CD: Pulp, Different Class


If, a decade on, Britpop can be considered a genuine cultural movement rather than merely a bunch of white boys with guitars, it's largely because of Pulp's fifth album.

Different Class was a docu-drama of 1990s Britain viewed through the thick-rimmed spectacles of a droll 31-year-old misfit called Jarvis Cocker. Some prefer the party's-over gloom of 1998's This is Hardcore (also reissued, as is 1994's His 'n' Hers) but while that record channelled dark, dyspeptic sentiments into dark, dyspeptic music, Different Class managed to finesse comedown angst (Bar Italia), infidelity (Pencil Skirt) and sex as a weapon of class war (I Spy) into larger-than-life pop. Common People remains the band's - indeed Britpop's - crowning achievement.

On the bonus disc's hair-raising Glastonbury performance, you can hear one of the most glorious sounds in pop: the sublime moment when lifelong outsiders realise they are suddenly at the right at the very centre of things.


Dorian Lynskey

The GuardianTramp

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