Pump It Up

Album: This Year's Model (1978)
Charted: 24
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Songfacts®:

  • Elvis Costello wrote this on the fire escape at a Newcastle hotel during Stiff Records' 1977 tour. At the time he was upset that his road-mates were taking the sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll philosophy rather too literally.
  • The guitar riff was sampled in Rogue Traders' 2005 UK #3 single "Voodoo Child."
  • Madonna learned to play the drums by playing along to this song.
  • In 2021, the pop star Olivia Rodrigo released a song called "Brutal" with a very similar guitar riff. When social media users brought this up, Costello chimed in with his thoughts, posting, ""This is fine by me. It's how rock & roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That's what I did."

    Costello, showing impressive mastery of hashtags for a man in his 60s, added #SubterraneanHomesickblues and #TooMuchMonkeyBusiness, references to two songs that influenced him: Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business."

Comments: 3

  • Hedrek from Los Angeles, CaFerocious, powerful, ridiculous. It should have been called "Embolisms and Infarctions for Lovers"
  • Steve from Chino Hills, CaThis was back in the day of ultra low budget videos. Hence the white cove background. His spastic movements and funky glasses makes what should be an ordinary video into an iconic video.
  • Nikolai from Los Angeles, CaReally good song.
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