Who says serious music also can’t have a wicked sense of humor? When people talk about the two great Brit pop bands of the 1990s, the two most common answers are Blur or Oasis (I interviewed the drummer of Keane and he chose Blur). However, if you were a fan of independent music in the 1990s and alt rock in general (and you have a sort of hipster taste), there’s a good chance you might say Pulp instead of either of those bands. They may not have had the success in the States that Blur or Oasis had (and certainly were never quite as big as Blur or Oasis anywhere), but there’s a decent argument to be made that they actually produced better music. There’s no better opening statement for an argument for Pulp’s superiority than to listen to their groundbreaking satire on class tourism, “Common People” (which was basically a giant fuck you to the faux-populism at the heart of both Blur and Oasis). It doesn’t hurt that it has one of the most remarkable and ear-burrowing melodies of the 1990s. I’m not sure if I agree with Pitchfork or NME that it’s the single best single of the 1990s, but if it’s not in your top 10 just after two or three listens, you need to get your ears checked. I’ll let Jarvis Cocker and crew do my arguing for me.

 

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