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Post Info TOPIC: This is 20 Years
Ian


Rattlesnake

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20 years ago today, "This is Hardcore" (the album) was released.

Looking back, I can remember finishing school on that Monday and going straight to Woolworths to buy it. I had already heard the first 5 songs plus "I'm a Man" on the radio (or because they were singles) and I remember being quite disappointed by the first unheard song I played ("TV Movie") then I remember telling my friends at school that "Glory Days" would be a number 1 single in a couple of months. I also played "Seductive Barry" repeatedly because it was like discovering something new every time and comparing "Sylvia" with the Manics' "No Surface All Feeling" because a reviewer said that they were similar.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts and memories.†



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Mis-Shape

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I dont have any memories cos I havent been born in that time lol
Hope to hear you guys as well

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The Boss

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It was an exciting time for me. I was 17 and it was my first proper Pulp release, as i got into them a bit late.

The built up was pretty long : Help the Aged as a single in october 1997, backed with the rejected bond theme. That was a long wait until the album. When TIH single was released, what a slap in the face: immense video (i played it every day for months, it was like a mini-movie), immense song, great bsides. in those days, singles + bsides were almost longer than LP released today.biggrin

Then the record was available to listen to in Virgin Megastore few days prior to release : i stayed and listened to the whole thing standing in the middle of store. Unbelievable, so many layers, new sound... etc

I bought it on the release day, at noon inbetween classes. stuck it on the discman and listened to the thing on the bus. What a ride.

Also one of the first vinyl i ever bought because there were all the bsides. TIH could easily have been a double album had they finished the demos...

TIH is still my favorite Pulp album to this day. It's sad that it's really underrated but it seems like time is giving it back the credit it is due. Here is an essay where the author basically says TIH predicted the selfie world we live in today:†

https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/j5agj8/pulp-this-is-hardcore-most-important-album



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The Only Way is Down

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I'd drifted away from Pulp a little by the time TIH came around. The first flush of my interest during the Gift/HnH years had been tarnished somewhat by Russel leaving the band and I had the feeling that I could never love them as much without him. I remember being quite unimpressed with the little I saw of their Glastonbury appearance at the time and a friend of mine gloating about their, as it seemed, more muscular, guitar sound. My life in 96, 97 was extremely chaotic for various reasons and my brain just kinda stops working if I try and remember those times so there's that. However, at some point in 98 I heard the album properly and while I think it's quite boring in places, mostly side 2, I listen to it much more than DC. I find I listen to disc 2 of the deluxe edition quite a bit. Love those b sides from this period especially The Professional. Never saw Pulp play live during the TIH period and it doesn't bother me.

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Hardcore

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I've always struggled with this lp.
For similar reasons as Saw highlights.
I still can't get on with it, maybe, one day, it will suddenly hit me and I'll love it?
Until then......

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Professional

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TIH.... I remember getting home from school and my sister had bought it me as a gift. Ill never forget my first playing of it - and thinking, "jesus thats different to what I know". It was very much a grower. Help The Aged for me as a very mellow single - and I actually prefered the b sides to the main song. No russell on the album definately gave them a new sense of direction, and it eventually got up there for me. Certain songs I still skip to this date - and ill probably get slated for the however Seductive Barry, Party Hard and Im a Man - frankly if they didnt exist - then I wouldnt give a crap. Sylvia, Day of the Revolution, Hardcore, and The Fear are the stand out songs for me.

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Listening to the album just there makes me realise I still don't know what "tapers are over" means. What are tapers? The wax things used for lighting candles? Grateful Dead bootleggers? Either way, what is the relevance of this line? Been wondering for 20 years.

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Deep Fried

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TiH was still enjoyable, to me. Although it had a few "tired, dull, slow, boring" tracks, it also had a "good half", and that was ok.
The next album... I still havent bothered to buy.
It was an album full of all the dull bits of TiH, made more dull.

TiH was the end of "my" Pulp.

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Mis-Shape

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Jayenkai wrote:

TiH was still enjoyable, to me. Although it had a few "tired, dull, slow, boring" tracks, it also had a "good half", and that was ok.
The next album... I still havent bothered to buy.
It was an album full of all the dull bits of TiH, made more dull.

TiH was the end of "my" Pulp.


†Totally same here



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Ive never had much affection for the title track. It was a big achievement and its perfectly arranged and composed, it just doesnt move me at all.

I didnt get this album until 2005. During Pulps initial lifetime, I only had Different Class and a few of the TIH singles (remember in the 90s, especially if you were a young teenager, you couldnt buy or download everything). I liked Help The Aged a lot and I wore out my CD single in 1997. A Little Soul I still think is the weakest Pulp single of all time. Party Hard is a banger and should be an indie dancefloor classic alongside the DC and HNH singles. TV Movie is one I really like too but it was definitely a grower. I remember my friend saying it was one of his favourite Pulp songs and I didnt get it, so I literally listened to it on repeat until I loved it. Sylvia is lovely too.

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Rattlesnake

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In my opinion, Pulp are one of the few bands that work better live, than on record. Compare listening to TIH to watching This Park Is Mine, or Glastonbury 98 or even Jools Holland, It's so much more of an experience.

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Hardcore

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And it's the only tour that i didn't see any of the shows.
This is largely because Sheffield wasn't included amongst the dates.
I've heard plenty of live recordings from this time and i certainly don't think i missed anything.

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The Boss

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Didn't think that record got so much hate from Pulp fans. We Love Life is flawed and could have been way better with the rejected tracks, but TIH is a masterpiece of Pop music, with elements of 70s rock n roll.

I guess the move to a guitar based band didn't really convince "older" fans. The sound is radically different from their previous efforts, maybe that's the reason ?

I suppose most of you who dont like TIH are not convinced by both Jarvis solo records either ?

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Deep Fried

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"A guitar based band" wasnt the issue for me.
The very first track on the first album is "A guitar based band", and I can happily hum along to that on any given day.

It's not a guitar's fault.
Dont blame the guitar.



-- Edited by Jayenkai on Tuesday 3rd of April 2018 12:50:27 PM

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The Boss

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I dont blame the guitar, i'm a guitarist, love the guitar, love TIH.

It's just way more guitar based than Pulp's previous records, where the main instrument was most of the time, a keyboard.

Might seem silly, but it can change a lot of things in the sound.

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Hardcore

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TIH was the first thing I ever purchased off the internet. (Cdnow.com which would later become part of Amazon) The record stores in my podunk town didn't carry albums by obscure british indie bands.

The CD arrived a week before its official release date. My first reaction was that it was "different, maybe great but I need some time with it".

More than any of Pulp's other albums TIH has grown with me. I discover new things in it all the time. Songs i didn't like now make more sense to me. Its still not my favourite.



-- Edited by Fuss Free on Tuesday 3rd of April 2018 03:05:50 PM

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andy wrote:

Didn't think that record got so much hate from Pulp fans. We Love Life is flawed and could have been way better with the rejected tracks, but TIH is a masterpiece of Pop music, with elements of 70s rock n roll.

I guess the move to a guitar based band didn't really convince "older" fans. The sound is radically different from their previous efforts, maybe that's the reason ?

I suppose most of you who dont like TIH are not convinced by both Jarvis solo records either ?


†Hmm, it's a little bit more complicated than that I'd say, certainly for me it was. I have no objection to guitars or loud guitar music, however, my love for Pulp was born in that earlier less guitar driven sound and let's not forget the violin. You suggest that the defining characteristic of the pre TIH sound is keyboard but I would argue it was Russel's violin that set them apart. Once that was taken away, and Russel's mentality as well, they definitely lost something. I was a devout fan of Russel having spoken to him on a few occasions, Jarvis was fantastic but Russel was where it was at for me. If your favourite member of a band left and it led to a fairly radical retooling of the sound I'm sure you'd reevaluate too. I actually liked TIH from the first time I heard it, I just wasn't in the 'right' place to hear it first time out. The song This is Hardcore is a true modern masterpiece.

Interestingly, I find I listen to WLL much more than I ever listen to TIH.



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The Boss

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saw119 wrote:
andy wrote:

Didn't think that record got so much hate from Pulp fans. We Love Life is flawed and could have been way better with the rejected tracks, but TIH is a masterpiece of Pop music, with elements of 70s rock n roll.

I guess the move to a guitar based band didn't really convince "older" fans. The sound is radically different from their previous efforts, maybe that's the reason ?

I suppose most of you who dont like TIH are not convinced by both Jarvis solo records either ?


†Hmm, it's a little bit more complicated than that I'd say, certainly for me it was. I have no objection to guitars or loud guitar music, however, my love for Pulp was born in that earlier less guitar driven sound and let's not forget the violin. You suggest that the defining characteristic of the pre TIH sound is keyboard but I would argue it was Russel's violin that set them apart. Once that was taken away, and Russel's mentality as well, they definitely lost something. I was a devout fan of Russel having spoken to him on a few occasions, Jarvis was fantastic but Russel was where it was at for me. If your favourite member of a band left and it led to a fairly radical retooling of the sound I'm sure you'd reevaluate too. I actually liked TIH from the first time I heard it, I just wasn't in the 'right' place to hear it first time out. The song This is Hardcore is a true modern masterpiece.

Interestingly, I find I listen to WLL much more than I ever listen to TIH.


Interesting. Well WLL is kinda Pulp going back to its previous sound but with acoustic elements added, so it makes sense that you prefer it over TIH. To me though, the song selection was bad. Leaving out the demos we have heard was a big mistake, although the record as a whole is good. But not great.

As for debate about the fav member leaving, i understand. I was always more of a Jarvis fan than Russell, which i thought was a bit too rigorous on how Pulp should sound. Seems like it was the reason for his departure too. I'm glad they kept on doing records without him. It allowed Steve and Mark to reinvent the sound of the band. TIH has some great melodies, a huge production and some amazing bsides.†

What I like about Pulp is that they managed to reinvent themselves with every record. It was like a new band each time. Sometimes you dig it sometimes you dont. Same goes for all Jarvis post Pulp releases. Going from My Lighthouse to Legendary Girlfriend to Common People to Caucasian Blues and Carla, it's quite a journey.†



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Different Class

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It was highly anticipated and the double LP in the high gloss sleeve and the extra tracks was a thing of beauty. I agreed with Russell when he said Feeling Called Love was the direction Pulp should have followed after Different Class. With Seductive Barry, the title track, the End of the Line Mix and The Professional, (The Fear was ok too) they nearly did but the album is just so weighed down with bloated MOR guitar (that we were hearing plenty of elsewhere at the time) the mawkish A Little Soul and Jarvis' lyrics and voice just seemed to be getting weaker and weaker. Releasing Party Hard as single so late in the day (with that senseless, terrible cover artwork) was such a bad mistake. Pulp seemed to be following trends instead of being in sync or ahead of them. It also seemed (as Mark testified) to have become a case of Jarvis over ruling the opinions of everyone else- though Mark managed to get some E-bow and drones on some tracks and Steve got his Portishead influence in, here and there. A lot of people seem to think it's their best though.

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When TIH came out I was at the lowest point of my life. My few friends had gone off to uni, and I'd screwed my life up. In my first dismal job, renting a squalid room, living off a miserable £40 a week - no minimum wage in those days. Eating 10p loaves of bread and tins of beans from Safeway.

I bought TIH the day it came out, and listened to it at lunch on my discman. Went back very late to work because of it (contributed to getting fired a few weeks later, which was actually good news). The darker mood of TIH should have suited me. I was mostly listening to Joy Division, my life summed up by the lyric "when routine bites hard, and ambitions are low / resentment rides high, and emotions won't grow". But I've never loved the album like I have the rest of Pulp's albums.

The title track remains one of my favourite Pulp songs - it is a brooding evil masterpiece. When I first heard it, it was sinister and unsettling, but familiarity lessened the starkness and I grew to love the way it grows into a lush and expansive epic. So I was excited for the album, and it was thrilling to have new Pulp, but in retrospect it was underwhelming. I like the first half, but the 2nd half is drab and bloated (as Sleeve said). Pulp still had great songs: as others said, there were some amazing b-sides on the singles. I hated Glory Days and adored Cocaine Socialism. The Professional has a great lyric, instantly memorable thanks to the simple rhyme.† Little Soul is a nice song, but not a single.

Perhaps part of my negative response to TIH is that it was obvious Pulp were going through a difficult time. The whole Pulp story, of mis-shapes struggling for years on the margins - and then exploding into the glorious pop of their imperial phase - was inspiring and joyful. The album, and interviews at the time, hinted that things were going wrong somehow.

To clarify: This Is Hardcore, when compared to NOT-Pulp albums, is a great album. It's just not my favourite Pulp. And after that miserable intro, I should add a happy ending... by the time We Love Life came out, I loved life too, and with a few glitches have done ever since.



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http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/hardcore-defined-post-britpop-age-2291706

(via Nick Banks twitter)



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Different Class

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Good to hear. Also, is the NME still going? They had to give it away last time I heard.



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The Only Way is Down

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It's still going online.

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tumblr_inline_p7pxnp2i9u1rr7lxv_500.jpg

I've been meaning to write this for ages so here goes - and some of its quite embarrassing now that I write it down and remember it now as a 34 year old 'proper' human.

No other band/album truly defined my teenage years as much as Pulp/This is Hardcore. So I live in Australia and growing up, I lived in a place called Port Macquarie - which is about 4.5 hours north of Sydney. Its coastal, its beachy and its very much a laid back 'straya type of place. People get married, go to work and probably do not daydream about bands from the other side of the Earth.

It was 1998 and I was getting into 'alternative music' which consisted of whatever bands were on Recovery or played on Triple J/RAGE. Theres also the 'first time' and the 'correct time' for me and Pulp. I say this because I have memories of sitting on the corner of my parents coffee table watching the video for Disco 2000 right to the end. I wasn't into music at all when I was 11 or 12 but I always thought this video was great. When I saw the video clip for Party Hard I fell in love for the first time OR at least knew what it felt like to be a lady ;)

I didn't purchase the album until January 1999 when we visited Sydney. We had a Sanity CD shop in Port but I must not have had $30 spare to buy an album - but I did have a store credit to spend at Grace Bros after a Christmas present didn't quite work properly - so exchanged it for TIH... My Mum was like 'Are you sure you want this?'. A half-naked lady on the front probably wasn't the best look.

I would study the liner notes (whilst not listening to the recordings - as instructed) and draw Jarvis in my art sketch book. I would buy copies of Rolling Stone and Q to just get the tiniest of Pulp pics or news. I would wag PE to go to the library and get on the internet (this is 1998) and look at the Pulp site. They did tour here in Sept/Oct 98 but my love came a little too late - †maybe 1-2 months after they left the country. I found The Park is Mine video in Target and I thrashed that VHS. I'm surprised its even still playable. I used to play it before I went to school (my parents would leave early for work), I would play it on the weekends if parents went out and I would pretend to play the drums on the arm of our sofa. My parents would be like - 'the arm of the sofa is really starting to wear...'

And you have to remember that news and pics and interviews - they just didn't really exist in 1998/99. Like they did, but not like it is today. I would imagine what a Pulp gig might be like - hell I even used to day-dream that I was in Pulp. Mark never really existed and it was actually me who ran the fanclub and then became a fully-fledged member. I had this whole world made up in my head. I was a bored 15 year old...

Even though I have just waffled on - its quite hard to get down what TIH means to me. I hadn't listened to a lot of music so didn't know if it was crap or cringey - I just knew I loved this band and I had this thing that I could tap into and off I'd go and daydream that I lived in Sheffield and Jarvis and Candida were my cool older friends etc etc. Like do kids/teenagers even daydream these days?†

I still take it with me when we go on roadtrips - I still get lost in The Fear or that guitar part in Dishes. I cant tell you how many times I went to sleep between the ages of 14-17 with TIH playing through the shittiest of discmans (the things didnt even have skip-protection).

Would I put it in my top 10 of albums - or is it my fav Pulp album? Sometimes it is.†To me its like an anomaly in the Pulp discography - cause its like a weird-ass band playing at being a stadium band. Their oddness was relegated to B-sides. I so often think of alternative tracklistings for TIH and think The Professional and Ladies Man could have easily made it on instead of those turgid Side B songs. I didn't think they were crap at the time but in hindsight I think they're a bit ewwwww.

And this is all just nostalgic waffle - but I'm not nostalgic for being a teenager. I'm probably more nostalgic for that intenseness that comes with being that age and being so 'into' something. I still listen to TIH but I probably am a bit of skipper these days. ie. Play first 5 tracks then skip to Seductive Barry (I love the 98 Glasto version - its ummm 'thicker' sounding) and Sylvia , then end with The Day After The Revolution because... well just because. I'm sure its a song that has been relegated to shit Pulp songs but I like the chorus so whatevs.

PS. Oh and the logo - f**k me - was there ever a better logo created for a band?

PSS. Why do I have 6 versions of this album? Lols!



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Hardcore

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I dont usually post, I just hang around in the background but in this case I thought Id make an exception..


This is how it went for me, as I remember it...

I was in year 10 at school and our school day started at 8:30 and the weekend prior to its release I went into town and looked for a the record shop that opened first- in my case it was Andys records in Preston, it opened at 8:30, so when the day came I rushed into town and waited for the shop to open. Once I bought it I ran to get the number 19 to school. On the way there I was reading the sleeve notes and looking at the pictures and I remember thinking that the quality was really good, it had more off a sheen than the other album artwork. I had to wait until dinner time as I didnt have a personal CD player and I listened to as much as the album as possible on a PC using the CD ROM drive and my earphones from my tape cassette personal stereo. I loved it instantly and I didnt stop listening to it for months, I was obessessed. I used to watch the box, MTV, later with Jools Holland and TFI Friday obsessively to see if they would show anything to do with Pulp and or Jarvis- it was such a great time and I have fond memories. I remember taping Help the aged from the radio as well as some kind of documentary, I think it was called from disco to hardcore. Randomly I remember the Jo Whiley show being on TV and Jarvis saying to Kieth Flint from the prodigy something along the lines of not wanting to have his penis pierced as he would worry that he would split the stream when he went for a slash. It was just a great time for music as well as the Manics and Radiohead were doing sone great stuff

As far as the tracks go as it stands now, including the deluxe version, these are my thoughts:

Love every song on the album apart from seductive Barry- its better live

Glory days should have been replaced with cocaine socialism

Its a dirty world, Street operator and my erection should have been on the album.

Possible singles- cocaine socialism, Im a man and dishes.

And This is Hardcore the track is a modern classic and a true work of art.

Time to have a listen I think, its a lot better than watching the tele ;)

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