Pulp’s classic 1995 song “Common People” has been voted as the No. 1 anthem of the Britpop era.
The Jarvis Cocker-led group came out on top of the BBC Radio 6 Music poll ahead of songs by the Verve, Oasis, Blur, Suede, the Bluetones and Ash.
In its heyday, Pulp was everyone’s second-favorite Britpop band. If you were into Oasis, you couldn’t be into Blur. But everyone plugged into the scene was just fine with Pulp.
The Sheffield outfit’s frontman cut a suave, charismatic figure with a genuine talent as a wordsmith. But success didn't come early on. After various line-up changes and middling commercial success, wide attention finally arrived with 1994’s “His N Hers,” the band’s fourth studio album which delivered the hits “Babies” and “Do You Remember the First Time?”
The follow-up, “Different Class,” proved to be the band’s career-defining album. “Different Class” reached No. 1 on the U.K. albums chart, won the 1996 Mercury Music Prize, and yielded the top 10 singles “Common People,”” Mis-Shapes/Sorted for E’s And Wizz,” “Something Changed” and “Disco 2000,” which appeared at No. 9 on the BBC poll.
"Common People,” with its elegant story-telling (“She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge, She studied sculpture at Saint Martin’s College, That's where I, caught her eye”) and a video which featured Sadie Frost, actually missed out on the top spot first time around. The track peaked at No. 2 on the U.K. singles chart, pipped by Robson & Jerome’s cover of “Unchained Melody.”
More than 30,000 people voted on the poll, the culmination of a week-long celebration to mark 20 years since the birth of Britpop.
BBC Radio 6 Music's "Favorite Britpop Anthem" poll:
1. "Common People" by Pulp
2. "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve
3. "Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis
4. "Wonderwall" by Oasis
5. "Parklife" by Blur
6. "Animal Nitrate" by Suede
7. "Girls & Boys" by Blur
8. "Slight Return" by The Bluetones
9. "Disco 2000' by Pulp
10. "Girl From Mars" by Ash