Friday, 20 April 2012
Nonetheless, it’s all about the music really, and Pink has made some decent records. 2010’s “Greatest Hits…So Far!!!” set is an exemplary exercise in how to make good pop records, which ultimately is the genre with which Pink has most in common. There is, when you listen carefully, a mix of styles hidden beneath the surface on her records, but ultimately, “pop” is the best catch-all genre to describe, overall, Pink’s music since day 1.
After the release of “Most Girls” (complete with a choreographed Destiny’s Child style dance sequence in the video) and the none-more-feisty “You Make Me Sick”, Pink worked with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim and Mya on the 2001 stand alone single “Lady Marmalade”, a cover of the Labelle single, for the “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack - complete with suitably saucy promo. A number of remixes were used as B-sides, with the UK single having less bonus tracks compared to the likes of the French edition. Unsurprisingly, the track has never been made available on a Pink album (probably due to the hassle of trying to sort out all the licensing issues that come with a multi-artist single), and even the video is missing from the DVD edition of the Greatest Hits collection.
In late 2001/early 2002, Pink returned with “Get The Party Started”, the first single from her second LP, “Missundaztood” - released after the album had been issued in the UK, but before it in the USA. Although there was another slick dance scene in the promo, this song was a lot more advanced than the minimalist, slightly primitive R&B of the first record, and was a lot more “pop” than what had come before. The single was issued in the UK on two different CD formats, although the uneducated would have assumed they were releases from different countries, as the sleeve designs - including the “Pink” logo - were wildly different on each.
“Missundaztood” was a great leap forward - there was a lot more variety on the record than “Can’t Take Me Home”, and Pink headed out on tour with a full band - a complete turnaround from the R&B sound from barely two years previous. The follow up singles, “Don’t Let Me Get Me” and “Just Like A Pill” had a noisier “crunch” to them, both coming with an anthemic roar of a chorus each. “Family Portrait” had a bit more of a hip-hop vibe, a vague sort of nod to Pink’s past. These last three singles were all issued on one CD edition only, each coming with the appropriate music video as part of the enhanced section of the CD.
2003, and it was movie soundtrack time again. This time, it was for the “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” film, and a track called “Feel Good Time”. It was co-written by, amongst others, Beck, and a version taped by the man himself was originally going to be the version used in the film. However, after Pink showed interest in the song, she was invited to record vocals for the song, and the Beck version was left in the vaults. It was an impressive pop record - produced by William Orbit, it had the same space-age feel of the records he had produced for Madonna around about the same time. The Cassette version issued in the UK included an exclusive mix unavailable on the CD single.
Later the same year saw the release of the much trumpeted “Try This”, the album featuring various co-writes by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, and a guest spot from controversial electro-act Peaches. The lead single from the album, “Trouble”, did have another one of those anthemic choruses, complete with some vaguely ‘punk’ guitar backing, whilst the single was issued as a coloured vinyl 7” - again, this seemed to be a record company ploy at highlighting the album’s rock and roll credentials. But overall, “Try This” was still a pop record at heart - look no further than the follow up single “God Is A DJ” which came backed with various dance mixes, rather than covers of The Ramones or The Sex Pistols, as B-sides. Initial copies of the album came with a free DVD, and in the UK, “Feel Good Time” was slotted in as a bonus track.
Arguably Pink’s best LP is 2006’s “I’m Not Dead”, a record that recalls the carefree spirit of “Missundaztood”. The aforementioned “Stupid Girls” was released as the first single from the album. The album appeared in the short lived “Dual Disc” format, with the DVD side of the disc featuring extra tracks and bonus video footage. The track listing of the audio side is not quite the same as listed on the actual sleeve. In Australia, “I’m Not Dead” was later reissued to coincide with a Pink tour through the country, and came with a bonus DVD - whilst also being housed in a differently coloured sleeve. In recent times, the UK “Pink Box” 4-CD box set has been released, and includes within it “standard” versions of this and the three preceding LP’s.
“Who Knew” was the next single, issued on two CD’s in slightly different covers, in May 2006. It was followed up by the incendiary “U + Ur Hand”, which reverted to the “one CD, 2 track only” format. By the time the “I’m Not Dead” promo campaign came to an end, no less than five singles had been released from the album. The last of these, “Dear Mr President”, seems to have been released as a limited edition tour tie-in again, although some sites claim the release was “download only”. I honestly can't remember if I ever saw a copy in the shops at the time. The CD single edition that was (allegedly) sold in the UK included another track from the album as a B-side, “Leave Me Alone” - promo copies of this song were sent out to radio stations, and garnered a lot of radio play, and is probably more well known than the official a-side.
2008’s “Funhouse” spawned four physical single releases in the UK, all of which were issued as 2-track editions, by now being the “standard” format as regards UK singles. Videos were made for other tracks off the album, which were either released as download only singles, or overseas only releases. The LP was, again, reissued with bonuses in a new cover to coincide with a UK tour, and once more, the actual track listing on the sleeve didn’t quite tie up with what the CD actually played. Although “Funhouse” seems a weaker effort compared to “I’m Not Dead”, the third single from the LP, “Please Don’t Leave Me”, was a stunningly beautiful piece of work, catchy, melodic, and with some superb vocals and key changes - probably Pink’s best ever single release.
The 2010 best-of included “new” songs, as you would expect, although only “Raise Your Glass” was issued as a physical single. The CD was initially released as a limited edition with a DVD of (most of) Pink’s videos, but there was also a standard DVD release as well, which seemed to make the double-disc edition a bit of an oddity. The US CD+DVD edition seemed to offer an altered track listing, but from what I can gather, the UK one features the same videos on the double-disc one as the standard DVD release.
Now, I am quite prepared for some clarification regarding the list below. I bought many of these singles on the date of release, so, AFAIK, any formats not shown either:
a) include nothing exclusive
b) are actually European releases, not officially available in the UK
I could be wrong, but I do believe the references to the CD2 editions of things like “Stupid Girls” you may find on the net, are not UK releases. The singles list includes - usually - the CD edition(s), plus any vinyl editions of interest. For the albums, I have listed the most interesting UK releases.
Can’t Take Me Home (CD, Arista 74321 794492, includes two bonus remixes)
Misunderstood (CD, Arista 74321 91324 2, includes bonus track “Catch 22”, enhanced)
Try This (CD + DVD, Arista 82876 56814 2, includes “Feel Good Time”)
I’m Not Dead (CD/DVD Dualdisc, Sony 82876 803342, numerous bonuses especially on DVD side)
Funhouse (CD + DVD, Sony 88697 60069 2, ’Tour Edition’ reissue, includes “Push You Away”)
Greatest Hits…So Far! (CD + DVD, Sony 88697 807242, CD includes “Raise Your Glass” and two new songs)
There You Go (Album Version)/(Hani Radio Edit)/(Video) (CD, Arista 74321 75760 2)
Most Girls (Radio Edit)/(X Men Vocal Mix)/There You Go (Sovereign Mix)/Most Girls (Video) (CD, Arista 74321 79201 2)
Most Girls (X Men Vocal Mix)/(X Men Dubby)/There You Go (Sovereign Mix) (12”, Arista 74321 79201 1)
You Make Me Sick (Radio Mix)/(Dub Conspiracy Mix)/(El B Remix) (CD, Arista 74321 82870 2)
You Make Me Sick (Album Version)/(El B Remix)/(Dub Conspiracy Mix) (12” in alternate sleeve design, Arista 74321 82870 1)
Lady Marmalade (Edit)/(Thunderpuss Radio Mix)/(Thunderpuss Club Mix) (CD, Interscope 497 561-2)
Get The Party Started (Radio Mix)/Get the Party Started - Sweet Dreams/Get The Party Started (Radio Mix [Instrumental]) (CD1, Arista 74321 91337 2, with calendar and insert)
Get The Party Started (Radio Mix)/(K5 Wek Kraft Mix)/(P!nk Noise Disco Mix Radio Edit)/(Video) (CD2, Arista 74321 91338 2, unique p/s with insert)
Don’t Let Me Get Me (John Shanks Remix)/(Radio Mix)/(Maurice’s Nu Soul Mix)/(Video) (CD, Arista 74321 93921 2, with insert)
Just Like A Pill (Radio Version)/(Jacknife Lee Remix)/Get The Party Started (Live, London Scala 2002)/Just Like A Pill (Video) (CD, Arista 74321 95965 2, with insert)
Family Portrait (Radio Edit)/(Album Version)/My Vietnam (Live, London Scala 2002)/Family Portrait (Video) (CD, Arista 74321 98205 2, with insert)
Feel Good Time (Single Version)/(Boris & Beck Radio Edit) (Cassette, Columbia 674106 4, tracks repeat on side 2)
Feel Good Time (Single Version)/(D Bop’s Full Throttle Mix)/(Boris & Beck’s Massive Vocal) (CD, Columbia 674106 2)
Trouble (Radio Edit)/Delirium (Clear Vinyl 7”, Arista 82876 571757, unique p/s)
Trouble (Radio Edit)/Delirium/Free/Trouble (Video) (CD, Arista 82876 572172)
God Is A DJ/Trouble (Hyper Remix Edit) (CD1, Arista 82876 589352, “red” p/s with insert)
God Is A DJ/Trouble (AOL Sessions Version 10.11.2003)/God Is A DJ (D Bop Vocal Remix) (CD2, Arista 82876 589472, with insert)
God Is A DJ (D Bop Vocal Remix)/(Spider Remix)/(Electroheadz Remix)/(Album Version) (12”, Arista 82876 589351, plays at 33rpm)
Last To Know (LP Version)/(D Bop Club Edit) (CD, Arista 82876 611732)
Stupid Girls/Heartbreaker (CD, Sony 82876 811902)
Who Knew/Disconnected (CD1, Sony 82876 847012)
Who Knew (LP Mix)/(Sharp Boys’ Love Jonathan Harvey Remix)/(Bimbo Jones Radio Edit)/Live In Europe Preview (Video) (CD2, Sony 82876 847022, different p/s)
U + Ur Hand/Crash & Burn (CD, Sony 82876 880802)
Nobody Knows/Words (CD, Sony 88697 032862)
Dear Mr President (Album Mix)/(Live)/Leave Me Alone/Who Knew (Live)/Dear Mr President (Live Video) (CD, Sony 88697 087662, German pressing, some copies then believed to have been exported to UK)
So What (Clean Version)/Could’ve Had Everything (CD, Sony 88697 37277 2)
Sober/When We’re Through (CD, Sony 88697 42507 2)
Please Don’t Leave Me (LP Version)/(Junior Vasquez Tribal Dub) (CD, Sony 88697 47162 2)
Funhouse (LP Mix)/(Digital Dog Remix) (CD, Sony 88697 55645 2)
Raise Your Glass/U + Ur Hand (Live In Australia) (CD, Sony 88697 817202)