Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

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Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea.jpg
Studio album by
Released23 October 2000
RecordedMarch–April 2000
StudioGreat Linford Manor in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
GenreAlternative rock[1]
Length47:25
LabelIsland
ProducerRob Ellis, Mick Harvey, PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey chronology
Is This Desire?
(1998)
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
(2000)
Uh Huh Her
(2004)
Singles from Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  1. "Good Fortune"
    Released: 13 November 2000
  2. "A Place Called Home"
    Released: 26 February 2001
  3. "This Is Love"
    Released: 8 October 2001

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea is the fifth studio album by English alternative rock musician PJ Harvey, released on 23 October 2000 by Island Records. Recorded during March to April 2000, it contains themes of love that are tied into Harvey's affection for New York City.[2]

The album became the second major commercial success of her recording career, following her successful breakthrough To Bring You My Love (1995). Upon its release, the album received acclaim from most music critics and earned Harvey several accolades, including the 2001 Mercury Prize. It spent 17 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, and was certified Platinum in the UK and Australia.[3][4] It is generally regarded as one of her best works.[5][6][7] In the updated version of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, it was ranked at number 431.[8]

Background and music[edit]

In 1998, while shooting a film as an actress for Hal Hartley in New York, she felt inspired by the city and wrote several songs. Some of them ended on the following album.[9] In 1999, she chose to live there for nine months.[10] However, she insisted in interviews it was not "my New York album". Songs were also written while she was in London or at home in Dorset.[10] Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea was then recorded at the Great Linford Manor in Milton Keynes in March–April 2000. The record was co-produced by Mick Harvey, Rob Ellis and Harvey, and mixed by Victor Van Vugt at the Fallout Shelter. The album featured a duet with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke on the track "This Mess We're In", as well as backing vocals and keyboards from Yorke on the songs "One Line" and "Beautiful Feeling". She had met Yorke in 1992 and they had stayed in contact. She said: "I'd long been interested in the idea of somebody else singing a whole song on a record of mine, to have a very different dimension brought in by somebody else's voice. It adds so much dynamic within the record to have this other character coming in".[9]

She wanted the record to be more direct: "It's very different musically to the first couple of albums. It's very melodic, and it's much rounder and fuller. The earlier albums were very black and white in some sense, very extreme. Melodically, this is much more sophisticated than those records. It kind of feels like a combination of every album I've made so far rolled into one."[9] The songs were also a musical departure from her previous dark material. Harvey told Q in 2001, "I wanted everything to sound as beautiful as possible. Having experimented with some dreadful sounds on Is This Desire? and To Bring You My Love - where I was really looking for dark, unsettling, nauseous-making sounds - Stories From The City... was the reaction. I thought, No, I want absolute beauty. 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." She did, however, concede jokingly that it was only "pop according to PJ Harvey, which is probably as un-pop as you can get according to most people's standards."[11]

Pitchfork compared her voice on the lead single "Good Fortune" to that of Chrissie Hynde,[12] while the Los Angeles Times observed: "Her singing often recalls Patti Smith and Siouxsie Sioux, artists who, like Harvey, project a sexuality derived from--yet never bound by--rock's male sensibilities."[13]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic88/100[5]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[14]
Chicago Sun-Times3.5/4 stars[15]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[16]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[13]
NME9/10[17]
Pitchfork5.5/10[12]
Q4/5 stars[18]
Rolling Stone4.5/5 stars[19]
Spin8/10[20]
The Village VoiceA+[6]

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea reached number 23 on the UK Albums Chart.[21] The album was certified Platinum in the UK, with sales over 300,000 copies. The album debuted at number 42 on the US Billboard 200 chart.[22] As of 2003 it has sold 357,000 copies in United States according to Nielsen SoundScan. [23] It has also been certified Gold in France, and has sold 1 million copies worldwide. [24]

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea received critical acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 88, based on 25 reviews.[5] NME hailed it as "a magnificent, life-affirming opus" by Harvey.[17] Robert Christgau called it "the best album of her career" in his review for Rolling Stone.[19]

Other critics rated it as only average. Spencer Owen of Pitchfork viewed the album as lacking in distinction, saying "the sheen gets slicker and her music gets duller".[12] The publication later, however, ranked it at number 124 in their "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s" list in 2009.[25]

Accolades[edit]

The album earned Harvey BRIT Award nominations as Best British Female Artist for two years running, as well as two Grammy Award nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Female Rock Performance for the single "This Is Love". [26] For the album, Harvey was nominated for the 2001 Mercury Prize for the third time (her previous nominations were for Rid of Me and To Bring You My Love). The award ceremony was held on September 11, 2001. Harvey was in Washington, D.C. on that day and witnessed the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon from her hotel room window. She was announced as the winner and accepted her award by phone, saying "It has been a very surreal day. All I can say is thank you very much, I am absolutely stunned."[27] The win made Harvey the first female solo artist to receive the Mercury Prize in the award's history. The album was ranked number eight on Rolling Stone's list of The 50 Essential "Women In Rock" Albums.[28] In 2002, Q magazine named "Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea" the Greatest Album of All-Time by a Female Artist.[29] In 2006, the album was chosen by Time as one of the 100 best albums of all time.[30] In 2009, Pitchfork named the album the 124th Top Album of the 2000s.[31] In 2009, NME also placed the album inside their Top 100 Greatest Albums Of The Decade, at number 6 [32] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[33] Rolling Stone named it the thirty-fifth best album of the decade.[34]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by PJ Harvey.

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea – Standard edition
No.TitleLength
1."Big Exit"3:51
2."Good Fortune"3:20
3."A Place Called Home"3:43
4."One Line"3:14
5."Beautiful Feeling"4:00
6."The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore"4:01
7."This Mess We're In"3:57
8."You Said Something"3:19
9."Kamikaze"2:24
10."This Is Love"3:48
11."Horses in My Dreams"5:38
12."We Float"6:07
Total length:47:25

Singles and promo videos[edit]

Personnel[edit]

All personnel credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[35]

Musicians

  • PJ Harvey – vocals, guitar (1–3, 5–11), bass (1), keyboards (3, 4, 8, 10), piano (12), djembe (12), maracas (6), e-bow (12), producer, engineer
  • Rob Ellis – drums (2, 3, 6–12), piano (2, 3, 7, 11, 12), tambourine (1, 8, 10), synthesizer (2), keyboards (12), bells (12), harpsichord (1), electric piano (2), vibraphone (4), background vocals (11, 12), producer
  • Mick Harveyorgan (12), bass (2–4, 6–12), drums (1, 4), percussion (3), harmonium (1), keyboards (7, 9, 10), accordion (4), background vocals (11, 12), producer

Guest musicians

Production

Design

  • Rob Crane - design
  • Maria Mochnacz - design, photography

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Battaglia, Andy (23 September 2000). "P.J. Harvey: New York Dull … Sun Ra: Cosmos Factory". The New York Observer. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  2. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (20 January 2001). "Review: PJ Harvey: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  3. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/Search.aspx
  4. ^ http://www.aria.com.au/pages/httpwww.aria.com.aupagesARIACharts-Accreditations-2007Albums.htm
  5. ^ a b c "Reviews for Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea by PJ Harvey". Metacritic. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  6. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (28 November 2000). "Getting Bizzy". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  7. ^ Hoard, Christian (2004). "PJ Harvey". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 368–369. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ a b c Appleford, Steve (29 October 2000). "Checking In With . . . PJ Harvey In a New York State of Mind". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  10. ^ a b Segal, Victoria, I'm just a raunchy sex queen. Is that what you wanted to hear?" Yes, frankly. Re-introducing PJ Harvey (21 October 2000)
  11. ^ Cavanagh, David. "Dark Star". Q (December 2001).
  12. ^ a b c Owen, Spencer (31 October 2000). "PJ Harvey: Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea". Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
  13. ^ a b Nichols, Natalie (29 October 2000). "Harvey Fuses the Raw and the Lush". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  14. ^ Phares, Heather. "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea – PJ Harvey". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
  15. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (5 November 2000). "P.J. Harvey, 'Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea' (Island)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 16 October 2016. (Subscription required (help)).
  16. ^ Browne, David (3 November 2000). "Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea". Entertainment Weekly. New York (567): 82. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
  17. ^ a b Mulvey, John (21 October 2000). "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea". NME. London: 42. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  18. ^ "PJ Harvey: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea". Q. London (171): 133. December 2000.
  19. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (9 November 2000). "Hot Child in the City". Rolling Stone. New York (853): 128. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2004. Posted 26 October 2000. Also archived at "PJ Harvey: Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 1 August 2011. Note: When printed, this was a four stars. As written it was 4.5 stars.
  20. ^ Clover, Joshua (December 2000). "PJ Harvey: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea". Spin. New York. 16 (12): 215, 218. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  21. ^ "Mercury Prize 2011: Every Mercury Prize winner, ever, including PJ Harvey". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  22. ^ Columnist. Jay-Z Extends Chart 'Dynasty'. Billboard. Retrieved on 21 March 2010.
  23. ^ "PJ Harvey Eyeing Festivals, Collaborations". Billboard. 15 April 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Rewind: PJ Harvey's Stories from the city, stories from the sea". Tidal. 15 April 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 150-101". Pitchfork. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  26. ^ "Artist: PJ Harvey". Grammy. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  27. ^ "BBC News - MUSIC - PJ Harvey wins Mercury prize".
  28. ^ Berger, Arion; George-Warren, Holly; Sheffield, Rob; Udovitch, Mim (31 October 2002). "Women in Rock: The 50 Essential Albums". Rolling Stone (908). p. 135. The otherworldly lass hits the concrete hard, sweaty from sex, looking for weapons and heading toward hope. With Stories, Harvey moved from punk to celestial, and took you with her. List posted at "Rock On The Net: Rolling Stone: The 50 Essential 'Woman In Rock' Albums". rockonthenet.com. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  29. ^ "100 Women Who Rock The World". Q. January 2002. List posted at "Rocklist.net...Q Magazine Lists". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  30. ^ Light, Alan (2 November 2006). "Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea All-TIME 100 Albums". Time. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  31. ^ Phillips, Amy (29 September 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 124. PJ Harvey Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  32. ^ THE TOP 100 GREATEST ALBUMS OF THE DECADE NME 2000s
  33. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  34. ^ "100 Best Albums of the Decade". Rolling Stone. New York. 9 December 2009. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  35. ^ Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (CD). PJ Harvey. Island Records. 2000. 548 144-2.
  36. ^ "australian-charts.com – PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
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  39. ^ "RPM Top 100 CDs – November 6, 2000" (PDF). RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  40. ^ "dutchcharts.nl – PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea". dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  41. ^ "finnishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  42. ^ a b "lescharts.com – Discographie PJ Harvey". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  43. ^ "charts.de – PJ Harvey, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  44. ^ "irishcharts.com – Discography PJ Harvey". irish-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  45. ^ "norwegiancharts.com – PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  46. ^ "swedishcharts.com – PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  47. ^ "PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea – hitparade.ch". Hitparade. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  48. ^ a b "PJ Harvey | Artist | Official Charts". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  49. ^ Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea – PJ Harvey: Awards at AllMusic. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  50. ^ "charts.org.nz – PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  51. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  52. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 2006". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  53. ^ "French album certifications – PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  54. ^ "British album certifications – PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 July 2012. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  55. ^ Copsey, Rob (13 September 2017). "The biggest selling Mercury Prize-winning albums revealed". Official Charts Company.
  56. ^ "American album certifications – PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  57. ^ "PJ Harvey Eyeing Festivals, Collaborations". Billboard. 15 April 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  58. ^ "Rewind: PJ Harvey's Stories from the city, stories from the sea". Tidal. 15 April 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2018.

External links[edit]