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Thread: PJ Harvey: B-Sides & Rarities

  1. #1
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    PJ Harvey: B-Sides & Rarities

    Thought it might be a nice idea to have a dedicated thread for PJ Harvey b-sides and rarities.

    I collected all the UHH singles but beyond that I didn't have much knowledge of Polly b-sides until I started going through YouTube lately and finding some incredible goodness.

    What are people's favourite b-sides and rare songs?

  2. #2
    thirst world problems Octopussy's Avatar
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    In chronological order...

    Claudine, the Inflatable One (Peel session)
    Wang Dang Doodle
    Lying in the Sun
    One Time Too Many
    Harder (evening session)
    Long Time Coming (evening session)
    Rest Sextet
    Daddy (Spleen version)
    When Will I See You Again?
    Cleveland
    The Bay
    Sweeter Than Anything
    Rebecca
    This Wicked Tongue
    66 Promises
    Kick It To The Ground
    Uh Huh Her (Peel session)
    The Falling
    Bows & Arrows
    Angel
    Dance
    Liverpool Tide

  3. #3
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    One of my favourites that I only recently heard is "Long Time Coming" - I think her vocal delivery is super sexy on that.

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    Sweeter Than Anything is one of my favoritest songs she's ever done. I think the lyrics are some of her best.

    The Phone Song is also such a great B-side. I love the interplay of the acoustic and electric guitar and her vocals are great.

    Harder is such a powerhouse and was fantastic live in '04. Reeling(4 Track version) is also excellent, though the studio version lost some of the bite from the demo.

    Maniac, 66 Promises, Northwood, The Bay & 30 are also favorites.

  5. #5
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    The Faster I Breathe, the Further I Go
    As Close As This
    Kick it to the Ground
    Memphis
    30
    66 Promises
    Who Will Love Me Now? (not technically a b-side)
    Zaz Turned Blue
    Nine in Ecstacy

  6. #6
    Alt Universe CliqueMember Spikey's Avatar
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    Dry (demo)

    Should have been on the album Dry, I think it's on one of the singles Dress or Sheela-na-Gig. Btw, it makes absolutely no sense to put the title track of an album as a b-side on a single instead of on the album itself, and then put a studio version on another album and to make it all the more confusing release it as a tour promo for that next album.

    Sweeter than Anything

    This is the perfect b-side, it has that typical Is this desire? vibe to it, and to me it seems like a lyrical highlight in PJ's writing career. It has greatly crafted sentences like
    'In photographs
    I've seen him laugh'
    and
    'We were never more than a dream
    Brief as summer or spring'
    Should have been on the album in my opinion, but maybe it was written and / or recorded later.

    Featherhead, Ballad of the Soldiers Wife, When Will I see you Again?, Zaz turned Blue all projects that are way off the mainstream chart but all with PJ's vocals INSANELY beautiful.

    Why'd ya go to Cleveland?
    A John-PJ leftover, and a good one at that; can't really explain how it has a certain Dry-vibe to it, probably because of the young love theme and simple instrumentation that takes it back in time. Though it (fortunately) retains the hysterical insanity of Dance Hall towards the end.

    The Bay

    A song of which we know that it was deliberately left off Is this desire? It wouldn't have fit because of it's total awesomeness.
    Listen closely and you'll discover a 3/4 waltz beat...

    66 Promises, Memphis, As Close As This, 30

    Stories from the City is incomplete without them for me.

    Bows and Arrows

    Didn't like it at first, but now it's one of my favorite b-sides. It has a dirty brilliance that is hard to describe in words, you just have to experience this one.

    The Falling (!)

    This is without a doubt one of the greatest songs released in the Uh huh her era. The dirty brilliance of Bows and Arrows times ten.

    The Phone Song

    I've always regarded this one as a companion to Cat on the Wall, there is a link through the telephone theme.

    Reeling

    Love it, especially the studio version. The line 'Have Robert DeNiro sit on my face' is classic.

  7. #7
    Sweeter Than Anything
    The Bay
    Nina in Ecstasy
    Long Time Coming
    Bows and Arrows
    66 Promises
    Liverpool Tide
    Darling Be There
    Harder
    Rebecca
    The Faster I Breathe, The Further I Go
    Maniac
    Daddy

  8. #8
    it's not meant to be a strife MikeEP's Avatar
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    i was hoping there'd be a thread like this, i love all of the album threads we've been doing in this forum. i'm not nearly as familiar with her b-sides though i think i do have most but definitely not all of them - at some point i downloaded a big set someone put together that seems to cover a lot of them.

    my favorites of the ones i know well are:

    66 Promises
    One Time Too Many
    Nina In Ecstacy
    Reeling (if that counts as a b-side)
    Liverpool Tide
    Uh Huh Her

    does anyone know if there's a complete list anywhere of all her b-sides? i guess particularly the ones with official recordings to start. i'm pretty sure the main ones i'm missing are:

    This Wicked Tongue (studio version)
    Heaven
    Wait
    Dance
    97 Degrees

  9. #9
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post

    The Bay

    A song of which we know that it was deliberately left off Is this desire? It wouldn't have fit because of it's total awesomeness.
    Listen closely and you'll discover a 3/4 waltz beat...
    Is there somewhere I can read about this?

  10. #10
    What kind of fuckery is this? emptytuileries's Avatar
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    They're all great, really, but these are my favorites:

    Bows & Arrows: Perhaps a track that was "too P J Harvey?" and was left off of Uh Huh Her. It's infectious and chugging and (mostly) acoustic deliciousness. A kind of harder edged "Pocket Knife."

    97 Degrees: It took me a while to appreciate this one, but the thick guitar combined with Peej's eerily jaunty vocal delivery is awesome.

    Maniac: I always include this one on my TBYML playlists/re-edit. It has everything one can love about TBYML (the monstrous vocals, fuzzy bass groove, whistle/mariachi freakout and twisted vocals) all wrapped up in one maniacal package.

    Liverpool Tide: A really simple song of just Peej and an amped-out electric guitar. It's arresting and really underrated.

    Kick It to the Ground: Quite unlike any other PJ song. Like someone recited their poetry at a high school talent show is what I always think of. It's unabashedly juvenile and has some real venom.

    The Faster the Breathe, the Further I Go: Not really sure what era this is from (I'm thinking right after Is This Desire?), but it's always been one of my favorites. I love the distorted voice at the beginning that sounds like it's saying "holy... holy shit." Great lyrics and thump.

    Instrumental #2: I love that there's a faint drum beat and Polly's singing something in the background, but you can't really make it out. Creepy and intriguing.

  11. #11
    it's not meant to be a strife MikeEP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emptytuileries View Post
    The Faster the Breathe, the Further I Go: Not really sure what era this is from (I'm thinking right after Is This Desire?), but it's always been one of my favorites. I love the distorted voice at the beginning that sounds like it's saying "holy... holy shit." Great lyrics and thump.
    yup, it's Is This Desire?-era..it was a b-side to The Wind.

    people probably already know about this but this site has a list of all the singles with their b-sides as well a full song list in the lyrics section, which i've been using to hunt down b-sides:
    http://www.jphuntley.co.uk/pjh/

  12. #12
    Senior Member xmasinspace's Avatar
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    My Own Private Revolution - absolutely adore that one.

    I love that the TBYML era gave us an entire extra albums worth of material.

  13. #13
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    I know it's not a b-side but it's a non-PJH album song - I only lately heard "Henry Lee" which I really like


  14. #14
    thirst world problems Octopussy's Avatar
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    ^ you haven't heard Murder Ballads?! It's a good, though highly ridiculous album. O'Malley's Bar is classic Cave. I never realized how awful they looked in the Henry Lee video. Did Nick get back on the junk before they filmed it? He must have gotten PJ hooked on it too. Either that, or they just hadn't been outdoors for several months, and living off canned tuna and water.

  15. #15
    thirst world problems Octopussy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    The Falling (!)

    This is without a doubt one of the greatest songs released in the Uh huh her era. The dirty brilliance of Bows and Arrows times ten.
    This is definitely in my top 5 b-sides, and probably the one I come back to the most from the Uh Huh Her era. (Even though I think it may have been written for Stories). Uh Huh Her is the only album where I think she made the wrong choices concering b-sides/a-sides -- the title track, Bows & Arrows, and The Falling should've been there.

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