Music icon, Jarvis Cocker was born on this day in 1963, in Sheffield. He set up his first band in 1980 called Arabacus Pulp and throughout this decade they gained steady popularity in their home city. After several line up changes and lack of a national breakthrough, he nearly broke up the band but was persuaded to carry on by his bandmates. By the early 1990s, the British music scene was changing. Gone was Stock Aitken & Waterman and American stadium rock, in was a new British sound, based around northern cities such as Manchester and Sheffield, “britpop.” This movement would see a rise in bands forming from these areas and making their way to the top of the charts, such as The Happy Mondays, Oasis and Blur. Pulp had already existed in Sheffield since 1980 and were suddenly in demand.
They signed to Island records and in 1995 reached number 2 with “Common People,” the song perhaps that Jarvis Cocker is most associated with. Further album success followed with, “A Different Class,” which topped the album chart. This spawned other both popular and controversial hits, such as “Disco 2000” and “Mishapes,” Sorted for E’s & Whizzes.
Many people know Jarvis Cocker, not just for his music, but also the time when he invaded Michael Jackson’s performance at the Brit Awards in 1996. Their last major album, “This is Hardcore” was released in 1998 and signalled a change in direction for the band, as the Britpop scene was falling apart. The band broke up in 2001.
Jarvis Cocker did numerous individual music projects, before being offered his own radio show, “Sunday Service,” on BBC Radio 6 music.
Happy birthday Jarvis!