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M/A/R/R/S

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London, England (1987 – 1987)

MARRS (or M/A/R/R/S or M|A|R|R|S) was a one-off recording act from 1987, which was a collaboration between the alternative/dream pop band A.R. Kane and the electro/reggae group Colourbox, with additional input from DJs CJ Mackintosh and Dave Dorrell. Both artists recorded on the legendary London, England alternative label 4AD. M/A/R/R/S’ sole release was the single Pump Up the Volume, which was a number-one hit in the United Kingdom and a significant milestone in the development of British house music and sampling culture. “Pump up the Volume” is considered to have been the first U.K. number one to contain samples from other songs. “Pump Up the Volume” is widely credited with giving Israeli Eurovision Song Contestant Ofra Haza a worldwide audience for her interpretive modern renditions of traditional Yemenite spirituals and folk songs. Also of note is that M/A/R/R/S were successfully sued in Great Britain by Stock Aitken Waterman for the use of a 7 second vocal element taken from the latter’s “Roadblock” and used in “Pump of the Volume‘”s early pressings. By the time the single saw US release in late 1987, the offending warble (and a few other sounds of dubious provenance) had been edited out or replaced with other elements. The original British version is widely considered the best by fans and collectors alike.

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