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Pulp

"Jarvis Cocker formed Pulp in 1978, when he was 15 years old. Originally called Arabicus Pulp, thefirst lineup consisted of schoolmates of Cocker. After a year, the band's name was truncated toPulp. While they were in school, Pulp performed a handful of gigs. The band recorded a demosometime in 1980-1981, giving the tape to John Peel at one of his traveling shows. Peel liked thetape and invited the band to appear on his show. Pulp had their first Peel Session in November1981. Instead of leading to record deals and pop stardom, Pulp's appearance on Peel led nowhere.Discouraged by the band's ...read more

"Jarvis Cocker formed Pulp in 1978, when he was 15 years old. Originally called Arabicus Pulp, thefirst lineup consisted of schoolmates of Cocker. After a year, the band's name was truncated toPulp. While they were in school, Pulp performed a handful of gigs. The band recorded a demosometime in 1980-1981, giving the tape to John Peel at one of his traveling shows. Peel liked thetape and invited the band to appear on his show. Pulp had their first Peel Session in November1981. Instead of leading to record deals and pop stardom, Pulp's appearance on Peel led nowhere.Discouraged by the band's lack of success, every member but Cocker left the band in 1982 to go touniversity. The following year, Cocker assembled a new lineup which featured eight members,including keyboardist Simon Hinkler, who would later join the Mission. In this incarnation, Pulp haddistinct folk overtones, as well as new wave underpinnings. The group landed their first recordcontract, releasing their debut album, It, in 1984. It didn't make much of an impact and the band fellapart again. After the second incarnation of Pulp disintegrated, Jarvis Cocker formed anotherversion of the band, with guitarist/violinist Russell Senior, who became Cocker's first full-fledgedcollaborator. Cocker and Senior added drummer Magnus Doyle and bassist Peter Mansell to thegroup, as well as Tim Allcard, who did nothing but read poetry. Musically, Pulp backed away from thefolky inclinations of It, adding keyboardist Candida Doyle in 1985, which led to a darker sound;shortly after her arrival, Allcard left the group. In 1985, Pulp released a series of singles on FireRecords. Just as their fortunes were looking up, Cocker became injured severely. As he was tryingto impress a girl, he fell 30 feet out of a window, injuring his pelvis, foot, and wrist. For two months,he was confined to a wheelchair, but he performed concerts anyway.

Released in 1986, Pulp's second album, Freaks, was a dense, dark affair. Following its release, theband split during the filming of the video for "They Suffocate at Night." All of the members, exceptCocker and Senior, left the group. For a year, the band was dormant, but Candida Doyle returned in1987, with drummer Nick Banks and bassist Steven Havenhand joining shortly afterward.Havenhand was soon replaced by Anthony Genn, who was soon replaced by Steve Mackey. Althoughthe group had a stable lineup, they weren't gaining much of a following. In 1988, Cocker moved toLondon with Mackey and began studying filmmaking at St. Martin's College. While he was studying,Pulp was offered the chance to record another album. The resulting album, Separations, wasrecorded in 1989 and reflected Cocker's newfound obsession with acid house but it also boastedsome full-fledged pop songs. Separations was released nearly three years after it was completed.Cocker was prepared to stake out a career in film when a single from the album, "My LegendaryGirlfriend," was released. NME named the song Single of the Week in 1991 and Pulp's careersuddenly took off.

In early 1992, Pulp left Fire Records for Gift, and began releasing a series of singles thatconsolidated the success of "My Legendary Girlfriend." In particular, "Babies" earned the band agreat deal of attention. "Babies" led to a contract with Island Records, their first major-label deal.Island released Pulpintro, a compilation of the Gift singles, as the band recorded its major. labeldebut, His 'n' Hers. Upon its spring 1994 release, His 'n' Hers earned positive reviews and becamean unexpected success, reaching the British Top Ten; it was also nominated for the 1994 MercuryAward. For the rest of 1994 and the early part of 1995, Jarvis Cocker suddenly becameomnipresent on British television. These suave, humorous television appearances becamelegendary, making Cocker somewhat of a national hero, as well as a sex symbol.

No matter how popular Jarvis Cocker had become, the band didn't break into the big time until theyreleased "Common People." The single became a massive hit upon its May 1995 release, debutingat number two on the U.K. charts. In July, Pulp accepted a last-minute headlining slot atGlastonbury Festival when the Stone Roses had to cancel. Pulp's set was rapturously received,launching the band into superstar status in England and conveniently setting the stage for theirforthcoming album, Different Class. During the recording of the album, guitarist Mark Webber -- thepresident of Pulp's fan club -- became a full. time member of the group. The first record to featureWebber was the double A-sided single, "Mis-Shapes" and "Sorted for E's & Wizz," which wasreleased in August, two months before Different Class. The single became a number two hit, despitea major tabloid controversy over the lyrics to "Sorted..

Different Class arrived in late October to rave reviews throughout the British press. The albumentered the charts at number one, going gold within its first week and platinum within the second. Atthe end of the year, the album topped many best-of. the-year lists. In February of 1996, DifferentClass was released in the United States to positive reviews. The massive fame and attention thatDifferent Class brought Pulp influenced the direction of their follow-up, 1998's world-weary,paranoid This Is Hardcore. The album's troubled sound and somewhat mixed reception led some tospeculate whether or not the group would continue; the band's members took some time to pursueside projects such as DJ-ing at various nightclubs and remixing tracks for artists like Black BoxRecorder and Death in Vegas. Meanwhile, they continued to play live, performing at variousfestivals, including the Meltdown festival curated by Scott Walker. Walker proved such aninspiration for the group that Pulp hired him on as the producer of their new material after recordingwith Chris Thomas went unsatisfactorily. The resulting album, We Love Life -- its name inspired bythe September 11 terrorist attacks -- was released in the fall of 2001 in the UK and in the spring of2002 in the US to critical acclaim..

- AllMusic « hide

Similar Bands: The Smiths, Suede, The Divine Comedy, Orange Juice, Mansun

LPs
We Love Life
2001

3.7
65 Votes
This is Hardcore
1998

3.9
137 Votes
Different Class
1995

4.2
303 Votes
His 'n' Hers
1994

4
102 Votes
Separations
1992

3.3
39 Votes
Freaks
1986

2.7
37 Votes
It
1983

2.4
34 Votes
EPs
The Sisters EP
1994

3.6
5 Votes
Compilations
Hits
2002

4.5
16 Votes
Masters of the Universe
1994

Intro - The Gift Recordings
1993

4
2 Votes

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