Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
“Live On” was performed on radio once and never “properly” recorded, sending it around the bootleg circuit. It’s another His ‘n’ Hers-era gem, proving again that the band had more great songs than it knew what to do with by this time. The band has mastered the effortless disco groove, insistent, cheesy keyboards and charmingly amateurish wah-wah guitar riffs. All of these provide a reliable support system for Jarvis to muse and work himself into a bother about, in this case, the lingering and torturing memories of long-gone lover. The band’s performance only gets tighter and tenser as Jarvis increasingly seems to lose his shit. These kinds of arrangements would soon prove to be very rewarding for Pulp.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Here’s a TV performance of the song.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Bob Lind was a soft-pop singer in the ‘60s. Jarvis explains his connection to the song at the bottom of this page.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Musically, “F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E.” stands as the album’s most overt lunge towards electronic experimentation, a direction in which the band frequently made overtures without ever really fully committed. Ultimately, they were always a song-and-lyric-driven act. I particular like this live version from the We Love Life tour.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
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.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Not that the band was faring well in the music scene at this point anyway, but it probably didn’t help that Freaks came out the same year as Elvis Costello’s “I Want You,” an even more fascinating, slow-motion crawl through desire unhinged. Pulp’s song sounds positively breezy in comparison. Although it’s worth nothing that the demo of Pulp’s “I Want You” first came out on a compilation cassette in 1984, but I think it’s safe it reached a limited audience this way. “I Want You” is also one of the few Freaks-era songs that the band performed occasionally in the '90s and beyond.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
“Babies” is such a potent pop song, it gave the band two lifts into orbit -- first as a successful indie single in ’92; then given a slightly different, brighter mix for the ’94 single which became their first UK top 20 hit. And make no mistake, even from my American perspective “Babies” sounds like a landmark hit because it marked their most perfect pop thus far. Simply put, every single part of the song is a genius pop hook, from the brilliantly rudimentary opening guitar hook (written by drummer Nick Banks) onward.
But you can’t discount that lyric, which perfectly, wittily captures the collision of lust, discovery and confusion of adolescence. And there are sisters. Plus, with Jarvis spending much of the song hiding in a wardrobe, you can think of it as Pulp’s own “Trapped in the Closet,” as a friend of mine once remarked. (“Babies” has but one sequel, which we’ll get to eventually.)
Appropriately, there two separate videos for “Babies,” a way-low-budget one and a glossier, mainstream-ready one. Plus, this strange “spoken word” version. Keep looking around YouTube and you’ll find plenty of live and TV performances as well.