And so I, I walked my way around town
I tried to love the world
Oh but the world just got me down
Well not completely lost, but I think if you read Guardian’s Top Ten Pulp tracks you might think that certain parts of Pulp’s history never happened. The shiny 70’s nylon Pulp took a while to develop – not helped by the strange 3 year gap while Fire held onto the house-influenced Separations and Jarvis gave up and went to art school to meet that girl at St Martin’s College…the rest was history, but it didn’t happen overnight.
Above is Countdown, a funky track, released as the last Fire single in 1991, along with a version of Death Goes To The Disco, but earlier you have his paean to his mother, Little Girl from 1985, which although vocally isn’t the Pulp people know and love, it’s still a great song, as is Wishful Thinking and Blue Girls off ‘It’, their first album with backing vocals by Saskia Cocker, his sister.
One of the interesting things about Pulp is that from 1989-1995 they had so many good songs, that tracks that should have made an album, and probably were better than the tracks that did got pushed onto B-sides. Ansaphone is one of those, only making the flip of Disco 2000, but being lightyears better than F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E. or Something Changed, which like Someone Like The Moon chosen in the article I find a little cloying.
And You’re A Nightmare, another track that should’ve been on an album, which became an anthem for me in the 90’s.
And finally another one from Separations – Death II. A different song from Death Goes To The Disco, but shows you electronic house/disco Pulp, and how they could’ve gone if Fire had got it’s act together, and you can see proto-Jarv in this 1991 performance:
Also – why have everyone forgotten the genius that is ‘Mile End’?
If you want my list, it roughly goes like this, but not included are Legendary Girlfriend (which on second listen gets pipped by Countdown), Ansaphone which was the best track not on Different Class, and Common People which I’ve just heard too many times but deserves to be on any Pulp list. Oh and Happy Endings – great track, like a darker bitter sister of Street Lites, and darker than anything on This Is Hardcore. It should be a secret #11 but too dark to put on the list. Yes, darker than ‘I Want You’ which is another that could be on here. :-/
- Street Lites
- Little Girl (With Blue Eyes) – about Jarvis’s mother
- Dishes (Peel version I think, both good though, and underrated)
- Sunrise (This deserved a decent Chemical Bros style proper remix!)