Sorted for E's & Wizz

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"Sorted for E's & Wizz"
Single by Pulp
from the album Different Class
B-side "P.T.A"
Released 25 September 1995
Format 7", CD
Recorded 1995
Genre Britpop
Length 3:47
Label Island
Writer(s) Pulp
Producer(s) Chris Thomas
Pulp singles chronology
"Common People"
(1995)
"Mis-Shapes" / "Sorted for E's & Wizz"
(1995)
"Disco 2000"
(1995)

"Sorted for E's & Wizz" is a song by the English band Pulp. Taken from their UK number one album Different Class, it was released as a double A-sided single with "Mis-Shapes" in September 1995 and reached number two in the UK charts. It was Pulp's second successive number two hit in 1995.

Lyrics[edit]

The song describes going to a rave "somewhere in a field in Hampshire", taking drugs ("E's and Wizz" refers to ecstasy and speed). "Getting sorted" means having handled something, in this case, picking up drugs for a concert. The latter part of the song discusses the emptiness of the experience and the comedown the next morning:

"In the middle of the night, it feels alright
But then tomorrow morning, oh, then you come down"

Inspiration[edit]

The song was first performed at the Glastonbury Festival in 1995, where Cocker explained his inspiration. "'Sorted for E's and Wizz' is a phrase a girl that I met in Sheffield once told me... and she went to see The Stone Roses at Spike Island and I said "what do you remember about it?". And she said "Well there were all these blokes walking around saying 'Is everybody sorted for E's and wizz?'" And that's all she remembered about it and I thought it was a good phrase."[1]

Reception[edit]

Prior to the release of the single, the Daily Mirror printed a front-page story headed "BAN THIS SICK STUNT" alongside a story by Kate Thornton which said the song was "pro-drugs" and called for the single to be banned.[2] The pre-release single had an inlay which Thornton alleged showed how to make an origami 'wrap' or parcel with the intention of "offering teenage fans a DIY guide on hiding illegal drugs".[3] In an interview with music paper NME on the same day, Kate Thornton was quoted to say: "We wanted to see the sleeve pulled and we thought it was a crusade we would take up single-handedly. I think the sleeve is something that will concern our readers, although it may not concern yours." The band agreed to change the artwork, while continuing to assert that Kate Thornton had misinterpreted the meaning of both the sleeve art and the song's lyrics. Lead singer Jarvis Cocker released a statement two days later saying: "...'Sorted' is not a pro-drugs song... Nowhere on the sleeve does it say you are supposed to put drugs in here but I understand the confusion... I wouldn't want anything we do to encourage people to take drugs because they aren't a solution or an answer to anything. I don't think anyone who listens to Sorted would come away thinking it had a pro drugs message. If they did I would say they had misinterpreted it."[4] The Daily Mirror printed his statement, but he was unhappy that the front page article written by Thornton contained the misquote "I don't want the sleeve to get in the way of what the record is saying, which is an anti-drugs message", which he felt oversimplified the song's meaning once again. He also criticised Thornton's decision to contact the father of a victim of an ecstasy-related death for a response.[5] The Daily Mirror campaign continued, publishing their readers' response to a poll to have the song itself banned. The original sleeve was replaced with a plain white sleeve once the initial pressing had sold out.

Pre-release orders reached over 200,000, according to Nick Rowe, marketing director for Island Records, the biggest pre-release total in the label's history to that date.[5] The single reached number two on the UK Single Charts.[6]

The furore surrounding the single was spoofed by Chris Morris in the Channel 4 satirical series Brass Eye.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Jarvis Cocker, Nick Banks, Steve Mackey, Russell Senior, Candida Doyle and Mark Webber; except where noted.

7" vinyl / cassette single
  • 7" was released in November 1996.
  1. "Mis-Shapes" – 3:45
  2. "Sorted for E's & Wizz" – 3:42
CD single one (Catalogue no. CID 620)
  1. "Mis-Shapes" – 3:45
  2. "Sorted for E's & Wizz" – 3:42
  3. "P.T.A. (Parent Teacher Association)" – 3:15
  4. "Common People (Live at Glastonbury)" (Jarvis Cocker, Nick Banks, Steve Mackey, Russell Senior, Candida Doyle) – 7:38
CD single two (Catalogue no. CIDX 620)
  1. "Sorted for E's & Wizz" – 3:42
  2. "Mis-Shapes" – 3:45
  3. "Common People (Motiv 8 Club Mix)" (Cocker, Banks, Mackey, Senior, Doyle) – 7:50
  4. "Common People (Vocoda Mix)" (Cocker, Banks, Mackey, Senior, Doyle) – 6:18

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Glastonbury - Pulp at Glastonbury 1995, 18m40s". BBC. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ban This Sick Stunt". The Daily Mirror. 20 September 1995.
  3. ^ Sleeve art for single 'Sorted for E's and Wizz' at PulpWiki.net
  4. ^ Response statement by Jarvis Cocker to Daily Mirror story, 22 September 1995 stored at www.acrylicafternoons.com
  5. ^ a b 'Pulp in Britpop's First Ban' Melody Maker, 30 September 1995
  6. ^ Roberts, David (editor) (2006) [1977]. British Hit Singles & Albums (19th edition). London: HiT Entertainment. p. 442. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]