This Is Hardcore

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This Is Hardcore
Studio album by Pulp
Released 30 March 1998
Recorded 1997
CTS Studios, and Olympic Studios, London; The Townhouse
Genre Alternative rock, art rock[1]
Length 69:49
Label Island
Producer Chris Thomas
Pulp chronology
Countdown 1992–1983
This Is Hardcore
Freshly Squeezed... the Early Years

This Is Hardcore is the sixth album by English band Pulp, first released in March 1998. It came three years after their breakthrough album, Different Class, and was eagerly anticipated.

Background and release[edit]

As with the previous band's album, Different Class, it reached #1 in the UK Albums Chart, and was well received critically, earning Pulp a third successive nomination for the 1998 Mercury Prize. A subsequent release in the UK later in 1998 came with a bonus live CD entitled "This Is Glastonbury". A deluxe edition of This Is Hardcore was released on 11 September 2006. It contained a second disc of B-sides, demos and rarities.

The cover photo was art directed by Peter Saville and the American painter John Currin who is known for his figurative paintings of exaggerated female forms. The images were further digitally manipulated by Howard Wakefield who also designed the album.[2] Currin, who was also the art director for the "Help the Aged" video, based on his painting "The Never Ending Story." Advertising posters showing the album's cover that appeared on the London Underground system were defaced by graffiti artists with slogans like "This Offends Women"[3] and "This is Sexist" or "This is Demeaning".[4]

The music video for the title track was directed by Doug Nichol and was listed as the No. 47 best video of all time by NME.[5]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[6]
Calgary Sun (Positive)[citation needed] 30 Mar 98
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[7]
NME (7/10)[citation needed]
Pitchfork Media (7.8/10)[8]
Q 4/5 stars[citation needed]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[9]
Spin (8/10)[10]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Jarvis Cocker, all music composed by Nick Banks, Cocker, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey and Mark Webber, except where noted.

No. Title Music Length
1. "The Fear"     5:35
2. "Dishes"     3:30
3. "Party Hard"     4:00
4. "Help the Aged"     4:28
5. "This Is Hardcore"   Banks, Cocker, Doyle, Mackey, Webber, Peter Thomas 6:25
6. "TV Movie"     3:25
7. "A Little Soul"     3:19
8. "I'm a Man"     4:59
9. "Seductive Barry"     8:31
10. "Sylvia"     5:44
11. "Glory Days"   Banks, Cocker, Doyle, Mackey, Webber, Antony Genn 4:55
12. "The Day After the Revolution" (edited to 5:52 on bonus track releases)   14:56
Bonus tracks

Tracks 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 from the Deluxe edition bonus disc were previously unavailable

Limited edition double vinyl LP


In the UK, there were four singles released from the album:

  1. "Help the Aged" (10 November 1997)
  2. "This Is Hardcore" (16 March 1998)
  3. "A Little Soul" (8 June 1998)
  4. "Party Hard" (7 September 1998)
  • "The Fear" was released as a promo-only CD single in the US in 1998. The single features the 4:29 radio edit and a 0:10 research hook. There was never a commercial single release for the song.

Chart positions[edit]

Title Release date UK US
This Is Hardcore (album) 30 March 1998 1 114
"Help the Aged" 10 November 1997 8
"This Is Hardcore" (single) 16 March 1998 12
"A Little Soul" / "Cocaine Socialism" 8 June 1998 22
"Party Hard" 7 September 1998 29


  • Lyrics – Jarvis Cocker
  • Music – Doyle, Cocker, Webber, Banks, Mackey, Peter Thomas ("This Is Hardcore"), Antony Genn ("Glory Days" and "Cocaine Socialism")
  • Artwork (art direction) – John Currin, Peter Saville
  • Artwork (design and Smart blur 'painterly effect') – Howard Wakefield, Paul Hetherington
  • Photography – Horst Diekgerdes
  • Engineer – Pete Lewis
  • Producer – Chris Thomas
  • Programmed By – Magnus Fiennes, Mark Hayley, Matthew Vaughan, Olle Romo
  • Piano - Anne Dudley (5,7,11), Chris Thomas (5)
  • Vocals (9) - Neneh Cherry
  • Backing vocals (1,9) - Mandy Bell, Carol Kenyon, Jackie Rawe
  • String arrangements (2,5,7,9) - Anne Dudley and Pulp
  • Orchestration (5,9) - Nicholas Dodd[11]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Cocker, Jarvis 'They're not grotesque – they're beautiful' Retrieved 11 December 2007.
  3. ^ Anon 'PULP – ACRYLIC AFTERNOONS – This Is Hardcore Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  4. ^ Kelly, Amanda; Clay, Alistair (19 April 1998). "'Sexist' Pulp ads attacked; Anything goes, say advertisers. Not so, say angry women with spraycans.". The Independent (London). 
  5. ^ "100 Greatest Music Videos". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  6. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Pulp: This Is Hardcore > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  7. ^ Browne, David (13 Apr 98). "This Is Hardcore: Pulp". Entertainment Weekly.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ DiCrescenzo, Brent (31 December 1999). "Pulp: This Is Hardcore". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. 
  9. ^ Kot, Greg (23 Mar 98). "Pulp: This Is Hardcore". Rolling Stone (784). Archived from the original on 2 October 2007.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Hornby, Nick (May 1998). "Reviews: People's Poet". Spin archived at Google Books. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Booklet

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Best Of by James
UK number one album
11 April 1998 – 17 April 1998
Succeeded by
Life Thru a Lens by Robbie Williams