Monday, June 10, 2013

"The Tide Is High" by Blondie

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  0403
Date:  11/15/1980
Debut:  81
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  26
Genre:  Pop, Reggae

Pop Bits:  Blondie recently had their biggest hit with the #1 "Call Me" from the "American Gigolo" soundtrack. Their next proper album, "Autoamerican," was issued soon after and this reggae-tinged first single became their third #1 chart song. The sound shift from the power-dance/rock of "Call Me" to this leisurely island-ish tune was quite striking, but it played well on several formats (it hit #3 AC) and was certainly different from anything else on the radio. As would be their next hit.

ReduxReview:  Whenever I hear this, I just want to be on the beach in a lounge chair under an umbrella with a cocktail in my hand. It's a great summer song and a surprising venture from Blondie. It's also one of those tunes that people say they hate, but when it starts playing they are bopping along by the chorus. This wasn't the only odd song from Blondie's "Autoamerican" album. The whole thing was all over the place and most critics hated it. But it did give us a couple of classic singles like this one.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  I didn't know this for years, but this song is actually a remake. The Jamaican band The Paragons originally recorded this in 1967. It was written by group member John Holt, who went on to have a successful solo career after the group broke up in 1970. Although not a hit in the US, this song was quite popular in the Jamaican music scene. Blondie were not the only ones to cover the song. Among the artists who remade the tune are reggae artist Gregory Isaacs (in 1978) and British girl group Atomic Kitten, who hit #1 in the UK with their take in 2002.


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