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MARRS

  • This song is made up of about 250 samples. The line, "Pump Up The Volume" came from "I Know You Got Soul" by Eric B. & Rakim. Other samples include Coldcut's 1987 song "Say, Kids What Time Is This" and James Brown's "Funky Drummer." It also contains 3 seconds of Stock Aitken & Waterman's song "Roadblock," but the group didn't get official clearance and Peter Waterman placed an injunction for 5 days while the copyright issues were worked out.
  • This was the first ever #1 UK hit on an independent record label: 4AD. This also reached #1 in Holland and New Zealand.
  • The song was so popular it was re-issued over 10 times internationally. It was intentionally made slower than the current Chicago house sound in order that it would appeal to London club crowd who were currently into soul sounds.
  • MARRS was a one-off collaboration between members of A.R. Kane (Alex and Rudi Kane) and Colourbox (Martin and Steve Young), both veteran 4AD artists. They took their name from the four collaborator's initials plus that of label boss Ivo Watts-Russell, who suggested they get together.
  • DJs Chris "CJ" Mackintosh and Dave Dorrell were recruited by MARRS to take care of the sampling. CJ recalls, "It was all done very quickly. They called me in the morning, we went to Blackwing Studios at London Bridge and stuck all the samples on that day and I got a £200 fee." Dave Dorrell said, "Pump Up The Volume provided a link between the retro sound of rare groove and the sample-heavy nature of much of the new US dance music." (Both quotes from 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh)
  • This was featured in the films My Stepmother Is An Alien (1988), Bright Lights, Big City (1988) and The Replacements (2000).
  • In 1988 a parody of this by Starturn On 45 (Pints) called "Pump Up The Bitter" reached #12 in the UK.

80's Hits

Pump Up The Volume

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