Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Whiskey in the Jar

Frequently during the ‘90s, Pulp recorded Black Sessions for the France Inter radio station. Back then, bands were asked to do cover songs for these sessions, to give listeners something special, I suppose. Pulp often rose to the occasion with some truly surprising choices, such as the Thin Lizzy version of the traditional Irish ballad “Whiskey in the Jar.” It’s not a perfect fit, but Jarvis’ acoustic guitar and Russell’s violin helped give the band an entry point to the song’s folky lilt. And the song’s themes of desire, deception and murder certainly fit with many of Jarvis’ lyrical preoccupations.

This radio performance subsequently came out on the Childline benefit compilation and as the b-side to the French “Common People” single. However, the best cover song Pulp ever recorded for a Black Session was their stunningly apt reading of Frankie Valli’s “The Night,” which unfortunately has yet to be officially released.

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