One album wonders: World of Twist's Quality Street

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 24, 2014 08:00am | Post a Comment

World of Twist
are one of the greatest one album wonders, on par with The La’s and The Sex Pistols — if unfortunately much more obscure than either. Although they’ve been broken up for more than twenty years, their cult still remains small although it seems inevitable that they will some day be granted the adoration which they so deserve. It seems only a matter of time before an excellent documentary on them screens at Don’t Knock the Rock or appears on video. 

As with many one album wonders, though not prolific as recording artists, the World of Twist’s members were involved in music for many years. From 1977-1979, Dave Conner (vocals), Gordon King (bass), James Fry (guitar), Julia Adamson (guitar), and Tony Ogden (drums) played in a punk band called The Blackout when all were art students in Art & Design at Stockport College in Greater Manchester.

Around 1982, King and Fry followed the latter’s older brother, Martin (of ABC) to Sheffield, then one of the most musically interesting cities in the UK (see Made in Sheffield). Over the next few years the line-up grew to included Ogden, Andy Robins (synthesizer), and Rory Connolly (saxophone). After Robins quit they were joined by Andrew Hobson (bass) and Nick Philips (organ) and by 1984/’85 they had a repertoire of about a dozen songs which they recorded as demos. Three songs from 1985 were released in 1992 after World of Twist had split up.

Pulp - The pre-Britpop days

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 10, 2007 04:15pm | Post a Comment
I was wondering whilst trying to fall asleep the other night why I haven't ever looked up any Pulp videos on Youtube before. Then I remembered that I had a dvd called Hits, so what else could there be? A few seconds later, a vacuum tube in my mind sparked to life and I recalled (to myself) that Jarvis is at best pretty ambivalent about the early years, so I was excited to find a few early videos.


Pulp was formed in 1978 by 15-year-old Jarvis Cocker, a student at a Sheffield City Secondary School.
In 1980 they, amazingly, recorded a Peel Session. I only just found out that it's available on CD, so I haven't heard it, but it's supposedly pretty in-line with Sheffield's reigning synth-rock sound of the time.

In 1982 the still virginal Jarvis recorded It.

The record reflected a change in direction toward a folky, jangly sound with wide-eyed lyrics about love and being shy all sung rather off-key but kind of managing to sound like early Leonard Cohen.

The following year saw the single "My Lighthouse."


And, at the encouragement of someone at the label to record more commercial stuff in the style of Wham!, they followed it with the rare, and not half-bad Everybody's Problem.


Two years later, frustrated by unfulfilled dreams of success, Jarvis grew rather gloomy and Pulp entered their "arty" phase.


          Little Girl With Blue Eyes                         Dogs Are Everywhere (1986)            They Suffocate at Night (1987)


"This was a leap into semi-professionalism. It was made by someone who claimed to have done the lighting on Chariots Of Fire, which impressed us a great deal at the time. In typical Fire fashion, we could only afford one roll of film, so he had to keep winding the film backwards and forwards for different bits of the song. I constructed the set in an abandoned warehouse across the road from the factory I was living in at the time. I converted an inspection pit into a kind of sunken bedroom, then filled about 200 freezer bags full of coloured liquid for another bit elsewhere. For some reason there was a horse skeleton in the building so that ended up in the film too." -Jarvis Cocker

They released the single "Master of the Universe" and the album Freaks in 1987 to resounding commercial and critical disinterest.


Jarvis dissolved the band and moved to London to study film.


Two years later a new line-up formed.


In 1989, clearly steeped in Acid House and sounding a bit like World of Twist they recorded Separations, which their label promptly released a mere three years later. 

Pulp opening for World of Twist at their homecoming concert in 1991

In the meantime, they made videos for "My Legendary Girlfriend" and "Countdown."

and three singles:


NME named "My Legendary Girlfriend" their single of the week and Pulp, having ended their relationship with Fire Records, continued with Pulp Into: The Gift Recordings.


Their next record, 1994's His 'n' Hers, hit #9 in the UK Charts and the All Music Guide gave 4 1/2 stars to what they erroneously described as "Pulp's debut" when, in fact, they'd by then already released four albums and two compilations of non-album material.

A short time later, this German-based website devoted to Pulp (the only one in existence back then in those early days of the internet becoming popular) ceased to exist, its owner disgusted with Pulp's new,  commercial turn.


Follow me at