I am headed to London tomorrow, and as many times as I’ve been, it never gets un-exciting to me. Its such a great place, and of course there are a lot of pieces of music I associate with London.
Pulp was part of the mid-1990s “Cool Britannia” sound, and although they’re from Sheffield, I always associate particular Pulp songs with London. One album especially is “This is Hardcore” released in March 1998. “The Fear” a song about coming to terms with middle age starts off the album, which sounds more like a soundtrack to singer Jarvis Cocker’s own psychosis.
Some of his best lyric work serves us an introduction to the album:
This is our “Music from A Bachelor’s Den”
The sound of loneliness turned up to ten
A horror soundtrack from a stagnant waterbed
And it sounds just like this.
This is the sound of someone losing the plot
Making out that they’re okay when they’re not
You’re gonna like it
But not a lot
And the chorus goes like this..
The album goes on to other noble tracks like “Party Hard,” (on which we hear Cocker adopt Bowie’s ‘Jump they say‘ voice), “Help the Aged” yet another coming to terms with aging anthem, and the title Track which due to sample they used, helped resurrect a bit of interest in the Peter Thomas Orchestra.
Like it’s predecessor “Different Class” this album has great artwork. “Different Class” had limited editions which came with changeable sleeves. The art work for “This is Hardcore” is a great reminder why LPs are so great to own.
The cover art for “This is Hardcore” was directed by Peter Saville and styling by at the time Cocker’s wife (and now ex-wife) Camille Bidault Waddington and gives a bit of a nod to Roxy LP’s such as “Country Life” art work wise .
A fantastic album and worth a dig up if you haven’t listened to it for a while.