Sunday, November 11, 2007

We Can Dance Again

For a long time one of the most notorious (among hardcore fans) of lost Pulp songs, “We Can Dance Again” was, like “The Boss,” initially known only through a widely bootlegged, amateurish live recording. Again like “The Boss,” the demo emerged thanks to the 2006 reissue campaign.

On both versions, despite largely different lyrics on each, “We Can Dance Again” is a celebratory misfit anthem, clearly in line with “Mis-Shapes.” The music is among the band’s brightest slices of nouveau new wave (listen for Jarvis’ quoting of Blondie’s “Atomic” near the end.) with a killer bridge to boot. On the demo version especially, the lyrics give a palpable sense that the band realized that the window for their triumph was, in truth, really small. And there are plenty of intimations of the years of struggle, fear and doubt that came prior to this one moment of elation.

So how did this song wind up in the vaults? As Russell Senior puts it in Truth and Beauty, “After seeming like it might be a single for a couple of weeks, it started looking like we were pasticheing ourselves.” But the song’s commercial appeal still lingers. According to Jarvis’ liner notes, “My Mum still asks me when we’re going to release it.”

No comments: