BAD COVER VERSION

Bad Cover Version…..as in the song by Pulp and not the annihilation or butchering of a classic.

It was the band’s final single. Kind of, in that they later got back together for a bit the best part of a decade after breaking up and eventually released a 45 for Record Store Day in 2013.

It only reached #27 in the charts, a disappointing showing but no real surprise given that the song had been around for some six months, featuring on the LP We Love Life. It was released on a 2xCD format, the first of which offered up two rather decent new Pulp songs while the second featured a different version of the single plus two covers of Pulp songs:-

mp3 : Pulp – Bad Cover Version
mp3 : Pulp – Yesterday
mp3 : Pulp – Forever In My Dreams
mp3 : Nick Cave – Disco 2000
mp3 : Róisín Murphy – Sorted?

As for the different version of the single…….

The band went out with a piss-taking bang in that the video mimics Do They Know It’s Christmas with a bunch of celebrity lookalikes utilised to deliver lyrics in the style of their impersonations. It’s so bad it’s good:-

The full list of those involved….

Singers: Robbie Williams,Liam Gallagher, Kylie Minogue, David Bowie, George Michael, Bono, Paul McCartney,Craig David,Jennifer Lopez, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Tom Jones, Björk, Kurt Cobain (the only person in the video who, at the time, was deceased!), Rod Stewart, Meat Loaf, Cher, Jay Kay, Jarvis Cocker (the only one who mimed!!), Mick Jagger, Elton John, Missy Elliott and Bob Geldof.

Guitarists: Noel Gallagher, Mike Oldfield, Keith Richards and Brian May (played by Jarvis Cocker!!!)

Percussionists: Phil Collins and Gary Numan

Producer: Jeff Lynne

Genius.

JC

SOME SONGS ARE GREAT SHORT STORIES (Chapter 16)

The seven minute epic which closed the breakthrough album, His’n’Hers, back in 1994.

We made our way slowly down the path that led to the stream,
Swaying slightly,
Drunk on the sun, I suppose.
It was a real summer’s day.
The air humming with heat whilst the trees beckoned us into their cool green shade.
And when we reached the stream I put a bottle of cider into the water to chill,
Both of us knowing that we’d drink it long before it had the chance.

This is where you want to be,
There’s nothing else but you and her,
And how you spend your time.

Walking to parties whilst it’s still light outside.
Peter was upset at first but now he’s in the garden talking to somebody Polish.
Why don’t we set up a tent and spend the night out there?
And we can pretend that we’re somewhere foreign,
But we’ll still be able to use the fridge if we get hungry, or too hot.

This is where you want to be,
There’s nothing else but you and her,
And how you use your time.

We went driving.

This is where you want to be,
There’s nothing else but you and her,
And how you use your time.

The room smells faintly of sun tan lotion
In the evening sunlight and when you take off your clothes,
You’re still wearing a small pale skin bikini.
The sound of children playing in the park comes from faraway,
And time slows down to the speed of the specks of dust
Floating in the light from the window.

Summer leaves fall from Summer trees.
Summer grazes fade on Summer knees.
Summer nights are slowly getting long.
Summer’s going so hurry soon it’ll be gone.

So we went out to the park at midnight one last time.
Past the abandoned glasshouse stuffed full of dying palms.
Past the bandstand down to the boating lake.
And we swam in the moonlight for what seemed like hours,
Until we couldn’t swim anymore.

And as we came out of the water we sensed a certain movement in the air,
And we both shivered slightly and ran to collect our clothes.
And as we walked home we could hear the leaves curling and turning
Brown on the trees,
And the birds deciding where to go for Winter.
And the whole sound,
The whole sound of Summer packing it’s bags and preparing to leave town.

Oh but I want you to stay.
Oh please stay for a while,
Oh I want you to stay,
Oh I want you to stay.

mp3 : Pulp – David’s Last Summer

JC

AN APOLOGY, A THANK YOU AND A REQUEST ROLLED INTO ONE

Dear friend

I’m typing this on the afternoon of Sunday 15 October (i.e the day before it will appear on the blog).  This is the first thing I’ve done for T(n)VV in almost three months. Indeed, other than going in and looking at emails, from which I’ve been able to pull out some stunning guest contributions, I’ve studiously avoided this blog, and I’m ashamed to say, all the other brilliant blogs that are highlighted as recommendations over on the right hand side of this layout if you’re viewing it on a PC or laptop.

I think I do things differently from most other bloggers in that I produce a high volume of postings in single sittings for packaging up and posting many weeks or indeed months down the line.  I wish I could be more like Drew or Adam or Rol or Robster and so many others who can fire up the device and pull together a brilliantly written, entertaining and informative piece and then move on to the next one a day or so later.  My inspiration very much comes in spurts and I need to have lots of free thinking time too.

It was the fact that I knew I was going to be very busy at work right through August and September that led to the fierce stockpiling of material.  It’s not that I was working any longer hours, it was that I knew I was going to need to be particularly creative on projects that wouldn’t leave much in the way the energy or inspiration to blog.  One option, of course, was to close things down for a few days or weeks, but that’s something I’m loath to do as there’s a sense of pride and satisfaction in making sure there’s some sort of daily posting.

So the binge to end all binges was embarked upon.

It can hardly come as a surprise the binge made me feel ill afterwards, to the extent that I just couldn’t be bothered with this or other blogs.  There was also the fact that some of my spare time was being sucked into some other leisure related things, particularly around football, that on every occasion I thought to myself that I’d find a day to get motivated again to read what others were writing, I’d find a pathetic excuse not to.

My utmost apologies to all of you and I do promise that in due course I will catch up….don’t be too annoyed if you find me offering inane comments on stuff you’d written about weeks/months ago and had perhaps forgotten about.

I’ve also managed in recent weeks to get myself away on holiday for a week over to Canada where I met up with friends and played some golf (those of you who are linked to me via Facebook will have been bored with photos of green grass and lakes in Nova Scotia).  But the holiday also made me realise I was suffering from blog fatigue as, for the first ever time on a visit to Toronto, I studiously avoided going downtown to browse around the record stores that I’ve grown fond of over the years and I didn’t even think about trying to take in any sort of live show.

I’ll slowly shake myself out of this stupor, but I think it might take much of the rest of the calendar year.  As things stand, I have posts in place and scheduled right through to the end of November and it will also be easy to keep the Saturday and Sunday features going as they follow a particular chronology.  But I am putting out the begging bowl for December……..and hoping that some readers can help.

I’ve more or less missed out on what 2017 has had to offer from a new music perspective, whether from new singers or bands or the material released by ling-established favourites.  I’m therefore asking if any of you would care to fire over a piece on your take on what has most excited you musically about 2017 that I would intend to run as features this coming December.

I’ve long believed that one of the greatest strengths of this little corner of t’internet is the quality and variety of guest postings and the amazing contributions via the comments section.  I’ve spent the best part of an hour today reading back over the past hundred observations and I’ve been smiling a lot.  That’s something I really need to say thank you for. There’s been some fantastic debates break out along the way and I’m annoyed I never leapt in to contribute….particularly on Roxy Music!

So…it’s a huge favour that I’m asking and I do hope that some of you will, in due course, feel like making a charitable donation.

mp3 : Pulp – Help The Aged

Yours etc

JC

PS : Feel free to keep firing over ICAs, ‘Had It Lost It’ , ‘Cracking Debut Single’ or indeed anything else that you’d want to see appear on these pages.  Nothing is ever turned down.

 

 

 

 

DOES ANYBODY OUT THERE NOT LIKE THIS SONG?

“Jarvis the lounge suited Romeo reminisces about his first love to whom he is now a distant memory. The thing about this song, when you strip away the melody and the soaring chorus, is that it is one of Pulp’s more powerful moments; urgent, yearning and ferocious but yet fragile, like it would fall apart if you nudged it too hard.”

I’m really proud that such a description of Do You Remember The First Time? appeared previously on the pages of T(n)VV. It was back in August 2015 when a Pulp ICA was lovingly stitched together by Tim Badger who is one-third of the ridiculously talented team involved everyday over at WYRCRA. One of that blog’s other writers – KC – also recently referenced the song in a positive fashion. I’m not sure if SWC has publicly given his approval to the tune but given that he has demonstrated such fine taste over the years it would be a major shock of he was to give a thumbs-down to this #33 hit from March 1995.

mp3 : Pulp – Do You Remember The First Time?

It was the, coincidentally, the single that enabled Pulp to crack the Top 40 for the first time and it came at the fourteenth time of asking. Every one of their singles afterwards – and there were eleven of them – charted in the Top 30, including five successive Top 10 singles when they were at the height of their popularity. I reckon it would make for a good pub argument as to which few minutes of recorded material actually made for Jarvis & co’s finest ever achievement – you only need to refer back here to said ICA to see the extent of some of the songs that would qualify for consideration.

I’d like to make the case for First Time, although it is hard to add much to the succinct summary offered by Tim. It is a song in which the memorable chorus is matched by an equally memorable and infectiously danceable tune. It has that rare quality of a tune that seems to be fading out on itself just at the right point in time only for it to  come back for once last hurrah on the back of Jarvis shouting ‘hey’.

It’s the triumph of a band who, having more than paid their dues with the flop singles and suffered at the hands of a music press that repeatedly said they’d never amount to anything, showing that they in fact held all the aces and were now here not only to clean out the banker but every single player sitting at the poker table.

Once heard, never forgotten. It’s as infectiously catchy as any pop tune written for the latest manufactured combo to emerge from a TV talent show; it’s as heavily anthemic as any rock tune from those who can sell out stadiums in minutes; it’s as indie and hip as the next underground sensation that those ‘in the know’ are tipping for stardom.

It puts a smile on my face every single time I hear it.

Oh, and quite possibly, the song most capable than any other that’s ever been written of conjuring an entirely different memory for each and every member of a listening audience.

It’s also worth highlighting that it’s two fairly experimental b-sides are also of a very high standard; the first is Jarvis at his imperiously, creepy and seedy best; it’s an epic part spoken/part sung effort stretching out to the best part of six minutes with a story line that seems to lends itself perfectly to a film noir. It’s also not a million miles removed from the sort of dark stuff Marc Almond was penning at onset of Soft Cell’s career.

mp3 : Pulp – Street Lites

The third track is something that if played to most folk unnanounced would have them struggling to correctly name the band for at least the first 90-odd seconds of what is out-and-out krautrock (or possibly even prog rock) until the familiar voice comes in.  A fair bit more rocky stuff ensues before the conclusion of the tale with its little sting in the final line.

mp3 : Pulp – The Babysitter

JC

DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME?

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)

Enjoy

A LAZY STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE : 45 45s AT 45 (45)

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ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MONDAY 24 MARCH 2008

Not to be confused with Love of The Common People by Paul Young. Nor indeed the cover version that was later recorded by William Shatner.

Common People by Pulp is one of those songs that your instincts tell you the first ever time you catch it that it will become a timeless classic you will never grow tired of. And then you listen more closely as you get more familiar with the song and you realise that there is so much more to it than a catchy ditty that sound great on the radio or coming out of your telly on Top Of The Pops or whatever.

For me, this was the song that propelled Jarvis Cocker from talented but mostly unappreciated wordsmith into the people’s poet. At the time, I thought it was a fantastic bit of imaginary writing, but some years later, Jarvis revealed that the main protagonist was not a figment of his imagination – there really had been some upper-class toff at St Martin’s Art College in London who fancied a bit of rough (I suppose its makes a difference from the usual which seems to be a gap year traipsing round India seeking self-enlightenment).

This is a song that has a great storyline, fantastic lyrics, a catchy tune that you can dance to and an unforgettable sing-a-long chorus. And yet…..

……the version that was best known was the shorter 7″ version which omitted a few lines in the middle of the song when the tempo changed ever so-slightly, including what I reckon are the most telling lyrics:-

‘You will never understand
How if feels to live your life
With no meaning or control
And with nowhere else to go’

Jarvis Cocker’s life was never the same after this. He became a tabloid regular with his outspoken views and acidic one-liners – a genuine working-class hero who captured exactly how so many folk felt after nearly two decades of successive Tory governments in the UK. Then he waved his bum at Michael Jackson at the Brits the following year…….but that is another story.

Released in June 1995, Common People reached #2 in the UK charts, kept from the top spot by Robson & Jerome‘s cover of Unchained Melody.

(For those not familiar with the #1 act, they were two acts in a popular TV series who were encouraged to cash-in by the record industry. Nowadays, things like that have largely been overtaken by the myriad of talent shows that make new ‘stars’, but the effect is the same. Can anyone nowadays recall what Robson or Jerome looked like?)

I have what is described as CD2, which contains the full-length version of the song and three acoustic versions of older Pulp tracks.

mp3 : Pulp – Common People
mp3 : Pulp – Razzmatazz (Acoustic Version)
mp3 : Pulp – Dogs Are Everywhere (Acoustic Version)
mp3 : Pulp – Joyriders (Acoustic Version)

Oh and it also came with an unforgettable video.

All of this and it only made #45 in this countdown??

BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS…

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Tim’s imaginary compilation album yesterday understandably concentrated on what is rightly regarded as the band’s golden period.  But I’m a bit of a sucker for one of their early songs dating back to 1985 and released as the lead track on an 12″ EP on Fire Records:-

mp3 : Pulp – Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)

It is a precursor to the sort of lyric and tune that would much later on provide the band with critical acclaim and commercial success.

Here’s the equally wonderful b-sides the last of which doesn’t have Jarvis on lead vocal duties:-

mp3 : Pulp – Simultaneous
mp3 : Pulp – Blue Glow
mp3 : Pulp – The Will To Power

Looking back, it was probably just as well that the single was a flop as it would have set the band on an entirely different course and they would in all likelihood have broken up before the 90s came along.

Enjoy.