Back in the early days, during the promotion of the first couple of albums, whenever PJ Harvey took to the stage for a gig or made a rare live TV appearance her appearance wasn’t that far removed from a 20-something indie-student going to the local union. Hair swept back and held in place by an Alice band and everyday clothes such as baggy black jumpers, leggings or jeans, all rounded off with a pair of trainers or Doc Martens.
She was determined to let the music do the talking and image was secondary.
But that all changed dramatically during the recording of the LP To Bring You My Love which was released in February 1995. I don’t think I was alone in being gobsmacked when I first caught sight of the promo for the lead-off single.
Long flowing black hair. Bright red lipstick around a mouth that pouted at the camera. A ruby-red designer dress that showed a vamp with a gorgeous figure. High heels. Slinky dancing. PJ submerged underwater. A vision of absolute loveliness.
It really should have been a massive hit and deserved much more than the paltry #38 it achieved in the UK.
mp3 : PJ Harvey – Down By The Water
Over in the States, it was a different story – the single was massive on the US Modern Rock chart partly because the video, unsurprisingly, was on heavy rotation on MTV. It was clear that PJ Harvey had decided to play along with the game, and the image was every bit now as important as the songs.
Here’s your b-sides:-
mp3 : PJ Harvey – Lying In The Sun
mp3 : PJ Harvey – Somebody’s Down, Somebody’s Name
Oh and interesting to note that the sleeve of this single would probably get banned nowadays thanks to the cigarette in Polly Jean’s right hand. Strange how much some things have changed in the past 20 years.