There are many rumors about the origin of PULP. In fact, I remember a friend in high school (you know the type that knows everything there is to know about bands) that told me it stood for People United for Looking Pretty. I guess, if you ever get the chance to meet Jarvis Cocker, you can ask him yourself.

There is no disputing the fact that Pulp is Cocker’s project. He started it in 1978 when he was only 15 years old. The band has gone through many changes over the decades, and has had over 20 band members. Some former members include Russell Senior (a long time member), Peter Mansell, Magnus Doyle, Antony Genn, Tim Allcard, and many more. Of course, Jarvis has been there since the beginning, and the current members are Candid Doyle, Mark Webber, Nick Banks, and Steve Mackey.

For a large chunk of the 80s, the band was only noticed by those few teens that craved seductive David Bowie-like rhythms; the band was not very good and copied Bowie poorly. However, I have been able to find at least one good song on each album. “Love Love” on their first album is fairly good. “Being Followed Home” and “Anorexic Beauty” are both worth a listen from their “Freaks” album, but their great songs didn’t come until 1994 with “His ‘n’ Hers”.

“His ‘n’ Hers” is one of the best, and the once modest band proved that they were here to stay when they came out with “Different Class” one year later. “Common People”, one of their biggest hits, made video appearances on MTV and was a huge hit. Americans were suddenly starting to notice this band—for good reason. “This is Hardcore” followed in 1998, and the “Great Expectations” soundtrack with “Like a Friend”, the song playing while Ethan Hawk sketches a naked Gwyneth Paltrow, helped push along the albums success. People seemed to want more Pulp.

Pulp has the rare quality of being pop and upbeat while still remaining completely original. I have never run across another band that sounds quite like Pulp. There is an air of naïve innocence with the sexual energy of Jarvis’s voice pouring over. He could make a girl want to be corrupted. This sexual tension can be seen in songs such as “Pencil Skirt”, “Common People”, “Seductive Barry”, and “This is Hardcore”.

I would like to predict that Pulp will never go away. In 2001 their newest album, “We Love Life” came out in England and arrived in America this year. It’s a good album. “Trees” has some catchy lyrics—mainly Jarvis blaming the trees for not warning him about his lover leaving. Most of their lyrics are clever and put a smile on my face, but please do not read them while listening to their music. I haven’t ever since I read, “Please do not read the lyrics whilst listening to the recordings” on insert of “Different Class”.

After so many months of pacing,
so many nights spent waking and scrawling
words into a bedside notepad,
with ceiling tiles for an editor,
the book was finally finished.

Conversations he had with himself
had been forced into the mouths
of his characters, their reactions
bred from the neighbors and friends
who had branded their lives into memory.

Those pageants and poems
of life never paraded themselves into
the minds of the public. They fell
from the shelves into the sale bins
like snow from a shaken paperweight

The words so laboriously ordered
marched back to the shelter of
the warehouse, where the pages
caressed the dust of failure
and a publisher’s accountant

like an Inquisitor of hope,
sentenced them to be burned
and blasted into pulp.

The author rode to the furnace,
with the eyes of a child
taking his best friend to the vet
for the last injection

He took solace in the fact that
his words would pass through
this crucible, and be transformed
into something more practical than
words, perhaps a table, or a bookshelf
to make room for that collection
of thoughts he might finally sell.

Pulp (?), n. [L. pulpa flesh, pith, pulp of fruit: cf. F. pulpe.]

A moist, slightly cohering mass, consisting of soft, undissolved animal or vegetable matter.

Specifically: (a) Anat.

A tissue or part resembling pulp; especially, the soft, highly vascular and sensitive tissue which fills the central cavity, called the pulp cavity, of teeth.

(b) Bot.

The soft, succulent part of fruit; as, the pulp of a grape

. (c)

The exterior part of a coffee berry

. B. Edwards. (d)

The material of which paper is made when ground up and suspended in water.


© Webster 1913.

Pulp, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Pulped (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Pulping.]


To reduce to pulp.


To deprive of the pulp, or integument.

The other mode is to pulp the coffee immediately as it comes from the tree. By a simple machine a man will pulp a bushel in a minute. B. Edwards.


© Webster 1913.

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