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The Manual, The: How to Have a Number One Hit the Easy Way [Paperback]

Bill Drummond , etc. , Jimmy Cauty , Jon Savage
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: ellipsis London Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (30 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1899858652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899858651
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 14.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

KLF- How to have a number 1 the easy way, Follow all the steps and you too could have a number 1 single. AS used by edelweiss (bring me edelweiss) and reached number 5 in UK charts.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Instructive and entertaining 15 Feb 2003
Amazingly, this book has actually worked. This book is part instruction manual, part diary and part story of the time Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty embarked on a mission to invade the charts with "Doctorin' The Tardis", the single they recorded as the Timelords. They were indeed successful: it made number one. Later, so legend has it, the Austrian group "Edelweiss" used it as the framework to crack the charts with their eponymous song, and although they did not make number one in the UK, they came close.
As with all Drummond and Cauty projects, it needs to be taken with not a pinch but a whole barrel of salt. Expert advice on the construction and recording of a classic pop song, studio hire, services you will need as well as the necessities of how to market and promote your disc within the shark-infested music business, are pure gold. Other snippets of wisdom - such as "Have a bath" - "Have a cup of tea" - "Go to your mate's house" - "Think about what to wear on Top of the Tops" - are at best funny and at worse distracting in the extent of their detail. Then again, this is what makes these two such fascinating characters.
Although it was written in 1988 (mentions of Rick Astley, Glenn Madeiros and Sabrina do date it), little has changed and all the details you need for manufacturing, plugging, publicising and copyright protecting your music still applies today. Aside from all the practical aspects, this little pocket-sized book is nothing if not inspiring, refreshingly free of cynicism, yet full of honesty and confidence about what anyone can achieve if they put their mind to it. If you're thinking about releasing your own songs, or even starting your own record label, you could do a million (quid) worse than buy this book.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mungolicious 21 Nov 2001
'The Manual' works both as a set of detailed instructions on how to create a pop single ("it must consist of an intro, a verse, a chorus, a second verse, a second chorus, a breakdown section, back into a double length chorus and an outro. As for lyrics, you will need some, but not many"), and as a capsule portrait of the pop world in the late-80s, a world dominated by manufactured pop acts, Top of the Pops, dance music and samplers - very much like today, in fact.
It's written in a world-weary, cynical style, like a crustier Obi-Wan Kenobi - and Drummond and Cauty know what they're talking about, having both worked in the music industry for a decade before writing this book. 'The Manual' is amoral, non-partisan, and unsensational; they praise Pete Waterman and Michael Jackson, and whilst they guarantee that you'll get to number one (or at least have a decent pop career), they make it clear that you probably won't enjoy the end result.
It's at least as relevant now as it was back in 1989...
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars De-programme your kids. First order iconoclasm 27 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Drummond and Cauty understand the mythical glory and manipulative mechanics of pop music more fully than anyone I have read, cynical hacks included. 'The Manual' fully describes, step by step, all you need to do to have a No.1 with the clarity, rationale and passion of a great scientist. This is no egotistical vanity; this is how the game is played. Or at least I assume it is because as the 80's mutated into the 90's Drummond and Cauty's "The KLF" were untouchable at the top of the music industry: critical acclaim, huge album and single sales and even a new genre of music were attributed to them (Ambient is traced back to the KLFs 1989 'Chill Out'). So the manual is also their testimony. That this is such a funny, at times profound and joyful read is remarkable. It must have been tempting to be cynical but Drummond and Cauty take you by the hand (not the one with the Giro cheque in it)and introduce you to all the people you'll need to turn (this book) into a No.1. Whether you pursue it or not is immaterial. If I were king every child would receive a copy of this on their 16th Birthday because it would explain in the most soothing tones why popular culture touches them as deeply as it does, but also why it will never provide the answers to the questions they don't even know they're asking. Posh and Becks will never seem the same again.
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