Pump Up the Jam"Pump Up the Jam" is the opening track on Belgian act Technotronic's album Pump Up the Jam: The Album. Released as a single, it was a worldwide hit, reaching number two in the United Kingdom in 1989 and in the American Billboard Hot 100 in early 1990. The song was later certified triple platinum. It also peaked at number 1 in Belgium, Iceland, Portugal and Spain.
"Pump Up the Jam" has been described as a fusion of hip hop and deep house elements, as an early example of the hip house genre, and it has been named as the first house song to become a hit in the U.S.
Technotronic's vocalist Ya Kid K was initially overshadowed by Congolese model Felly Kilingi, who appears lip-syncing in the music video and was featured on the first album cover as a marketing tactic. By May 2020 the official video at YouTube had received over 170 million views. Ya Kid K was ultimately recognized upon a U.S. tour and a repackaged album cover that featured her instead of Felly. In 2005, the song was remixed by DJ-producer D.O.N.S. and reached number one on the British Dance Chart. The Guardian featured the song on their A history of modern music: Dance in 2011.
Critical receptionAllMusic editor Alex Henderson described the song as "highly infectious" in his review of the album Pump Up the Jam: The Album. Nicole Leedham from The Canberra Times said that "Pump Up the Jam" and "Get Up! (Before the Night Is Over)" were "pushing the envelope of dance music in the late '80s." Complex stated that it "was the first house track to crack into the mainstream", adding it as "the perfect track at the perfect time." In 2018, Insomniac said it's "one of the best dance songs of all time, because—while it should have disappeared in our cultural memory as a sort of punchline or joke or some one-hit wonder—it's still an infinitely playable tune that works in literally any dancefloor context. It doesn't get old, for some reason, and continues to thrive to this day. It's dancefloor perfection." Harry Sumrall from Knight Ridder said the song has "a beat the size of Boston, but Felly also sings with an unstoppable R&B swagger." Bob Stanley from Melody Maker wrote that "not only was it a compelling dance track with a chorus so contagious it could keep you awake at night, it also formed part of the best Top Three in years when it was sandwiched between Black Box and Sidney Youngblood." David Hinckley from New York Daily News described the track as "catchy". The Orlando Sentinel said that "the sound is intoxicating". People Magazine wrote that the song "is so enticing, the production so crisp and precise, that most people would have to put on a straitjacket to keep from bouncing around to the beat." Pop Rescue noted the "phat synth and hi-hats" ushering "in a thumping bass drum." Josh Baines from Vice called it "a towering masterpiece."
Track listingsMultiple versions and re-releases were produced for the "Pump Up the Jam" singles.
AccoladesIn 2004, Stylus Magazine writer Nick Southall named the song "Belgium's finest club banger".(*) indicates the list is unordered.
Certifications and sales
M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy version
In 1989, ZYX records released a cover version of "Pump Up The Jam" by M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy. The single reached number 16 in Germany and number 100 on the Dutch Single Top 100.