Dry (album)

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Studio album by PJ Harvey
Released 30 March 1992
Recorded September–December 1991 at The Icehouse in Yeovil, United Kingdom
Length 39:54
Label Too Pure
Producer Head, Rob Ellis, PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey chronology
Rid of Me
Singles from Dry
  1. "Dress"
    Released: December 1991
  2. "Sheela-Na-Gig"
    Released: February 1992

Dry is the debut studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician PJ Harvey, released on Too Pure Records on 30 March 1992.[3] The album was recorded at The Icehouse, a local studio in Yeovil, United Kingdom. The first 5000 LPs and first 1000 CDs included demo versions of the album's tracks and Dry was subsequently released in the United States on Indigo Records in the US. Both versions were released in 1992.


Speaking to Filter magazine in 2004, Harvey said of her debut album: "Dry is the first chance I ever had to make a record and I thought it would be my last. So, I put everything I had into it. It was a very extreme record. It was a great joy for me to be able to make it. I never thought I'd have that opportunity, so I felt like I had to get everything on it as well as I possibly could, because it was probably my only chance. It felt very extreme for that reason."

from Dry (1992)

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Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4/5 stars[1]
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau A-[5]
Entertainment Weekly A+[6]
NME (9/10)[citation needed]
Q 4/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone Favorable[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[9]

Upon its release, Dry received positive critical acclaim. Former Village Voice editor and Pazz & Jop journalist Robert Christgau described the album as an "essential feminist distinction between egoist bullroar and honest irrational outpouring--and of course by her postrockist guitar, where she starts to reinvent her instrument the way grrrl-punks reinvent their form," rating the album an A-.[5] According to Variety, the album was "not so much stripped-down rock as it is flayed-alive rock". MTV described it as "a dark, twisted, arresting work which sounds both rubbed red raw and invigorating", while the NME praised it as "a crossover point possessing natural songwriting and scorching guitar noise" in its 9/10 review. Around the time of the album’s release, Harvey attracted some controversy for posing topless, with her back to the camera and baring an unshaven armpit, on the cover of NME. Received as well in the States as the UK, the album prompted Rolling Stone magazine to name the then-22-year-old Harvey the year's Best Songwriter and Best New Female Singer. In spite of the acclaim, "Sheela-Na-Gig" was the only single to chart in the US, at #9 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart.[10]


In a 1993 critics' poll of the 100 Greatest Albums of All Time, NME ranked Dry at number 71, and in a similar poll conducted by Melody Maker in 2000, the album was placed at number 86. It was on Kurt Cobain's 50 greatest albums list.[11][12][13] It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by PJ Harvey except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Oh My Lover"   3:57
2. "O Stella"   2:36
3. "Dress" (Harvey, Rob Ellis) 3:16
4. "Victory"   3:16
5. "Happy and Bleeding" (Harvey, Ellis) 4:50
6. "Sheela-Na-Gig"   3:11
7. "Hair"   3:45
8. "Joe" (Harvey, Ellis) 2:33
9. "Plants and Rags" (Harvey, Ellis) 4:09
10. "Fountain"   3:52
11. "Water"   4:32
Total length:
Limited edition[14] Demonstration bonus tracks
No. Title Length
12. "Oh My Lover" (demo version, 1991) 2:30
13. "O Stella" (demo version, 1991) 3:16
14. "Dress" (demo version, 1991) 3:17
15. "Victory" (demo version, 1991) 4:19
16. "Happy and Bleeding" (demo version, 1991) 4:44
17. "Sheela-Na-Gig" (demo version, 1991) 3:15
18. "Hair" (demo version, 1991) 3:37
19. "Joe" (demo version, 1991) 3:16
20. "Plants and Rags" (demo version, 1991) 3:32
21. "Fountain" (demo version, 1991) 3:05
22. "Water" (demo version, 1991) 4:32
Total length:


All personnel credits adapted from Dry‍ '​s liner notes.[15]

PJ Harvey Trio
Additional musicians
  • Ben Groenevelt – double bass (3)
  • Mike Paine – guitar (9)
  • Chas Dickie – cello (9)
Technical personnel
  • Head – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Vernon – producer (3, 5)
Art personnel

Chart positions[edit]


  1. ^ a b Carew, Anthony. "Definitive Alternative Albums: PJ Harvey 'Dry'". About.com. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (24 April 2011). "PJ Harvey: 'I feel things deeply. I get angry, I shout at the TV, I feel sick'". The Observer. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "PJ Harvey on 'Dry' run". NME (London, England: IPC Media): 5. 27 February 1992. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Dry - PJ Harvey | AllMusic at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 June 2004.
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "P J Harvey: Dry > Consumer Guide Album". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 28 June 2004. 
  6. ^ Wyman, Bill (2 October 1992). "Dry Review". Entertainment Weekly (138). p. 59. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  7. ^ Aston, Martin (June 1992). "P J Harvey Dry > Album Review". Q (69). Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Coleman, Mark (10–24 December 1992). "The Year In Records Dry PJ Harvey". Rolling Stone (645–646). p. 182. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  9. ^ 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.  Portions posted at "PJ Harvey > Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Dry - PJ Harvey > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 July 2005.
  11. ^ "Kurt Cobain's 50 favorite albums". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Top 50 by Nirvana [MIXTAPE]". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Cross, Gaar, Gendron, Martens, Yarm (2013). Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7603-4521-4. 
  14. ^ "PJ Harvey online". pjharvey.net. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Dry (CD). PJ Harvey. Too Pure. 1992. PURE CD10. 
  16. ^ a b "PJ Harvey | Artist". The Official Charts Company. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "Indie Charts: 21 March 1992". The ITV Chart Show. 21 March 1992. ITV. 
  18. ^ "Dry – PJ Harvey: Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry.  N.B. User must either enter "PJ Harvey" into Search, select "Artist" from Search by and click Go or "Dry" into Search, select "Title" from Search by and click Go.