Another Mercury Prize winner. You must all think of me as a bit of a pompous arse?
However, I’m going to call ‘parlay’ here – Pulp’s 1995 triumph is officially my favourite album of all time. It’s the album I’ve listened to the most in my lifetime. It is the album I have the most memories attached to. Oh, and it has provided me with my upbeat Karaoke track of choice – ‘Disco 2000’ (my ballad being ‘Hello’ by Lionel Ritchie).
November 1995 to January 1996. I was a member of the child chorus in the ground-breaking pantomime production of Cinderella at the Salisbury Playhouse. The child cast was made up of 6 girls and 2 boys. And whilst the actors (including Eddie Marsen) and the girls where afforded dressing rooms with lightbulbs around the mirrors. Justin and I were squeezed into a broom cupboard next to a laundry room. It contained a clothes rail, 2 chairs and a JVC CD Player that despite being covered in paint, kicked out a right good racket. My Dad gave me 2 CD's for Christmas that year. The first was Lightening Seeds’ Jolification, and the second was Pulp, Different Class. Justin and I played it over and over and over as we switched the interchangeable front covers in the CD case.
Fast forward 7 years and I’m sat in a bar in Salisbury (The Duke of York) at midnight on a Saturday with Jodie. Jodie was a gal 6 years older than me and absolutely drop dead gorgeous, a model for Toni & Guy. She wasn’t my girlfriend, but I wanted her to be. Jarvis was singing ‘Common People’ in the background and she lifted her hand to her eye as she mouthed along before leaning forward and kissing me.
Another 3 years and I’m in a club at 2 or 3am after the Notting Hill Carnival. Everything went dark and quiet for a few seconds and the crowd began to get restless. Then that casiotone start to ‘Sorted for E’s and Whizz’ boomed out of the speakers. An immediately recognisable klaxon like sound that sent the room wild. It was a happy moment to savour.
And now… 23 years after its release. The hilarity of Cocker’s monologue in ‘I Spy’ still resonates. The outright sexiness of ‘Underwear’ following ‘F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E’ and leading into ‘Monday Morning’ still tingles the spine. This is an album that absolutely exudes charisma. It is all killer and zero filler - an incredible social commentary, covering class, sex, work, play, drugs, drink, festivals, boys, girls and everything that stitches them all together. This transcended ‘Cool Britannia’ and ‘Brit Pop’. It saw What’s the Story, Morning Glory. It saw Parklife. It saw Everything Must Go. And it raised!
I’d take it to a deserted island in a heartbeat and I’d absolutely fucking love it as I played it time and time again.