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From its first incarnation, PJ Harvey commanded attention. Polly Jean Harvey formed
the bass / drums / guitar trio in 1991 in Somerset and by autumn they had released
their debut single, 'Dress', on indie label Too Pure. With a second single, 'Sheela-Na-Gig'
in February 1992, PJ Harvey had begun an impressive critical climb which set the
stage for a highly anticipated album release the following month.'Dry' was hailed
as an astonishing debut, not just in the UK but worldwide and especially in the
United States where it earned places in album of the year charts from New York
Times, The Village Voice and Rolling Stone which named Harvey Best Songwriter
and Best New Female Singer.
In 1993, PJ Harvey signed to Island Records and began work on a follow up album.
The band went into the studio with Steve Albini in Minneapolis and the resulting
album, 'Rid Of Me', was released in early '93. With the album supported by a lengthy
world tour, drawing increasingly wider audiences. However, by the end of the tour,
Polly made the decision to dissolve the original trio and explore working with
other musicians. She introduced her solo career with '4-Track Demos' in the autumn
of 1993 which comprised of 14 songs, a mixture of unreleased material and demos
for 'Rid Of Me'.
'To Bring You My Love' followed in 1995, an eclectic and starkly original album
on which, as well as vocals, Harvey played guitar, vibes, percussion and all keyboards.
She enlisted a variety of musicians to play on this album, including John Parish
(who co-produced along with Flood and Harvey), former Captain Beefheart sideman
Eric Drew Feldman and Joe Gore, known for his work with Tom Waits. The tour which
followed saw Harvey adopt a theatrical edge to her live performance. She was nominated
for the Mercury Music Prize and two Grammys, received '1995 Artist Of The Year'
awards from Rolling Stone and Spin and gained album of the year acknowledgements
across the board.
Harvey then spent time working on a variety of collaborations, including 'Dance
Hall At Louse Point' where her words accompanied the music of John Parish for
both an album and live accompaniment to the Mark Bruce Dance Company production
of the same name. She also made contributions to records by Pascal Comelade ('Green
Eyes' and 'Love Too Soon'), Nick Cave ('Henry Lee' - Murder Ballads) and Tricky
('Broken Homes' - Angels With Dirty Faces).Recording her fifth album, 'Is This
Desire?' in London and Dorset, Harvey again teamed up with Parish, Gore and Feldman,
as well as Mick Harvey from the Bad Seeds and Rob Ellis from the original PJ Harvey
line-up. It was released in September '98 and featured 12 new tracks. Once again,
it attracted plaudits on both sides of the Atlantic as Harvey received her third
Grammy and Brit Award nominations and became the first artist to be nominated
three times for the Mercury Music Prize.
She continues to work on extracurricular projects and has made contributions to
film soundtracks including reinterpretations of standards 'Is That All There Is?'
for Basquiat and 'Nickel Under The Foot' for the Tim Robbins' movie 'Cradle Will
Rock.' She also scored the soundtrack to 'Stella Does Tricks' with Nick Bicat.
In addition to her musical career, Polly Jean Harvey made her acting debut as
Mary Magdalene in the Hal Hartley movie 'The Book Of Life', has featured in films
by English director, Sara Miles, has exhibited sculpture in galleries across the
country and has had poetry published.
|Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
CD $18.99 catalog# pol548144
|Is This Desire?
CD $17.99 catalog# pol524563
|To Bring You My Love
CD $17.99 catalog# pol524085
CD $9.99 catalog# pol518450
Rid Of Me
|Rid Of Me
CD $14.99 catalog# pol514696
CD $17.99 catalog# pol524563
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