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"The Tide Is High" is a 1966 song written by John Holt, originally produced by Duke Reid and performed by the Jamaican group The Paragons, with Holt as lead singer. The song gained international attention in 1980, when a version by the American band Blondie became a US/UK number one hit.[2] The British girl group Atomic Kitten also had a number one hit with their version of the song in 2002, while Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall had a minor hit with his interpretation in 2008.

"The Tide Is High"
The Tide Is High - Paragons.jpg
Single by The Paragons
from the album On the Beach
A-side "Only a Smile"
Released 1966
Genre Rocksteady[1]
Length 2:40
Label Treasure Isle
Songwriter(s) John Holt

Contents

The Paragons versionEdit

"The Tide Is High" was written by John Holt and originally recorded by the Paragons (the rocksteady vocal trio of which he was a member), and accompanied by Tommy McCook and the Suspersonic Band. It was produced by Duke Reid and released as a 7-inch single on Reid's Treasure Isle and Trojan labels and as the B-side of the single "Only a Smile".[3]

The song features the violin of "White Rum" Raymond,[4] and was popular in Jamaica as well as West Indians and skinheads in the UK when a deejay version by U-Roy was released in 1971. Both tracks from the single were included on the 1970 collection On the Beach.

Track listEdit

  1. "Only a Smile"
  2. "The Tide Is High" – 2:53

Gregory Isaacs versionEdit

The song was released as a single in 1978 by Gregory Isaacs; this version was produced by Tony "Prince Tony" Robinson. It was released on Isaacs' own African Museum label, and on the Front Line label in Jamaica as a 12-inch discomix featuring a new deejay version by U-Roy.[3] It was also issued on the State Line label in the US.

Track listEdit

  1. "The Tide Is High" (Gregory Isaacs, U Roy)
  2. "Step It Out a Yard"

Blondie versionEdit

"The Tide Is High"
 
Single by Blondie
from the album Autoamerican
B-side "Suzy & Jeffrey"
Released October 1980
Format 7" single
Recorded 1980
Genre Reggae[5]
Length 4:39 (album version)
3:54 (single edit)
Label Chrysalis
Songwriter(s) John Holt
Producer(s) Mike Chapman
Blondie singles chronology
"Atomic"
(1980)
"The Tide Is High"
(1980)
"Rapture"
(1981)
Audio sample
Music video
"The Tide Is High" on YouTube

"The Tide Is High" was covered by the American new wave band Blondie in 1980, in a reggae style that included horns and strings. It was released as the lead single from the band's fifth studio album, Autoamerican (1980), giving Blondie their third number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and their fifth in the UK (where it became Blondie's last British number one for 18 years, until "Maria" in February 1999). The track also reached number one in Canada and New Zealand, and was a Top 5 hit on many European charts as well as in countries including Australia and South Africa. The B-side was "Suzie & Jeffrey", which appeared as a bonus track on the original 1980 cassette edition of the Autoamerican album, and was also included on EMI-Capitol's re-issue of Autoamerican in 2001.

VersionsEdit

Official remixes of the Blondie version have been issued twice; first by Coldcut in 1988 on the Blondie/Debbie Harry remix compilation Once More into the Bleach, and the second time in 1995 by Pete Arden and Vinny Vero on the album Remixed Remade Remodeled: The Remix Project (UK edition: Beautiful: The Remix Album).

Blondie re-recorded the song for the 2014 compilation album Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux. The compilation was part of a 2-disc set called Blondie 4(0) Ever, which included their tenth studio album Ghosts of Download, and marked the 40th anniversary of the band's formation.

Music videoEdit

A music video was produced, directed by Hart Perry. It depicts the band waiting out on the street for singer Debbie Harry, who appears to be trapped in a flooding apartment. All the while she is being monitored from outer space by what appears to be a Darth Vader-like alien being. She soon reunites with the band on the street and they drive to a rocket launch and fly into space. They then crash into the spaceship or space station. Harry confronts the alien being and begins dancing with him.

AccoladesEdit

Year Publisher Country Accolade Rank
1981 Dave Marsh & James Bernard United States "Singles Of The Year 1980"[6] 21
2003 Giannis Petridis Greece "2004 of the Best Songs of the Century"[7] *
2003 NME United Kingdom "117 Songs To Soundtrack Your Summer"[8] *
2003 Paul Morley United Kingdom "Greatest Pop Single of All Time"[9] *
2005 Bruce Pollock United States "The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000"[7] *
2005 Toby Creswell Australia "1001 Songs"[7] *

(*) indicates the list is unordered.

Track listingsEdit

7"

  1. "The Tide Is High" (7" Edit) – 3:54
  2. "Suzy & Jeffrey" – 4:09

US 7" (Chrysalis Classics Re-Issue)

  1. "The Tide Is High" (7" Edit) – 3:54
  2. "Rapture" – 4:59

US 7" (promo only)

  1. "The Tide Is High" (7" Edit) – 3:54
  2. "The Tide Is High" (7" Edit) – 3:54

US 7" (Collectables Record Corp. COL 6115)

  1. "The Tide Is High"
  2. "Heart of Glass"

Charts and certificationsEdit

Papa Dee versionEdit

"The Tide Is High"
Single by Papa Dee
from the album The Journey
Released 23 June 1996
Format CD
Genre Dancehall
Length 3:55
Label WEA
Songwriter(s) John Holt
Papa Dee singles chronology
"The First Cut Is the Deepest"
(1995)
"The Tide Is High"
(1996)

In 1996, Papa Dee covered the song on his album The Journey. It was released only as a CD single and the bonus track is a mix of "Funky Raggamuffin"/"Let the Music Play".

Track listingsEdit

CD Single

  1. "The Tide Is High" – 3:55
  2. "Funky Raggamuffin/Let the Music Play" – 5:01

ChartsEdit

Charts (1996) Peak
position
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[38] 20
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[39] 44

Atomic Kitten versionEdit

"The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)"
 
Single by Atomic Kitten
from the album Feels So Good
Released 2002
Format
Length 3:26
Label Virgin
Songwriter(s) John Holt
Producer(s)
Atomic Kitten singles chronology
"It's OK!"
(2002)
"The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)"
(2002)
"Be with You"
(2002)

In 2002, "The Tide Is High" was covered by English girl group Atomic Kitten, and was released as the second single from their second studio album, Feels So Good (2002). Their version of the song also added a new bridge, hence the subtitle "Get the Feeling". The full song was played on Radio Disney from 2002–2004, during the opening credits of The Lizzie McGuire Movie, and was also used for a TV commercial featuring Japanese beer company Asahi Breweries. This was the group's third and final UK number one single. This version of "The Tide Is High" was selected by The Daily Telegraph writer David Cheal as one of his "Top five awful cover versions" in 2002, describing it as "a ghastly, sickly confection that has none of the wistfulness or soulfulness of either Blondie's version or the Paragons' original".[40]

The group performed the track for the first time ever with the original line-up for their 2012 reformation on The Big Reunion, with Kerry Katona performing Jenny Frost's vocals.

Spanish versionEdit

Atomic Kitten also recorded a Spanish version of the single, titled "Ser tu pasión". It was released in Colombia, Mexico and Spain, but failed to chart. However, the song promoted Atomic Kitten's second studio album Feels So Good in Mexico, and as a result, the album peaked at number 69 on the charts there; it was also included on the Spanish version of Atomic Kitten's Greatest Hits album.

Music videoEdit

The music video is Atomic Kitten's most famous due to band member Natasha Hamilton being heavily pregnant at the time. The video begins with the group walking up to the screen. A flashing rainbow can be seen in the background. Whenever the chorus of the song is heard, a dance accompanies it. Hamilton, Liz McClarnon and Jenny Frost do a simplistic dance that they would also perform during live shows. Four men are seen dancing alongside the women with slightly different moves. A sign that reads "Atomic" can be seen flashing throughout the video (and on clips on the "behind the scenes" version showing one girl dancing and three girls dancing). Each group member has a different set for their solo. McClarnon is next to a silver tree, with a purple background and a repeating pattern of the same tree that she is dancing beside. Frost is next to a car while Hamilton is seen in a pink-coloured room with "number 1" signs. At the song's bridge, the three women are seen dancing near fluorescent purple lights.

Track listingsEdit

UK CD1 (Green)

  1. "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" (Radio Mix) – 3:28
  2. "Album Medley" – 5:10
  3. "Dancing In The Street" – 3:39
  4. "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" (Video)

UK CD2 (Red)

  1. "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" (Radio Mix) – 3:28
  2. "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" (Groove Brothers 12" Remix) – 5:27
  3. "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" (Lasgo Remix) – 5:40

UK Cassette

  1. "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" (Radio Mix) – 3:28
  2. "Album Medley" – 5:10
  3. "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" (Groove Brothers Edit) – 3:20

Official versionsEdit

  • The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling) – 3:27
  • The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling) (Version en español 'Ser tu pasión eres mi obsesión') – 3:27
  • The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling) (Groove Brothers Radio Edit) – 3:23
  • The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling) (Groove Brothers 12" Mix) – 5:37
  • The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling) (Lasgo Remix) – 5:41

Chart performanceEdit

Atomic Kitten's version of the song proved successful on the charts, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide. It spent three weeks at number one in the United Kingdom (selling 145,000 copies in the first week; it was eventually certified Gold and has sold over 410,000 copies), and is the group's third and final UK number one. The track also topped the charts in Ireland and New Zealand, and was a Top 5 hit in many other countries, including Australia, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey amongst others.

Charts and certificationsEdit

Kardinal Offishall versionEdit

"Numba 1 (Tide Is High)"
 
Single by Kardinal Offishall featuring Keri Hilson
from the album Not 4 Sale
B-side "Nina"
Released
  • September 2008 (Radio)
  • 14 October 2008 (iTunes)
Format
Recorded 2008
Genre
Length 3:42
Label Kon Live/Geffen/Black Jays
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Supa Dups
Kardinal Offishall singles chronology
"Set It Off"
(2008)
"Numba 1 (Tide Is High)"
(2008)
"Beautiful"
(2009)
Keri Hilson singles chronology
"Return the Favor"
(2008) Return the Favor2008
"Numba 1 (Tide Is High)"
(2008) Numba 1 (Tide Is High)2008
"Turnin' Me On"
(2008) Turnin' Me On2008

"Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" is a 2008 version of the song, performed by Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall (featuring Keri Hilson). Produced by Supa Dups, the song – a percussive, dancehall-infused hip hop update – was released in September 2008 as the fourth single from Offishall's fourth album Not 4 Sale.[75] It was released on iTunes on 14 October 2008. In March 2010, the single was certified Gold by the CRIA.[76]

Aside from the original version featuring Keri Hilson, there are three other versions of "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)": one version featured Nicole Scherzinger; another featured Rihanna; a third had both Scherzinger and Rihanna, and a further version (as a mash-up interpretation) had Scherzinger, Rihanna and Hilson together.

The music video premiered on 24 October 2008 at Yahoo! Music.[77] It was directed by Gil Green, with Akon making a cameo appearance.[78] The song "Nina" is featured at the end of the video.

Track listEdit

12" single

  1. "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" (Radio Version) – 3:41
  2. "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" (Instrumental) – 3:41

7" single

  1. "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)"
  2. "Nina"

RemixesEdit

ChartsEdit

Chart (2008–09) Peak
position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[80] 38
Canada (Hot Canadian Digital Singles)1[81] 32
Germany (Deutsche Black Charts)1[82] 1
Israel (Airplay Chart)[83] 7
Turkey (Türkiye Top 20)[84] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[85] 84

1Rihanna and Nicole Scherzinger versions

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit