Back in the early 90s, Pulp were always one of those bands that you would read about in a music magazine every now and again, and depending on the particular journalist, they seemed to get a hugely positive or hugely negative review, whether it be an assessment of their records or the reactions to a live gig. But never really having heard any of their tunes, I was never in a position to make my own mind up. And although they were a band that did seem to divide opinion so much, I was never inclined to find things out for myself.
One day, in my usual fashion, I was watching the ITV Chart Show on a Saturday morning. In the days before satellite telly, there wasn’t all that much music on the box, and the best thing about this particular show was that every three weeks they had an indie chart in which you might be lucky enough to catch 90 seconds of the latest video by Carter USM, Lush, Pop Will Eat Itself or some shoegazing nonsense. I wasn’t paying all that much attention to the rundown one Saturday until about midway through a tune which hit me as something quite unique…..by now I had missed who the band was and what the song was called, but I recognised from the video that the singer was the bloke out of Pulp as I had seen his photo in the music papers a few times.
By the end of the video, I was certain the song in question was called ‘I Want To Take You Home’. I looked for it in a few shops around that time, but with no joy. It must have been the best part of a year later that I then saw another Pulp video on the same show….this time I clocked that it was for a song called Lipgloss. The following week I found a CD album of theirs called His’n’Hers in the second-hand section, so I bought it. About halfway through my first listen, the track I had previously thought was called I Want To take You Home suddenly came through the speakers loud and clear…
I know most folk rave about the quality of Different Class, the 1995 LP that turned Pulp into superstars in the UK, but I’ve a very soft spot for His’n’Hers which I reckon is a better all round record, albeit it doesn’t have the genius that is Common People. It was an act of negligence on the part of the record-buying public that Babies was a flop single on its initial release in late 1992, and I reckon the record label did the right thing with a re-release in May 1994, when they made the track the lead-off on the Sisters EP:-
mp3 : Pulp – Babies (EP Version)
mp3 : Pulp – Your Sister’s Clothes
mp3 : Pulp – Seconds
mp3 : Pulp – His’n’Hers
I don’t know why I never bought this particular EP when it was released – looking back it was a time when I was living in Glasgow in a small flat and travelling to Edinburgh every day to work. Space in the flat was at a premium, there wasn’t a lot of spare cash kicking around, and CD singles/EPs frankly didn’t seem worth the money if you already had the album (I didn’t realise until picking up a second hand copy about a decade ago that it was a re-recorded version).
Oh and here, from a BBC session recorded on 30th May 1992 for the Radio 1 Show, The Evening Session, is another version of I Want To take You Home :-
mp3 : Pulp – Babies (Session)