On this day in music history: September 7, 1987 - “Pump Up The Volume” by M/A/R/R/S is released (UK release date is on August 3, 1987). Written by Martyn Young and Steve Young, it is the lone single release by the house music group from London, UK. Signed to UK indie label 4AD Records, M/A/R/R/S is a collaboration between A.R. Kane and Colourbox. Consisting of Anglo-African musicians Alex Ayuli, Rudi Tambala and Englishman Russell Smith, A.R. Kane establish themselves with an outside the box mix of psychedelic pop, jazz, dub and house music. Colourbox consists of brothers Martyn and Steve Young, combining electronica, dub reggae and R&B in their sound. In 1987, the two factions collaborate at the suggestion of 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell. Calling themselves M/A/R/R/S, the name is an acronym of their first names Martyn, Alex, Rudi, Russell and Steve. With house music emerging from the underground, the ad-hoc group combine those rhythms with Hip Hop. The track they come up with for the A-side titled “Pump Up The Volume”, takes its title from a sampled lyric from Eric B. & Rakim’s “I Know You Got Soul”. Also part of the mix are DJ’s C.J. Mackintosh and Dave Dorrell along with John Fryer who add a plethora of samples, drawing upon a who’s who of Hip Hop staples including The Jimmy Castor Bunch’s “It’s Just Begun”, Trouble Funk’s "Pump Me Up”, Afrika Bambataa & James Brown’s “Unity”, Public Enemy’s “You’re Gonna Get Yours”, The Criminal Element Orchestra’s “Put The Needle On The Record”, Fab 5 Freddy and Be-Side’s “Change The Beat”, and The Bar-Kays’ “Holy Ghost” among them. “Pump” is an instant smash, spending two weeks at the top of the UK singles chart. They run into trouble when Stock, Aitken & Waterman threaten to sue over an uncleared sample of their single “Roadblock” on the song. When the track is licensed to 4th & Broadway Records, it is remixed and edited, containing different samples to avoid similar legal problems. Spinning off of club dance floors and spending two weeks at number one on the Club Play chart in December of 1987, “Pump” spreads to radio and makes history as the first sample based record to hit the US top 40. It peaks at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 20, 1988, and #8 on the R&B singles chart. The single also receives a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental in 1989. In the UK, it also opens the door to a number of other sample driven hits that become huge hits including “Theme From S-Express” by S-Express and “Beat Dis” by Bomb The Bass. In spite of its success, M/A/R/R/S proves to be only a one off project. Colourbox attempt to continue under the M/A/R/R/S moniker, but the idea is aborted after A.R. Kane demand £100,000 for their rights to the name. “Pump Up The Volume” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
We would like to see pictures of your Dragonforce merchandise! Show off your shirts, flags, underwear… Just submit it and we’ll post it!
Also, who’s in for FYDF shirts? Fanclub things? Maybe with ‘soldiers of the wastelands’ or 'disciples of babylon’ as a sort of nickname for the club? I think there is the American fanclub named Soldiers of the Wastelands but I’m not sure… Any ideas? Shoot em at me! I’m picking up silkscreening again so I might be able to do something useful with it :D