Pump Up the Volume (song)

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"Pump Up the Volume"
Single by MARRS
A-side "Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance)"
Released August 3, 1987
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, CD single
Recorded 1987
Genre Dance, house,[1] acid house,[1][2] instrumental hip hop
Length 4:08 (7" version)
6:28 (12" version)
Label 4AD (International)
4th & B'way/Island/PolyGram Records (United States)
Writer(s) Steve Young, Martyn Young
Producer(s) John Fryer, Martyn Young
Audio sample
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"Pump Up the Volume" is a song and the only single by British recording act M|A|R|R|S. Recorded and released in 1987, it was a number-one hit in many countries and is sometimes regarded as a significant milestone in the development of British house music and music sampling. The song derives its title directly from a lyrical sample from "I Know You Got Soul", a hit single by 4th & B'way/Island labelmates, Eric B. & Rakim, released only months prior in that same year.

The single was the product of an uneasy collaboration between electronica-fusion group Colourbox and alternative rock band A R Kane, two groups signed to the independent label 4AD. The link-up was suggested by label founder Ivo Watts-Russell after the two groups had independently sounded him out about the possibility of releasing a commercially oriented dance record, inspired by the American house music that was starting to make an impact on the UK chart. When the M|A|R|R|S project was first released early in 1987, the popularity of the style of the song had already started to grow.

Production[edit]

The collaboration between the two groups did not go entirely to plan. Once in the studio, the groups' different working methods and personalities failed to gel. Producer John Fryer found himself in the middle and unable to resolve the conflict between the two groups. The result was that instead of working together, the two groups ended up recording a track each, then turning it over to the other for additional input. Colourbox came up with "Pump Up the Volume", a percussion-led near-instrumental, featuring an Eric B. & Rakim sample which gave it its title, while A R Kane created the more deliberately arty "Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance)" in another studio. Colourbox then added a heavy drum-machine rhythm and effects to "Anitina" and A R Kane overdubbed some additional guitar to "Pump Up the Volume." The coup de grace, however, was the addition of scratch mix effects and samples by DJs Chris "C.J." Macintosh and Dave Dorrell.

The two tracks were released to United Kingdom dance clubs in July 1987, on an anonymous white label with no artist credit. "Pump Up the Volume" proved to be the more popular side and was the track more heavily promoted. 4AD released the 12" single (as, officially, a double A-side) on 24 August of that year. It entered the UK Singles Chart the following week at number 35, a strong initial showing for an unknown act, especially on 12" sales. However, what gave "Pump Up the Volume" its commercial edge was the remix released a week later. This remix became the best-known version of the track, transforming it by the addition of numerous samples which provided the record with additional hooks besides its oft-repeated title chant, such as samples of tracks by Public Enemy, Criminal Element Orchestra and the Bar-Kays being used. It was this remix, rather than the original, that was edited down to create the 7-inch version of the track, which began picking up radio play.

As the record climbed the charts, the single ran into legal difficulties. With "Pump Up the Volume" standing at number two, an injunction was obtained against it by pop music producers Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW), who objected to the use of a sample from their hit single "Roadblock". Distribution was held up for several days while negotiations took place, which resulted in an undertaking that overseas releases would not include the "Roadblock" sample. Dave Dorrell later stated that he believed SAW would never have noticed the highly distorted sample had he not rashly boasted about it in a radio interview. The offending article consisted of 7 seconds of an anonymous background voice moaning the single word "hey", involved no musical or melodic information, and could never be considered plagiarism in the literary sense. SAW member Pete Waterman wrote an open letter to the music press calling such things "wholesale theft". Some publications were quick to point out that Waterman was currently using the bassline from the Colonel Abrams song "Trapped" in his production of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up", which was competing in close proximity to "Pump Up the Volume" in the pop charts. Many observers suggested that SAW's motives had just as much to do with extending the run of "Never Gonna Give You Up" at the top of the chart. SAW had access to almost limitless legal resources and M|A|R|R|S stood little if any chance of a successful defence. Despite all this, "Pump Up the Volume" went on to spend two weeks at number one in October 1987 and was a chart hit in many other countries, receiving considerable airplay on American, Australian and European airwaves. While it was stripped from the official American release, the version containing the offending "Roadblock" sample was the version that the Australian charts credited.

Influence[edit]

As one of the first big British-made house hits, "Pump Up the Volume" marked a turning-point in the popularity of the genre. Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid in Full", which had been released prior to the M|A|R|R|S track also hit the top twenty in November, both singles heavily borrowed from Coldcut's previous UK chart success "Say Kids What Time Is It?". This was a very rapid response indeed, since "Pump Up the Volume" seemed to catch the record industry off-guard. It was not until February 1988, four months after "Pump Up the Volume" reached the top ten, that the floodgates truly opened. Like "Pump Up the Volume", many of the first major wave of British house hits were on independent labels. Not all of them displayed an obvious influence from M|A|R|R|S, though many did.

While Two Men, a Drum Machine and a Trumpet's "Tired of Getting Pushed Around", one of the first such hits, was principally just a dance groove with minimal use of samples, it was the sampling angle that made most impact on the public consciousness in the short term. Among the hits clearly following in M|A|R|R|S' footsteps were "Beat Dis" by Bomb the Bass, "Theme from S'Express" by S'Express, and "Doctorin' the House" by Coldcut featuring Yazz and the Plastic Population. These in turn spawned imitators from across Europe and the U.S. The sample montage craze would soon burn itself out, since many of the later records relied heavily on recycling the same samples already heard on the hits mentioned above. Litigation would also play its part and the adage "Where there's a hit—theres a writ" was coined as both house and hip hop artists underwent a period of being sued for using unlicenced samples in their recordings. The sampling style was also being parodied, notably by Star Turn on 45 (Pints), with their UK #12 hit "Pump Up the Bitter",[3] and by Harry Enfield's "Loadsamoney" single (produced by a young William Orbit). Les Adams also released "Check This Out" under the LA Mix moniker — a record that replayed "Pump Up the Volume" and "This is a journey into sound" soundbites before a male voice yells, "Oh not again! Get off!" Tastes started to change and acid house started to dominate the charts.

M|A|R|R|S themselves never came close to recording again. A R Kane gave interviews to the music press in which they explained that while they were proud to have been part of M|A|R|R|S, it was not an experience they were keen to repeat. They were particularly unhappy at having their contribution to "Pump Up the Volume" all but removed from the track. Colourbox attempted to carry on using the name M|A|R|R|S, but were not willing to pay the £100,000 that A R Kane wanted for full rights to the name, and the project remained a one-off.

Disco Mix Club Records, a British DJ pool and remix service, sought permission to remix "Pump Up the Volume" for several years. After continual setbacks resulting from the uneasy M|A|R|R|S collaboration, the organization gave up and released its own version in 1995 under "Greed featuring Ricardo da Force."

"Pump Up the Volume" was used during the late 1980s and early 1990s as the theme for Univision's boxing series, Boxeo Budweiser.

Pulttibois[edit]

In 1990, Pump Up the Volume became the theme song for the highly popular Finnish sketch comedy show Pulttibois. The song appeared in all the show's intros during the second and third season as well as occasionally playing over the credits. In the intro the stars of the show, Pirkka-Pekka Petelius and Aake Kalliala, dance and perform silly actions to the beat of the music while wearing suits against a red background. They also mouth the lyrics: "Brothers and sisters! Pump up the Volume!"

Samples used[edit]

The table below is a select list of samples used in "Pump Up the Volume"; also listed is which versions of "Pump Up the Volume" the sample appears in. Some samples are actually samples of samples, most notably Ofra Haza, whose vocals from Im Nin'alu were sampled by Eric B. & Rakim before being resampled for the song.[4] Due to the song's legal history, samples used in the different U.S. and UK versions vary.[5]

Sampled track[6] Sampled portion[5] Original UK version U.S. version/12" remix[A] UK radio edit U.S. radio edit Bonus Beats version Original release
Afrika Bambaataa and James Brown, "Unity (Part Three - Nuclear Wildstyle)" Repeated vocal sample ("Ah...") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Unity, 1984 (12")
Bar-Kays, "Holy Ghost" Drums, with moog (at the "put the needle..." part) Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Holy Ghost, 1978 (12")
James Brown, "Super Bad (Part One)" Vocal sample ("Watch me") Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Red XN Super Bad, 1970 (12")
Tom Browne, "Funkin' for Jamaica (N.Y.)" Trumpet Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Love Approach, 1980 (LP)
Bobby Byrd, "Hot Pants - I'm Coming, I'm Coming, I'm Coming"[7] Drums Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Hot Pants - I'm Coming, I'm Coming, I'm Coming, 1972 (7")
Choice M.C.'s and Fresh Gordon, "Gordy's Groove" Vocal sample ("Oh yeah") Red XN Green tickY Red XN Red XN Green tickY Beat of the Street, 1985 (12")
Criminal Element Orchestra, "Put the Needle to the Record" Vocal sample ("Put the needle on the record when the drum beats go like this") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Put the Needle to the Record, 1987 (12")
Eric B. & Rakim, "I Know You Got Soul (a cappella version)" Vocal sample ("Pump up the volume, dance") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN I Know You Got Soul, 1987 (12")
Fab 5 Freddy featuring Beeside, "Change le Beat" Beep effect and distorted vocal sample ("Ah") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Street Music Material, 1984 (LP)
D.ST and Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, "Mean Machine"[B] Chanting Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Red XN Mean Machine, 1984 (12")
Graham Central Station, "The Jam" Drums and repeated vocal samples ("Hu, ha") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Ain't No 'Bout-a'Doubt It, 1975 (LP)
Jimmy Castor Bunch, "It's Just Begun" Vocal sample ("It's just begun") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN It's Just Begun, 1972 (LP)
Kool & the Gang, "Jungle Jazz" Drums Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Spirit of the Boogie, 1975 (LP)
George Kranz, "Din Daa Daa (Trommeltanz)" Vocal sample ("Din daa daa...") Red XN Green tickY Red XN Red XN Red XN Din Daa Daa, 1983 (12")
Lovebug Starski and The Harlem World Crew, "Positive Life" Vocal sample ("That's right, dude, this gotta be the greatest record of the year/Check it out") Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Red XN Positive Life, 1981 (12")
Trailer to the 1968 film Mars Needs Women Vocal sample ("Mars needs women") Red XN Green tickY Red XN Red XN Green tickY
Montana Sextet, "Who Needs Enemies (With a Friend Like You)" Vocals Green tickY Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Who Needs Enemies (With a Friend Like You), 1983 (LP)
Nuance, "Loveride" Vocal sample ("Oh") Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Stop, Dance, Rap, Romance, 1985 (LP)
Original Concept, "Pump That Bass"[8] Vocal sample ("Pump that bass") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Bite'n My Stylee, 1986 (12")
Pleasure, "Celebrate the Good Things" Horn samples Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Get to the Feeling, 1978 (LP)
Pressure Drop, "Rock the House (You'll Never Be)" Vocal sample ("Rock the house") Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN Red XN Rock the House (You'll Never Be), 1983 (12")
Public Enemy, "You're Gonna Get Yours (My 98 Oldsmobile)" Vocal sample ("You're gonna get yours") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Yo! Bum Rush the Show, 1987 (LP)
Run-D.M.C., "Here We Go (Live at the Funhouse)" Vocal sample ("Aw, yeah") Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN Red XN Here We Go, 1985 (12")
The Soul Children, "I Don't Know What This World Is Coming To" Vocal sample ("Brothers and sisters") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Wattstax: The Living Word, 1972 (LP)
Stock Aitken Waterman, "Roadblock (7" version)" Vocal sample ("Hey") by Chyna (Coral Gordon) and sax sample by Gary Barnacle Green tickY Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Roadblock, 1986 (12")
Trouble Funk, "Pump Me Up" Vocal sample ("Pump-pump me up") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Drop the Bomb, 1982 (LP)
Fred Wesley and The J.B.'s, "Introduction to the J.B.'s" Vocal sample ("Without no doubt") Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Red XN Doing It to Death, 1973 (LP)
Fred Wesley and The J.B.'s, "More Peas" Vocal sample ("Yeah, yeah") Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Doing It to Death, 1973 (LP)
Whistle, "(Nothing Serious) Just Buggin'" Whistle sample Green tickY Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Whistle, 1986 (LP)
Dunya Yusin, "Abu Zeluf"[9] Vocals Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Music in the World of Islam, 1: The Human Voice, 1976 (LP)

Track listings[edit]

4AD[edit]

12" single (BAD 707)
  1. "Pump Up the Volume" - 5:08
  2. "Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance)" - 6:38
Remix 12" single (BAD 707R)
  1. "Pump Up the Volume (Remix)" - 6:28
  2. "Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance) (Remix)" - 7:29
7" single (AD 707)
  1. "Pump Up the Volume (Radio edit)" - 4:08
  2. "Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance) (7" version)" - 5:02
CD maxi single (BAD 707 CD)
  1. "Pump Up the Volume (Re-Mix)" - 6:27
  2. "Pump Up the Volume" - 5:07
  3. "Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance)" - 6:39
  4. "Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance) (Remix)" - 7:40
U.S. CD maxi single (AD 707 CD)
  1. "Pump Up the Volume (Radio edit)" - 4:07
  2. "Pump Up the Volume" - 7:10
  3. "Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance)" - 6:39
  4. "Pump Up the Volume (Bonus Beats)" - 4:47
  5. "Pump Up the Volume (Instrumental)" - 5:07

4th & Broadway[edit]

U.S. 12" single
  1. "Pump Up the Volume" - 7:10
  2. "Pump Up the Volume (Bonus Beat)" - 4:49
  3. "Pump Up the Volume (Instrumental)" - 5:04
  4. "Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance)" - 4:20
U.S. CD maxi single
  1. "Pump Up the Volume" - 7:12
  2. "Pump Up the Volume (Bonus Beat)" - 4:48
  3. "Pump Up the Volume (Instrumental)" - 5:07
  4. "Pump Up the Volume (Radio edit)" - 4:10
  5. "Anitina" - 4:22
U.S. Cassette
  1. "Pump Up the Volume" - 7:10
  2. "Pump Up the Volume (Bonus Beat)" - 4:49
  3. "Pump Up the Volume (Instrumental)" - 5:04
  4. "Pump Up the Volume (Radio edit)" - 4:06
  5. "Anitina" - 4:20

Bright Lights, Big City soundtrack[edit]

  1. "Pump Up the Volume (U.S. Radio Edit)" - 4:08*
  • This version of the song was a one-time edit for the movie Bright Lights, Big City. It features vocals on the intro by a female emcee saying "Yo all you homeboys out in Bronx, this one's for you"[10]

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
UK number-one single
October 3, 1987 - October 10, 1987
Succeeded by
"You Win Again" by The Bee Gees
Preceded by
"Could've Been" by Tiffany
Canadian Singles Chart
February 27, 1988 - March 12, 1988
Succeeded by
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
Preceded by
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
November 7, 1987
Succeeded by
"Faith" by George Michael
Preceded by
"System of Survival" by Earth, Wind & Fire
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
December 12, 1987 - December 19, 1987
Succeeded by
"So Emotional" by Whitney Houston
Preceded by
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
February 12, 1988 - February 19, 1988
Succeeded by
"Heaven Is a Place on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle

Notes[edit]

  • A^ The 12" remix was branded as the song's original version in the U.S.
  • B^ Chanting from "Mean Machine" is sampled directly in the UK version of "Pump Up the Volume"; however, the U.S. version of the song contains a slightly different rhyme recorded specially for the release by UK rapper E-mix.
  • A video was released for this single and featured newsreel footage of the early Soviet and American space programs as well as NASA animation of satellites and other spacecraft.

References[edit]

Notations[edit]

  • Gibson, Robin (September 19, 1987). "Ain't Nothing But a Hip-House Party". Sounds, p. 20-1.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Pump Up the Volume on Evi". Evi.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 524. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ basham, david. "Ofra Haza dies". MTV news. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "M|A|R|R|S". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  7. ^ "Rap Smaple FAQ - MARRS". The-breaks.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  8. ^ "[Introspective] Re: We all feel better... x Beat Dis". Lists.jameslick.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  9. ^ "Pump Up the Volume sample of Dunya Yunis's Abu Zeluf". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  10. ^ ""Pump up The Volume" Song Lyrics". Kovideo.net. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  11. ^ "M – Pump Up the Volume – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – M – Pump Up the Volume" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – M – Pump Up the Volume" (in French). Les classement single.
  15. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  16. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved September 7, 2008)
  17. ^ "Indice per Interprete: M". musicline.de. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – M search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  19. ^ "Pump up the volume in GfK Dutch Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "Charts.org.nz – M – Pump Up the Volume". Top 40 Singles.
  21. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  22. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – M – Pump Up the Volume". Singles Top 60.
  23. ^ "M – Pump Up the Volume – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  24. ^ "ChartArchive - The Chart Archive". Chartstats.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  25. ^ a b c Jason Ankeny. "M/A/R/R/S | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  26. ^ "Single top 100 over 1987" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  27. ^ Canada certifications cria.ca (Retrieved September 7, 2008)
  28. ^ UK certifications Bpi.co.uk (Retrieved September 7, 2008)
  29. ^ U.S. certifications riaa.com (Retrieved September 7, 2008)