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The Peel Sessions 1991 - 2004 (US Release)

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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.

Customer Reviews

A hair raising no risk purchase...

It will be hard to find another album that displays such raw, emotional talent...This is an essential addition to your collection...Get this and recongnize PJ's influence on modern music. The first time I heard "Water" I was blown away!

Power to PJ!

Oh My! I just love this album. PJ Harvey is what? A rocker? Punk? Country? Sexual temptress? All of the above? I listened to three tracks and sort of dismissed this. Two days later, I was still thinking about PJ Harvey's voice and strange power. I thought, 'I gotta have that,' bought it and listened. I don't think she intends this music to be pretty, but it is truly beautiful in its rough edges and satire. It's the sound of an uncompromising artist. I especially like 'Oh My Lover,' 'Sheela-Na-Gig,' 'Losing Ground,' and 'That Was My Veil.' And then there is 'Snake,' as weird as PJ Harvey can get, but it is still beautiful. It all ends with 'You Come Through,' which leaves me in tears. It's an album I can enjoy for years, listen upon listen.

Why Isn't "Naked Cousin" on the radio?

Listen to it twice - you'll ask the same thing. Who is making these decisions?

Biography

Born: October 9, 1969 in Yeovil, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

During the early-'90s alternative rock explosion, several female singer/songwriters rose to prominence, but few were as distinctive or as widely praised as Polly Jean Harvey. Over the course of three albums, Harvey established herself as one of the most individual and influential songwriters of the '90s, exploring themes of sex, love, and religion with unnerving honesty, dark humor, and a twisted theatricality. At the outset of her career, she led the trio PJ Harvey, which delivered her stark songs...
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