"Common People" was the big one for Pulp, the song that catapulted them to superstar status. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving song. A working class anthem with a disco beat, "Common People" told the semi-autobiographical story of Jarvis Cocker being propisitioned by a rich underclassman while he was studying at St. Martin's College. From there, the song launches into a blistering attack at rich, upper-class "tourists" who think being poor is cool and how they'll "never understand how it feels to live your life with no meaning or control" and how "you dance and drink and screw, 'cause there's nothing else to do." It was a vicious song, full of bile and pride, sent over the top by the band's surging wave of synths, violins, rhythms, and guitars. "Underwear," the B-side, was nearly as good. Following Cocker's unrequited love for a woman that sleeps with someone she hates, the song is one Pulp's best ballads and it contains the timeless couplet "If fashion is your trade then when you're naked/I guess you must be unemployed." "Common People" was a two-part CD single and only the first contained "Underwear," as well as an edit of the A-side. The second part contained acoustic versions of "Razzamatazz," "Dogs Are Everywhere," and "Joyriders."
Share this page