Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. (Simone Joyner)

Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. (Simone Joyner) Credit: Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. (Simone Joyner)

Along with bands like Blur and Oasis, Pulp defined the Britpop sound of the 1990s.

But Pulp may have been the smartest of the bunch.

Lead singer Jarvis Cocker wrote witty lyrics about sex, class and the struggles of trying to achieve your dreams, and he sang them over melodies that combined New Wave, rock and disco. The band broke up in 2002, but reunited to play European and Australian festivals last year.

Now, Pulp is finally returning to the U.S., with gigs in New York, San Francisco and at the Coachella Festival.

The reunion is only the most recent of many decisions that have left Pulp fans either smiling, dismayed or simply confused. Here's a look at some that stand out.

1985 Cocker is in a wheelchair at concerts after falling out a window while doing a Spider-Man impression for a girl he liked.

1995 Pulp's single "Sorted for E's and Wizz" includes artwork showing how to create a wrap that can be used to conceal drugs. Britain's Daily Mirror calls for a ban, while Cocker denies the song is pro-drugs.

1995 Pulp adds its fan club president to the band to play guitar and keyboards. Unfortunately, Mark Walhberg does not re-enact the story in a movie, as he would when Judas Priest hired the singer from a Priest cover band one year later.

1996 Cocker comes onstage during Michael Jackson's performance of "Earth Song' at the Brit Awards and shakes his butt at the audience. He spends the night in jail before being released with no charges, but he becomes one of the most talked-about people in Britain.

1998 Pulp tours the U.S. for the last time in more than a decade in support of its album "This Is Hardcore".

2011 Pulp headline Barcelona's Primavera Sound Festival, the first time its "classic" lineup has performed together since 1996.


If you go: Pulp is at Radio City Music Hall tonight and Wednesday at 8 p.m. 1260 Sixth Ave., 212-307-7171, $35-75. 

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