PJ Harvey is one of the most unique and talented singer-songwriters in music today. Creating a list of PJ Harvey albums ranked was no easy task, She has released 11 studio albums over her career, and each one showcases her talent and versatility as an artist. In honor of her latest reissue, The Hope Six Demolition Project, we are ranking all of her albums from best to worst.
About PJ Harvey
Polly Jean Harvey, known better as PJ Harvey, is an English singer, musician, and songwriter. Born in Dorset in 1969, she began her musical career in 1988 when she joined Automatic Dlamini as a vocalist and guitarist. She toured with the band in support of the debut album, The D is for Drum. Though she toured with the band supporting the album she was on the recorded album. After the tour, the band hit the studio to record their second album, Here Catch, Shouted His Father. This was the only recorded album that featured Harvey but remains unreleased. You can dig up bootlegs that have leaked on the internet though.
In 1991, Harvey left Automatic Dlamini and joined forces with Ian Oliver with whom she would write and record her next eight albums. The first of these was Dry, recorded in just three weeks in a studio near Yeovil. The album was an instant success, providing a launch to a brilliant career.
Due to her versatility, you will see her mentioned in a variety of musical genres. When I think about what genre is PJ Harvey, I would put her in Alternative / Indie.
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In regards to her later personal life, Harvey had a relationship with Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave in the late 90’s. The two collaborated on several songs together. Their breakup inspired Cave’s album called The Boatman’s Call.
PJ Harvey Albums Ranked
Now that we have some history out of the way, let’s jump into our best PJ Harvey albums ranked to see which is the best PJ Harvey album.
Dance Hall at Louse Point with John Parish (1996)
Kicking off our list of PJ Harvey albums ranked we have PJ Harvey teaming up with John Parish with the 1996 album, Dance Hall at Louse Point. The album is a collection of cover songs and original material, all of which were written and recorded by the duo in their hometown of Bridport, England. The album’s first single, “Red Right Hand,” is a cover of a Nick Cave song, and it’s clear that PJ Harvey and John Parish have put their own spin on the track. The production is sparse and atmospheric, with Harvey’s ethereal vocals floating over Parish’s dark guitarwork. The result is a haunting and beautiful track that sets the tone for the rest of the album. You may recognize the song from the television series Peaky Blinders.
PJ Harvey and John Parish have created something special with Dance Hall at Louse Point. It’s an album that is sure to please fans of both artists. Commercially it was not a success to put it kindly. It is pretty obvious way looking back at the album.
1) “John Parish & Polly Jean Harvey,” it says, crediting Parish with a confusing second billing that differs from his stage name.
2) Harvey spent spent so much energy during the To Bring You My Love that she didn’t bother promoting this one, leaving Parish to handle all press.
3) It is missing a catchy single. It felt flat in the single department following up the “Down By The Water” popular single from her previous album.
A Woman A Man Walked By with John Parish (2009)
In 2009, Harvey teamed up once again with John Parish to release A Woman A Man Walked By. The album was recorded over the course of two years in various locations around the world, including Paris, Dorset, and Bristol. The result is an eclectic mix of sounds and styles that only PJ Harvey and John Parish could create. Highlights include the dark and brooding “Black Hearted Love,” the beautiful and ethereal “Passionless, Pointless,” and the catchy and upbeat “Cracks In the Canvas.”
Looking to get into PJ Harvey’s music, see our guide Best PJ Harvey Songs for Getting to Know Her Music
A Woman A Man Walked By is another fantastic album from PJ Harvey and John Parish. It’s a bit more accessible than their previous effort, and it features some of Harvey’s best songwriting to date. The album was nominated for the 2009 MOJO Awards for best album but ultimately lost to Paul Weller, 22 Dreams album.
Uh Huh Her (2004)
PJ Harvey is one of the most respected and acclaimed musicians of her generation. A true original, she has always marched to the beat of her own drum, following her own unique artistic vision. This visionary approach was on full display with her 2004 album, Uh Huh Her.
Recorded in part at a converted castle in Dorset, England, the album found Harvey experimenting with new sounds and textures. The result was a thrilling and mesmerizing work that showcased her immense talent as a songwriter and performer.
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Commercially, the album is PJ Harvey’s highest charting album to date. It reached #29 on the Billboard chart in 2004. The album contained three singles, “Shame,” “The Letter,” and “You Come Through”.
While Uh Huh Her may not be the best PJ Harvey album, it is a strong effort that showcases her unique talent as an artist. Nearly 18 years after its release, Uh Huh Her remains an essential part of PJ Harvey’s sprawling and remarkable discography.
The Hope Six Demolition Project (2016)
PJ Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project - Demos [LP]
The Hope Six Demolition Project is PJ Harvey’s latest album, and it finds her at the top of her game. The album was recorded in various locations around the world, including Washington D.C., Afghanistan, and Kosovo. The result is a diverse and beautiful work that captures the feeling of hope and despair that comes with being a human in the 21st century.
Track highlights include “The Community of Hope”, “The Wheel” and “The Orange Monkey”.
The Hope Six Demolition Project is a powerful and moving album that is essential listening for anyone interested in PJ Harvey’s music. It is a great follow-up to the Mercury prize winning Let England Shake and it confirms her status as one of the most unique and talented singer-songwriters of our time.
PJ Harvey’s debut album, Dry, is a stunning work that announced the arrival of a major new talent. Released in 1992, the album was recorded when Harvey was just 21 years old. Despite her young age, she displayed a maturity and confidence that belied her years.
Dry is an impressive debut album that features some of Harvey’s best songwriting. Highlights include “Sheela-Na-Gig,” “Oh My Lover,” and “Dress.” The album just oozes with emotion from Harvey both lyrically and through her vocals.
While Dry is one of the strongest debut albums you will find from an artist and a must have in your music collection.
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)
Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea [LP]
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea is PJ Harvey’s fifth studio album and her first in four years. The album was recorded in New York City and Dorset, England and it features some of Harvey’s best songwriting to date.
The album was a commercial success, reaching #23 on the UK Albums Chart and #42 in the US Billboard 200. The album contained three singles, “A Place Called Home”, “Good Fortune” and “This Is Love”.
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea is a strong album that should not be missed by any fan of PJ Harvey’s music. It is a more polished and accessible work than her previous albums, but it still retains her unique voice and vision.
Rid of Me (1993)
PJ Harvey followed up her impressive debut album with the even better Rid of Me. Released in 1993, the album was recorded in just two weeks with Steve Albini (Nirvana, Fugazi, Pixies). The result is a raw and brutal work that showcases Harvey at her most primal.
Rid of Me is an intense and uncompromising album that is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, an essential listen for anyone interested in PJ Harvey’s music. Highlights include “50 Ft Queenie,” “Man-Size,” and “Rid of Me.”
Is This Desire? (1998)
Is This Desire? is PJ Harvey’s fourth studio album and it finds her at the height of her powers. The album was recorded in Dorset, England and was co-priced by Flood. It features some of Harvey’s most beautiful and intimate songwriting.
Track highlights from the album include, “A Perfect Day Elise”, “The Wind” and “Angelene”.
The PJ Harvey Is This Desire? album is a stunning album that is essential for any fan of PJ Harvey’s music. It is one of her most personal and introspective works, and it showcases her immense talent as a songwriter and vocalist.
Let England Shake (2011)
Let England Shake is PJ Harvey’s eighth studio album and it finds her at the top of her game. The album was recorded in a variety of locations around the UK, including Dorset, Bristol and London.
The album was a commercial and critical success, winning the Mercury Prize and reaching #8 on the UK Albums Chart. It also received widespread acclaim from music critics, with many calling it her best album to date. The album was voted Album of the Year by several musical publications and also won the coveted Mercury Prize.
The PJ Harvey Let England Shake album is a remarkable album that is a must-listen for any fan of PJ Harvey’s music. It is a dark and atmospheric work that deals with the horrors of war. Track highlights include “The Last Living Rose”, “The Glorious Land” and ” England.”
To Bring You My Love (1995)
Coming in second in our best PJ Harvey albums ranked is To Bring You My Love. Full of classic hits including “Is This Desire” and “Stories From the City” this album is a must have for any fan of PJ Harvey. Of course if you have heard of PJ Harvey, you are familiar with the track “Down By the Water” which received tons of airplay upon release.
To Bring You My Love is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician PJ Harvey, released on 16 February 1995 by Island Records. The album marked a departure from the lo-fi, guitar-oriented sound of her previous albums Dry (1992) and Rid of Me (1993), with a more polished and atmospheric production. This new sound was inspired by Harvey’s trip to New Orleans, where she recorded most of the album. The album was recorded with Flood (U2, Nine Inch Nails) and it features some of Harvey’s most raw and powerful songwriting.
The PJ Harvey To Bring You My Love album was a critical and commercial success, reaching number five on the UK Albums Chart and number 28 on the US Billboard 200. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize and won Best Alternative Music Performance at the 38th annual Grammy Awards.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 314 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Although it did not top my list as the best PJ Harvey album, it is the best PJ Harvey album cover. The album art is inspired by the painting of Ophelia by John Everett Millais.
White Chalk (2007)
And now the best PJ Harvey album ranked is… White Chalk. The album is PJ Harvey’s ninth studio album and it finds her taking a different direction musically. The album was recorded in Dorset, England and features a more stripped-down and acoustic sound than her previous albums.
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The album was well-received by fans and critics alike, with many calling it one of her best works. It reached #11 on the UK Albums Chart and was nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Highlights from the album include “The Devil”, “When Under Ether” and “White Chalk.”
If you are a fan of PJ Harvey’s music, then White Chalk is an essential album for your collection. It is a beautiful and haunting work that showcases her unique talent as a songwriter and vocalist.
Wrapping Up Our PJ Harvey Albums Ranked
PJ Harvey is one of the most unique and talented singer-songwriters in music today. She has released 11 albums over her career, and each one showcases her talent and versatility as an artist. Thank you for reading our best PJ Harvey albums ranked.
What do you think of our rankings? Do you agree or disagree with our choices? Let us know in the comments!