Pulp and Jarvis Cocker over the years

A look back in pictures at Sheffield music icons Pulp for 26th anniversary of Common People

Amazingly, Sheffield band Pulp’s iconic song Common People celebrates its 26th anniversary this month.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 3:48 pm

The song came off the band’s fifth studio album Different Class, which for many was their high point, and also contains another Pulp anthem, Disco 2000.

Common People combines a singalong-at-the-top-of-your-voice chorus with lyrics that display a blazing anger at the waste of working-class lives, the type of sharp social commentary that band frontman Jarvis Cocker, from Intake, wrote brilliantly for Pulp.

The story is based on a rich student that Jarvis met when he was at St Martin’s College in London, who wants to slum it and “live with common people like you”. The point is that she never really can.

The song was released as the album’s lead single in May 1995 and hit number two in the charts.

Pulp performed it at Glastonbury that year in a headline set when they stood in for the Stone Roses, and their performance of Common People is cited as by many one of the festival’s most memorable moments.

Common People also electrified the crowd at Pulp’s emotional last-ever live gig at Sheffield Arena in December 2012, one highlight of an amazing and memorable evening.

Cover versions of the song include one by Star Trek legend William Shatner and another by The Wurzels.

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