrase “”We’re justified and we’re ancient/We don’t want to upset the apple cart/We don’t wanna cause any harm.” In early 1991, they revisited this phrase with a song on their record The White Room called “Justified and Ancient.”

By late 1991, the KLM was fed up with the music business and decided to stop making records. But first, they decided to release one last song, a new version of “Justified and Ancient” with help from country music legend Tammy Wynette. This new take on the song combined house beats and Wynette’s vocals with African tribal style backing vocals, country steel pedal guitar and a sample from Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” The song was a massive international hit. Splendid Magazine would later say about the collaboration, “Were a decision reached that all pop music was deemed unfit for human consumption and had to be destroyed, save for one song to keep us fickle masses in choruses, this would be have to be the one, folks.”

About Michael Darling
Collector of the interesting and absurd.

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