As anyone who saw them during any of their triumphant gigs knows, Pulp have an embarrassment of amazing, time-defying tracks. But how to choose the best of them? Well, we’ve stepped into the breach and rifled through their great catalogue of tunes to come up with this fabulous list. Enjoy.
Yes it’s angry and bitter, but it was also eloquently angry, and scabrously witty to boot – Jarvis doing his modern day, indie Oscar Wilde thing brilliantly. It was the band’s final track for Gift Records and heralded a brave new future for the band.
Brimming with pervy anticipation, Jarvis purrs like a Sheffield-born Serge Gainsbourg. His explanation of the track?
“This is about going home with someone, which seems like a good thing to do when you decide to do it. But when you get to the actual nitty-gritty, when you are actually standing in your underwear you think I can’t good through with this, but how do you get out of that situation?
8 ‘Bar Italia’
The closing track of ‘Different Class’ brilliantly captured the bleary-eyed, 3am confusion of an all nighter fading away in the glimmer of a dingy cafe (in this case Soho’s Bar Italia).
7 ‘Mis- Shapes’
By this point, Jarvis had become some sort of poet laureate for indie outsiders. Appropriately then his band of misfits had their marching anthem – “The one thing we’ve got more of – that’s our minds,”. The video for the ‘Different Class’ opener featured members of Romo (remember that?) band Orlando.
6 ‘This Is Hardcore’
After the day-glo outsiderdom of ‘Different Class’, ‘This Is Hardcore’ was cut from a very different cloth. A slab of post-celebrity pain, it was ‘hardcore’ in more ways than one and featured a teeth-bearing, insistent melody. The track featured a sample from ‘Bolero On The Moon Rocks’ by Peter Thomas.
5 ‘Sorted For E’s And Wizz’
Everyone who has ever been to a festival can totally relate to this whoozy tale of getting messed up in a muddy field. As Jarvis explained:
‘Sorted for E’s and Wizz’ is a phrase a girl that I met in Sheffield once told me. She went to see The Stone Roses at Spike Island and I said ‘What do you remember about it?’ She said ‘Well there were all these blokes walking around saying ‘Is everybody sorted for E’s and wizz?” And that’s all she remembered about it and I thought it was a good phrase.
A cul-de-sac tale of the protagonist’s relationship with two sisters. It was actually the opening salvo of a two-part saga, the second part ‘Your Sister’s Clothes’ was featured on ‘The Sisters’ EP.
3 ‘Disco 2000’
A nostalgia-flecked anthem that kicked straight into the heart of a generation who were just discovering ‘Friends Reunited’….And it’s a true story! Jarvis famously said, “The only bit that isn’t true is the woodchip wallpaper.” Weirdly, like Prince’s ‘1999’ it feels rather quaint listening to it now, but the sentiment of chances lost still stands.
2 ‘Do You Remember The First Time’
Who better to articulate the horror of a bad sexual encounter than Mr.Cocker? Topped off with a chiming chorus guitar riff, it was a giddy anthem for those who didn’t feel they had a voice.
1 ‘Common People’
The era-defining classic. Again it was another true story. Jarvis remembered:
I only knew her for a matter of weeks, and I only spoke to her a few times, but it stuck in my mind what she was saying, that she wanted to sleep with ‘common people like me’.