Additional personnel includes: Anne Dudley (conductor, arranger); Chris Thomas (guitar, keyboards); Matthew Vaughan, Olle Romo, Anthony Genn, Mark Haley (programming); Gavyn Wright.
Recorded at The Town House and Air Lyndhurst, London, England.
Judging from the tone of the songs on DIFFERENT CLASS, Jarvis Cocker, Pulp's lead singer, chief lyricist and main attraction, seems like a spiteful little bastard playing Robin Hood--or, maybe, Robin Hood playing the spiteful little bastard. His suave thespian delivery of songs about English class warfare and an outsiders' existence, suggests a class-conscious Bryan Ferry. And he fronts a band as majestic, glammy and multi-faceted as the Eno-era Roxy Music playing a form of modern-day Rocky Horror Britpop.
Pulp's is a thoroughly British pose--the themes, colloquialisms and topics of DIFFERENT CLASS have little to do with American culture. Like E.M. Forster novels, however, the best songs play with emotions of societal existence, which translate easily across the ocean. "Mis-Shapes," an acoustic-guitar-fueled call-to-arms for the working class young, and "Common People," the tale of a young upper-class female who goes slumming for a commoner lover ("I wanna sleep with common people") and finds a venomous Cocker, are alone worth the price of admission. And judging by his coldly detached description of a rave in "Sorted Out For E's & Wizz," Cocker finds no solace in the counterculture either, which suggests that the different classes he's talking about aren't simply shaped by the contents of pocketbooks but the contents of hearts and minds.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.64) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (4/4/96, pp.61-62) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...a brilliant, eccentric, irresistible pop album about fucking and fucking up..."
Spin (9/99, p.140) - Ranked #1 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Spin (1/97, p.58) - Ranked #3 on Spin's list of the "20 Best Albums Of '96."
Spin (3/96, p.108) - 9 (out of 10) - "...Jarvis Cocker [is] the most observant, quotable British lyricist since Morrissey and Neil Tennant....Pulp elevate themselves to a level...supportive of Cocker's minutely detailed narratives and excessively theatrical delivery. The new-wave arrangements stay focused..."
Q (p.116) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n album that deserved its huge success. It defined the mood of the day."
Q (p.129) - Ranked #4 in Q Magazine's "10 Essential Reissues Of 2006."
Q (10/01, p.67) - Ranked #23 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime"
Q (12/99, p.84) - Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Q (2/96, p.67) - Included in Q's 50 Best Albums of 1995.
Q (6/00, p.70) - Ranked #46 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums"
Q (12/95, p.142) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...the range of DIFFERENT CLASS is impressive: `Live Bed Show' is the sort of brooding ballad Nick Cave might favour...tracks such as this and `Feelings Called Love,' render more redundant than ever the view of Pulp as kitsch..."
Uncut (p.98) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "Middle-class snobbery, the beauty and banality of rave and the endless cycle of hedonistic desperation are all grist to the tragicomic mill."
Option (1-2/96, p.110) - "...a vivacious extravaganza of mod, melodramatic fun..."
Melody Maker (12/23-30/95, pp.66-67) - Tied for #1 on Melody Maker's list of 1995's `Albums Of The Year.'
Melody Maker (10/28/95, p.37) - Bloody Essential - "...at once richly evocative of a quintessentially English pop past and yet as irreducible, idiosyncratic and NOW! as...The Smiths in their heyday. Pulp, in fact, are The Smiths if they hadn't been so appallingly disco-phobic..."
Village Voice (2/25/97) - Ranked #10 in the Village Voice's 1996 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.62) - Ranked #39 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "[T]his was a bigger and brighter work, with brilliantly drawn, era-defining vignettes..."
NME (Magazine) (12/23-30/95, pp.22-23) - Ranked #7 in NME's `Top 50 Albums Of The Year' for 1995 - "...A call to arms for the misfits and the misunderstood..."
- Pencil Skirt
- Common People
- I Spy
- Disco 2000
- Live Bed Show
- Something Changed
- Sorted For E's And Wizz
- Monday Morning
- Bar Italia
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