I greeted Jarvis Cocker’s 2006 solo album with unbridled excitement because the drought since the last Pulp release had been almost half a decade. Since then, I’ve listened to that record some eighteen thousand times and now I crave more. Unbeknownst to me, the intervening years had been in fact far from a drought, with a little searching, it became clear that Jarvis had been very busy indeed. He did of course infamously front glitchy-noise-terrorists Relaxed Muscle in something akin to a musical mid-life crisis. He’d also written reems of material for other artists like Nancy Sinatra, Tony Christie, Marianne Faithfull and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Mostly though, he’d contributed single guest vocal performances on the records of his friends and contemporaries (He and Richard Hawley somehow seem to have had a hand in most of the musical output of the western world in the past few years). So I decided to assemble a selection of these tracks to see if a second solo LP could be made (Until he releases his real second album!).
These fourteen tracks (Fourteen was an appropriately LP-length number) represent the tip of the Iceberg. There are none of his tracks sung by other artists, spoken word poetry, live tracks or jarring mutant-Electro (I could fill another whole CD with those. Maybe I will at a later date). It’s just the kind of spellbinding Pop/Rock songs you’d expect to hear on a Jarvis Cocker or Pulp record. Spend a pleasurable hour in the company of Jarvis Cocker and his friends. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how this disparate group of songs sound so good together (Well, that was my plan after all!).
Here’s a tracklisting with brief descriptions of where the songs are from (Plus links to purchase the original records):
1. Richard X (With Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley & Hope Sandoval) – Into U
From Richard X’s 2003 album ‘Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1’ with vocals and lyrics by Jarvis, backing vocals by Hope Sandoval, plus Guitar by Hawley.
2. The All Seeing I (With Jarvis Cocker) – Drive Safely Darlin’
From The All Seeing I’s 1999 album ‘Pickled Eggs & Sherbet’. The same record that featured Tony Christie’s recording of Jarvis’ song ‘Walk Like A Panther’ (A classic top-ten hit single). Jarvis wrote half of the LP, so it’s well worth checking out.
3. Jarvis Cocker – Everybody Loves The Underdog
A Jarvis original from 2001’s ‘Mike Bassett: England Manager’ Soundtrack.
4. The Pastels (With Jarvis Cocker) – I Picked A Flower
A supremely catchy song from The Pastels’ 2003 LP/Soundtrack ‘The Last Great Wilderness’ (It was also a single) with lyrics by Jarvis.
5. Jarvis Cocker – One Man Show
The B-side to Jarvis’ 2007 single ‘Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time’ (‘Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time’ was originally written for Nancy Sinatra). Only the true greats put songs this good on the B-side.
6. Barry Adamson (With Jarvis Cocker) – Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Pelvis
The opening track from Barry Adamson’s 1996 LP ‘Oedipus Schmoedipus’ and it was co-written by Jarvis.
7. Alpha (With Jarvis Cocker) – This Is Where I Came In
A cover of the Jimmy Webb song released on Alpha’s 2001 ‘The South EP’.
8. Jarvis Cocker & Kid Loco – I Just Came To Tell You That I’m Going
From the 2006 Serge Gainsbourg tribute compilation ‘Monsieur Gainsbourg: Revisited’.
9. Air (With Jarvis Cocker) – One Hell Of A Party
From Air’s 2007 LP ‘Pocket Symphony’ with lyrics by Jarvis.
10. The Weird Sisters – Magic Works
One of three songs that Jarvis and a select group of friends wrote and recorded for the fourth Harry Potter film. This one off band famously appear in the film during the ballroom scene.
11. David Arnold & Jarvis Cocker – All Time High
A great recording of John Barry’s notable Bond theme for David Arnold’s 1997 ‘Shaken & Stirred’ project.
12. Jarvis Cocker & Richard Hawley – A Cheat
From 2002’s ‘Total Lee: The Songs of Lee Hazlewood’ Compilation with Jarvis on vocals and Richard once again putting in sterling work on the Guitar.
13. Lush (With Jarvis Cocker) – Ciao!
From Lush’s 1996 album ‘Lovelife’ featuring a duet with Miki Berenyi (Who also wrote the song).
14. Pulp – Cocaine Socialism
My favourite Pulp B-side (Infact one of my favourite songs period) from 1998’s ‘A Little Soul’ single. Behold Jarvis’ lyrical genius.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP OF THE COMPILATION (Featuring the mp3s and printable artwork).
To conclude, here are some links you might find useful:
Acrylic Afternoons Pulp Fansite (An excellent discography).
Unfortunately I couldn’t find many YouTube clips of the above songs so I’ve also included some Jarvis related solo nuggets for your enjoyment:
A typically charismatic performance of ‘One Man Show’.
‘I Just Came To Tell You That I’m Going’ performed live.
Very well edited fan video for ‘Magic Works’.
A crowd pleasing live cover of ‘Eye of The Tiger’.
Jarvis singing ‘Walk Like a Panther’ on Top Of The Pops.
Relaxed Muscle performing ‘Mary’.
Jarvis Cocker & Beth Ditto performing Heaven 17’s ‘Temptation’.
Tony Christie’s brand-new video for his cover of Pulp’s ‘Born To Cry’.
Jarvis Cocker getting “Remixed” by Ali-G.
Intimate performance of ‘Disney Time’ by Jarvis & Richard Hawley.
Nancy Sinatra performing ‘Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time’ with Jarvis.
Jarvis performing the legendary ‘Cunts Are Still Running The World’.