PJ Harvey biography and the making of Rid Of Me

PJ Harvey is an English musician, singer, and songwriter who has been a prominent figure in the alternative rock music scene since the early 1990s. Born in Yeovil, Somerset in 1969, Harvey began playing music in her early teens and quickly developed a reputation as a talented songwriter and performer.

In 1993, Harvey released her second studio album, “Rid of Me,” which is widely considered a seminal work in the history of alternative rock music. The album was produced by Steve Albini, who had previously worked with Nirvana and Pixies, and features a raw, intense sound that perfectly captures Harvey’s passionate, confessional lyrics and powerful vocals.

“Rid of Me” was a critical success upon its release, earning widespread praise for its visceral sound and emotional depth. It also helped to establish Harvey as a major force in the alternative rock scene, paving the way for her continued success in the decades to come.

In the making of “Rid of Me,” Harvey drew on her personal experiences and emotions, crafting a deeply personal and cathartic work that resonates with listeners to this day. The album remains a testament to the power of raw, authentic expression in music, and a landmark achievement in the career of one of rock’s most important artists.

It takes a strong sense of self for an artist to remain absolutely steadfast in pursuing their own unique vision during the first flush of fame, when unasked-for opinions come in thick and fast. In 1993, Polly Jean Harvey was riding high on the success of her superb debut album, Dry, its raw punk blues, searing alt rock musicianship and unflinching poetry – sometimes blackly humourous, often seething with anger and vengeance, always clear-eyed in its honest, unvarnished, romance-free exploration of its creator’s complex psyche – immediately positioning her as one of the UK’s most interesting new voices. Having released Dry on indie label Too Pure, when the majors came knocking hungry for a follow-up with just as much drama, intrigue and emotion, at first she resisted the idea, concerned she might lose some of the artistic control she treasured so much.

It was an unfounded worry – an entire boardroom of bigwigs couldn’t get Harvey to veer off course. She ended up plumping for Island, who wanted a ‘name’ producer on hand to soften her sound and make it more accessible. Harvey refused, demanding instead to work with incorruptible underground icon Steve Albini – a man who doesn’t even accept the title of producer, preferring instead to be known as a recording engineer – who had previously captured alt.rock lightning in a bottle with Pixies, The Jesus Lizard, The Breeders, Slint and more.

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