Saturday, April 12, 2014

his 'n' hers

Pulp got theirs with the obsessive vignettes of this stylish glam electropop razzmatazz.  The group had formed as Arabicus Pulp way back in 1980 in Sheffield with Jarvis Cocker and some schoolmates from The City School (Peter Dalton, David Lockwood, and Mark Swift) and even got to play a set on the John Peel radio show.  This lineup dissolved when most of the band graduated and went to university.  Cocker put together a new cast of characters with his sister, Saskia, Simon Hinkler, David Hinkler, Wayne Furniss, Peter Boam, and Gary Wilson.  They recorded their debut album 'It' themselves and got it released on Cherry Red Records in 1983.  When that failed to chart they put out a single 'Everybody's Problem' with a pop sound suggested by the label.  When that flopped, Cocker broke up the band and prepared to go to university; but a session with Russell Senior and Magnus Doyle changed things.  A new Pulp was formed with the addition of Peter Mansell and Tim Allcard.  Allcard was replaced by Doyle's sister Candida and the group was signed to Fire Records.  The label forced them to record their next album 'Freaks' in only a week and the release was delayed for a year.  Pulp recorded some material with the local FON label; but it was never released and Cocker broke up the group to study in London.  It was there that he met Steve Mackey who was brought into the fold to record 'Separations' with producer Alan Smyth for Fire Records.  The album featured a new sound informed by house music; but it took over a year to be released.  In that time the band recorded 'O.U.' with  Gift Records, which received national attention and led to a deal with Island Records.  A series of successful singles were followed by 'His 'n' Hers', which was produced by Ed Buller at Britannia Row in London with  Jarvis Cocker on vocals, school piano, vox marauder guitar, and ems synthi a;   Russell Senior on fender stratocaster guitar, violin, and bowed bass;  Candida Doyle on farfisa compact professional II organ, stylophone 350s, korg trident II, fender rhodes piano, wurlitzer piano, hohner clavinette, and steinway grand piano;    Nick Banks on drums, percussion, treated cymbals, timpani, and fire extinguisher;  and  Steve Mackey on fender jazz bass.  

 'His 'n' Hers' was the band's first album to chart, going all the way to number nine in the UK riding the rising wave of Britpop bands and touring with Blur.  The album was even  was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.  Cocker would consider:    "We've had over a decade of grinding reality!  After feeling so marginalized, with people thinking you were a joke or a sad character in some way, it just makes you feel more validated, does some success. If you connect once, you think maybe you can connect again. You don't feel like you're operating in a vacuum ... We've got a lot of songs about quite ordinary things.  And I like the idea of that being in songs, 'cause often songs tend to operate on some kind of high aesthetic level or something. It'd be nice if people recognised things from their own lives and thought they'd been in a song. Because usually things like travelling on buses get left out...We don't want to bring pain into people's lives, really.  It's not like we're all sunny and optimistic but I hope that, no matter how downbeat the subject matter of the songs might be, you've always got the music to temper that, so it's not like a downer trip of, like, 'Alright, I'll go up and slash my wrists now when I've listened to this record'...We've always wanted to get to the stage where there were no excuses, really.  Island seem to be doing a pretty competent job of getting records out and letting people know they're out. So if people don't buy the record then it'll be because they don't like us. And that's fair enough because at least they've had the chance, and if they don't want it then maybe it's time to start looking for something else to do."

Candida Doyle says:   "Well maybe It seems that, like, our music and our clothes and that kind of thing are more acceptable. We were considered really weird before, but we seem to fit in at the moment, which is kind of a weird coincidence It must seem weird to people when we say we've been going for years and then, all of a sudden, we're kind of well known it's like, 'What have you been doing for the past ten years?'"

    "Razzmatazz" was their last single for Gift Records.  It was added to US editions of the album.



    "Acrylic Afternoons" 

    "Have You Seen Her Lately?"


    "She's a Lady" 

    "Happy Endings"

    "Do You Remember the First Time?" 

    "Pink Glove"

'His 'n' Hers' 
full album:

All the music is written by Pulp, all lyrics are written by Jarvis Cocker.

"Joyriders" – 3:25
"Lipgloss" – 3:34
"Acrylic Afternoons" – 4:09
"Have You Seen Her Lately?" – 4:11
"Babies" – 4:04
"She's a Lady" – 5:49
"Happy Endings" – 4:57
"Do You Remember the First Time?" – 4:22
"Pink Glove" – 4:48
"Someone Like the Moon" – 4:18
"David's Last Summer" – 7:01

No comments:

Post a Comment