Fire Records (2022) UK
Pulp's 1987 album Freaks as part of the Fire Embers reissue series with a special 2 disc release, with the second bonus disc packed with singles and b-sides from the Freaks era.
Pulp had changed significantly since their debut It. By this time every member bar Jarvis Cocker had moved on but the addition of Russell Senior proved to be a pivotal turning point for the band. No longer did Pulp sound pastoral, easy-natured; now they were darkly romantic, brooding, noisy and a little bit Gothic, in the way young folk who brush their hair a certain way are always a little bit Gothic.
Pulp were out-of-tune with the times: but the times didn't satisfy Pulp. The album is quite marvellous. Most of these songs stand the distance of time: it was here, possibly even more than 1992's Separations, that Pulp started coming into their own as a band with a fully-realised aesthetic.
The first disc is the original album, unaltered and in its entirety. The second is a bonus disc comprising of tracks from the two big non-album singles from the same era, 'Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)' and 'Dogs are Everywhere'. Two further b-sides 'Tunnel' and 'Manon' complete the second disc for the definitive 'Freaks' period release. Pulp's It and Separations will be reissued at the same time for the complete Pulp on Fire collection.