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4.6 out of 5 stars12
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2007
Ignore the previous reviewer's comments; if - like me - you were mildly disappointed by her last studio album, 'Uh Huh Her', or are simply gagging for her to return to the live arena, 'The Peel Sessions 1991 - 2004' is an essential purchase for all fans of the artist popularly known as 'the Peej'.

As she points out in the liner notes, John Peel's opinion mattered to Harvey and, accordingly, she has handpicked a selection of tracks spanning her career, up to and including the release of the aforementioned 'Uh Huh Her', which would have certainly met with his approval. As a result, the lucky listener gets two previously rare songs ('Naked Cousin' and 'Wang Dang Doodle') alongside a plaintive, stripped-down version of 'That Was My Veil' and an impassioned, histrionic 'Snake'. In fact, every single track here is solid gold, and as an album this serves as a timely reminder of Harvey's rare talent.

My one (tiny!) gripe with this collection is its brevity, but if a more comprehensive release is to follow this has more than whet my appetite...

Matt Pucci
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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2006
I'm writing this the day before the album itself is released, but as a great admirer of Polly Harvey's work, I've heard all the Peel tracks before, when they were first broadcast, and still have the lot on tape.

This collection spans Polly's career to the release of Uh Huh Her, and contains, as well as some old favourites, a selection of quite rare and unusual songs that were previously unavailable unless you happened to get them as a single B side. She always seemed to pull out all the stops for the dearly loved, and tragically missed John Peel, and these sessions contained some of her most explosive or subtle performances. Polly remains one of the most gifted rock artists; arguably the most, that Britain has produced in a long, long time, and this new collection is testament to that fact. Vocally she is as versatile as ever, her voice etching alternately pseudo-erotic or banshee songs about the darker side of the human psyche, shot through with deliciously black humour. Any follower of her work will want to get a copy of this, if only for Wang Dang Doodle and Naked Cousin; two non album tracks she generally kept back in the early to mid 1990s as live pieces, just as she did (with delightful irony) the title track of Uh Huh Her. Bless her. Nobody could call Polly predictable.

You also get an astonishing variety of different musical styles, from full-on guitar based rock, through theatrical, to late 1990s moody electronica and beyond toward the slightly more accessable, but no less interestion early '00 period tracks, all with a very different presentation from the albums the originals were recorded for, or alongside.

Just buy it. It's not going to break your bank account, and you'll have a stunning personal tribute to John Peel by an artist he dearly loved, and who for her part, adored him, as we all did. I'm certain he would be delighted that Polly has decided to release a selection of the many tracks she recorded in his sessions for her legion admirers, for that was what they were supposed to be about. Great music, recorded by people at the top of their game, encouraged by a man who loved to hear something new and exciting.
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on 7 July 2011
How I've missed this album in the last 5 years since it's release I'll never know, and it snuggles in nicely with rest of PJ's work.
PJ is wearing her heart on her sleeve at every one of her Peel Session's, as the the title of this album states it's not just from one particular session but sessions between 1994-2004, and for the passion to be felt and heard throughout that 10 year span says not only a lot about PJ's persona but how much the Late Great John Peel meant to her.
The only criticism I have is the length of the album, at only 41 mins it seems over far too quickly and does leave you gasping for more. That said, it is 41 mins of passionate, raw & inspiring music.
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on 4 July 2013
A great collection, showcasing the extraordinary career of the magnificent PJ Harvey. Spanning the earliest to the latest, including various line ups through the years, this collection will be sure to please any PJ fan. And if you're not a fan, it isn't a bad place to start. Highly recommended.
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on 22 December 2015
This is a good compo if you're dipping you're toes in to Polly Jean's oeuvre.
I play it regularly in the vehicle.
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on 17 June 2016
Early PJ Harvey at their finest. Raw, scathing vocals and a fantastic tribute to the band and to John Peel
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on 26 June 2016
great selection of tracks
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on 10 August 2012
P J Harvey is the only musician/band to win the Mercury Award twice. John Peel always knew talent and when his name is attached to anything I always pay strict attention. I first bought 'Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea' and was blown away by her all-round talent; and when you have Thom Yorke wanting to work with you, things can't be bad eh? So I bought this CD hoping for more of the same and boy was I right! Her song-writing ability alternates between humourous, intense and seductive with ease, she bangs out awesome riffs and has a wonderful voice. Backed by her excellent long-term band members (sorry forgot their names), her music has a life of it's own.

There is no faulting this CD.
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on 4 July 2015
Brilliant thanks
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on 13 June 2016
great listening
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