To Bring You My Love

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To Bring You My Love
Studio album by PJ Harvey
Released 27 February 1995
Recorded September–October 1994 at Townhouse Studios in London, United Kingdom
Genre Alternative rock, indie rock, experimental rock, punk blues
Length 42:27
Label Island
Producer Flood, John Parish, PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey chronology
4-Track Demos
(1993)
To Bring You My Love
(1995)
Is This Desire?
(1998)
John Parish & Polly Jean Harvey chronology
Dance Hall at Louse Point
(1996)
Singles from To Bring You My Love
  1. "Down by the Water"
    Released: February 1995
  2. "C'mon Billy"
    Released: July 1995
  3. "Send His Love to Me"
    Released: October 1995

To Bring You My Love is the third studio album by English alternative rock musician PJ Harvey. It was released by Island Records in February 1995. Recorded after the break-up of the PJ Harvey trio it stands as her first proper solo album. The songs on the album are heavily influenced by American blues music.

To produce the album, Harvey chose Flood, best known for his work with U2, Depeche Mode, and Nine Inch Nails. Harvey co-produced the record with Flood and John Parish. To Bring You My Love would be the first of Harvey's many collaborations with Flood and Parish. The music on the album was played largely by Harvey and Parish, with contributions from seasoned musicians Joe Gore, Mick Harvey, Jean-Marc Butty, and others. Many of the musicians who appeared on the album joined Harvey on tour to support it in 1995 and 1996.

To Bring You My Love is considered to be PJ Harvey's breakthrough. It garnered massive critical acclaim worldwide and became her best-selling album. The single "Down By the Water" received extensive airplay on radio and on MTV. The album was placed on Rolling Stone magazine's original list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Background and History[edit]

PJ Harvey took a break from the spotlight in 1994. After releasing two studio albums (Dry and Rid of Me) and a compilation (4-Track Demos) in less than two years, she kept a low profile for most of the year. Harvey made only one public appearance in 1994, performing The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" with Björk at the annual BRIT Awards.

Using the royalties she received from her first two albums, she bought a house in rural England close to her parents' home in Yeovil. She described her new home as "completely in the countryside. I have no neighbors. When I look out the window, all I see are fields."[1] Living in near isolation, she began writing the songs that would appear on To Bring You My Love.

Music and Lyrics[edit]

The title track recalls the blues of Robert Johnson as well as the song "Dirt" by The Stooges.[2]


The song features extensive use of a synthesized organ and features an orchestral ensemble.

The album's closing track is influenced by the Spaghetti western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone.

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The subject matter and tone of the songs on To Bring You My Love differ somewhat from what Harvey had presented on her earlier albums. The songs on Rid of Me (1993), for example, are more aggressive in their depictions of relationships. They focus more on revenge ("Rid of Me", "Rub Til it Bleeds"), or act as an attack on traditional masculinity[3] ("Man-Size", "50ft. Queenie", "Me-Jane"). Although these songs do directly consider longing and loss, many of the songs on To Bring You My Love focus particularly on these topics, specifically considering the loss of, or longing for, a departed lover. The title track presents a narrator who not only desires love but is willing to sacrifice everything to get it. "I’ve lain with the devil," Harvey sings, "Cursed God above/Forsaken Heaven/To bring you my love."

Many of the songs on To Bring You My Love employ biblical imagery such as Heaven, God, and Jesus Christ. Harvey, however, is not a religious person. She wasn’t baptized and did not attend church as a child.[4] She spoke of her use of religious imagery by saying "I look towards religion as possibly one means to finding an answer, to making sense why we’re here. That’s what drives the creative force, to make sense of one’s life. A very natural place to look is in that divine area, because it’s so strong and has been here long before us."[4]

Many references are made to one of Harvey's major influences, Captain Beefheart. The opening line of the album, "I was born in the desert", is also the opening line of Beefheart's debut album, Safe as Milk. The album's second track, Meet Ze Monsta, borrows the line "meet the monster tonight" from Beefheart's "Tropical Hot Dog Night", the second track of his album Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), an album which Harvey has said had a particular impact on her. A lyrical and melodic resemblance to Beefheart's "Dropout Boogie" is also found on the track "I Think I'm a Mother," and the vocal melody at the end of Harvey's "Teclo" ("Let me ride on his grace for a while...") seems to mirror Beefheart's melody in "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles."

Musically, the album is more complicated than Dry or Rid of Me. Two guitar parts are used in many of the songs, in most cases played by Harvey and Parish. Acoustic guitar and strings, used sparingly in her previous releases, can be heard throughout To Bring You My Love. Bells, chimes, and a vibraphone add to the atmosphere of the recording. Keyboards and organ are also used extensively, a result of much of the album being composed on a Yamaha keyboard Harvey bought second-hand.[5] The deep, rumbling organ tones provide many of the lower notes on the album, replacing traditional basslines.[6] The bass played by Mick Harvey on "Long Snake Moan" is one of the few times an actual bass guitar is heard on the album.

Recording[edit]

To Bring You My Love was Harvey's first album proper since disbanding the original PJ Harvey trio in 1993. For this recording she recruited producer Flood (Depeche Mode, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins), her old Automatic Dlamini bandmate John Parish and a new line-up of session musicians including Joe Gore, Eric Drew Feldman, Mick Harvey and Jean-Marc Butty. She herself played guitar, keyboards, vibes and bells on the record, as well as co-producing it with Flood and John Parish.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[7]
Robert Christgau A[8]
Entertainment Weekly A[9]
Los Angeles Times 4/4 stars[10]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[12]
Spin 10/10[13]

As her second full-length release on a major label, To Bring You My Love received a heavy promotional push from Island Records. Extensive MTV rotation and college radio airplay for the first single "Down by the Water" — with its eccentric, eye-catching Maria Mochnacz-directed music video of Harvey drowning in an emerald pond while wearing an extravagant wig, heavy make-up and a slinky red satin evening gown — gave Harvey her biggest radio hit to date, reaching #2 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart.[14] The album itself debuted at #40 on the Billboard chart[15] and #12 in her native UK,[citation needed] and went on to sell roughly one million copies. The moderate commercial breakthrough of To Bring You My Love certainly had nothing to do with any scaling-down of her trademark lyrical intensity: the infanticide fable "Down by the Water" — whose whispered coda of "Little fish big fish swimming in the water/Come back here, man, gimme my daughter" references the old Lead Belly blues standard "Salty Dog" — ostensibly deals with a mother drowning her child.[citation needed]

"I certainly am very surprised at how this record has been received. And it's not something that I set out to do. I can't guarantee what I write next will be as appealing to people. It probably won't be."

- PJ Harvey[16]

The critical response was overwhelmingly positive — Rolling Stone praised the record as "astonishing" in its four-star review,[11] People claimed that "Harvey's raw, dense music rivals that of Bob Dylan himself for sheer gut-wrenching melodrama"[citation needed] and Hot Press raved, "this is a creation of oceanic beauty, depth and mystery in which all of the themes previously explored in fragments by Harvey are united in a rich and complex whole".[citation needed]

Harvey and her new five-piece live band supported the album with a 10-month worldwide tour that included a three-month stint opening for the band Live in the US, and a now-legendary performance at the UK's Glastonbury Festival wearing a shocking pink catsuit and black Wonderbra.[citation needed]

Harvey told Filter in 2004, "To Bring You My Love was my first real venture into production and to use an incredible producer like Flood, who painted an atmosphere over my songs that I hadn't heard before, I was working with new musicians — it was all very, very exciting. And very, very draining. That was a difficult time in my life, as was the time of Is This Desire?"

In 2005, Diplo sampled "Down By The Water" for a remix of the Mike Jones single "Still Tippin'" and then again the following year on Plastic Little's indie rap track "Now I Hollar."

Accolades[edit]

The album received huge critical acclaim. It was voted as the best album of the year in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics poll by a wide margin,[17] and was also voted the year's number-one album by publications such as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, People, USA Today, Hot Press and, in "the biggest landslide victory in 15 years", the Los Angeles Times. It featured in Top Ten lists for magazines like Spin, NME, Melody Maker and Mojo, though a contrarian Time list dubbed it the "Worst Album of 1995."[18] The album received two Grammy Award nominations as Best Alternative Music Performance and Best Female Rock Vocal for the single "Down by the Water", and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Spin magazine later ranked it at number 3 in a list of the best albums of the 90s.[19] In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album at number 435 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[20] Slant Magazine, in 2011, rated To Bring You My Love as the 20th best album of the 90s.[21] As of 2005, (according to AskBillboard) To Bring You My Love has sold 375,000 copies in the US.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by PJ Harvey

No. Title Length
1. "To Bring You My Love"   5:32
2. "Meet Ze Monsta"   3:29
3. "Working for the Man"   4:45
4. "C'mon Billy"   2:47
5. "Teclo"   4:57
6. "Long Snake Moan"   5:17
7. "Down by the Water"   3:14
8. "I Think I'm a Mother"   4:00
9. "Send His Love to Me"   4:20
10. "The Dancer"   4:06
Total length:
42:27
Limited edition[22] b-sides CD
No. Title Length
1. "Reeling" (demo version) 3:00
2. "Daddy"   3:16
3. "Lying in the Sun"   4:30
4. "Somebody's Down, Somebody's Name"   3:40
5. "Darling Be There"   3:46
6. "Maniac"   4:01
7. "One Time Too Many"   2:52
8. "Harder"   2:05
9. "Goodnight"   4:17
Total length:
31:27

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[23]
Technical personnel[23]
Art personnel[23]

Chart positions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DeLuca, Dan, "Songwriter PJ Harvey is reaching out to her fans", The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 31, 1995, pg. E01
  2. ^ McLeese, Don, "Between Heaven and Hell; Modern Musicians Sing About the Passion of Life", Austin American Statesman (Texas), Entertainment section, p. 5, April 6, 1995.
  3. ^ Niesel, Jeff (February 23, 1995). "Album Review Alternative To Bring You My Love PJ Harvey". San Diego Tribune. Entertainment section, p. 8. 
  4. ^ a b Dollar, Steve. "Preview; PJ Harvey" The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Arts section, p. 2M, June 4, 1995.
  5. ^ Rosen, Craig, "U.S. radio brings Harvey its love- 4th Island set poised for mainstream", Billboard, February 18, 1995.
  6. ^ Jenkins, Mark, "PJ Harvey: Electric Blue", The Washington Post, Sunday Arts, p.G10, March 5, 1995.
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. To Bring You My Love - PJ Harvey | AllMusic at AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2004.
  8. ^ Robert Christgau. "Robert Christgau: CG: PJ Harvey". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 28 June 2004. 
  9. ^ David Browne (10 March 1995). "To Bring You My Love Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  10. ^ Hilburn, Robert (26 February 1995). "A Potent Artist for the '90s: Singer-songwriter PJ Harvey sheds her band and focuses on vocals and words. The result? An artful, graceful and unpredictable third album". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  11. ^ a b O'Dair, Barbara (9 March 1995). "Voodoo Child". Rolling Stone (703). p. 63. Retrieved 28 June 2004. 
  12. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "PJ Harvey". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London, United Kingdom: Fireside. pp. 368–369. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  13. ^ Powers, Ann (April 1995). "Platter du Jour: PJ Harvey To Bring You My Love". Spin 11 (1): 195. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  14. ^ To Bring You My Love PJ Harvey > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles at AllMusic. Retrieved 12 December 2005.
  15. ^ To Bring You My Love PJ Harvey > Charts & Awards > Billboard Album at AllMusic. Retrieved 12 December 2005.
  16. ^ Ottawa Citizen, via the Los Angeles Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Devil in the red Dress: British singer expands audience with new album." May 30, 1995, Entertainment section, page B8.
  17. ^ "The 1995 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. February 20, 1996. Retrieved 21 March 2005. 
  18. ^ "The Best Of 1995: MUSIC". Time. December 25, 1995. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  19. ^ Michel, Sia (September 1999). "The 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s: 3 PJ Harvey To Bring You My Love". Spin 15 (9): 117. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Levy, Joe; Steven Van Zandt (2006) [2005]. "435 | To Bring You My Love - PJ Harvey". Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (3rd ed.). London: Turnaround. ISBN 1-932958-61-4. OCLC 70672814. Archived from the original on 5 April 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2005. 
  21. ^ "Best Albums of the '90s". Slant Magazine. February 14, 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "Albums". pollyharvey.co.uk. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  23. ^ a b c To Bring You My Love (CD). PJ Harvey. London, United Kingdom: Island Records. 1995. LC0497. 
  24. ^ "australian-charts.com - PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  25. ^ a b "ultratop.be - PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love". Ultratop. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  26. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives of Canada". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  27. ^ "dutchcharts.nl - PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  28. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les "Chart Runs" des Albums classés depuis 1985 dans le Top Albums Officiel". InfoDisc (in French). Retrieved 12 April 2012.  N.B. User must select "P.J. HARVEY" from the drop-down menu select and click "Go."
  29. ^ "charts.de". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  30. ^ "charts.org.nz - PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  31. ^ "norwegiancharts.com - PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  32. ^ "swedishcharts.com - PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  33. ^ "PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love - hitparade.ch". Hitparade. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  34. ^ "PJ HARVEY | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  35. ^ "PJ Harvey Album & Song Chart History | Billboard.com". Billboard. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  36. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  37. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 12 April 2012.  N.B. User must define search parameters and enter either "P.J Harvey" into Search By Artist or "Down by the Water" into Search By Song Title.
  38. ^ "PJ HARVEY | Artist | Official Charts". UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  39. ^ a b "Ask Billboard; Billboard.com". US Main. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  40. ^ "British album certifications – PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 April 2012.  Enter To Bring You My Love in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go