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Elvis Costello – Pump it up – 1978

About The Song

“Pump It Up” is a song by Elvis Costello and the Attractions, released in 1978 as a track from the album “This Year’s Model.” The song is known for its energetic and catchy blend of new wave and punk rock influences, featuring Costello’s distinctive vocal style and the tight instrumentation of the Attractions.

Five facts about “Pump It Up”:

  1. Release and Album: “Pump It Up” was released as a single in 1978 and also appeared on the album “This Year’s Model,” which is considered one of Elvis Costello’s seminal works.
  2. Chart Performance: While “Pump It Up” did not achieve significant chart success, it has become one of Costello’s most well-known songs and is often cited as a standout track in his extensive discography.
  3. Lyrical Content: The lyrics of “Pump It Up” are known for their suggestive and provocative nature, addressing themes of desire and frustration. Costello’s clever wordplay is a hallmark of his songwriting.
  4. Musical Style: The song showcases Costello’s ability to blend various musical styles, including punk, new wave, and rock. The driving rhythm, punchy guitar riffs, and Costello’s dynamic vocals contribute to the song’s infectious energy.
  5. Cultural Impact: “Pump It Up” has been featured in various films, TV shows, and commercials over the years, contributing to its enduring popularity and cultural impact. It remains a staple in Elvis Costello’s live performances and is celebrated for its influence on the punk and new wave genres.



I’ve been on tenterhooks
ending in dirty looks,
list’ning to the Muzak,
thinking ’bout this ‘n’ that.
She said that’s that.
I don’t wanna chitter-chat.
Turn it down a little bit
or turn it down flat.
Pump it up when you don’t really need it.
Pump it up until you can feel it.

Down in the pleasure centre,
hell bent or heaven sent,
listen to the propaganda,
listen to the latest slander.
There’s nothing underhand
that she wouldn’t understand.

Pump it up until you can feel it.
Pump it up when you don’t really need it.

She’s been a bad girl.
She’s like a chemical.
Though you try to stop it,
she’s like a narcotic.
You wanna torture her.
You wanna talk to her.
All the things you bought for her,
putting up your temp’rature.

Pump it up until you can feel it.
Pump it up when you don’t really need it.

Out in the fashion show,
down in the bargain bin,
you put your passion out
under the pressure pin.
Fall into submission,
hit-and-run transmission.
No use wishing now for any other sin.

Pump it up until you can feel it.
Pump it up when you don’t really need it.