Seventeen years ago today my favourite album of all time was released. I am, of course, talking about Different Class by the ever magnificent Pulp.This record, and this band, helped make me the brilliant mis-shapen (see what I did there?) individual I am today. Being “different” in Llanedeyrn High, especially when you’re in the first year, was a particularly brave thing to be. Honestly, I had no choice for most of it – we couldn’t afford the latest trainers (my Dr Marten boots were to last me the entire 5 years of high school) and I was hardly sporty enough to wear an Adidas tracksuit. Also, we couldn’t afford one. Also, I was a bit fat. And speccy. With braces. Yeah.
Then into my life came the gangly wonder that is Jarvis Cocker. My hero of all time. Jarvis with his charity shop suits and rusty Hillman Imp. Jarvis with his tales of awkward teenage love and his seemingly unending struggle with girls that resonated with the awkward teenage me SO much!
Of course, being poor and technologically slow in our house meant that I wouldn’t get my first CD player until Christmas 1996, a full 14 months after Different Class was released. My first copy of the album was given to me by my English teacher (with (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? on the other side). I wore it out. I remember buying it on tape from Virgin Megastore one Saturday. Ruth was with me. It cost £9.99. For a tape! Egads. I don’t know why I got it from Virgin – we used to hang around in Our Price where Mr Winklepicker and Mr Blondie-Pops worked, because that’s how cool we were at 12 and 13, when boys that worked in record shops would notice us. Obviously.
Now I’m 29, and a half. I am still in love with the guy I was first pursuing back in 1995, only now he’s actually mine. I’m still speccy, I finally have the Jarvis glasses I longed for and my car’s not made of rust. I have at least 4 copies of Different Class. I will never tire of this album. We shall prevail. Live on.
NB. Please do not read the lyrics while listening to the recordings.