07 January 2007

Nothing Much To Shout About

A few months ago The Sunday Times' Culture section was revamped and one of the new regular columns saw a writer give about 300 words on their favourite record or song. Just before Christmas this was opened up to readers to submit pieces on their own favourites. Contrary to popular belief, I love reading other people's opinions just as much as I love expounding my own, so I was looking forward to this. I even intended to enter, my prospective choices being either Paul McCartney's "Beautiful Night", Cliff Richard's "We Don't Talk Anymore" (officially THE greatest pop record ever made), Van Morrison's "Wonderful Remark" or Pulp's "Mis-shapes". As it happens I didn't enter, but Stephen Thompson did, and he wrote about Mis-shapes. His article says everything mine would have, but better. Here it is:
"Mis-Shapes by Pulp

Even as a 16-year-old, the irony of private-school toffs jumping around to Common People was not lost on me. It was everybody’s favourite track on Pulp’s 1995 album, Different Class, but not mine. The song of choice for the socially awkward, painfully shy, bespectacled teen was Mis-Shapes. It screamed that it was okay to be different, because you were no longer alone. Jarvis Cocker’s lyrics empower the listener, including you and flattering you: “Brothers, sisters, can’t you see? The future’s owned by you and me... We won’t use guns, we won’t use bombs/We’ll use the one thing we’ve got more of — that’s our minds.” So, things might be shit now, but it won’t be like this for ever. Every time I heard that song, it was like an older, more successful version of me had put a friendly arm round my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry mate, everything’s going to be okay.”
Steven Thompson"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ooh, Pulp, lovely. I've been listening to them a lot recently on my MP3-thingy (I'm one of the few still sans i-Pod) along with Jarvis's new-ish solo album. I have to say that Sorted For E's & Wizz and This is Hardcore stand out for me the most (with Disco 2000 and Common People closely behind). He's definitely one of the best lyricists around. Did I ever tell you I did a school fashion show routine to Common People? Oh, those were the days.