Classic Record Review | Pulp – Different Class (Revisited)

Pulp-different-class-album-review

We Take a Look Back at Pulp’s Finest Work,’Different Class’

A Retrospective Review.

Mis-shapes, mistakes, misfits. 

They say if you don’t succeed, try, try, try and keep trying. 

Formed in 1978 and with a musical style that could be described as a cross between pop and melancholic indie, Pulp struggled to find success in the 1980s. They did have heavyweight critical support through legendary DJ John Peel who featured them on a Peel session after receiving a demo cassette in 1981. 

Unfortunately commercial success still was not immediate for the Sheffield band although they were gaining a hardcore following after the release of brilliant albums It, Freaks and Separations. My personal favourite is ‘Love is Blind‘ from the 3 albums.

It all changed in 1991. The fantastic ‘My Legendary Girlfriend’ was NME single of the week. ‘Babies’, ‘Lipgloss‘ and ‘Razzamatazz‘ quickly followed continuing their upward momentum. 

The Britpop movement was in full effect by the time 1994 arrived and after the release of their album His n Hers it seemed that their long struggle had finally come to fruition. 

1995 and the entertaining and sometimes very funny Oasis/Blur battle was taking place. Jarvis Cocker was presenting Top Of The Pops. Great fun! 

The Album

In contrast, the band were preparing to release their big commercial statement. ‘Common People’ in May 1995. Notably inspired by a Greek art student Jarvis met while studying, they were catapulted to Number 2 in the singles chart with only the “magnificent” Robson and Jerome keeping them from the top spot. 

Pulp-Live-ticket

After a further single release Different Class was released on the same day as ‘Wonderwall‘ by Oasis in October 1995. It was an instant smash. Futhermore there was Top notch singles such as, ‘Sorted for Es and Whizz‘ (Cue controversial content and single cover).  ‘Mis-shapes’, ‘Disco 2000‘ and ‘Something Changed’ were backed with album tracks which in their own right were good enough to be singles.

The album from start to finish was sheer brilliance. Jarvis seems to enjoy playing the role of voyeur and adulterer in ‘Pencil Skirt‘ and ‘I Spy’ is epic beauty. Sex, social class and past conquests are always in the forefront.
 In 1995 it was their finest moment and Jarvis became an unlikely sex symbol. However I can distinctly remember a young fan constantly screaming his name when I saw them at Manchester Academy in 1995. 

1995 was such fun and as a young fan my liver took a massive kicking. A great time.

Words by Lee Bellfield

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