Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pink Glove

Even by Pulp’s standards, this is a song title rife with provocatively sexual connotations. Jarvis certainly seems to relish every last “uh-uh-uh-uh” and lines like “You’ll always be together/ ’Cause he gets you up in leather.” But it’s the seething jealousy and regret of the chorus (“I know you think I’ve got to be joking/ But if you touch him again than I’m going”) that really sticks in his throat. The pink glove becomes a metaphor for all the ways people compromise themselves in relationships, leading to behavior that’s infuriating, funny, pathetic and sad. “Wear your pink glove, babe/ You put it on the wrong way.”

The His ‘n’ Hers version displays the unique recorded sound of the early ‘90s lineup (Jarvis, Russell Senior, Candida Doyle, Nick Banks, Steve Mackey). No one in the band was a virtuoso really, but by this time they had hit upon a winning strategy: If everyone plays very simple parts on their instruments, and just right amount of reverb gets added, the results would be incredibly powerful. Just listen to the chorus: Candida’s one-note organ part, plus Russell’s clanging guitar chord on the one, plus the relentless Banks-Mackey rhythm machine – there’s little doubt that this is a band that Jarvis is in.

Meanwhile, the live versions of “Pink Glove” from this era remove the reverb and copious overdubs, boiling the song down to it’s tightest, tensest possible form. If you’ve heard the version on The Peel Sessions, you know what I’m talking about. This TV version is an equally perfect example.

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