Dry (album)

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Dry
PJHarveyDryalbumcover.jpg
Studio album by PJ Harvey
Released 30 June 1992
Recorded November–December 1991
Genre Alternative rock, punk blues, indie rock, lo-fi music
Length 39:54
79:54 (Limited Edition)
Label Too Pure/Indigo
Producer Rob Ellis
Polly Jean Harvey
Vernon
PJ Harvey chronology
Dry
(1992)
Rid of Me
(1993)Rid of Me1993
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [1]
Entertainment Weekly(A+) [2]
NME(9/10)
Robert Christgau(A-) [3]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars [4]
Sputnikmusic4/5 stars [5]

Dry is the debut album by PJ Harvey. It was recorded at the Icehouse, Yeovil, UK, and released in the UK on Too Pure (with the first 5000 LPs and first 1000 CDs including demo versions of the album's tracks), and subsequently on Indigo Records in the US. Both versions were released in 1992.

The album generated an overwhelmingly strong critical response. 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.

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. It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

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."

As of 2005, (according to AskBillboard) "Dry" has sold 175,000 copies in the US.

Track listing

All songs written by Harvey, unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Oh My Lover" – 3:57
  2. "O Stella" – 2:36
  3. "Dress" – 3:16
  4. "Victory" – 3:16
  5. "Happy and Bleeding" – 4:50
  6. "Sheela-Na-Gig" – 3:11
  7. "Hair" – 3:45
  8. "Joe" (Ellis, Harvey) – 2:33
  9. "Plants and Rags" (Ellis, Harvey) – 4:07
  10. "Fountain" – 3:52
  11. "Water" – 4:32

Limited edition release

  1. "Oh My Lover" – 4:02
  2. "O Stella" – 2:30
  3. "Dress" – 3:18
  4. "Victory" – 3:15
  5. "Happy and Bleeding" – 4:50
  6. "Sheela-Na-Gig"– 3:10
  7. "Hair" – 3:46
  8. "Joe" – 2:33
  9. "Plants and Rags" – 4:09
  10. "Fountain" – 3:54
  11. "Water" – 4:35
  12. "Oh My Lover (Demo)" – 2:30
  13. "O Stella (Demo)" – 3:16
  14. "Dress (Demo)" – 3:16
  15. "Victory (Demo)" – 4:19
  16. "Happy and Bleeding (Demo)" – 4:44
  17. "Sheela-Na-Gig (Demo)" – 3:15
  18. "Hair (Demo)" – 3:37
  19. "Joe (Demo)" – 3:16
  20. "Plants and Rags (Demo)" – 3:32
  21. "Fountain (Demo)" – 3:05
  22. "Water (Demo)" – 4:32

Singles and promo videos

  1. "Dress" (two versions)
  2. "Sheela-Na-Gig"

Personnel

  • PJ Harvey - guitar, violin, vocals, producer
  • Robert Ellis - drums, harmonium, vocals, producer, mixing
  • Steve Vaughan - bass
  • Ben Groenevelt - bass, double bass
  • Ian Olliver - bass
  • Mike Paine - guitar
  • Chas Dickie - cello
  • Vernon - producer

Charts

Album

Year Chart Position
1992 UK Albums Chart 11

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1992 "Sheela-Na-Gig" Modern Rock Tracks 9
1992 (Feb) "Sheela-Na-Gig" UK Singles Chart 69

References