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Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Party Hard

In praise of Pulp

Photo via WikipediaWikipediaThis whole year has been marked with a strong resurgence in my musical Anglophilia, but for no particular reason I can articulate, the closing weeks in particular have been marked with a heavy, heavy dose of Pulp.

Britpop debates usually start with the old Blur versus Oasis arguments, but for me, Pulp rise above them both by a considerable distance. Yes, I’ve got a big ‘ol man-crush on Jarvis Cocker and don’t care who knows it. There’s not many artists out there that I’m still desperate to see live, but he’s definitely one – in fact, if the opportunity arises to see him anywhere, I’ll be checking flights (note to Jarv – please play somewhere interesting that I can plan a vacation around). Considering he shunned us on at least a couple of tours this year, waiting for him to come to Toronto would seem to be an exercise in futility.

Seeing as how I’ve been playing to death all the albums I’ve got (reaching back as far as His’N’Hers as well as the John Peel Sessions set I got in London back in May), my main musical purchases on Boxing Day were copies of the deluxe editions of This Is Hardcore and Different Class, released a couple of years ago. His’N’Hers was also fancied up at that time, but isn’t on the shopping list yet, mainly because I’ve read that the bonus material on the second disc isn’t really essential. And while you could argue that the demos and b-sides collected on the other two also aren’t absolutely crucial, but to my ears there’s enough a-side-worthy stuff amongst those odds and sods to warrant a place in my collection and, dammit, I just needed some new material, even if it’s old. The remastering (and in the case of Hardcore – which I’m more convinced is an absolute classic with every listen – slightly different mix) of the albums proper is also nice, as are the liner notes from Cocker.

And since this post has actually even more pointless than usual, I’ll toss up a massive YouTube mix of all their videos dating back to His’N’Hers, most of which I’ve surprisingly never seen. And seeing as how the Pulp: Hits video anthology isn’t available in region 1 or NTSC, this is probably as good as it’s going to get.

Video: Pulp – “Bad Cover Version”
Video: Pulp – “The Trees”
Video: Pulp – “Party Hard”
Video: Pulp – “A Little Soul”
Video: Pulp – “Like A Friend”
Video: Pulp – “This Is Hardcore”
Video: Pulp – “Help The Aged”
Video: Pulp – “Something Changed”
Video: Pulp – “Disco 2000”
Video: Pulp – “Sorted For E’s And Wizz”
Video: Pulp – “Mis-Shapes”
Video: Pulp – “Common People”
Video: Pulp – “Babies”
Video: Pulp – “Do You Remember The First Time?”
Video: Pulp – “Lipgloss”
Video: Pulp – “Razzmatazz”

Dig For Fire has video of former Pulp sideman and all-around awesome guy Richard Hawley last December.

Blurt talks to Stuart Staples about the reconstituted Tindersticks, playing the Opera House on March 10.

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with The Cure.

Incendiary has an interview with Brett Anderson.

Magnet breaks new ground in wondering who was better, The Beatles or The Stones.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Kieron Gillen, author of the excellent comic series Phonogram, the second series of which appears to be more focused on contemporary indie rather than the Britpop retro-ness of the first, Rue Britannia. It’s still shaping up to be excellent, though, and I’m not the only one to think though – the first printing sold out almost immediately.

By : Frank Yang at 10:27 am
Category: General

Tags: , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post8 Responses.
  1. Jim says:

    “Like A Friend” is the greatest single they never released. Why I got buried at the end of This Is Hardcore and on the Great Expectations soundtrack I’ll never understand.

  2. Frank Yang says:

    Agreed. I think it was only appended to the North American versions of “Hardcore”, though – the reissue places it (correctly, I guess) on the disc of bonus material and instead gives “The Day After The Revolution” a 10-minute synth coda… I wouldn’t call it an improvement, but I sorta feel like I’m hearing the album as intended, finally, after a decade.

  3. Catbird says:

    Re: Magnet’s ‘Beatles vs Stones’ debate: I cannot tell you how much I’ve always HATED that debate. It’s not that it’s like comparing apples and oranges– it’s like comparing apples and hammers. It’s like, “which is better: socks or quantum mechanics?” Philips-head screws or balloons? Puppies or dice?

  4. Mike says:

    This is Hardcore is indeed a classic… and dare I say it, their best album! The loud part in the middle of “This is Hardcore” is just perfect

  5. Martin says:

    Weirdly, I hit a strong Pulp phase in early December as well…. I discovered all these crazy B-sides from the “deluxe edition” re-released of a few of their albums. I got obsessed with certain songs like “You’re a Nightmare,” “Seconds,” “Street Operator,” “We Are the Boyz”… just — wow. Cocker can toss off a compelling, riffy tune full of flava like nobody’s business. He’s rock’s poet laureate of feeling “trapped.”

  6. Dimitri says:

    What a great way to wrap up this 2008!! Happy New Year, Frank!

  7. Freek says:

    I don’t normally react on other’s opinions, but I really feel the need now. The bonusdisc of His n hers is THE best of the three bonusdiscs, absolutely classic! no filler (ok one track only, the live version of Space) but the best b-sides they ever released plus terrific unreleased stuff. Do yourself a favour and get His n hers deluxe!

  8. Mike says:

    I don’t know where you heard that the His ‘n’ Hers reissue’s second disc is subpar, but I strongly disagree. Among other things it contains the b-sides from The Sisters EP — “Your Sister’s Clothes,” “Seconds,” and “His ‘n’ Hers” — which is one of the greatest things that band ever released.

    Also, I have an oeurve blog reviewing every Pulp song. Feel free to check it out and comment. Thanks!