Kopyright Liberation Front and ABBA - The KLF

Dancing Queen

In 1987, the JAMS, also known as the KLF (Kopyright Liberation Front), released an album titled “1987, What the Fuck is Going On?” The album heavily sampled the single "Dancing Queen" from the Swedish super-group ABBA. KLF did not clear the samples, and consequently Abba filed a complaint alleging that the samples constituted a copyright infringement. In response to the complaint, in August of 1987, the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society ordered the JAMS to destroy all remaining copies of their "1987" LP .

Fields of Fire

KLF then decided to engage in a number of rash actions under the theory that if the case ever went to court, it would be to their benefit to have appeared to have done everything to communicate their side of the story. Consequently, they made a pilgrimage to ABBA headquarters in Sweden in a failed attempted to meet the super-group and persuade them to allow them to release the LP.

ABBA refused to meet with KLF. In lieu of meeting with the Swedish super-group, KLF presented a Swedish prostitute with a gold disc. On their return to from Sweden, they found a bucolic farm nestled among Nordic forests, whereupon they proceeded to burn most of the remaining copies of "1987". The plume of smoke filled the valley, attracting the attention of an armed farmer. The event was captured for the cover of their second album.

Do It Yourself

The ploy eventually worked to some extent in that ABBA agreed to drop the damages charge as long as KLF ceased production of the LP. ABBA basically wanted the percentage that they'd get if KLF were doing a cover version of one of their songs. KLF later released a censored version of the LP with the samples removed, with instructions on how to recreate the original.