Tag Archives: End of era lists

End of Part Four

17 Aug


Youtube playlist
Spotify playlist

It’s the end of another era in the history of the group, and as usual I’ve put together an alternate tracklisting for the album. This time is a bit different, though; Intro and His ‘n’ Hers are interweaved to the extent that chronological separation is nigh-on impossible, and reducing the entire four years into one handy LP is made even more difficult due to the extremely high quality of the songs involved. If I were putting together a single-CD best-of perhaps half of the tracks would come from these years. Intro is already the only flawlessly sequenced Pulp LP – cutting out tracks spoils the flow a little – and while His ‘n’ Hers has its faults, my least favourite tracks at least have some part to play in the overall story, while better tracks from b-sides and EPs don’t exactly seem to fit.

Here’s my compromise, then – a long two-part LP, the first half being largely from Intro and the second from His ‘n’ Hers. In order to get here I’ve cut quite a few songs that would be shoe-ins to any other compilation, and stuck largely to Ed Buller productions – while he has his flaws I still feel that the positives greatly outweigh them, and his production style works well across multiple tracks without interruption from session or live versions.

Side A (Intro)
O.U. (Gone, Gone)
Styloroc (Nites of Suburbia)
Your Sister’s Clothes
Sheffield: Sex City

Side B (His ‘n’ Hers)
Do You Remember The First Time
Acrylic Afternoons
His ‘n’ Hers
She’s a Lady
Street Lites
David’s Last Summer

After producing this, I have

* Further awe that one group can produce so much astounding material in just a few years.
* A new-found respect for the original running order, as mine doesn’t flow nearly as well.
* A certainty that nobody will be happy, as I’ve definitely cut out some of your favourites.
* A vague feeling that I should have kept it at two albums, the way it really should be.
* An itch to start with Different Class, where this sort of thing will be much simpler.

I’m sure nobody else will be happy with this tracklisting, so let me know what you think in the comments section below, even if it’s just to say that the very act of messing with it is sacrilege.

End of Part Three (nearly there…)

27 Jul


The 1980s were over, and good riddance to them. Pulp had an album in the can, press attention and a growing live following – you could say that their decade had finally come. The first couple of years weren’t going to be an easy ride, though, and would have to be spent escaping the labyrinthine financial and legal trouble they’d inadvertently got themselves into. It’s a wonder the band survived it all.

‘Separations’ meanwhile, would end up being released nearly three years after they started recording it, held up in the Fire vaults by the Rough Trade liquidation, the aforementioned legal issues, and the usual delays they’d had with Freaks. By the end of 1992, the band had moved on again, to the point where once more the songs were no longer in their live set – even more so than for Freaks – and as an added kicker it was released on the same day as “O.U.”

Separations isn’t the perfect Pulp album, but it’s superb nonetheless, an improvised, stitched together, experimental pop labour of love. It inspires a great deal of affection among fans, and you can see why. As usual, though, I’m going to suggest an alternate track listing, more suited to my taste, though I’m certain others will disagree with my inclusions and exclusions. My main change has been to rejig side A, give the record a better narrative flow, and separate the Slavic from the disco to the greatest effect.

Here’s the tracklisting.

1. Love is Blind
2. Don’t You Want Me Anymore (LP Version)
3. Rattlesnake (FON demo)
4. Separations
5. Death Goes To The Disco
6. Countdown
7. My Legendary Girlfriend
8. Death II
9. This House Is Condemned

So, not that different from the original then. I toyed with changing ‘Countdown’ to the 7″ mix and changing ‘My Legendary Girlfriend to the Caff single version, but in the end I decided they worked best just as they are.

As usual this is your time to share your track listing, or just your thoughts about this album. The comments box is down there, go on then….

End of Part Two (an Audience Participation Special)

23 Mar

“It was recorded for £600 – in one week. The producer disowned it: he didn’t want his name on it! This was the low point, emotionally, of my life. It’s such a depressing album. There’s some decent songs but they’re badly done.” – Jarvis in Record Collector, December 1994

‘Freaks’, the long-awaited culmination of nearly five years of the band’s work, was quietly released on the 11th of May, 1987. The songs on it, bar the singles, had already been dropped from the group’s set, the sound-defining rhythm section had been replaced, and what little publicity it received was muted, especially when it came to interviews with Jarvis and Russell, who had already shifted their attention to newer, more exciting projects. Since then its reputation has, if anything, worsened. Reviews of reissues range from ‘terrible’ to ‘flawed but interesting’ and Jarvis has consistently expressed embarrassment at the “depressing” feel and the amateurish production.

The problem is that these sweeping dismissals mean we miss some fundamental things about the album. Yes, it’s depressing in parts, but why shouldn’t it be? Leonard Cohen and The Cure seem to have made a career out of producing depressing albums and don’t tend to castigate themselves for it. The production is poor in places, yes, but it’s more rushed than ruined, and some pretty special performances have survived intact. The real problem is the mix of songs. With such a varied selection available to them, it’s a mystery why they chose all the slowest ballads and all the wackiest novelties rather than any of the upbeat or experimental tracks we’ve seen on the singles. It’s not that the songs are bad, but piling them all together like this gives the listener a growing sense of catatonic madness – and not (always) in a good way.

Here’s my suggestion for a better track listing. I’ve had to lose some of my favourite songs, and have included a couple I’m not particularly keen on, simply because these seem to fit together better than other combinations.

Side A

1. Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)
2. Blue Glow
3. The Mark of the Devil
4. I Want You
5. Being Followed Home

Side B
6. Aborigine
7. There’s No Emotion
8. Life Must Be So Wonderful
9. They Suffocate At Night
10. Tunnel

I’ve made a youtube playlist of this new order, which you can find here.
What would your idea track listing for ‘Freaks’ be? Please let me know in the comments below

End of Part One

23 Jun

Youtube playlist featuring all the songs so far covered

By the time ‘Everybody’s Problem’ was released, Pulp had ceased to exist. The Hinkler brothers were in the new lineup of Artery. Peter Boam, Michael Paramore and Tim Alcard had returned to their own projects. Tim will continue to play a minor role over the next few years. Magnus was playing, temporarily in Tony Perrin’s Sheffield supergroup Midnight Choir. Jarvis had his own side projects – or rather the side-projects had him. The scene had moved into an era of ad-hoc performances and one-off lineups. Pulp weren’t dead though, just entering a pupal phase. What emerged in the January of 1984 would be a very different animal altogether.
We’ll get to all of this a little later. For now, let’s look back at the band’s first era. As I get through this discography I’ll be stopping after each album to put together an alternative tracklisting. For ‘It’ I’ve decided to go for an overview of the band’s first half-decade. Thematically it’s all a bit of a jumble, but I’d say it’s a good overview.

1. I Scrubbed The Crabs That Killed Sheffield (Live in Bath, 1982)
2. What Do You Say?
3. Turkey Mambo Momma
4. Wishful Thinking (Peel Session Version)
5. Refuse To Be Blind
6. Sickly Grin
7. My Lighthouse (7″ mix)
8. Blue Girls (LP mix)
9. Love Love
10. There Was…

So now it’s over to you. What would you put together to sum up this era?