The fold was short-lived however. Steve Mackey, a regular at their Sheffield and London gigs, was also studying in London and was asked to join the band as a bass player. The line-up now consisted of Cocker, Mackey, Senior, Candida Doyle, Nick Banks (drums). In mid-1989, they began recording another album for Fire, this time with a bigger budget and production from Alan Smyth, called Separations. This was a progression of the style of Freaks, with Leonard Cohen-esque ballads on side one and an Acid House infused track-listing on side two. The disparate styles can be attributed to Cocker and Mackey's different and changing tastes; Mackey introduced Cocker to house music which led to them both going to raves, while Cocker introduced Mackey to "Scott Walker and Serge Gainsbourg". Like Freaks, the release of Separations was delayed, to an extent lessening the potential impact. In the meantime, however, in 1991, a 12" recording - "My Legendary Girlfriend" became music periodical NMEs single of the week. Stuart Maconie described it in his review as "a throbbing ferment of nightclub soul and teen opera". Furthermore, "Countdown" began to be mentioned in the mainstream press, heralding a turning point in Pulp's quest for fame.
Pulp's repertoire was growing rapidly. Tracks such as "Babies", "Space" and "She's a Lady" were being played live throughout 1991 and in October of that year, they played their first overseas gig, a concert organised by French magazine Les Inrockuptibles. However, the band were still frustrated that Separations still had not seen a release and so Pulp left Fire and signed to Warp Records imprint Gift Records in 1992. Buoyed by a changing musical current, in June 1992 Pulp released "O.U. (Gone, Gone)" on Gift while Fire finally released Separations in the same month. Melody Maker made "O.U" a single of the week alongside "The Drowners" by Suede, another prominent new band. Pulp then signed to Island Records, who jointly released (with Gift) the singles "Babies" and "Razzmatazz" to increasing chart success. Next were the singles "Lipgloss" and their first top 40 hit on the UK Singles Chart, "Do You Remember the First Time?", which were put out as full Island releases. These singles were followed by the Ed Buller-produced album, His 'n' Hers (1994), which reached number nine on the UK Albums Chart and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
This sudden increase in popularity was helped by the massive media interest in Britpop alongside acts such as Suede, Oasis and Blur, with Pulp supporting the latter in a 1994 tour of the United States. 1995 saw the peak of Pulp's fame, with the release of their number two single on the UK Singles Chart, "Common People", The single had an inlay which showed how to conceal amphetamines in a DIY 'wrap'. 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 don't think anyone who listens to 'Sorted' would come away thinking it had a pro-drugs message." The single reached number two on the UK Single Charts.
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