chansons

High And Dry

Inspiration pour la chanson : 1988
Travail studio / Enregistrement d’une démo : mars 1993 (rythme piqué à Soul II Soul)
Premier live : 6 décembre 1994
Sortie sur album : 13 mars 1995 (The Bends, 3ème piste)
Sortie sur single :  27 février 1995
Tournage de deux clips : 1995

Thom a souvent dit de cette chanson qu’elle est pour les « older people, who don’t like loud music » (« les vieilles personnes qui n’aiment pas la musique forte »). Il faut dire que même si c’est un énorme succès du groupe, c’est loin d’être leur préférée, et qu’on leur a un peu forcé la main pour l’enregistrer…

 en 1988
En 1988, Thom Yorke entre à l’université d’Exeter. Loin des membres de « On A Friday », dispersés le temps de leurs études, il a intégré un autre groupe : Headless Chickens. C’est à cette époque qu’il aurait eu l’idée des paroles d’High& Dry :

As far as I can remember, the words were originally about some loony girl I was going out with, but after a while, they got mixed up with ideas about success and failure, » explains Radiohead front man Thom Yorke about the lyrical inspiration behind the Capitol act’s song High And Dry
— Billboard, 17 février 1996

En juillet 2015, en enregistrement de cette version a été posté sur youtube avec cette description :

An early performance of the song that was recorded by its author a few years later on Radiohead’s album, ‘The Bends’. Thom was playing with Exeter University band Headless Chickens during term-time, a band which included – among others – Simon Shackleton and John Matthias.
If anyone knows who the other guys were – the drummer, bass player and female vocalist, tag em in!
— compte Shaun McCrindle sur Youtube

 en mars 1993

La chanson a été enregistrée durant les sessions en studio pour Pablo Honey. Elle est née sur un rythme piqué à Soul II Soul. Phil avait mis une nouvelle peau sur la grosse caisse, et s’amusait avec. Thom a joué l’introduction acoustique, pour rire, et tout le monde a pensé que ça ressemblait à Rod Stewart. Ils ont enregistré et rajouté des morceaux, mais très bientôt le titre fut mis de côté, parce que ça ne ressemblait pas à un morceau typique de Radiohead (à l’époque).

On the dreamy ’High and Dry’, the sound of the bass drum is integral. Phil was asked to remove all muffling from a one-headed bass drum. He found the feel of the head took some getting used to, but went along with the effect of the song. Once the room’s mic’s were added the result was a very Bonham-ish – and musically appropriate. As for equipment, Phil uses Premier « Signia » drums and Zildjian cymbals.
— modern Drummer, août 1996

Une interview de source inconnue qui détaille l’enregistrement :

Thom : That song was pretty much mine. Originally, I wrote and four-tracked it with a Soul II Soul rhythm underneath, taken off a 12-inch. I honestly don’t know now where the lyrics came from. It was something we didn’t know what to do with. We did a version in the studio one day, didn’t like it, left it. We didn’t even listen back to it ; we finished it and just said, « This is fucking dreadful. »

Ed : It was over two years ago, wasn’t it ? We recorded it with our sound engineer.

Thom : They’d just put a new skin on the bass drum, and that was the inspiration for the sound. I played the opening bit acoustic, which we thought was hilarious. Colin and Phil laughed, ’cause they thought it wounded like Rod Stewart.

Jonny : I played solo, but that was the same guitar line that Thom had come up with on his four-track.

Ed : « High and Dry » was one of the few tracks we’ve done where we haven’t actually been in the studio at the same time. We weren’t really into doing the song, so we all came in, did our seperate parts, and buggered off, and our soundman put it all together.

Thom : Anyway, two years later, someone dug it up and said, « Hey, how ’bout this ? It’s pretty good. » We were quite surprised. It was one of those things where you record something and can’t even remember doing it. We had to relearn it all.

Ed : We never did another recording of it. The version on the album is the original demo version, just remixed by Sean and Paul. It’s interesting, because at the time we recorded it, it didn’t fit in with what we were doing, so we forgot it. But two years on, when we were putting the next album [The Bends] together, it made sense.

Thom : We’re still working on it live. The nicest arrangement we’ve had is the one we just did on Jay Leno, where it just ends on « it’s the best thing that you’ve ever had. » I always hated playing that last chorus over again. Actually, it would still be better with that Soul II Soul ryhthm.

Jonny : That’s why we buried the song.

Thom : Yeah, cause we couldn’t do a convincing Soul II Soul rhythm. Well, we didn’t really want to, so we did a dodgy Rod Stewart version and then ditched it.

Jonny : So we’re proud of it.

Thom : Yeah, it’s all right.

— source inconnue

’High And Dry’ was an old demo we thought was rubbish, you know, too Rod Stewart or something, » Yorke adds.
— Thom Yorke / Billboard, 17 février 1996
Phil – One from the vaults – proof that demos are generally the best versions of songs.
Ed – I really don’t remember the day that this was recorded with our sound engineer, Jim. All I do know is that we hadn’t arranged the song before we went into the studio, but it ended up sounding great !
Jonny – This used to sound like Soul to Soul. A first take demo from ages ago. Colin – Over 2 years old now…ah ! so young, pure and innocent then – now I’m just old, pure and innocent ! Damn !
Thom – An accident just like Evil Kenevil.
— Answerphone, avril 1995
  1994

Au moment d’enregistrer The Bends, quelqu’un a retrouvé la cassette, et ils furent surpris par la façon dont ça collait à l’esprit du groupe. Ils ont donc décidé qu’elle serait sur l’album, sans même imaginer  réenregistrer. Ainsi, la version de l’album, en 1995,  est la version originale de démo, juste remixée.

Thom explique que le succès de Creep étant digéré, désormais le groupe savait quoi faire de cette chanson :

But when we came back to the track one day, it seemed like a mirror showing us all the things we had been through. After ’Creep’ and the fatigue from all the touring, we were scared shitless, really, and people were interfering. We had to claim our creative freedom . . . That’ll never happen again. Now we have so much freedom, we barely know what to do with it.
— Thom Yorke / Billboard, 17 février 1996

 

Jonny, lui, n’est pas vraiment enthousiaste :

When I heard it for the first time, because there’s a whole history behind it, it was recorded as a demo a year and a half ago and we forgot about it, and then we had vague memories of it. Our manager remembered it, and we thought no, it’s not very good, but he got the tapes of it and when I heard it again after over a year, it reminded me of, and this is very egotistical of me, oh, all these interruptions of my own sentences, how very terrible…
— Jonny Greenwood / B-side, juillet 1995

Toujours Jonny :

It reminded me of that song ’Mull of Kintyre’ a Paul McCartney/Wings tune, that really horrible kind of single, but in a nice way. It was one of those songs that people hopefully would be playing as soon as they learned guitar or something
— Jonny Greenwood / B-side, juillet 1995

 

Avec le recul, Thom a avoué en 2010 à Pitchfork que la chanson ne lui plaisait pas… et que le groupe avait en fait un peu été obligé de l’inclure au nouvel album :

Thom Yorke : I had my arm twisted on « High and Dry ».

Pitchfork : To release it as a single ?

TY : To put it anywhere. [Laughs]

It’s not bad, you know. It’s not bad…it’s very bad. [Laughs]

 

 le mardi 6 décembre 1994

A la fin de l’année 1994, The Bends n’est pas encore sorti, mais les sessions d’enregistrement laissent déjà deviner le futur album. EMI va donc anticiper la promotion en habituant les fans à ce que qu’on va y trouver.

La chanson est jouée en live pour la première fois . EMI, qui compte beaucoup sur son potentiel demande au groupe de la jouer régulièrement, ce qui sera fait en 1995 :

La prestation dans Nulle Part Ailleurs en 1995 :

 

 le lundi 27 février 1995

Afin de booster les ventes de l’album The Bends, qui va sortir dans quelques jours, EMI, qui est certain du succès de la chanson, lance un jeu de singles « High&Dry / Planet Telex ».

CD1 :
High & Dry
Planet Telex
Maquiladora
Planet Telex (hexidecimal mix)

CD 2 :
Planet Telex
High & Dry
Killer Cars (électrique)
Planet Telex (l.f.o. jd mix)

 

 semaine du 13 mars 1995

Le single « High&Dry / Planet Telex » (Parlophone CDRS 6405) atteint cette semaine son meilleur classement des ventes avec la 17e place.

http://www.officialcharts.com/artis…

Le 13 mars, sort The Bends (l’album), dont High&Dry est la troisième piste.

 

 en 1995

Deux clips sont tournés pour la chanson.
Le premier, réalisé par David Mould, est destiné à l’Angleterre. Tourné en noir & blanc dans le désert, à Vasquez Rocks, Californie, il montre le groupe jouant au milieu de camions et d’équipement de tournage. A la fin, il pleut sur Radiohead qui continue à jouer…

 Shot by David Mould at Vasqez Rocks in California, it featured the band playing out in the desert in front of a water tanker. As the song unfolded, the band were soaked by falling rain, and thereby hung an amusing little tale. « When we turned on the rain machine, we didn’t realise you could warm up the water beforehand so the whole band ended up being doused in ice cold water and getting flue. Colin was shaking so much I thought he was going to keel over. » 
— The Interview Booklet


Ed: « The video for High and Dry was filmed right outside LA where the set of the flinstones was, they did Bill and Teds amazing adventure whatever its called. Um, and yeah it was basically to try to simulate this like lunar moon landscape and there is like a motion control camera going on there, and about half way through they pour alot of rain on us…. »

Colin: « We get wet »

Ed: « we get very wet, it was like 1100 gallons in a minute and a half, it just comes down so heavy, you can’t do anything else, you know alot of videos and stuff, its like miming and pretending you’re playing it, but when this rain came down, it was just like, we didnt know wat the hell to do, it was…and they did that three times! »

Thom: « Yeah, it was like, we didnt just do it once, they said ‘that was great, can we just do it again, actually, again? please?’ and we’d just stand there soaking wet »

Host: « I think Colin… »

Ed: « Colin’s got a story »

Host: « …wants to say something about it »

Colin: « Well, I got into a lot of trouble because I thought had just had two takes to do right, and everyone was standing in the rain, I went to the tent to change into dry clothes and I was completely naked when this assistant ran into the tent saying ‘they’re all waiting for another take!’ So I had to put all my wet clothes on again, so that was unfortunate. »

Ed and Thom: *something inaudible*

Colin: « Yeah I did offer yeah, I dont think the world is ready yet *laughs* »

Host: « And what about your jacket? »

Colin: « Yeah, my jacket, I’m wearing it today, but it used to be, its a goutier jacket and I really liked it and it use to be black and a bit bigger but it shrunk and has gone grey because I wore it in the video so you know…this is the only, I’m gonna get another one, but this is the only one I’ve got at the moment so um, that was heartbreaking. High and Dry had better be played on the television because, just to cover the emotional cost of my jacket. »

Thom: « Its kind of about evil canival but not really, you know, kanival, stunt man tried to kill himself every week? but…anyway…its kind of about that, I dunno, its there seems, one of the first things i noticed once we started doing this properly, was the way people around us, other bands and ourselves were changing into like complete idiots, um, and were kind of losing their friends and losing any connection with reality, and… very fast…thank you…I kind of saw us doing that, and I dont really know, what else? can you think of anything else? »

Ed: « It was recorded two years ago with our sound engineer about 7 months after we recorded pablo honey because the ideal situation for us is to actually record as we go along. And um, our managers or in fact we were going through the vaults and uh… of what we’ve done and they said have you heard this song *laughs* »

Thom: « …vaults…*sarcastically* »

Colin: « …secret bank in Switzerland where all of radioheads recordings are held so valuable are they. »

Thom: « …not valuable at all »

Ed: « Anyway, we came across high and dry and everyone at the time didn’t think very much of it, but it seemed to really fit in well with what we were doing »

Thom: « Hang on, Colin was about to say ‘Actually, I thought it was great' »

Colin: « No, I thought it was great you know and I think… »

Ed: « He’s lying, he’s an absolute liar »

Colin: « No, I loved it, I loved it to pieces when we did it, and uh, you know big fan, big fan »

Thom: « He’s always about three months ahead of everybody else, Coz, and we all just think he’s a looney. »

— Videomusic 'Radiohead Special' / début mai 1995

 

Radiohead a vite exprimé son insatisfaction… d’où un second clip tourné plus tard. D’ailleurs, cette première version n’apparaitra pas la compilation « officielle » de clip : 7 Television Commercials. Toutefois, EMI jugera bon de l’inclure dans le DVD Best Of sorti en 2008 (sans l’accord du groupe).

Encore en 2011, Adam Buxton, un proche du groupe, tourne un peu partout dans le monde avec une soirée spéciale autour de radiohead le « Radiohead Bug Show » où sont réunis des fans et des membres du groupe (en vidéoconférence le plus souvent) à qui on présente des vieilles vidéos, des enregistrements exclusifs… Lors d’une ces soirées, Adam (AB) passe le vieux clip de High&Dry, et ça fait réagir Jonny Greenwood (JG)  ainsi que Colin (CG):

AB: Then you have got, things certainly taking a turn with High and Dry. You’ve got David Mould doing a British video for that. This was UK only and its just guys in a…
CG: This is where they filmed all the Star Trek stuff with eh, William Shatner.
AB: Oh this was where he fights!
CG: Yeah, Yeah where he fights the alien (name of Alien)
AB: And again the concept of the video seems to be there in the desert, surrounded by catering trucks, and er, their sort of randomly being shot by a security camera, and thom’s asking not to get left high and dry, but despite his pleading, there is an absolute downpour, and he gets his hair blasted down over his face in a quite extraordinary way. Was it fun to make that one? i imagine you had water dumped on you for hours and hours and by the end of that you where thinking ‘well fuck this’

Détail amusant donc : le lieu du tournage a aussi servi à Star Trek…

 

Le groupe n’ayant pas aimé la version désert, un nouveau clip est tourné pour le marché américain, avec Paul Cunningham dans le dinner Dick’s Restaurant & Cocktails à San Leandro, Californie. Le groupe se trouve dans les restaurant, mais il n’intervient jamais dans l’histoire,sauf Thom que l’on voit un peu plus Les membres du groupe sont juste assis à manger pendant que l’action se déroule. Un homme, en proie au stress, s’enferme dans les toilettes… où se trouve aussi Thom, les cheveux rouges, assez serein face à la situation. Un couple commande un truc à emporter, le gars qui le sert y glisse une clé… Quelque chose de bizarre se passe et le couple file à sa voiture, qu’il fait démarrer… la clef tourne, la voiture explose…

Interviewer: « Now one personal question as long as we’re on videos, can you please explain the High And Dry video to me?

Colin: « Which one? Oh, the robbery one

Interviewer: « Yeah, the diner

Colin: « Well, it just like… I mean, you know, retrospectively, I don’t think it was one of our best videos, but I mean, you know, I kind of like the spirit that it was done in. I mean it was obviously just like a Pulp Fiction pastiche, and it was this guy’s first directorial, serious directing job, but I kind of like it. Yeah, I like it despite the… it’s probably the least… err… original of the videos that we’ve done for The Bends, and the plot is that these two guys… this man and this woman have done a bank job and they’re going over to give the money or whatever, the safe deposit thing to the… they meet someone in the diner, and in return they get like paid for the job, but of course they open the thing and it’s not their money, it’s a bomb and so they get screwed

Interviewer: « Ok, yeah I guess it’s pretty much what it seemed, I just didn’t know if there was like a linkage to the song

Colin: « And then the guy, the businessman, the thing is like the guy who gets the couple in to the bank, he’s the insider, and he’s killed as well, so…

— Colin Greenwood / Baktabak Interview CD, vers le 13 juin 1997

Commentaire de 2011 :

AB: The US version now. Who’s idea to do a US version? was it the record company saying ‘aw, you guys in the desert, getting soaked, is not working’?
JG: Yeah, black and white and to kind of grey for them i think
AB: You go into Dicks.
JG: Yeah.
AB: Was this post Pulp Fiction, it was only just, theres that scene at the beginning of Pulp Fiction. That this doesn’t at all remind me of.
And heres you guys all hanging out together, in your cool rock and roll car, sitting in one booth, Thom sits in another booth. On his own.
And theres lots of other characters in the diner there, all these little characters that are going on. Its a whole story about someone with a case and (something) going on. And thom walks into the toilets at one point and sees er, sees inside the suitcase and realizes that theres shenanigans afoot. Its a very exciting story.
Look theres a key in the mayonnaise.
CG: Its like the wire.
AB: It is like the wire! and like the wire, you have to wait for a long time before it gets good
JG: Yeah, yeah.

en 1995
En 2002, le pianiste et chanteur de jazz Jamie Cullum sort son deuxième album Pointless Nostalgic où il reprend la chanson.

Ca amuse plutôt Colin et Phil, qui ne cachent pas qu’ils n’aiment pas du tout leur propre chanson.

Gideon: « Jamie Cullum’s version of High And Dry, have you heard that?

Phil: « (laughs) No

Gideon: « It exists in live form

Colin: « Jamie who?

Gideon: « Well, that’s show business

Colin: « He’s the jazz person, isn’t he?

Gideon: « Yes, he’s the young kid on the block of the jazz world

Colin: « Ah, great, that’s very flattering

Gideon: « And he does High And Dry

Phil: « It is very flattering, and we don’t play it any more, so at least we’re making some PRS out of it (laughs)

— BBC 6 Music 'Gideon Coe', 22 décembre 2003

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3 Comments

  1. Camille
    4 février 2008 at 20 h 50 min —

    Cette chanson est vraiment exelante et émouvante. Je pourais me la passer en boucle :o) ( c’est bien ce que je fais x))
    je la trouve différente du dernièr album que j’adore cependant tout autant que cette chanson (l)
    Merci 😀

  2. 7 septembre 2009 at 12 h 44 min —

    J’ai un live en vidéo de cette chanson.

    High and Dry Live 2Meter Session 1995

  3. 8 septembre 2009 at 0 h 08 min —

    au temps pour moi… j’avais mal lu… « Ok computer n’a jamais été jouée en live »… je pensais que c’était pour la chanson.

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