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Blondie - The Tide Is High (1980)

  • Video Views 15,733,882
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.25
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“The Tide Is High” is a 1967 song written by John Holt, originally produced by Duke Reid and performed by the ...

“The Tide Is High” is a 1967 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 reggae version by the American band Blondie became a US/UK number one hit. 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” 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.

A music video (using the single edit version) 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.

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