12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

British broadcaster John Peel died on October 25, 2004 after several decades of promoting the cutting edge of new music on his BBC radio program. Recording a ‘Peel Session’ was a rite of passage for any emerging young band and when an unknown PJ Harvey walked into his studio on October 29,1991, she had yet to release her debut album Dry. The four cuts featured here from those sessions prove she was already in full possession of the charisma and drive that would characterize her work. It would have been of greater archival interest if all her Peel Sessions were collected, but as a collection of select highlights there is a high level of consistency here: her wigged-out, shrieking cover of Willie Dixon’s “Wang Dang Doodle” from 1993, the shuffling tension of 1991’s “Sheela-Na-Gig” and the moody dynamic clang of 2000’s “Beautiful Feeling,” where her album’s production niceties are ditched in favor of her live band’s raw scrape. The collection is capped with a bare, emotionally-pained version of “You Come Through” as performed at the December 16, 2004 John Peel Tribute Concert.

EDITORS’ NOTES

British broadcaster John Peel died on October 25, 2004 after several decades of promoting the cutting edge of new music on his BBC radio program. Recording a ‘Peel Session’ was a rite of passage for any emerging young band and when an unknown PJ Harvey walked into his studio on October 29,1991, she had yet to release her debut album Dry. The four cuts featured here from those sessions prove she was already in full possession of the charisma and drive that would characterize her work. It would have been of greater archival interest if all her Peel Sessions were collected, but as a collection of select highlights there is a high level of consistency here: her wigged-out, shrieking cover of Willie Dixon’s “Wang Dang Doodle” from 1993, the shuffling tension of 1991’s “Sheela-Na-Gig” and the moody dynamic clang of 2000’s “Beautiful Feeling,” where her album’s production niceties are ditched in favor of her live band’s raw scrape. The collection is capped with a bare, emotionally-pained version of “You Come Through” as performed at the December 16, 2004 John Peel Tribute Concert.

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