The White Room (KLF album)

The White Room is the fourth and final studio album by British electronic music group The KLF, released on 3 March 1991. The album features versions of the band's hit singles, including "What Time Is Love?", "3 a.m. Eternal", and "Last Train to Trancentral".

The White Room
The KLF - The White Room.jpg
Studio album by
Released4 March 1991
Recorded1989–1990
Studio
  • Trancentral
  • The Village, Dagenham
  • Lillie Yard, London
  • Matrix, London
  • Mixing:
  • Lillie Yard, London
  • The Townhouse, London
  • The Manor, Oxfordshire
Genre
Length43:43
LabelKLF Communications
ProducerThe KLF
The KLF chronology
Chill Out
(1990)
The White Room
(1991)
The Black Room
(Unreleased)
Singles from The White Room
  1. "What Time Is Love?"
    Released: 30 July 1990
  2. "3 a.m. Eternal"
    Released: 7 January 1991
  3. "Last Train to Trancentral"
    Released: 22 April 1991
  4. "Justified and Ancient"
    Released: 25 November 1991

Originally scheduled for 1989 as the soundtrack to a film of the same name, the album's direction was changed after both the film and the original soundtrack LP were cancelled. Most tracks on the original album version are present in the final 1991 release, though in significantly remixed form. The White Room was supposed to be followed by a darker, harder complementary album The Black Room, but that plan was abandoned when the KLF retired in 1992.

On 23 April 2021, a re-edited version of the album was officially released on streaming platforms, in a series of digital reissues, as The White Room (Director's Cut), featuring new edits of original tracks from 1989–1990 sessions.[1]

BackgroundEdit

The White Room was conceived as the soundtrack to a road movie, also called The White Room, about the KLF's search for the mystical White Room that would enable them to be released from their contract with Eternity. Parts of the movie were filmed in the Sierra Nevada region of Spain, using the money that the duo, under the alias The Timelords, had made with their 1988 number-one hit "Doctorin' the Tardis".[2] The soundtrack album contained pop-house versions of some of the KLF's earlier "Pure Trance" singles, as well as new songs.

The film project was fraught with difficulties and setbacks, including dwindling funds. Drummond and Cauty had released "Kylie Said to Jason", a single from the original soundtrack, in the hopes that it could "rescue them from the jaws of bankruptcy"; it flopped commercially, however, failing to make even the UK top 100. As a consequence, The White Room film project was put on hold, and the KLF abandoned the musical direction of the soundtrack and single.[3] Neither the film nor the soundtrack album were formally released, although bootleg copies of both exist.

Meanwhile, the KLF's single "What Time Is Love?", which had originally been released in 1988 and largely ignored by the public, was generating acclaim within the underground clubs of continental Europe; according to KLF Communications, "The KLF were being feted by all the 'right' DJs".[3] This prompted Drummond and Cauty to pursue the acid house tone of their Pure Trance series. A further Pure Trance release, "Last Train to Trancentral", followed.

In October 1990, the KLF launched a series of singles with an upbeat pop-house sound they dubbed "Stadium House". Songs from The White Room soundtrack were re-recorded with rap and more vocals (by guests labelled "Additional Communicators"), a sample-heavy pop-rock production, and crowd noise samples. The "Stadium House" versions of "What Time Is Love?" and "3 a.m. Eternal" were immediate hits, with "3 a.m. Eternal" becoming the KLF's second, and the only one under the name, number-one release. These "Stadium House" tracks made up a large part of The White Room when it was eventually released in March 1991, substantially reworked from the original version. Aside from the singles, "Make It Rain", "Build a Fire", "Church of the KLF" and "The White Room" appeared in significantly more minimal, ambient and dub-oriented versions on the final album. "Go to Sleep" was reworked to become "Last Train to Trancentral".

From the original recorded that was planned for release in 1989 as Tunes from the White Room,[4][5] in 1997, a bootleg CD, taken from a low-quality cassette rip was released and included some bonus tracks. A higher-quality version, allegedly created by someone who mastered the original album DAT in a professional studio was hosted on a popular KLF fan site, KLF.de in the early 2000s.[6][7]

Director's CutEdit

On 23 April 2021, The White Room (Director's Cut) was officially released as the fourth part of the series of remastered digital compilations under the collective title Samplecity thru Trancentral.[1] The album's edition includes tracks from the unreleased 1989 album, plus versions of "Madruga Eterna" and "Last Train to Trancentral".

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [8]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[9]
Los Angeles Times     [10]
Q     [11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [12]
Select4/5[13]
Slant Magazine     [14]
The Village VoiceA−[15]

Iestyn George of Q called The White Room "strikingly imaginative" and "a more subtle form of subterfuge" than previous works.[11] In a retrospective review of the album, John Bush of AllMusic said that The White Room "represents the commercial and artistic peak of late-'80s acid-house"[8] A retrospective review by Splendid magazine thought some of the tracks to be filler and the album "silly" in places, but were extremely impressed by the "Stadium House" songs. "As providers of perverse, throwaway, three-minute pop-song manna," they concluded, "the KLF were punk rock, the Renaissance, Andy Warhol and Jesus Christ all rolled into one."[16]

In 1993, NME staff and contributors voted the album the 81st best of all time,[17] and in 2000, Q magazine listed it as the 89th best British album of all time.[18] Scotland on Sunday listed The White Room in their "Essential 100",[19] and readers of Scotland's Is this music? magazine voted the album the 44th best "Scottish" LP of all time.[20] The White Room is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[21]

Track listingEdit

1989 Tunes from The White Room (unreleased)Edit

No.TitleLength
1."Kylie Said to Jason" (Edit)4:05
2."3 a.m. Eternal" (Pure Trance Original) (Edit)4:24
3."Go to Sleep"3:44
4."Make It Rain"3:43
5."Church of the KLF"3:58
6."No More Tears"3:26
7."Build a Fire"5:02
8."The Lovers' Side"4:24
9."The White Room"4:31
10."Born Free"3:02

1991 album releaseEdit

No.TitleNotesLength
1."What Time Is Love?" (LP Mix) 4:37
2."Make It Rain" 4:06
3."3 a.m. Eternal" (Live at the S.S.L.) 3:36
4."Church of the KLF" 1:53
5."Last Train to Trancentral" (LP Mix)Segues from previous track5:33
6."Build a Fire" 4:39
7."The White Room" 5:14
8."No More Tears" 9:24
9."Justified and Ancient" 4:43

1991 North American releaseEdit

No.TitleNotesLength
1."Justified and Ancient" (Excerpt)Unlisted1:31
2."What Time Is Love? (Live at Trancentral)" (7" Radio Edit)Early fade3:46
3."Make It Rain"Samples from Stevie Wonder song "Fingertips Part 2" removed; early fade3:37
4."3 a.m. Eternal (Live at the S.S.L.)" (Radio Edit)Different to UK album version3:35
5."Church of the KLF" 1:53
6."Last Train to Trancentral (Live from the Lost Continent)" (Radio Edit)Spoken intro removed; segues from the previous track3:41
7."Build a Fire" 4:34
8."The White Room" 5:14
9."No More Tears" (Edit)Early fade6:42
10."Justified and Ancient"Single version5:04

2021 Director's CutEdit

No.TitleNotesLength
1."Go to Sleep"Recorded in 19893:15
2."Make It Rain"Recorded in 19903:48
3."Madruga Eterna" (Club Mix)Recorded in 19893:01
4."Church of the KLF"Recorded in 19901:42
5."Last Train to Trancentral" (Da Force, Over & Out)Recorded in 19905:49
6."Build a Fire"Recorded in 19904:41
7."The White Room"Recorded in 19903:46
8."No More Tears"Recorded in 19909:21
9."The Lovers' Side"Recorded in 19893:54
10."Justified & Ancient" (Black Steel Joins the JAMs)Recorded in 19904:43
Total length:44:04

PersonnelEdit

Additional performersEdit

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[34] Gold 35,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (1 January 2021). "The KLF reissue music for first time since 1992". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  2. ^ Mellor, Christopher (February 1989). "Beam Me Up, Scotty – How to have a number one (The JAMs way)". Offbeat. Archived (via the Library of Mu) on 24 August 2007.Wikipedia:WikiProject The KLF/LibraryOfMu/94
  3. ^ a b "The White Room - Information Sheet Eight". KLF Communications. August 1990. Archived (via the Library of Mu) on 5 October 2007.Wikipedia:WikiProject The KLF/LibraryOfMu/508
  4. ^ "The KLF: Enigmatic Dance Duo". Record Collector. 1 April 1991. Archived (via the Library of Mu) on 16 September 2016.Wikipedia:WikiProject The KLF/LibraryOfMu/226
  5. ^ Cauty, Cressida (August 1989). "KLF Info Sheet 6". KLF Communications. Archived (via the Library of Mu) on 16 September 2016.Wikipedia:WikiProject The KLF/LibraryOfMu/506
  6. ^ http://klf.de/home/ufaqs/faq-bootleg-whiteroom/
  7. ^ Longmire, Ernie; et al. (2020) [1998]. "Discography: The KLF (including The JAMS, The Timelords, 2K etc.)". Archived from the original on 29 February 2020.
  8. ^ a b Bush, John. The White Room – The KLF at AllMusic. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  9. ^ Fox, Marisa (9 August 1991). "The White Room". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  10. ^ Hochman, Steve (11 August 1991). "The KLF 'The White Room' Arista". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  11. ^ a b George, Iestyn (March 1991). "The White Room". Q (review). No. 54. Archived (via the Library of Mu) on 16 September 2016.Wikipedia:WikiProject The KLF/LibraryOfMu/206
  12. ^ Soults, Franklin (2004). "The KLF". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 462. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  13. ^ Harrison, Andrew (March 1991). "The KLF: The White Room". Select (9): 76.
  14. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (2 November 2002). "The KLF: The White Room". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert (30 July 1991). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  16. ^ Harrison, Allan. "The White Room". Splendid (review). Archived from the original on 12 November 2006.
  17. ^ "nme.com - Top 100 Of All Times". October 1993. Archived from the original on 5 March 2001.
  18. ^ Kelso, Paul (2 May 2000). "Beatles still rule the rockers' roost". The Guardian. Manchester. p. 9. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Essential 100 CDs – Part 3", Scotland on Sunday (Edinburgh), 29 April 2001, p19.
  20. ^ "The Razz Rock: Grand prize for Fan Club ; Album named best of all time", Daily Record (Glasgow), 1 April 2005, Features section, p43.
  21. ^ Dimery, Robert; Lydon, Michael (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  22. ^ "Australiancharts.com – The KLF – The White Room". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  23. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The KLF – The White Room" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The KLF – The White Room" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The KLF – The White Room" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Charts.nz – The KLF – The White Room". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  27. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The KLF – The White Room". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  28. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The KLF – The White Room". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  29. ^ "KLF | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  30. ^ "The KLF Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  31. ^ "Jahreshitparade Alben 1991". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  32. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1991". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  33. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  34. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1991 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 27 November 2021.