Wednesday, August 12, 2009

91. 'Bad Cover Version', Pulp (2001)

(This is a great video, right there -- a faux Pulp tribute, with people dressed as celebrities, singing this song Band Aid style.)

“Sing your song about all the sad imitations that got it so wrong
It's like a later "Tom & Jerry" when the two of them could talk
Like the Stones since the Eighties, like the last days of Southfork.
Like ‘Planet of the Apes’ on TV, the second side of "’Til the Band Comes in’
Like an own-brand box of cornflakes: he's going to let you down, my friend.”

I reckon that Wikipedia’s interpretation of this verse is tremendous:

“The song details the protagonist's belief that his former partner's current relationship is inferior to what she had with him. The latter part of the song is a list of things the narrator likens said relationship to, including The Rolling Stones since the 1980s, the TV series of Planet of the Apes and the second side of 'Til The Band Comes In. The latter is a reference to an album by Scott Walker, who produced the song, which contains several cover versions on its second half. Lyricist Jarvis Cocker has stated that the song was written before he knew that the band would be working with Walker.”

Pulp seemed to have fallen off a little bit after the downer of “This Is Hardcore” in the late 90s. I loved that record, but the follow-up, 2001s “We Love Life” ended up being their swan song and it all made sense, despite it being a strong collection of tunes. In that way, “Bad Cover Version” is a perfect fit for this release and it brings in all of Pulp’s tremendous dramatic swells and Jarvis Cocker’s dry humor and makes a nice little pop song that Meatloaf and George Michael can dig on. (Make sure you watch that video).

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