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Thread: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

  1. #1
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea



    PJ HARVEY
    STORIES FROM THE CITY, STORIES FROM THE SEA

    (ISLAND)
    Released: October 2000
    Chart: UK No.23 / US No.42

    • Big Exit
    • Good Fortune
    • A Place Called Home
    • One Line
    • Beautiful Feeling
    • The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore
    • This Mess We're In
    • You Said Something
    • Kamikaze
    • This Is Love
    • Horses In My Dreams
    • We Float


    After the experimentation of the mid-to-late '90s, of this album Polly said: "I wanted everything to sound as beautiful as possible...I want this album to sing and fly and be full of reverb and lush layers of melody. I want it to be my beautiful, sumptuous, lovely piece of work." Critically revered, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, recorded in the spring of 2000, went on to win the Mercury Music Prize and has become one of her most commercially successful records. The album produced three singles - "Good Fortune," "A Place Called Home," and "This Is Love."



    ___________________

    - SINGLES -

    GOOD FORTUNE
    Released: November 2000
    Formats: 2 CDs, 7" vinyl
    Chart: UK No.41
    Tracks: Good Fortune / 66 Promises / Memphis / 30





    A PLACE CALLED HOME
    Released: February 2001
    Formats: CD, 7" vinyl
    Chart: UK No.43
    Tracks: A Place Called Home / Kick it to the Ground / As Close As This / My Own Private Revolution





    THIS IS LOVE / YOU SAID SOMETHING
    Released: October 2001
    Formats: CD, 7" vinyl
    Chart: UK No.41
    Tracks: This Is Love / You Said Something / A Place Called Home (from Lamacq Live) / Angelene (from Lamacq Live)



    Last edited by menju56; 12-24-2010 at 05:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    What an excellent album! I have noticed that most PJ fans don't rank this one up there, but even though it's a commercial album, I thought it shined like a star. I have probably listened to this album the most out of all of PJ's records. At least up there with Is This Desire? as the most listened to. I got to see PJ on her tour for this album, and I will knowingly admit that this was probably my favorite concert EVER. It was so full of energy, and making eye contact with her during her show was mesmerizing. Favorites from this gem are One Line, A Place Called Home, Big Exit, Kamikaze, and This Mess We're In. Such an incredible period during this Stories-era it was.

  3. #3
    Depth is the greatest of heights whenthepawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toriMODE View Post
    What an excellent album! I have noticed that most PJ fans don't rank this one up there, but even though it's a commercial album, I thought it shined like a star.
    Plus, at the time -- it was (and probably still is) a complete antithesis to anything that came before it. For her, the possibility of having the record embraced by radio and a more mainstream audience was completely different.

    Horses In My Dreams, for me, really embodies the atmosphere she was going for. It's a beautiful song from every angle.

  4. #4
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    This was the first full album I heard and I was actually disappointed and didn't investigate her work further for a few months. I loved "Good Fortune" and though I enjoyed a few of the songs I found it mostly lacking. But over the years I've grown to really appreciate it, and similarly to To Bring You My Love, songs that I didn't think too much of at the beginning - "One Line," "Beautiful Feeling," "Horses In My Dreams" - have revealed themselves. And how amazing is her voice on this record?

  5. #5
    Crow Winger Bruce's Avatar
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    I think Stories is a solid record and I still don't understand some of the fans' gag-reflex to Polly tackling pop. Lyrically I find parts of the album lacking, yet I understand the necessity for flowery, love-fueled words in context to the songs and the nature of the album. I still find the one-two punch of Big Exit and Good Fortune riveting, and go back to this album often for the sheer energy of it. It is, at times, a breath of fresh air in contrast to the rest of her catalogue. I was fortunate enough to catch three shows on this tour, and it astounded me how elegant a girl could be in a micro-mini skirt and stiletto go-go boots! I also loved the Stories tour not just for the looks she donned, but for the band; Margaret especially added so much to the shows with her nimble guitar work and wonderful energy. Overall, a great era for Polly and a total revitalization of her career which, in retrospect, was great fun to witness.

  6. #6
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    It's also important to note that this album came out around the time of 9/11, and it was kind of eerie how it almost seemed to tie in seamlessly into what was going on at that time.

  7. #7
    thirst world problems Octopussy's Avatar
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    ^ wha? It came out a year before 9/11... which was a terrible time. And I'm glad I don't hear any of that on this album, which is full of hope and youthful naivety and a thirst for experience & love.

    I did not care for this album for a long time. I take it all back now, but at the time I echoed all the other fans who thought it was too "commercial" and that the lyrics were weak. There's still 3 or 4 songs that I almost always skip, but even those have their redeeming qualities -- One Line, my least favorite, actually includes one of my favorite musical moments of the album with its coda. Whores Hustle is one of her least interesting rock songs IMO, but the vocals are amazing. I don't care much for the production on You Said Something, but the acoustic versions reveal an outstanding track - shockingly mainstream for PJ, but very mature and well-written.

    And those aren't even my favorites... I just ranked A Place Called Home as my #2 all time favorite PJ Harvey song in the other thread. I think this single deserved so much more success, it is easily the best pop moment of her career (so far). The lyrics are simple, but not trite. The music is so simple I'm almost jealous I didn't write it myself, and those three lines of vocal together at the end blows my mind every time I listen to it.

    This Mess We're In is my second favorite, and it's kind of ridiculous how Radiohead-like it is. I know PJ wanted to write a song with Thom Yorke's vocals in mind, but I wonder if she intended for the music to imitate his band as well? Anyway, it's Christmas Eve and I go on for hours about my new-found adoration for Stories.
    Last edited by Octopussy; 12-25-2010 at 12:42 AM.

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    Stories... came out in the U.S. on Halloween 2000. I quite liked it, but yeah, I certainly thought it was a slicker, more mainstream PJ. But not embarrassingly so or anything. In a way it made sense, I was entering my twenties, the "pain" and drama of being a teenager was largely behind me, I was branching out, etc. So like JIM mentioned the sense of a fresh start and life rushing at you were appropriate. I also thought Peej looked so sophisticated and cool. The plucked eyebrows really did wonders! : ) (Even though I loved her look before, I'm just sayin'). The liner notes are full of wonderful pictures of PJ in studio making this album.

    For me - the quiet moments started to be the ones with the emotional intensity and punch - like Jim mentioned the rockers like Whores Hustle... are weaker. Horses in my Dreams is probably my favorite one. Such a wonderful, dreamscape of a song. Those slightly scratched acoustic guitars, and the lightly dusted percussion strokes or whatever. Good Fortune is a nice tip of the hat to Dancing Barefoot and the Patti comparisons that (unfairly) dogged her earlier albums.

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    a great album really. Maybe not perfect, but with some really good solid songs (A Place Called Home, We Float, You Said Something,...). It's an album that I can easily listen to from beginning to end.

    I love the pics from Polly in the studio in the booklet - I can look at those pics for quite a long time

    Horses In My Dreams is beautiful - I always regard it as the most classic PJ song on this album.
    This Mess We're In lives up to the hype for me.
    and I just love the two rock moments, The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore and Kamikaze

    I saw her live two times in the aftermath of this album. The first time, it was a good mixture of her well know songs, but the second time (at Pukkelpop), she played a really short fast set of 9 songs, some of which I did not recognize - but the second time was equally good as the first time, in a way even more impressive

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    Alt Universe CliqueMember Spikey's Avatar
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    Took me really long to get into this album. Even though I've grown to appreciate it over the years, it's usually somewhere down below on my favourite lists. My favorite songs are This is Love, You Said Something and One Line.

    Some of the b-sides I really think are album worthy material, among them My Own Private Revolution, Memphis, 30 (uhm that one particular live version), As Close As This and 66 Promises; however, she seems to have cut out the songs that were somehow too serious or melancholic or something, as she wanted everything to be 'beautiful'.

  11. #11
    best finest surgeon JHV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    Some of the b-sides I really think are album worthy material, among them My Own Private Revolution, Memphis, 30 (uhm that one particular live version), As Close As This and 66 Promises; however, she seems to have cut out the songs that were somehow too serious or melancholic or something, as she wanted everything to be 'beautiful'.
    Memphis is one of PJ's best songs, and funny enough I think it's one of her most beautiful. I think she may have made it a b-side because if it was on the album, it may have looked a bit exploitative to outside observers and the press would've wanted to talk about her connection with Jeff Buckley. Since Polly seems like such a private person, she may not have wanted to deal with that. 66 Promises is another amazing track, although I think it's a little too hard-sounding to fit on the album.

  12. #12
    thirst world problems Octopussy's Avatar
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    ^ I'm usually pretty happy with PJ's b-side choices, Stories is no exception. I can pretty much guess why the remaining songs were left off: This Wicked Tongue is obviously "too PJ Harvey", and she literally was repeating herself because it uses the same chords as Man-Size. As Close As This is too understated, not grand enough for her big, shiny pop album. My Own Private Revolution sounds the most album-ready, but it doesn't really offer anything unique to other tracks, and 30 seems unfinished.

  13. #13
    Senior Member GerriSferrazza's Avatar
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    Has anybody out there got this promo ->

    STORIES… (ALBUM MIXES)

    http://www.mediafire.com/?8ehkbxjfnhh3lxr

    A Place Called Home / This Mess We're In / Big Exit / Kamikaze / Horses In My Dreams / This Is Love / As Close As This / Memphis / You Said Something / The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore / This Mess We're In (Solo Version) / Good Fortune / 66 Promises / My Own Private Revolution / One Line / Beautiful Feeling / We Float (Edit)

    Released: October 2000
    Catalogue Number: NO CAT NO.
    Notes: Rare CDR Promo with exclusive track - This Mess We're In (Solo Version) and including all Stories B-sides

  14. #14
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    That'd be nice to have.

  15. #15
    thirst world problems Octopussy's Avatar
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    I only have an mp3 of This Mess We're In (solo), but I'd like hear if anything else is different - I wonder if the We Float edit is a different mix or just shorter. Solo TMWI is not great, the song was written for Thom Yorke and it's a little boring without him.

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