“Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets” is about more than the music of the titular Britpop standout’s reunion tour. It’s about the relationship between a town and an artist (in this case, the town is Sheffield, England), about how a community’s identity can affect its citizens and it’s about homecomings.
But the blood that pumps through the documentary’s veins is still the songs that helped define the mid-’90s for a generation of Britpop fans.
So before heading out to see the film, get caught up with these five tracks that not only represent Pulp at its peak, but also fit with the film.
‘Do You Remember the First Time?’
The band’s last single before the release of the career-defining “Different Class,” it was the set opener during Pulp’s reunion tour. The refrain refers to losing one’s virginity, but stripped of its context it could be the theme song to any reunion tour.
Key Lines: “Do you remember the first time? I can’t remember a worst time, but you know we’ve changed so much since then ?”
Those of the age to have enjoyed Pulp when it was near the top of the Britpop world in the mid-’90s are now around the age to understand Cocker’s dilemma in this ode to settling, from “This is Hardcore.”
Key Lines: “And I’m not worried that I will never touch the stars, because stars belong up in heaven, and the Earth is where we are.”
One of Pulp’s biggest hits also had plenty of personal references for Cocker: As he describes in his book “Mother, Brother, Lover,” the song’s Deborah was really born hours after him and they were in school together. Also, the “fountain down the road” was Goodwin Fountain in Sheffield.
Key Lines: “Your name is Deborah. Deborah — it never suited you.”
The final track on Pulp’s final album, Cocker and company finally discover the joys of the daytime, after years of celebrating long late nights.
Key Lines: “But you’ve been awake all night — why should you crash out at dawn?”
The ideal distillation of Cocker’s obsessions with sex and class, the song has its own BBC documentary and has been covered by everyone from My Chemical Romance to William Shatner.
Key Lines: “? and the stupid things that you do, because you think that poor is cool.”
If you go: “Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets” opens Wednesday at IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave., 212-924-7771