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Ian


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I've been listening to quite a bit of the Pulp catalogue recently and a few songs jumped out at me as receiving little attention.

There Was - its A-side gets some attention for all the wrong reasons and I'd say that was justified but "There Was" is actually a great song. If they had cancelled the "Everybody's Problem" single altogether (and I dare say that was not beyond the realms of possibility), then "There Was" may have still been unheard now. I think that if it had been on "It", where it would have sat perfectly, it would have been recognised as one of the better songs on the album. Everything just seems to work so well when you compare it to other songs from this period.

The Day After the Revolution - probably because it's the only song from the album that was never played live. When people talk about "This is Hardcore", they seem to talk about the singles, "The Fear" or "Sylvia" which are good songs but "The Day After the Revolution" deserves an honourable mention. It would have probably made a decent live song too. I have a vague recollection of the Super Furry Animals looping the chorus of "The Man Don't Give a Fuck" and leaving it playing for 20-odd minutes whilst they went home. Are you thinking what I'm thinking with the outro to this?

Forever In My Dreams - considering the fact that there hasn't been a "We Love Life" deluxe, the only place to find this song is on the back of a 20 year old single. I think it's better than "Yesterday" and I remember breathing a massive sigh of relief when I first heard it following the "Trees"/"Sunrise" single and its lack of B-sides.

Have You Seen Her Lately? - again, when people talk about the album, they talk about the singles, "She's a Lady" and "Pink Glove" but this is a decent song too. Musically and lyrically it's very in keeping with the time it was released. Perhaps it fits in *so* well on the album that it can be forgotten amongst some of the other tracks.

Going Back to Find Her - not the first song I think of when looking at those late 80s rarities but it's quite a fun song. I understand that they abandoned it because of its lyrical similarities to "Down By the River" but truth be told, a lot of lyrics on "Separations" are similar (the sky, moon and stars get plenty of mentions, for example). It would have been a good B-side to either single.

Any more for any more?

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Mis-Shape

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An 80s rarity that I really love is 'Rattlesnake'. It's easily one of their best songs from the 1980s and it's a shame that it was never released as a single.

Apparently Jarvis isn't too keen on the 1981 Peel session stuff, and I understand why he finds it embarrassing, but I personally really really love 'Refuse to be Blind'. They would've been one of the youngest groups to record a session, right? I think that makes the song even more interesting - knowing that a bunch of schoolboys came up with such an interesting and strange song (that actually has a structure and isn't a complete mess). Anyway, there's plenty of weird stuff going on in that song (I'm thinking of the synths and voice effects) and it feels truly unique. I wish there were good quality recordings from this era, because even though I love their first record I'd love to hear more of this sci-fi stuff.

All that being said, I love 'Turkey Mambo Momma' too. It reminds me of The Teardrop Explodes and Pigbag, who both had Peel sessions, so maybe Jarvis liked them. He mentioned in an interview that Pulp stole a glockenspiel from school and tried to mimic 'Gone Daddy Gone' by The Violent Femmes in an early Pulp song which I assume was 'Turkey Mambo Momma'. The glockenspiel, horn section, frenetic guitar and all the screaming in the second half gives the song an energy that no other Pulp song has. Probably would've been great fun to see live.

Edit: the Peel songs are the sort of thing that weird teenage boys would wanna make, but the difference between your average weird teenager with a dream and Pulp is that Pulp actually managed to make proper songs.



-- Edited by MrOceanRain on Wednesday 27th of April 2022 08:10:51 AM

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Different Class

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Got to agree with Have You Seen Her Lately? That's the only song I go back to now having heard HnH too much now. The icy stylophone line, fluttering reverb on the snare and the piano chord sequence at the end are outstanding. Very affecting.
I'm not sure if it's underrated by true fans but it is a little overlooked but Styloroc is such a great song. The interesting use of filtered noise, Russell's guitar line, which is really great and Nicks aggressive drumming are so on note. Really good song writing. I love Intro- the sleeve, everything about it.
Another one is This House is Condemned which a really accomplished, sophisticated take on House music. It's got more to it than any track I can think of from that era- dense, atmospheric, weird and imaginative. It really stands up- if that had been released as an underground 12" by some semi anonymous act in the days of early Warp, etc. it would be praised as a classic alongside Bomb the Bass, Unique 3 and LFO.


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Also Duck Diving- I've only heard it once, at the Edinburgh gig in 99, but it was so intriguing.

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Duck diving was part of a Peel session too..

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Ian


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I totally agree about the 1981 Peel session songs. They are quite impressive given the context - age of the band, lack of experience, lack of equipment and so forth.

Not too sure about "Rattlesnake" being a single. B-side - certainly, because it's miles better than those dreadful remixes of "This House is Condemned". It would have also sat very nicely on the album. I just don't think that the structure (instrumental choruses and false ending) make it a good choice for single. I'm certainly not knocking the quality though; that song is great by anyone's standards.

Here's another one - "Ansaphone". I think it sometimes gets overlooked because "Disco 2000" gets so much attention (and "Underwear" was also on the album). It's my favourite of the "Different Class" B-sides and I'd say the part where he sings "you said you'd be here by 10:30-hey, hey, hey but you wanna stay out and be dirteee" is at the very least on a par with the best tracks on the album.

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Different Class

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Forgot Duck diving was on a Peel Session! Ansafone is a great song. It reminded me of Erasure a bit! The strange muted trumpet sounds were unusual for Pulp at the time weren't they? I wondered if it was a tribute to Roy Castle.

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Dont you want me anymore ?

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Blue Glow..
I love blue glow..

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The Only Way is Down

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Only a smidge over three minutes, too. When it comes to song lengths, brevity with Pulp/Jarvis is a rare thing so when it happens, it's to be commended.

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Inclined to agree on Blue Glow, Have You Seen Her Lately?, and Going Back to Find Her. All staples for my listening.

My offerings would be Cousins and Nights of Suburbia. Cousins has a really dark tone and atmosphere that fits super well before Maureen and Nights of Suburbia is what I consider Pulp's best coin into punkier, angry stuff aside from Maureen.

Speaking of Nights of Suburbia, Styloroc doesn't get enough love in my opinion. That post-Separations, pre HnH era of songs will always have my heart because it's a sound I don't find anywhere else.

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Different Class

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Love a good thread like this. Its hard to say what songs are underrated and not because whichever songs you play often on any playlists etc - your going to class as epic ! However for me, the following I think are underrated.

Death Comes To Town - hidden away as a b-side, its such a shame it never got released as a single. I can recall Nick saying that it was "just one of those things" and the ship had sailed and they moved on to the next thing.

Master Of The Universe - I never seem to hear much love for this, however I think its a classic ! I even think in places that Jarvis is trying to sound a little like Russel.

Magic Works - ok its not a Pulp song, but I think its by far the strongest song from the Weird Sisters, and would easily fit in on His N Hers.

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Joking aside...
A magical little song...
I think it's not just ignored but the time signature is ignored...
For me it swaggers in that waltz time i find so lovely...
I personally think this originates from an Artery tune called it's good to be alone..
It's a beautiful song that i love dearly..
And further on i think it influenced the song Separations...
Separations remains my stone cold fave Pulp song of all time. Forever...forever....

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Someone Like The Moon

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I adore Rattlesnake, one of my very favourites. Also, Refuse to be Blind is a vera powerful song, much the best of that early era for me. I definitely agree about Styloroc and Blue Glow too. One of my other favourites is Tunnel, which has made an appearance on Jarvis' book-related playlist in the Guardian the other day. Another of my favourites is Space, various different version go rambling off in their own sweet way.



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Ian


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I agree with "Joking Aside", perhaps it is a bit overlooked because it follows "My Lighthouse" (a single) and "Wishful Thinking" (originally on the Peel Session).

Pencil Skirt - maybe due to its placement on the album. It's sandwiched between two hit singles then "I Spy" is a great song by anyone's standards, then comes another hit single. I sometimes find myself forgetting about "Pencil Skirt" by the time I get to "Live Bed Show"

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The Only Way is Down

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Pencil Skirt is Pulp at their sleaziest from the faded intro, the mucky lyrics and the cheap but glossy sounding synths, to the wonderful violin riff and guitar break, it's their perverted pop perfection.

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"Space" is probably one of the best live tracks of the early 90s era and its recorded version both does and doesn't do it justice- Jarvis's storytelling is definitely there and top-notch but the energy is turned 100% on the BBC session and the 1991 T&C Club recording.

"Joking Aside" is honestly my favorite on It aside from maybe "Wishful Thinking". Pristine jangle pop!

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