The Tide Is High – Blondie

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………………on January 31st of 1981 Blondie tops the Cashbox Best Sellers list and The Billboard Hot 100 with “The Tide Is High”, a song originally recorded in 1967 by John Holt and his Kingston, Jamaica band, The Paragons. Although made popular by Blondie (and later remade by Atomic Kitten), “The Tide is High” was written by Jamaican DJ Duke Reid in the 1930s. Blondie wanted to give the song a Jamaican feel, so they hired three percussion players and created a new string and horn arrangement to give it an authentic sound. Debbie Harry in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: “I first heard ‘The Tide Is High’ on a compilation tape that someone had given me while we were in London. Chris (Stein) and I both fell in love with the song and decided it was too good to resist.” Blondie experimented with many different sounds. They were a punk/new wave band in their early years, making a name playing clubs like CBGB’s in New York. This song was their foray into reggae, but they played around with rap on “Rapture” and with disco on “Heart Of Glass.” The song also topped the UK singles chart.