The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way) is a 1988 book by The Timelords (Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty), better known as The KLF. It is a tongue-in-cheek step by step guide to achieving a No.1 single with no money or musical skills, and a case study of the duo's UK novelty pop No. 1 "Doctorin' the Tardis".
The book is prophetical when it comes to recording technology: "It's obvious that in a very short space of time the Japanese will have delivered the technology and then brought the price of it down so that you can do the whole thing at home. Then you will be able to sod off all that crap about going into studios."
Bill Drummond explained his motivations in an interview: "It was an excuse to say a lot of things I wanted to say about how the industry worked. It was an excuse to go out and say to people all they can say to themselves: If you want to do something, go and do it! Don't wait to be asked, don't wait for a record company to come and want to sign you or a management company. Just go and do it. Also, it was saying: If you wanna have number one...you can have it. It won't make you rich, it won't make you happy, but you can have it."
The Austrian Eurotrash band Edelweiss, who read the book, borrowed ABBA's "S.O.S.", and sold five million copies worldwide with "Bring Me Edelweiss".. It also proved to be an influence on 2000s British girl group The Pipettes who formed after reading the book in order to explore "the idea of being a pop machine.
In the liner photographs of the Chumbawamba album Readymades, Boff Whalley is seen to be reading a copy of The Manual. It is a reference to Chumbawamba's earlier success with their hit single, "Tubthumping".
Jamie Reynolds of The Klaxons admitted in an interview to reading The Manual and stated that he "took direct instructions from it.... Get yourself a studio, get a groove going, sing some absolute nonsense over the top, put a breakbeat behind it, and you're away! That's what I did! That's genuinely it. I read that, I noted down the golden rules of pop, and applied that to what we're doing and made sure that that always applies to everything we do. That way, we always come out with a sort of catchy hit number.