THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #2

Some seven years after bursting onto the scene and being labelled as one of the key members of the ‘shoegazing’ scene, Lush released an album that was a real surprise and delight.

Lovelife hit the shops in March 1996. It came on the back of two ridiculously catchy singles, Single Girl and Ladykillers, that had raised the profile of the band to a new height. It was as indie-pop (of its time) as could be, with catchy choruses and hooks amidst rhythmic guitars that demanded you get on the floor and dance. It would become one of the defining releases of the Britpop era, and unlike many others, it has dated very well. One of its many highlights is this:-

mp3 : Lush (featuring Jarvis Cocker) – Ciao!

This was a time when many scenesters were namechecking Lee Hazelwood as an influence, often mentioning his duets with Nancy Sinatra as being among their favourite songs when they were growing up. Miki Berenyi and Jarvis Cocker really do channel their Nancy and Lee desires with a magnificently bitter song in which the two protagonists are absolutely delighted the relationship is finally over, both wondering why it took them so long and choosing to exit by throwing poisonous barbs at one another before the sign-off:-

Well, I’ve been in heaven since I walked away
I never thought that I could feel as great as I do today
‘Cause you were nothing but a waste of space
And life is wonderful now that I’m over you

It would have made for a great single but maybe Lush were a bit concerned they would be accused of jumping on the Pulp bandwagon as it was the period when the latter were enjoying, (if that’s the right word given what they did next), unprecedented chart success with Top 10 singles and millions of sales for the album Different Class.

As it turned out, when the time came, in 2001, for 4AD to release a ‘Best Of’ for Lush, it was decided to name the album Ciao! and to include it in the tracklisting.

JC

8 thoughts on “THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #2

  1. When I read your first installment of this series yesterday I was so hoping you’d include this song! The first one that came to mind for me. Absolutely love it.

  2. When I read your first installment of this series yesterday, I was so hoping you’d be including this song! The first that sprang to mind for me. Absolutely love it.

  3. Wow. I am full on with “Gala” and “Spooky.” Lush were the shoegaze band that called to me. Maybe it was the Robin Guthrie connection that gave them so much currency with me at the time, but all of the other shoegaze bands just felt flat to me. I saw them on tour for “Spooky” and it was a fantastic show with the best lighting I’ve ever seen. But after that I stopped watching television, and therefore lost what scant ties to pop music I had at the time. I have not heard the first note from Lush later than 1992, and I had no idea that they ever did a single with Jarvis Cocker, whose records I was buying like they were going out of style at the time.

  4. fantastic choice a) and b) choices the first two days. Now what Option could you possibility have for c) on the 3rd day, hmmmm? 🙂

  5. This is already a superb series. What a cracker of a song. Lush as a ‘shoegaze’ band, as ‘pop’ band – a delight.

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