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PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

PJ Harvey photo 2010

PJ Harvey Biography

Polly Jean Harvey was born on October 9, 1969 in Yeovil, ENGLAND, a small village consisting of 600 people where she raised and learned to play guitar and saxophone as a teenager.

In 1991 she teamed-up with bassist Steve Vaughan and drummer Robert Ellis and started up PJ Harvey shortly thereafter.
The following year the trio released its debut album, "Dry", via the independent label Too Pure; the disc featured the singles "Dress" and "Sheela-Na-Gig", the latter of which peaked at #9 on the U.S. Modern Rock chart.

In 1993, PJ Harvey signed to Island Records; soon the band went into the studio with the original line-up and recorded their sophomore full-length. The resulting album, "Rid Of Me", was released in May of the same year and was supported by a lengthy world tour, drawing increasingly wide audiences. The disc shot to #3 in Britain, hit the top 10 of the Billboard Magazine's Heatseekers chart and reached the #158 position on The Billboard 200 Sales listing; two singles were also released to promote the album, "50Ft Queenie" and "Man-Size".

The original trio dissolved and Harvey's solo work "4-Track Demos" was released in the fall of 1993, which comprised of 14 songs, a mixture of unreleased material and Harvey's own demos for "Rid Of Me".

"To Bring You My Love" followed in February 1995, an eclectic and starkly original album. She enlisted a variety of musicians to play on the album, including multi-instrumentalist John Parish, who co-produced along with Flood and Harvey, guitarist Joe Gore, keyboardist Eric Drew Feldman and bassist Mick Harvey. The record hit #19 in U.K. and climbed into the top 40 of The Billboard 200 while the main single, "Down By The Water", became her biggest hit in U.S. burning up The Modern Rock chart and falling just one position short of #1. The subsequent two singles, "C'mon Billy" and "Send His Love To Me", both missed the American charts, however, all three singles charted in the U.K. Top 40.

Recording her fifth album, "Is This Desire?", in London and Dorset, Harvey once again co-produced the album with Flood. It was released in September 1998 and featured 12 new tracks. It attracted plaudits on both sides of the Atlantic hitting the top 20 in U.K. and reaching #54 on the American Billboard Top 200 Albums chart led by the Modern Rock top 40 hit single "A Perfect Day Elise".

"Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea", the much anticipated follow-up to "Is This Desire?" was released in October 2000. The album, produced and performed by PJ Harvey, Rob Ellis and Mick Harvey, peaked at #42 on The Billboard 200 and at #23 on the British Official Sales chart generating a minor hit with "Good Fortune".

June 2004 saw the release of PJ Harvey's seventh LP, "Uh Huh Her"; this critically acclaimed album was written, performed, recorded, mixed and produced by Harvey, who chose Mister Head to assist in additional recording and mixing and Rob Ellis, long time collaborator, to play drums and percussion on the album, Harvey played everything else. The CD achieved a career-best peak of #29 on The Billboard Top 200 as well as a respectable #12 in her native England. The disc included the U.K. Top 40 single "The Letter".

"White Chalk", the artist's next studio album arrived in September 2007; PJ Harvey went into the studio in late 2006 to record and produce with Flood and John Parish. The three had worked together previously on the Grammy nominated "To Bring You My Love" and on "Is This Desire?". The new record reached #65 in U.S. and was one place short of cracking the U.K. top 10. "When Under Ether", the lead single off the CD, was backed by the rare track, "Wait", one of the first ever songs recorded by Polly Jean Harvey back in 1988.

"A Woman A Man Walked By" arrived just a year and a half after the brilliant "White Chalk", credited officially to PJ Harvey & John Parish; the album failed to repeat the chart performance of its predecessors: in America topped out at #80 on The Billboard 200 and in Great Britain made it only to the #25 niche on the National Albums chart. "Black Hearted Love" was the lone single released from the CD.

PJ Harvey's eighth solo studio album of original material "Let England Shake", was issued in February 2011; it was recorded in a 19th Century church in Dorset, on a cliff-top overlooking the sea and was created with a cast of musicians including such long-standing allies as Flood, John Parish and Mick Harvey. The disc quickly landed inside the top 10 in U.K. and peaked at #32 on the American Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.


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PJ Harvey pictures:

  • PJ Harvey mid 90s PJ Harvey mid 90s
    Polly Jean Harvey, mid-'90s
  • PJ Harvey 2000 PJ Harvey 2000
    PJ Harvey in 2000
  • PJ Harvey 2004 PJ Harvey 2004
    "Uh Huh Her" era