Sunday, October 14, 2007
Bad Cover Version
This song just might’ve been Pulp’s last chance. Another sweeping ballad possibly musically inspired by Gene Pitney, “Bad Cover Version” was a last-ditch attempt at getting a hit single out of We Love Life. Nevertheless, despite one of the greatest music videos ever, it was not to be, and “Bad Cover Version” is to date the final Pulp single. It’s oddly appropriate for a track that manages to singularly combine snideness and melancholy. Jarvis marshals every last withering put-down – including some of the most obscure pop-culture references to appear in a rock song – in order to catalog all the ways an ex’s new lover unfairly compares to him. But the majestic ache of the melody only makes him sound more alone, as he lingers on every “great disappointment.” The fact that Pulp themselves were on the way out increases the bittersweetness. Now, six years later, with young, hot, less talented bands like Franz Ferdinand and The Long Blondes liberally copying pages from the Pulp textbook, the song stings even more.