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His 'N' Hers (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

Universal UK reissued the three key '90s Pulp albums as double-disc deluxe editions in 2006. The deluxe edition for their 1994 major-label debut, His 'n' Hers, contained full lyrics and liner notes from Jarvis Cocker in its fine booklet, but the real attraction is the second disc here, a 13-track collection of B-sides and rarities from around 1994. All the songs that showed up as B-sides on the singles for the albums show up here, although not necessarily grouped together according to their single release: there's sleekly urbane and romantic "Streetlights" and the schizophrenic cacophony of "The Babysitter" from Do You Remember the First Time?; from Lipgloss, there's the nearly ten-minute "Deep Fried in Kelvin," which retains its dramatic tension throughout its entire length, and "You're a Nightmare," taken from a Peel session and also available on the two-CD collection The Peel Sessions; finally, there's the three B-sides from The Sisters EP, which was the "Babies" single — the wonderful, ominous "Your Sister's Clothes," itself a nasty kissing cousin of "Babies," the chilly pulsating "Seconds," and "His 'n' Hers," a coolly reserved epic built on a burbling synth, a James Bond guitar lick, and a samba rhythm that would have been as an effective an album closer as "David's Last Summer." Also, there is a BBC performance of the Gift-era song "Space," which is nervier in this live incarnation than it was on record. Most of these aforementioned tracks are excellent, but the true attraction of this second disc is the four demos of unheard Pulp songs: "You're Not Blind," "The Boss," "Watching Nicky," and "Frightened." There are reasons that some of these didn't move past demo form — in his very good but too brief liner notes, Jarvis Cocker admits that "You're Not Blind" is a blatant rewrite of "Babies," a good rewrite, but a rewrite nonetheless — but they're still worthwhile, particularly the surging "The Boss," with its stuttering chorus, and "Frightened," with its funky, fuzz-toned breakdown. Taken together, along with the classic album this bonus disc accompanies, it all adds up to a portrait of a band just reaching its stride, and there's plenty of excitement here not in spite of the rough edges, but because of them. Needless to say, it's necessary for Pulp obsessives. [A deluxe edition was also released.]


Formed: 1978 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Most bands hit the big time immediately and fade away, or they build a dedicated following and slowly climb their way to the top. Pulp didn't follow either route. For the first 12 years of their existence, Pulp languished in near total obscurity, releasing a handful of albums and singles in the '80s to barely any attention. At the turn of the decade, the group began to gain an audience, sparking a remarkable turn of events that made the band one of the most popular British groups of the '90s. By...
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His 'N' Hers (Deluxe Edition), Pulp
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