Pj Harvey

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Pj Harvey Biography

PJ Harvey (born Polly Jean Harvey, 9.10.1969)

PJ Harvey is an English singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the 1990s, gaining adulation from the alternative music press for her caustic and emotive performances.

PJ Harvey: Childhood

PJ Harvey was born and raised in Dorset, where she grew up on a small farm. She is daughter to a stonemason and a sculptor. It was her parents that introduced her to music, listening to blues and jazz, such as Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker, as well as rock music such as Captain Beefheart and Jimi Hendrix.

As she grew up, Harvey would listen to bands such as Soft Cell and Spandau Ballet, moving on to US guitar bands such as Television and The Pixies. PJ Harvey has been frequently compared to Patti Smith, though she has never claimed her as an influence.

When she was growing up, PJ Harvey learned to play saxophone and guitar, frequently contributing to bands such as The Stoned Weaklings, the Polekats and one of John Parish's early bands, Automatic Dlamini.

PJ Harvey: Musical Career

In 1991, PJ Harvey formed an eponymous 3-piece band. The other two members of the band were Rob Ellis on drums and Ian Olliver on bass (later, Olliver was replaced by Steve Vaughan), while Harvey sang and played guitar. Their debut gig resulted in them being asked to stop, as all the customers at the Antelope Hotel in Sherborne had left.

PJ Harvey's debut single, 'Dress' was released on the Too Pure label. John Peel was the guest reviewer of Melody Maker that week and made it Single of the Week.

Harvey's second single was 'Sheela Na Gig.' It was quickly followed by her debut album, Dry, in 1992. Kurt Cobain once claimed that Dry was one of his favourite albums. Rolling Stone magazine named Harvey as Best Songwriter and Best New Female Singer that year - she was still only 22 years old.

In April 1992, PJ Harvey created a stir when she appeared topless on the cover of NME.

PJ Harvey went on to sign to Island Records and quickly released another two albums. Rid Of Me was engineered by Steve Albini and was followed by some of the demo tapes made for the songs on Rid of Me, entitled simply 4-Track Demos.

When Rob Ellis, Steve Vaughan and PJ Harvey parted ways in August 1993, PJ Harvey embarked on a solo career. Her first solo album was To Bring You My Love, Released in 1995, it was produced by John Parish and Flood and sold over 1 million units. The track 'Down By the Water' became a surprise radio hit, as Harvey's previous music had never really had a radio-friendly sound to it. Harvey's performance at Glastonbury, in a pink catsuit, remains one of the most iconic performances in the festival's history.

PJ Harvey's next studio album was entitled Is This Desire? The album was a departure from her trademark guitar sound, relying more heavily on keyboards, piano and bass guitar. The album was released in 1996, to a mixed response.

In 2000, PJ Harvey released the Mercury Music Prize winning Stories From the City, Stories From The Sea. Rob Ellis was back on board for the album, which also featured Mick Harvey, a highly respected multi-instrumentalist. The album was written in Paris, Dorset and New York. The album also featured vocals from Thom Yorke, of Radiohead.

In 2004, PJ Harvey released Uh-Huh Her. Harvey produced the album herself, and played almost all of the instruments (except for the drums). Two years later, Harvey's first live performance DVD was released, entitled Please Leave Quietly. The DVD also featured behind-the-scenes footage. In October 2006, PJ Harvey's sessions on John Peel's radio program were collected together and released as The Peel Sessions 1991-2004.

Harvey's eighth studio album, White Chalk, was released in November 2006. Eric Drew Feldman, John Parish and Flood all worked on the album with her. The album was comprised mainly of piano ballads.

Early in 2009, Harvey contributed some original incidental music to a Broadway production of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, starring Mary Louise Parker.

In March 2009, PJ Harvey and John Parish released a collaborative album entitled A Woman A Man Walked By. In 1996, the pair had released Dance Hall at Louse Point together.

PJ Harvey: Side Projects and Collaborations

PJ Harvey has contributed to Josh Homme's Desert Sessions series. She also appeared on Nick Cave's Murder Ballads album, as well as Tricky's Angels With Dirty Faces.

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Pj Harvey Picture Gallery

pj harvey picture pj harveybestival 2011 at the rob
pj harvey picture pj harveybestival 2011 at the rob
pj harvey picture pj harveybestival 2011 at the rob
pj harvey picture pj harveybestival 2011 at the rob
pj harvey picture pj harveybestival 2011 at the rob

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The Latest Pj Harvey News

Pj Harvey Missed Nirvana Slot

17th April 2014

Pj Harvey was Dave Grohl's first choice to front Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony...

Adele Receives Mbe Award

19th December 2013

Adele has received an MBE at Buckingham Palace today (19.12.13). The 'Someone Like You' hitmaker was handed the award by...

Pj Harvey Receives Royal Honour

10th December 2013

Musician Pj Harvey was honoured by Britain's Queen Elizabeth Ii during a ceremony at London's Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (10Dec13).The...

Michael Palin & Pj Harvey To Edit Bbc Radio Show

20th November 2013

Michael Palin and musician Pj Harvey will guest edit Britain's revered Today radio show over the Christmas period (13).Bosses of...

Pj Harvey Releases New Track About Guantanamo Bay Detainee

5th August 2013

Rocker Pj Harvey has offered her support to a fellow Brit detained at the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba...

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Pj Harvey Reviews

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake Album Review

10th February 2011

'You won't find a girl in this damn World that will compare to me.' 'The...

PJ Harvey - The Piano Single Review

7th January 2008

PJ Harvey The Piano Single Review Sometimes a song seems so fragile that you almost...

PJ Harvey - White Chalk Album Review

24th September 2007

PJ HarveyWhite ChalkAlbum ReviewPolly Jean Harvey has never done anything but totally fu**ing flourish, no...

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Pj Harvey Festivals

Summercase Festival

13th July 2007

Roskilde Festival

29th June 2014


4th September 2014


11th April 2014

Camp Bestival

31st July 2014

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Pj Harvey Interviews

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The Latest Pj Harvey Press Releases

Pj Harvey October 2011 Tour Date Details

9th August 2011

PJ Harvey is set to play at London's Royal Albert Hall on October 30th. Tickets for the show go...

Pj Harvey Announces Details Of Eighth Studio Album 'Let England Shake'

25th November 2010

PJ Harvey's eighth studio album 'Let England Shake' is set to be released on the 14th February...

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