PJ Harvey earned the Mercury Prize for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland, not once, but twice - the first performer to do so. Her first Mercury Prize came in '01 for "Stories from the City, Stories From The Sea" and a decade later with "Let England Shake."
Rolling Stone named her '92's Best New Artist and Best Singer Songwriter and '95's Artist of the Year. "Rid Of Me," "To Bring You My Love" and "Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea" are on the magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Harvey also landed on Q Magazine readers' poll of the 100 Greatest Women in Rock Music. Then there was the '11 Outstanding Contribution To Music honor at the NME Awards. Two years later, Harvey received an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for services to music.
Parents play a major role in the development of their child's tastes - either positively or negatively. For Harvey it was positive since her parents introduced her to Blues, Jazz and Rock at an early age. Later, she fell under the sway of Soft Cell, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet. She later moved toward Indie Rock. Lyrically, Harvey was influenced by the likes of Harold Pinter, T.S Eliot, William Butler Yeats and James Joyce.
Harvey's career began like many others. She joined somebody else's group. Namely, Automatic Dlamini led by John Parish, who became one of Harvey's long-term collaborators. Harvey played sax and sang.
After two albums with Automatic Dlamini, Harvey, having taken up the guitar, launched the PJ Harvey Trio with two former bandmates - drummer Rob Ellis and bassist Ian Olliver.
The group's '91 debut performance cleared the hall after just one song and the management promising to still pay them if they stopped playing.
Relocating to London, the trio released their '92 debut set, "Dry." That led the Rolling Stone accolades. Later, it was discovered that Nirvana's Kurt Cobain listed the album as his sixteenth favorite in his posthumously-published Journals.
A bidding war resulted with Harvey and Co. moving to Island Records for her sophomore set "Rid Of Me." A supporting tour led to internal friction and the trio disbanded.
"I needed them back then - badly," said Harvey of Ellis and Olliver. "But I don't need them anymore."
Harvey's third studio album, "To Bring You My Love," featured Parish, multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey (from Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds) and Belgian drummer Jean-Marc Butty. The set was also her first to be produced by Flood (Mark Ellis), the British Post-Punk and Alternative Rock record producer and audio engineer.
"To Bring You My Love" sold one million copies worldwide including 370,000 in the U.S. Spin magazine slotted the album at #3 on their The 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s (Nirvana's "Nevermind" topped the survey with Public Enemy's "Fear Of A Black Planet" at #2).
Harvey reteamed with Trio member, Ellis, and Mick Harvey, for her fifth album "Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea." Also, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke contributed to three tracks and performed lead vocals on "This Mess We're In."
'04's "Uh Huh Her" was followed by "The Peel Sessions 1991-2004." This was a compilation of songs recorded during her radio sessions with legendary British DJ and tastemaker John Peel.
"White Chalk" dropped in '07. And while it was recorded with Flood and Parish, the Alt. Rock of previous albums gave way to piano ballads.
Four years later, "Let England Shake," with Parish, Mick Harvey and Butty returning as PJ's backing band, was certified gold in the United Kingdom and named Album of the Year by a couple music publications.
Harvey recorded her 9th studio album at London's Somerset House with Flood again producing. "The Wheel" was the debut single from the '16 album "The Hope Six Demolition Project."
1993 Rid Of Me
1995 To Bring You My Love
1998 Is This Desire?
2000 Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
2004 Uh Huh Her
2007 White Chalk
2011 Let England Shake
2016 The Hope Six Demolition Project