Pulp

1978-2002, 2011-
Jarvis CockerVocals, Guitar, Keyboards1978-2002, 2011-
Candida DoyleKeyboards, Vocals1984-1986, 1987-2002, 2011-
Nick BanksDrums1986-2002, 2011-
Steve MackeyBass1988-2002, 2011-
Mark WebberGuitar, Keyboards1995-2002, 2011-
Saskia CockerBacking Vocals1982-1983, 2012
Jill TaylorBacking Vocals1982-1983, 2012
Richard HawleyGuitar1998-2002, 2011-2012
Garry WilsonDrums1982-1983
Leo AbrahamsGuitar2011-2013
Jean CookViolin2012
Peter DaltonGuitar, Keyboards, Vocals1978-1982
Ian DaltonPercussion1978-1979
David LockwoodBass1979
Mark SwiftDrums, Percussion1978-1980
Phillip ThompsonBass1978-1979

Pulp Artistfacts

  • Pulp are somewhat of an anomaly in modern pop music - it took them a very long time, over 15 years, to really break through and become successful as a band. Having gone through many lineup changes since starting as a university project from frontman Jarvis Cocker in 1978, it was only in the early to mid-1990s that the band finally hit huge commercial success as part of the vanguard of the Britpop movement.
  • Initially the band started as a project from a 15-year-old Cocker and his friend Peter Dalton, and the name Pulp (taken from a Michael Caine film of the same name) was originally shot down for being too short. At first the band were known as Arabicus - a deliberate misspelling of the Arabicas coffee beans, which Cocker found listed in the Financial Times commodity index. Eventually the name evolved to Arabicus Pulp, then simply Pulp as the name initially dismissed as being too short eventually stuck.
  • In the early days, the band started out sounding, according to a local fanzine, "Like a cross between ABBA and The Fall." During the first decade or so of the band's existence, the musical style shifted dramatically at various times, for several reasons - mostly due to the band's ever-evolving lineup with members leaving to go to university and returning, and a constant chasing of success.

    In October 1981 when they were granted their first Peel Session, they were described as a typical Sheffield post-punk band, sounding much like the Human League and Comsat Angels. By their next album It, the musical style shifted to Leonard Cohen-esque ballads, which also didn't find success. It was only in the late 1980s when Steve Mackey joined on bass that the sound really started to become what we know as the signature Pulp sound, as Cocker's disparate influences were mixed with Mackey's love of acid house and taking Cocker to raves.
  • The band's rise to fame in the mid-1990s garnered no shortage of controversy. Firstly the single "Sorted for E's and Whizz" attracted an enormous Daily Mirror media campaign demanding the single be banned for supposedly promoting hardcore drug use (not helped by a diagram on the sleeve of the cover supposedly showing how to wrap a origami parcel to stash drugs).

    The second, most notorious controversy was self-inflicted: singer Jarvis Cocker stormed the stage at the 1996 BRIT Awards and mooned at the audience during Michael Jackson's performance of "Earth Song," supposedly in protest of Jackson's Christ-like poses and dance moves in the song. Jackson's entourage swooped in and had him arrested, but Cocker was later released without charge after having comedian Bob Mortimer act as his legal representation (who had previously been a solicitor before moving into comedy). Both of these controversies provoked moral outrage, but also shot Pulp to even higher fame and album sales - any publicity is good publicity!
  • Somewhat inevitably their sudden stratospheric rise to fame hit the band, guitarist and lead creative songwriter Russell Senior left in 1996, citing, "it wasn't creatively rewarding to be in Pulp anymore."

    Cocker had hit problems with cocaine addiction and disillusionment with the music industry - after striving for success for so long, they then had real problems trying to deal with the widespread acclaim that came from the albums His 'N' Hers (1994) and Different Class (1995).

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