A list of my own then. Having started on a hundred greatest songwriters, I got bored after number three and decided 10 best songs by Pulp would be a better idea. Note, please, that their best song is “Dogs Are Everywhere” (Sartre would have been proud), but it’s not on this list. That was a different Jarvis Cocker, and those were different times…
10. “Mile End”
Cocker was on one hell of a roll in mid-90s, and this was just a b-side of “Something Changed”. This delirious pop classic was also used in Trainspotting.
There’s always room for sentimentality when it comes to Pulp, and the pulsating opener from His ’n’ Hers was what made me a fan back in 1879 or something.
8. “A Little Soul”
This Is Hardcore was an even deeper, quirkier Jarvis Cocker. ‘I used to practice every night on my wife… now she’s gone’.
7. “Do You Remember The First Time?”
‘You bought a toy that can reach the places he never goes’. Who else can get away with a lyric like that?..
6. “Bar Italia”
On an album full of fantastic pop songs, this was the perfect closer. Christ how can you not sing along when this one is on?
High on adrenaline, late at night, when nobody cares.
‘If fashion is your trade then when you’re naked I guess you must be unemployed yeah’. Musically, too, some of the best melodies I can think of.
3. “The Birds In Your Garden”
Not every songwriter (other than Taylor Swift, of course) can pen a long chorus and make it this tuneful and entertaining. From the wonderfully patchy We Love Life.
How on Earth was this not on Different Class?!? With Cocker, even the fake telephone conversation works.
Trashy euro disco. What a man.