"Bad Cover Version" as written by Jarvis Branson Cocker, Stephen Patrick Mackey, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle and Mark Andrew Webber....
The word's on the street; you've found someone new
If he looks nothing like me
I'm so happy for you

I heard an old girlfriend
Has turned to the church
She's trying to replace me
But it'll never work

'cause every touch reminds you of
Just how sweet it could have been
And every time he kisses you
It leaves behind the bitter taste of saccharine

A bad cover version of love is not the real thing
Bikini clad girl on the front who invited you in
Such great disappointment
When you got him home
The original was so good
The one you no longer own

And every touch reminds you of
Just how sweet it could have been
And every time he kisses you
You get the taste of saccharine

It's not easy to forget me
It's so hard to disconnect
When it's electronically reprocessed
To give a more life-like effect
Oh come on

Ah, sing your song
About all the sad imitations
That got it so wrong

It's like a later Tom And Jerry, when the two of them could talk
Like the Stones since the Eighties
Like the last days of Southfork
Like Planet Of The Apes on TV
The second side of Til The Band Comes In
Like an own brand box of cornflakes:
He's going to let you down, my friend

Lyrics submitted by typo, edited by WasntReallyYou

"Bad Cover Version" as written by Jarvis Branson Cocker Candida Doyle

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Bad Cover Version song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment"A bad cover version of love is not the real thing
    Bikini-clad girl on the front who invited you in"

    This refers to the budget-priced compilation albums released on Britain's Hallmark record label in the late sixties and early seventies, which featured extremely bad cover versions of current chart hits.

    These albums were titled "Top of the Pops" (not to be confused with the BBC television show) and usually featured pretty bikini-garbed girls on the cover. One of the strangest of these LPs I have seen had a gorgeous bikini-wearing twentysomething girl on the front cover and a hairy, ugly thirtysomething man on the rear cover. The man had a dog leash around his neck and was clad only in underpants. I am not making this up, that's the 1970s for you.

    All of the cover versions on these albums were by anonymous session musicians rather than named acts Famously, one of these anons was a young singer and pianist named Reginald Dwight, nowadays better known as Elton John.
    Ruffianon February 24, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment* It's like a later "Tom & Jerry" when the two of them could talk

    The cartoon series started letting them talk and it is generally accepted was never as good after that point (Jumped the shark)

    * like the Stones since the Eighties

    The Rolling Stone have not put out anything good since the end of the 1980s (or 1960s in many people's opinions)

    * like the last days of Southfork

    The famously bad end of TVs Dallas where The Devil confronted JR to try to get him to kill himself.

    * Like "Planet of the Apes" on TV

    As opposed to the movies which are pretty good.

    * the second side of "'Til the Band Comes in"

    The Scott Walker album which - vinyl fans - had a good first five tracks and a weak second five

    * like an own-brand box of cornflakes

    Kellogs famously so they never make Cornflakes for anyone else meaning that no other brand of Cornflakes will taste like a Kellogs box.
    michaelwoodon June 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJarvis' comments:
    The main tune came from Candida. I wrote the words at night, then I went to bed, woke up in the morning and thought, 'I bet they're really shit, them words'. But then when I sang them they worked alright. When we recorded it with other people it never sounded right - it sounded like a pastiche of something. It's just a pop song but I find it quite emotional.
    Doing [this song] was probably the most embarrassing moment on the record, for me, because the song had been written a long time before we knew we were gonna work with Scott Walker, and in the end section of the song there's a list of inferior things, but unfortunately in this litany I included Scott Walker's fifth solo LP, 'Til the Band Comes In. Because that record's always mystified me, because it starts off with original material, and it's pretty good, and then suddenly on the second side he just does six cover versions, and it's like he just kind of gets sick of the whole thing and just gives up half-way through the record. So I've always found it a very strange album for that.
    Then of course when we were working with him, this became a problem for me, because I felt that I had to mention it to him. I didn't want him to suddenly realise it himself, and then come and punch me or something. So I was thinking about it, and it was coming closer to the day when I was gonna have to do me vocal, and I was really trying to find the right moment to broach the subject, but it never seemed to come along. And then one morning, it was getting to be a bit of a problem for me actually, so I was travelling there on the train and thinking: "Right, first thing, as soon as I get into the studio, I'm gonna have it out with him, I'm gonna tell him, I'm gonna tell it how it is." So I was thinking to myself: "Yeah, gotta do it, gotta do it, gotta do it." Got off the train, walked into the studio [...] pinned him up against the mixing desk, and just kind of blurted it all out: "Er, Scott well, I've just got to apologise for something, because, like, okay, at the end of the song, like, I make a reference to 'Til the Band Comes In, right, in a list of crap things, and, what I was trying, y'know, obviously..." And just kind of said all this stuff. And he just kind of looked at me in a very mystified way, of like, "What is this nutter ranting on about?", and then it kind of clicked with him what I was on about, and he just laughed and said: "Well, gee thanks guys, that's the way you repay me." I think he doesn't actually own any of his old records so I think he'd kind of forgotten that he'd made that one. But for me, it was embarrassing.
    thateuandgelookon October 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song has my favourite lyric ever:

    I heard an old girlfriend has turned to the church
    She's trying to replace me, but it'll never work

    It just makes me laugh everytime I hear it.
    kiltmanon June 18, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthaha. anyways, i like this video
    dansron June 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdoes anyone know what the line

    "like the last days of Southfork"

    refers to?
    jacko251on October 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The last days of Southfork" refers to the TV show Dallas. Southfork was the ranch the show was shot on.
    albinoon October 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe best part of this song is the saccharine taste. Just brilliant
    GranEleon April 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the video is brilliant. And while I can easily tell that some of the people are impresonators (including Jarvis himself), I honestly can't tell if some of them are the real thing (Elton John, Robbie Williams, Kylie, etc.) Does anyone know for sure?
    Cary Graniteon April 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's probably worth mentioning that Scott Walker produced the album that features this song; this is a typical Pulp in-joke.
    ShineYouDiamondon September 06, 2006   Link

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