❚ PULP’S FRONTMAN JARVIS COCKER had returned to his old school in Sheffield to launch his book, Mother, Brother, Lover – a compilation of song lyrics spanning 30 years, out this week from Faber. In the assembly hall he stood on the stage where Pulp – then a bunch of schoolmates he’d harangued into forming a band – performed their very first gig in 1978. He was telling a now-familiar yarn. Because the band was his idea, he explained, he had been lumbered with writing the songs. As we see in the video below, he picked up his guitar and sang the first lyric he ever wrote: “I said, baby why you ignoring me?/ She said, To be or not to be? / Shakespeare rock, Shakespeare roll./ ” A hall full of teenagers tittered with embarrassment… Fortunately, this one is not in his published collection.
“ Afterwards, staff queued up with their old Pulp CDs for him to sign. One had an original copy of the 1995 Sorted for Es and Wizz hit single, whose infamous sleeve featured instructions on how to fold a wrap to keep drugs in. I’d clean forgotten Cocker was once the voice of youth drug culture – and I suspect the kids he’d just addressed would be astonished – for these days he’s more like the heir to Alan Bennett. ” / continued online
➢ Jarvis Cocker: the secrets of Pulp’s songs — The Guardian has an exclusive extract from his new book of selected lyrics, and reveals the blueprint for the band’s signature style of narrative pop
➢ Mother, Brother, Lover: Selected Lyrics by Jarvis Cocker, is published by Faber & Faber on October 20 at £14.99, reduced to £7.94 at Amazon — A collection of 66 lyrics with commentary by Jarvis Cocker, it features such modern classics as Common People, Disco 2000, Babies, This is Hardcore and more. The selection reveals to Pulp fans a chronicle of the rare, bookish wit that Cocker brought to the pop charts.
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