Friday, March 10, 2023

"Pump Up the Jam" by Technotronic

Top 10 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  4071
Date:  10/14/1989
Debut:  86
Peak:  2
Weeks:  24
Genre:  House, Dance, Hip Hop

Pop Bits:  This Belgian electronic music outfit seemed to continuously evolved during their existence, but at the heart was always musician Jo Bogaert. Bogaert played with several bands in Belgium and worked on various projects, but nothing would hit far beyond the borders of his home country. Bogaert had his sights set on conquering the US and with a couple of his dance tracks getting some attention there, he figured that was the way to go. Bogaert would use an instrumental single he released under the name The Pro 24's titled "Technotronic" as the basis for a new track. He would bring on board to the project hip hop artist Manuela Kamosi, aka Ya Kid K, and she would provide lyrics and vocals on the new tune. From there, the new project would be called Technotronic and the track titled "Pump Up the Jam." For the project Bogaert would go by the alias Thomas De Quincey. The tune would be picked up for international release, but there was a slight issue. Ya Kid K was busy with her own projects and didn't want to do promo for the song or appear in the video. Therefore, in a Black Box/Milli Vanilli sort of way, Congolese model Felly Kilingi, was hired to be the face of the project. She would lip sync in the video and her image would appear on the record sleeve. Upon release, the single would take off hitting #1 in many countries. In the US, the track would easily top the Dance chart. It would then catch on at other formats finally getting to #10 R&B and #2 Pop. The single would sell well and go platinum. As the song shaped up to be a major hit, Bogaert was then given the green light to assemble a debut LP. Pump Up the Jam: The Album would soon follow. It would reach #10 and go platinum.

ReduxReview:  This track is often considered the first in the house music genre to become a Top 10 hit. It was certainly infectious and fun. There wasn't really anything like it on the radio at the time so it stood out. House music in its various forms had been around for a long time, but the mainstream didn't really catch on until this single came along. It was the right song at the right time. Usually projects like this end up being one-hit wonders, but the group was able to grab two more Pop Top 10s. I liked this song and bought the single, however, I didn't become a big fan of house music. It often became repetitive and similar sounding and I lost interest. However, this remains a fun track that helped house music reach a new level. This post comes not too long after I watched the British mockumentary series Cunk on Earth, which featured Diane Morgan playing investigative reporter Philomena Cunk. A running gag in the hilarious show was including this song and a part of its video in each episode. I'll now forever associate this song with Cunk.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  When the album was released, it was followed by a second single, "Get Up! (Before the Night Is Over)." It would end up being a gold selling #7 Pop/#2 Dance/#27 R&B hit. By the time that song was ready for release, the ploy about using Felly as the project's face was uncovered and so going forward, Ya Kid K would then rightfully be put in the spotlight. Two further singles would be released from the album that performed less well. Bogaert would then need to record a follow up album. For that effort, the personnel had significantly changed with Ya Kid K taking off for a solo career. Bogaert then began to collaborate with Réjane "Reggie" Magloire and they would come up with the majority of tracks on '91's Body to Body. Singles from the album failed to chart and the album disappeared quickly. However, Technotronic would earn one last hit. In '92, a track from the group's debut album, "Move This," would get picked up and used in a Revlon commercial. Its use sparked enough interest in the song that it was issued out as a single in a new mix. It would end up getting to #6 Pop. The renewed success led to Technotronic recording a third album, '95's Recall. Ya Kid K would return for the effort. The LP would not chart, however it did contain the #3 Dance hit "Move to the Rhythm" (#83 Pop). After that, only a few singles would be issued out over the years under the Technotronic moniker.



  1. Now we getting a lot of songs that peaked in 1990 and would be considered by many to be "90s songs." Before you go back to 1970, I think I'd like you to do those songs on the 1/5/80 chart that you did not do, several of which (think "Crazy Little Thing Called Love") are generally considered "80s songs" and are in the regular rotation on SXM 80s on 8.

    1. There are certainly fringe songs at each end of the decade that are fuzzy. "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" was #1 in both decades, so is it a 70s song or an 80s song? Same could be said for the Technotronic hit. Although it was in the Top 10 in the 80s, it peaked in the 90s. That's why I decided not to cover the fuzzy stuff and have the blog simply consist of the songs that debuted on the Hot 100 in the 80s. That makes it very cut 'n' dry with no guessing on what decade a song may have felt like to me or others. I'll be sticking to that for the 80s and if I do branch out to the 70s I will do the same. Perhaps in a decade wrap up I could address this in some way, but I'll see how it goes. That wrap up is sadly not too far away!