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Post Info TOPIC: What songs have Pulp performed better live than their studio versions?


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What songs have Pulp performed better live than their studio versions?
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Asking out of curiosity, as I've gone through a lot of the Freaks era concerts and found a few that I listen to religiously on bootlegs, but skip the studio versions/demos.

 

I'll start:

 

"Anorexic Beauty" always felt like a punk-ier song to me, and considering the origin of the lyrics, I can't help but feel disappointed that Freaks and the Sudan Gerri demos turned down the noise. I liked the Ping Pong Jerry version, but the rowdy version at the Hallamshire is my favorite.

 

"Master of the Universe" is similar, but I feel that's because the mixing of Freaks wasn't great on the more active, not somber songs. Jarvis' vocal also feels way more natural and less forced on concerts like the Leadmill and the Library Theatre.

 

"She's A Lady", for obvious reasons, Russell's violin is very prominent on the song and adds to the flavor of the synthesizers. I also like Jarvis' improv on the early versions.

 

"Pink Glove" got SUCH a downgrade on HnH in my opinion. It started as almost an epic leading into a tense but fun pop song about fetishes but evolved into just the latter, but the album version of the song strips it back even further, removing the natural fullness of the track in exchange for some space-y reverb (which I'll admit sounds nice, but NOT worth the trade).

 

What do you think Pulp did better live?



-- Edited by nrb602 on Saturday 3rd of July 2021 12:06:17 AM

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Deep Fried

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Death ll..

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Master Of The Universe

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Pink Glove definitely just for Russell's Wah if nothing else

I think I prefer the stripped back version of Bar Italia from circa 1996

Live Bed Show with the long outro

Babies (probably Glasto '95 version where Russell's guitar sounds BIG)

Seductive Barry where the decks are LOUD

I also enjoy a high energy version of Countdown, any time Lipgloss sounds rocking & at a push the Berlin '96 version of Mile End.



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definitely Countdown. Jarvis sang it differently and improvised with vocal. Also acrylic afternoons was good in this regard

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p.s. mile end was worst live song in my opinion. Probably because of that spanky bass line which is not as smooth as the studio version

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200% and Bloody Thirsty

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Ah, I love Russell's violin sawing on Mile End live!

I might go as far to say virtually everything worked better (or at least as well) live than on record. Were there many/any songs that they really couldn't pull off live? I'd have to have a think.

I think by the later (2000-2002) concerts I tended to roll my eyes a bit when they struck up Sorted, Babies or Something Changed yet again, but that was really just overfamiliarity rather than them not being well performed or whatever.

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The Only Way is Down

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Live On is probably one of the most obvious ones (as we discussed in a recent thread ) where it was king, live, but never slayed in the studio.

Pink Glove and She's A Lady could both have fared much better on record as their radio session versions prove but their full power was neutered by Ed on His'n'Hers. Do You Remember is also a bit too sterile on record for my tastes. The live arrangement where Jarvis changes his vocal phrasing on the outro chorus, singing it in a minor key, works much better than the repeat to fade sameness on the album. To Buller's credit, I've never heard a live version of Joyriders, Lipgloss or HisnHers better than the recorded ones.

I think the production and arrangement on This Is Hardcore (the song) is hard to beat and live, it's Jarvis' theatrics and gyrating that makes the performance moreso than the music.

I think on the last two albums, the more chuggy/guitar songs did not lend themselves well, either on record or beefed-up live with the exception of Party Hard and Sunrise, perhaps. Pulp were rarely convincing as a rock band. I Love Life/Minnie/I'm A Man were all a bit high on dirge and low on subtlety, both inside and outside the studio.



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Deep Fried

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Perhaps a bit controversial..
But i don't think MLG has ever worked live..
It just seems to go on and on meandering and boring..
She's dead too, a real killjoy live, but i love the studio version...

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200% and Bloody Thirsty

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Yeah, I possibly agree about She's Dead on reflection. Never really thought about it as it was so rarely played the novelty of it popping up maybe overtook any cold analysis of it being any good or not!

Into MLG though, the building tension in the verses and Russell stretching out with his noises.

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Different Class

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Shes Dead is definately underwhelming when played live. Lovely production on the album, but just sadly falls flat on stage. Shes A Lady and Pink Glove live are amazing, but over Bullerized (great terminology!) for the album.



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The Only Way is Down

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All good suggestions esp She's A Lady. I have a soft spot for the motorik Common People as well.
One song in think never worked live was Razzmatazz, it always sounds so lumpen and ponderous in a live setting.

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The Only Way is Down

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Yep, Razz is a good shout. Studio version is stellar with very interesting multiple synth tracks. Live, in the chorus especially you have that fairly predictable lead-guitar line which isn't swamped as much in synth-shimmer.

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Hardcore

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Happy Endings at Auto is beautiful - it's always my go-to version of the song. Such a beautiful way to send off Pulp.

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The Only Way is Down

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Agreed. Lovely. Much more "authentic" than the plastic version on the album. A rare example of late-era Pulp where employing Hawley and using more guitar effects wasn't for the worse.

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Pink Glove and shes a lady definitely I think sunrise sounds way better live and Im with you on live bed show. Underwear and bar italia I think sound better live, but I still love the album versions

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Different Class

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Another controversial yet in my opinion, justified song to throw into this conversation is Disco 2000. I have never got on with the album version. It lacks something. The 7" mix is fantastic - and yet I still think that the version they played during 1996 ie V96 pisses on any studio versions of Disco 2000

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I've got to agree with Common People. I don't like the production on vocals and I can't hear Russ's violin as much after the first bits -_-. Glastonbury (95 or 98) had the best version(s) of the song by far.

Quite sad we don't have as many live recordings of "Happy Endings" however. The Leadmill 1992 version and the Auto recording are amazing!

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Let's see...

Better Live

Master of the Universe - the album version is missing something
We Can Dance Again - the unfinished live version is much better than the demo
Live Bed Show c1996 - the album version is fantastic but that extra couple of minutes and the additional verse are even better
FEELINGCALLEDLOVE c2000/1 - I didn't think it was possible to improve on perfection but they did it
Seductive Barry - that extended version was fantastic but on reflection I'd say it was more suited to small gigs than festivals
Sylvia - sounds like it was written to be a live song
Weeds II (Origin of the Species) - sounds much better with the guitars than the squelchy keyboards on the album version
I Love Life (2000) - it ended up being way too overblown on the album
Sunrise - I think this is because it had gained a reputation as a great live song a couple of years before it was released


Better on Record

Mis-Shapes / I'm a Man - these just seem to lose something for me when performed live
She's Dead - yes, I agree with this
This is Hardcore - wouldn't be on this list if they performed this live more often with a full orchestra

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Scottbloodyfrazer wrote:

Another controversial yet in my opinion, justified song to throw into this conversation is Disco 2000. I have never got on with the album version. It lacks something. The 7" mix is fantastic - and yet I still think that the version they played during 1996 ie V96 pisses on any studio versions of Disco 2000


 Yea, the V96 performance of Disco 2000 is defo the best version of that song- forgot about that- good shout 



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Seductive Barry at Finsbury was great- more of a breakbeat sound which suited it really well. They always seemed to downplay the synths and completely ditched reverb (fine if you're not a Buller fan, though) on Lipgloss, Pink Glove and Happy Endings live which always seemed a shame to me.

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There are some corking live versions of Misshapes - Rockpalast 1996 stands out a mile

Ian wrote:

Let's see...

Better Live

Master of the Universe - the album version is missing something
We Can Dance Again - the unfinished live version is much better than the demo
Live Bed Show c1996 - the album version is fantastic but that extra couple of minutes and the additional verse are even better
FEELINGCALLEDLOVE c2000/1 - I didn't think it was possible to improve on perfection but they did it
Seductive Barry - that extended version was fantastic but on reflection I'd say it was more suited to small gigs than festivals
Sylvia - sounds like it was written to be a live song
Weeds II (Origin of the Species) - sounds much better with the guitars than the squelchy keyboards on the album version
I Love Life (2000) - it ended up being way too overblown on the album
Sunrise - I think this is because it had gained a reputation as a great live song a couple of years before it was released


Better on Record

Mis-Shapes / I'm a Man - these just seem to lose something for me when performed live
She's Dead - yes, I agree with this
This is Hardcore - wouldn't be on this list if they performed this live more often with a full orchestra


 



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I much prefer the demo & live versions of "Mark of the Devil"
I've always thought the Dogs e.p. recording was too brisk and lost it's sinister groove and shuffle...

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200% and Bloody Thirsty

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Yep, that's a very good shout. I think the Dogs EP overall is probably the strongest release by that version of the band, but Mark of the Devil doesn't really hit it like it should.

A lot of the songs from that period are a bit 'elusive' aren't they - when they got them right at a particular gig or a particular recording they could be great, but at other times they just don't have the vibe and it's hard to put your finger on why. To truly capture the best of that band you'd need to pick a live version from here, a demo from there, odd EP and album tracks.... A job for some with more time and energy than me!

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Sturdy wrote:

A lot of the songs from that period are a bit 'elusive' aren't they - when they got them right at a particular gig or a particular recording they could be great, but at other times they just don't have the vibe and it's hard to put your finger on why. To truly capture the best of that band you'd need to pick a live version from here, a demo from there, odd EP and album tracks.... A job for some with more time and energy than me!


I'd definitely agree with this one. I think the only consistent songs performed with the Cocker-Senior-Doyle(s)-Mansell lineup were usually the slow and sad ones. "Maureen" probably has the most listens in the era from me but even the Ping Pong Jerry recordings and the Library Theatre versions are skips for me. Sadly, I don't think I've heard another live version of "I Want You" ((edit: from the era)) aside from the Maze Bar and I think that one's an absolute mess in quality and performance.



-- Edited by nrb602 on Saturday 10th of July 2021 07:55:34 PM

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The Only Way is Down

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Great to see so many different people post on the same thread. Good topic choice!

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