OK then, how about a tour of some good Pulp songs that show their musical progression?
From their first album, It, 1983.
Wishful Thinking shows their early interest in instrumental guitarwork, one of the ways in which they were influenced by Joy Division.
Blue Girls is a rather slow and haunting song.
From their second album, Freaks (with the brilliant subtitle Ten Stories about Power, Claustrophobia, Suffocation and Holding Hands), 1987.
Being Followed Home is perhaps Pulp’s darkest song. You can hear Jarvis Cocker using spoken-word vocals, which he also used on several other songs at this time.
They Suffocate at Night is another example of Pulp’s skill at making a slow, gloomy song that at the same time stays fresh to the listener.
From their third album, Separations (1992):
Don’t You Want Me Anymore shows the band moving to a more upfront, bombastic style.
Countdown is fast-paced and bold.
From their “breakthrough” album, His ‘n’ Hers (1994) which was the first to receive mainstream attention:
Lipgloss is one of the first songs to show the “new Pulp”: processed and packaged, with an upbeat and commercial sound.
Do You Remember the First Time is one of Pulp’s most iconic songs, and one of the most defining singles of the 1990s.
From their fifth album, Different Class, 1995, which is full of brilliant and timeless songs:
In the popular imagination, this is the Pulp song: Common People is the pinnacle of Pulp’s commercial and iconic success, to the extent that only a month ago it was parodied with recordings of Jacob Reese-Mogg.
From their sixth album, This is Hardcore, 1998:
The Fear shows the more jaded, cynical tone expressed by Pulp following their energetic fifth album.
Sylvia reverts a bit to the earler feel of the songs in Separations. [EDIT: No it doesn’t, I totally misremembered this song.]
From their seventh and final album, We Love Life (2001):
Jarvis returns to experimental spoken-word vocals in this throwback song.
The Trees is a slow-paced classic.
And one more for luck:
One of Pulp’s last songs is one of the most interesting: Wickerman is a rich, contemplative spoken-word track in which Jarvis takes us on a journey through the city of Sheffield.