Vinyl Vlog 088

Vinyl Vlog 088

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Monday, 22 June 2015
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Different Class reissue by Pulp.

It’s hard to place Pulp in the Britpop explosion of the 90s. They arguably made a larger impact than Supergrass, they didn’t become the big joke that Oasis became, they didn’t spawn strangely successful offshoots like Blur, and they certainly didn’t redefine music like Radiohead. No, Pulp exists mostly in the static environment of the 90s. They haven’t continued to put out music (their last album came out almost 15 years ago) and if their strange documentary Pulp: A Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets  is to be believed, they don’t plan on it either. In fact, that documentary basically solidified that Pulp hasn’t been able to let go of their past, almost as if yearning to recapture that old glory, whatever that was.

So, how does one evaluate Pulp in that context? They’re catchy, that’s for sure, but they’re also a very sexual band, with songs exploring ideas of love, relationships, commitments, and sexuality. The pinnacle of which was probably embodied in their song “This is Hardcore.” Don’t believe me? Check out the video for that song and tell me Pulp can’t have an aura of brilliance to them. But, this review isn’t about that, it’s about Different Class: their breakout album and the one that will forever define the band. Sadly, I’m more of a fan of the album This is Hardcore (I don’t know what to say, it was my first exposure to them, so those songs have a special meaning to me), but there is absolutely no doubt that Different Class is where one finds all the Pulp hits and what one must listen to to understand Pulp. And whatever impact it had 20 years ago, there’s no denying this is still a pretty great album. It’s all in here really, from the sad innocence of Underwear, to the catchy class commentary of “Common People.” There’s a certain truth to the idea that although money might divide us, sex has the power to bring us together. And Pulp understood that.

Long out of print, Plain Recordings has repressed this rare gem on beautiful 180 gram vinyl, with printed sleeves and insert. Although they left out some of the bells and whistles of the special original pressing (like the build-your-own cover feature), the fact that this record is now circulating again is most certainly a treasure.

So yes, Different Class will probably be the album that defines Pulp. But more than that, it might just define Britpop itself.

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