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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:15 pm 
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I'm sure this has been discussed before, or may even be common knowledge, but this is a question that is impossible to search for (literally impossible on this forum's software— "dry" is too common to display results!) so I've never been able to find anything about this…

I've always thought it a bit odd that Rid of Me has a song called "Dry" when the actual album Dry does not; in fact, when I first got Rid of Me (which was before I listened to Dry, though I knew of it) and saw the tracklist, I assumed "Dry" was a bonus track from the earlier album. Obviously I know now that Rid of Me was the first recording of it, but even now it's easy to think of it as a misplaced song from Dry: beyond the obviousness of sharing a name and meaning, I feel that the general lyrical and musical composition of "Dry" has more in common with songs on Dry than those on Rid of Me.

Has PJ ever said anything about this— that "Dry" was written earlier, cut from that album, but later re-used? Or is there anything to suggest something along these lines (appearances in live shows ahead of other Rid of Me songs)? It wouldn't be the only time a title track got left on the cutting room floor (see "Uh Huh Her")… or was it really written later?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:34 pm 
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Dry was a B-side for Polly's first single, Dress, released in Dec 1991:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dress_(PJ_Harvey_song)

Blandford (pg 35) notes that the B side got more attention than the actual single did for its "controversial subject matter". Perhaps it was deemed too extreme to include on her debut album. It is ironic that it was not included when the Dry album was released in March 1992 as well as not included on the limited edition Dry Demonstration (demo tracks) CD.

Dry regularly appears in the Dry (1992) tour's set lists, but (interestingly) not in any ROM (1993) tour set lists:
http://pjharveyshows.thegardenforum.org/1991-1993.html

She brought Dry back for the Stories tour, but that was the last time for it.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:37 am 
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DrDark wrote:
Dry was a B-side for Polly's first single, Dress, released in Dec 1991:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dress_(PJ_Harvey_song)

Blandford (pg 35) notes that the B side got more attention than the actual single did for its "controversial subject matter". Perhaps it was deemed too extreme to include on her debut album. It is ironic that it was not included when the Dry album was released in March 1992 as well as not included on the limited edition Dry Demonstration (demo tracks) CD.

Dry regularly appears in the Dry (1992) tour's set lists, but (interestingly) not in any ROM (1993) tour set lists:
http://pjharveyshows.thegardenforum.org/1991-1993.html

She brought Dry back for the Stories tour, but that was the last time for it.


Thanks for the info, I didn't know that story, I've always thought PJ just realized that 'Dry' was a good song and didn't want it to be remembered like a B-Side, and then she decided to record it again for 'Rid of Me' (well, I don't remember if the single take is different to the later used in 'Rid of Me').


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:18 pm 
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Ah, I didn't even think to check for B-sides! That proves it rather definitively, then. Glad to know my intuition was correct, and not just getting caught up on the name. :)

Very interesting to see that it was played during the Dry tour, but then not at all for the Rid of Me tour— she clearly considered it a Dry song!

bad_whore wrote:
(well, I don't remember if the single take is different to the later used in 'Rid of Me').

If this YouTube upload is correct, it's a very different take indeed. It would have made for an excellent closing track.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:38 am 
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All and Everyone wrote:
Ah, I didn't even think to check for B-sides! That proves it rather definitively, then. Glad to know my intuition was correct, and not just getting caught up on the name. :)

Very interesting to see that it was played during the Dry tour, but then not at all for the Rid of Me tour— she clearly considered it a Dry song!

bad_whore wrote:
(well, I don't remember if the single take is different to the later used in 'Rid of Me').

If this YouTube upload is correct, it's a very different take indeed. It would have made for an excellent closing track.


Hmm, I didn't remember that single version was the demo, then the 'Rid of Me' take was really the only one with the full band? I see... this reminds me of 'Reeling' song, the full band version was released on a single and the demo version appeared on '4-Track Demos'.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:22 am 
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It's interesting that Dress was frequently on set lists for both the Dry and ROM tours, but Dry was only on Dry tour set lists.

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 9:57 pm 
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Her latest social media post shows that the demo for “Dry” was recorded July 91, and it’s included there under the listing “PJ 4-track for second album.” The Dry tour included plenty of songs that would appear on the second album; including Man-Size, Me Jane, etc. She didn’t delineate the setlist in terms of “these are the songs on the first album and that’s all we’re playing”—the intention was clearly to try out the songs and refine them onstage before they went to record Rid Of Me.

The oddest thing about it all is that she used the word ‘Dry’ for the title of that album. It makes the timeline confusing. Why wasn’t it included on the first album? If she demo’d it for the second album, was it never in contention for the first? Who knows?? Before I actually knew about the song “Dry”, I assumed the album title came from the line on “Joe”—‘with my hair I’ll mop them dry’. Then she gave that hour long interview to Rapido where she said it was very important to her that the sound of the album was kept very ‘dry’ with no reverb or effects. Just something else to ponder re: the album title.

Another thing that I always think of when I hear the song that I swear no one else has ever picked up on: I’m 95% sure she wrote the song about her disappointing experience seeing U2 in concert around this time. She gave an interview right around this time (‘92-93) where she mentions going to see them and being disappointed in how slick, professional, and boring the show was. The way she described it fit the lyrics of the song perfectly. And to extrapolate further, I think “the face” is actually the British magazine The Face—she saw a listing for U2’s upcoming shows in the area, so she marked it on her calendar, bought a ticket...

That’s described in the first verse:

“I caught it in The Face“ — the listing in the magazine
“coming around again” — U2 is coming to her area to play a show again
“I thought it was worth waiting” — everyone knows that anticipation of seeing a fav. band

Then it becomes melded with sexual imagery.

Then the second verse describes the show itself:

“You’ve come all this way, no hair out of place, you put it on the stage, you put right in my face”.

It adds another layer of humor to the song when you know what the situation was that inspired it.


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 8:55 am 
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Do you happen to have the interview you're talking about?
Your theory sounds very plausible to me, and yes, the double-entendre makes the song much more hilarious


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 5:14 am 
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bruise wrote:
Do you happen to have the interview you're talking about?
Your theory sounds very plausible to me, and yes, the double-entendre makes the song much more hilarious


I don’t. It was ages ago, but I did read it online, probably on one of the old PJH fan websites at least 20 years ago.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 10:26 pm 
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Regarding all the recent (reissue) news, since Dry the song was a B side, it appears it is not being reissued?

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 10:42 pm 
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DrDark wrote:
Regarding all the recent (reissue) news, since Dry the song was a B side, it appears it is not being reissued?


Depending how closely the Rid Of Me reissue hews to the “every song in demo form” promise from today’s press release, there’s a chance it could be included with that one.

I’m on pins and needles waiting to find out exactly how they’ll divvy up the tracks from Rid Of Me/4-Track Demos, because those albums don’t mirror each other, and there were demos recorded for Rid Of Me that didn’t appear on 4-Track Demos, and 4-Track Demos has songs that didn’t appear on Rid Of Me, and then there’s “Clothes”...!


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