24 May

The deluxe edition of Pulp's This Is Hardcore lacks one of the B-side tracks of the album's first single, 'Help the Aged', including a shorter version of 'Tomorrow Never Lies', the Rough Mix, instead of the original, plus 'Laughing Boy'. It includes 'Ladies' Man' and 'The Professional', the two original tracks from the 'This Is Hardcore' singles, but only one of four alternate versions of the A side. Only 'Like a Friend' from the 'A Little Soul' singles is included; while a different version of 'Cocaine Socialism' ('The Proper Version', the meaning of which Jarvis Cocker tries and fails to explain in the liner notes) is included, none of the four alternate versions of the A side (the A-side track itself was a version shorter than the album track) make the cut. From the fourth, final single, 'Party Hard', 'We Are the Boyz' is included, but not the two alternate versions of 'Party Hard' or--the worst offense of all--the 'Complete and Utter Breakdown Version' of 'The Fear', arguably a better track than the album original. Given that the album benefits less from the remastering, this deluxe edition is a waste. Granted, the second disc does feature five demos and a session out-take, thus adding six songs to the Pulp oeuvre. But recall that there was already another double-disc version of this album, featuring a Glastonbury performance; if they'd reissued that disc plus the abandoned B-side tracks noted above, they could've had a four-disc set. Or, rather, now that the Pulp deluxe editions are getting old, maybe it's time for a Blu-Ray disc that could fit all that material and more.