‘Pump Up The Volume’ songwriter and sample pioneer Steve Young has died

Steve Young, a founding member of 4AD band Colourbox and co-writer of M/A/R/R/S’s 1987 crossover hit ‘Pump Up The Volume’, has died.

Young and his brother Martyn formed Colourbox with vocalist Lorita Grahame in London in 1982 and released debut singles, ‘Say You’ and ‘Punch’ in 1984, with their one self-titled album coming out a year later. Young also played piano on This Mortal Coil’s version of Big Star’s ‘Holocaust’.

A few years later, members of Colourbox joined forces with dream-pop trailblazers A.R. Kane to form M/A/R/R/S.

“One of the label’s true pioneers, Steven leaves behind an incredible legacy and will forever be in our hearts,” reads a statement from 4AD released last night (July 13). “Our thoughts go to his brother Martyn, their family and his friends.” The label did not detail cause of death or age.

In 1987, M/A/R/R/S released their ‘Pump Up The Volume’ single on 4AD. The sample-based track became a surprise hit around the world and is regarded as a landmark production in British house music, featuring samples from Eric B and Rakim’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’ and Stock Aitken Waterman’s ‘Roadblock’. Remind yourself of the song’s brilliance below.

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