High and Dry

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"High and Dry"
High and Dry Planet Telex CD1.jpg
Single by Radiohead
from the album The Bends
A-side"Planet Telex" (UK)
Released27 February 1995 (1995-02-27)
Producer(s)Radiohead, Jim Warren
Radiohead singles chronology
"My Iron Lung"
"High and Dry" / "Planet Telex"
"Fake Plastic Trees"
Audio sample
Music video
"High and Dry" on YouTube

"High and Dry" is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, released as the first single from their second studio album The Bends (1995). It was released as a double A-side with album opener "Planet Telex". "High and Dry" was released in the UK on 5 March 1995.


Songwriter Thom Yorke performed an early version of the song with the band Headless Chickens while he was a student at University of Exeter in the late 1980s.[1] Radiohead recorded a demo version, but dismissed it as "too Rod Stewart".[2] During the recording sessions for The Bends, Radiohead's demo was rediscovered and remastered for inclusion on the album.[citation needed] In a 2007 interview with Pitchfork, Yorke said that the label had pressured him to release "High and Dry", and felt that it was a "very bad" song.[3]

Music videos[edit]

Two music videos were created for "High and Dry", one produced for the American market and another for Britain. The former, directed by Paul Cunningham, stars the band in a diner (Dick's Restaurant & Cocktails, in San Leandro, California), where other patrons are involved in dramas of their own, which are revealed through the use of flashbacks. A couple and the diner's cook are involved in an unspecified crime. A businessman is hiding something in his briefcase. In the end, the two dramas are resolved when the guilty parties are betrayed, the cook gives the couple a time bomb and the businessman is ambushed and killed (though the murder is only suggested).

The British version of the video is in black and white, directed by David Mould. It shows the band performing in a desert setting amidst trucks and filming equipment; the actual filming location is the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in northern Los Angeles County, California. By the end of the video, it rains on the band, but they continue playing. This was actually the first version of the video produced, but the band expressed dissatisfaction with it, leading to the other video. Only the US version appears on the band's 1998 video compilation 7 Television Commercials, and both the UK and U.S. versions appear on the Radiohead: The Best Of DVD released in 2008 by EMI.

Track listing[edit]


  1. "High and Dry" – 4:17
  2. "Planet Telex" – 4:18
  3. "Maquiladora" – 3:27
  4. "Planet Telex" (Hexidecimal Mix) – 6:44


  1. "Planet Telex" – 4:18
  2. "High and Dry" – 4:17
  3. "Killer Cars" – 3:02
  4. "Planet Telex" (L.F.O. JD Mix) – 4:40

12" vinyl

  1. "Planet Telex" (Hexidecimal Mix) – 6:44
  2. "Planet Telex" (L.F.O. JD Mix) – 4:40
  3. "Planet Telex" (Hexidecimal Dub) – 7:32
  4. "High and Dry" – 4:17


  1. "High and Dry" – 4:16
  2. "India Rubber" – 3:26
  3. "Maquiladora" – 3:26
  4. "How Can You Be Sure" – 4:21
  5. "Just" (live at the Forum) – 3:47


  • Thom Yorke – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano
  • Jonny Greenwood – electric guitar
  • Ed O'Brien – electric guitar
  • Colin Greenwood – bass
  • Phil Selway – drums


Chart (1995–1996) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[4] 62
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[5] 31
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[6] 11
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 22
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[8]
Double A-side with "Planet Telex"
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9]
Double A-side with "Planet Telex"
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 78
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[11] 18


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Notable cover versions[edit]

  • In 2002 British artist Jamie Cullum included a version of "High and Dry" on his first major album release Pointless Nostalgic. The track was later included on the US version of his 2003 album Twentysomething, while the UK special edition (2004) carried a live recording of the song by Cullum.
  • In 2015 a version of "High and Dry" (entitled 'High & Dry') by British band ABC was included on the compilation album 80's – Re: Covered.
  • In 2016 the song was covered by Morgan Heritage on a 10-year anniversary special edition release of Radiodread by reggae collective Easy Star All-Stars.


  1. ^ "Rare Footage Surfaces of Thom Yorke Performing "High and Dry" With Pre-Radiohead Band". Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  2. ^ Bambarger, Bradley (17 February 1996). "The Modern Age". Billboard.
  3. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (2006-08-16). "Pitchfork: Interviews: Thom Yorke". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2010-03-03.
  4. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2933." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9200." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Charts.nz – Radiohead – High and Dry". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Radiohead Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Radiohead Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  12. ^ "British single certifications – Radiohead – High & Dry". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 April 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type High & Dry in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]