Sky blue trainer bra...
If you ask me (which, by simply visiting this site, you undeniably have), Pulp were the very, very best of the Britpop explosion of the '90s. Not Blur. Certainly not Oasis. It could have maybe been Elastica, if it hadn't been for that nasty copyright-infringement lawsuit with Wire. So Jarvis & co. it is. As a friend once told me, "'Common People' is like a love affair... It's like being in love." That song is like taking the entire human condition, compressing it into four minutes, and putting a gun to the world's collective head, demanding them to dance their worries away. It's the anthem of the entire Britpop movement.
In 1992, Pulp released Intro, a compilation of synth-driven pop ditties recorded prior to the success the band earned with the His 'n' Hers LP. On this compilation is Inside Susan: A Story in Three Parts, a conceptual triptych that relays the story of a girl who might be the evil twin of the world-weary sculptor babe in "Common People". By taking the bus, snapping gum, flashing boys and working in a pet shop, she embodies the mundane lives most of us are condemned to, yet finds little pleasures along the way.
"59 Lyndhurst Grove"
And now, a little something I've been putting together over the last few days. You'll just have to indulge me on this one. As most people who know me have surely noticed, I'm quite the obsessive Morrissey fan. And, although we've been under Morrissey Siege '04 over the past couple of weeks, with the release of You Are the Quarry and whatnot, I still feel the urge to spread the Mozzer-love. Therefore, I present you with the inaugural post in what will be a week long series: That Charming Man: Morrissey Throughout the Ages. I will post an MP3 from every one of his solo albums (except Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted, because only true Moz fans should be obliged to brave such musical depths), along with a few b-sides and live tracks for good measurere. Without further ado...
I Hate Myself and I Wanna Die: The Viva Hate era, 1989-1991
Fresh off the Smiths' crushing break-up and the critical acclaim of their last studio album, Strangeways Here We Come, many thought that Morrissey would be outed as a fraudulent opportunist, and Johnny Marr woulresurrectct as a guitar god. Never in the history of pop music has the public been so wrong. Viva Hate is melancholy at its most masterful, brimming with fleeting images of runaways, sexual innuendos, James Dean fanatics and "greased tea" (still trying to figure that one out).
Morrissey - Hairdresser on Fire
Even though it was clear that Moz would probably never reach the greatness of the Smiths with his solo material, this song stands out as one of his greatesachievementts. It's perfect as far an instrumentation goes, with Morrissey's sorry wail lamenting the state of his quiff. FYI: live, the lyrics change a bit, notably when "When he said: "I'm gonna sue you"/I really felt for you" becomes "When he said: "I'm gonna screw you"/Well, I really felt happy for you".
Update: "Stacks" is now working. Sorry for the mess-up.