Yes, it’s that time of the week again when I pick two songs for your aural delectation and try to justify some vague link between them – Musical Tuesday!
We start today with a classic late-disco track from 1982, Laura Branigan’s Gloria
It may surprise people to learn the the track was originally by Italian singer Umberto Tozzi. A hit in Italy in 1979 it was similarly successful in various translations around Europe, but it only came to the attention of English speakers with the massive success of Branigan’s version three years later. Take a listen to it, from the perspective of 30 years on the production is a bit dated, but that girl could sing! Sadly she passed away from a brain aneurism in 2004.
My second selection this week is Disco 2000 by those thoughtful pre-emos of the 90’s Brit-Pop scene Pulp. Released in 1995 it was one of the band’s biggest hits and tells the tale of a young man in love with a childhood friend who seemingly can’t see him for all the popular people she now hangs out with (not that you’d realise that from the video clip…). The story is apparently autobiographical, with Jarvis Cocker (Pulp’s almost supernaturally tall and thin frontman who was a hipster back when a hipster was someone cool and interesting rather than a dickhead with a beard and stupid hat) claiming that the only made up part is the woodchip wallpaper.
So, what’s the connection? Well did you actually listen to them? The main riff of Disco 2000 is taken direct from Gloria, with Jarvis even driving home the point by singing “Deborah – Deborah” in exactly the same way as Laura Branigan. This should not be any great revelation – it’s been known about for 17 years – it’s just an interesting way to link two very fine songs, that’s all.
(Good lord, I just realised that gap between now and Disco 2000 is longer than the gap between Disco 2000 and Gloria. Damn I’m getting old…)
Note that I’ve embedded the full version of the song, that includes the Cocker trademark of a slightly strange monologue which is cut from the radio version. They always cut Pulp songs for the radio, Common People is never quite as good without the vicious third verse about dogs and chip stains. Sad.
Finally, some years back I had four concluding notes (something like C B A B) from a song stuck in my head for months. After almost going mad I eventually tracked it down to Disco 2000, the very last place I would have expected. Neat.