Friday, December 02, 2016

Songoftheday 12/2/16 - I don't want a place to stay, get your body on the floor tonight make my day...


"Pump Up The Jam" - Technotronic featuring Felly
from the album Pump Up The Jam - The Album (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

(Ed. Note: After nearly four years and 1678 "Songs of the Day", I've finally reached the first song to peak in the 1990's. Thanks to everyone who has comes around my little corner of the interwebs, with close to 250,000 views I'm pretty chuffed.)

Today's song of the day comes from the Belgian dance act Technotronic, led by producer Jo Bogaert (aka Thomas de Quincey) from the city of Aalst in the Flemish (Dutch-oriented) part of the country. Despite being around the world from the center of "house" style of dance music popularized in Chicago and Detroit in the 80s, he managed to be one of the first big successes of the genre by basically cribbing a groove off a set from DJ/producer Farley "Jackmaster" Funk (aka Farley Williams), "Acid Life"...


With that entrancing robotic synth-bass line anchoring the track, Bogaert built a grander single with keyboards providing a melodic base and lyrics written and performed by rapper/singer Manuela Kamosi, who went by the moniker of Zaire-born Ya Kid K, who grew up in Belgium. The result, "Pump Up The Jam", was a force in club music just as vital as Soul II Soul's "Keep On Movin'" and the hits of the Latin Freestyle genre, changing the soundscape of dancefloors in mainstream America. The crazy thing was, at first no one knew truly who was performing the song, since originally the single (and album) attributed it to "Technotronic featuring Felly", Felly being another woman from Zaire, model Felly Kilingi, in a fake-out twist that was rampant in those days of Milli Vanilli and Seduction (and soon to be C&C Music Factory and Black Box). Felly appeared in the video and on the single/album covers, but rather than being exposed by a lawsuit (Seduction) or stage hijinks (Milli), the act seamlessly pushed Ya Kid K to the front where she belonged as the single took off in America to promote it. But in the meantime, this was the song that filled the floors at the end of the 80s...


"Pump Up The Jam" went all the way to the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in January of 1990. Before that, the dance remixes spent four weeks atop Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. The single also climbed to #10 on their R&B chart as well. Internationally, the single went to #1 in Spain and their native Belgium, peaked at #2 in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, and hit #4 in Canada, Australia, Sweden and New Zealand.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Once the cat was out of the bag about Felly, an alternate video was made with Ya Kid K in it...


Here's the 12" American mix from David Morales that helped top the dance charts for a month in November of 1989...


...as well as the "Hithouse" mix from Peter Slaghuis...


That same year, Eurodance act MC Sar and the Real McCoy (who would go on to have even greater success of their own) recorded a cover of the song that competed with the Technotronic version on the charts, hitting #16 in their native Germany...


In 1996, Technotronic returned to the British top-40 at #36 with the song reworked by mixers like Dancing Divas and Tin Tin Out...


Another German Eurodance outfit, D.O.N.S. released a version of the song in 2005 that topped the British dance chart...


And finally, here's Technotronic appearing on the Arsenio Hall show, with Ya Kid K taking center stage quite ably (and Felly as one of the back-up dancers)...



Up tomorrow: Caribbean pop king has a Netflix subsciption.


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