Bill Drummond is a name which is relatively unfamiliar to the press and public, yet he has enjoyed world-wide success with a number of musical endeavors. Not unlike the impressario Malcolm McClaren, Drummond has created a veritable empire which reaches into almost every aspect of the music business. Through his record label, publishing firm, managerial prowess and his own releases, Drummond has emerged as a modern-day musical svengali.
His most recent work explains a good deal of both his anonymity and his success. With the advent of rap music and sampling techniques, Drummond released a studio project in 1987 under the name of The Justified Anciests of Mumu. The project caused a great deal of outrage and legal wrangling due to the inclusion of snippets from Margaret Thatcher's speeches, an Abba single and various BBC broadcasts.
Sure that he had happened upon a good thing, Drummond released a single called 'Doctorin' the Tardis' in the summer of 1988. Once again he used an alias, this time calling the 'band' The Timelords. The song toned down the sampling a bit, while its monster beats led to gold and platinum status the world over. Still, the name Bill Drummond remained obscured by his numerous monikers.
Drummond's musical history actually began in 1977, when he performed with the group Big in Japan. Upon the band's demise, Drummond and David Balfe (another Big in Japan alumni) created a music business enterprise called The Zoo. Acting as producers and label managers, the duo released the debuts of Echo and The Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes - both of whom Drummond went on to manage. Balfe and Drummond also started the highly successful Zoo Publishing, which had hits with The Woodentops and Zodiac Mindwarp.
After a short stint as an A&R consultant for WEA, Drummond began work on a solo project entitled Bill Drummond - The Man , now available in America on Bar/None Records. The release examines his experiences in the music business and reflects on his own growth over that time. Perhaps his most heart-felt and personal statement to date, it features accompaniment by the Australian band The Triffids and backing vocal work by Voice of the Beehive.
Far removed from the scratch and sample beats of his most recent work, The Man includes the infamous track "Julian Cope is Dead." Something of an answer song to Cope's "Bill Drummond Said," Drummond suggests he kill Cope as a way to sell more records and make Cope 'bigger than the Beatles, for sure.' Although his latest work includes a book, a film and a new alias (KLF), Bill Drummond - The Man is the only glimpse which the public has ever been offered into the true heart and mind of the man - Bill Drummond.
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