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"The Tide Is High"
Single by The Paragons
from the album On the Beach with the Paragons
A-side "Only a Smile"
Released 1967
Genre Rocksteady
Length 2:53
Label Treasure Isle Records
Writer(s) John Holt
The Paragons singles chronology
- "The Tide Is High"

"The Tide Is High" is a 1967 song written by John Holt and performed by The Paragons with John Holt as lead singer. Although originally released as an A-side in Jamaica on the Treasure Isle label it was relegated to the B-side of the "Only a Smile" single for UK release a few months later.

The song features the violin of "White Rum" Raymond and was popular in Jamaica and became popular amongst West Indians and skinheads in the UK when a deejay version by U-Roy was released in 1971. The song went mainly unnoticed in the rest of the world until it was rediscovered in 1980 when it became a US/UK no.1 hit for the band Blondie. The British girl group Atomic Kitten also had a no.1 with their version of the song in 2002.


Original tracklist

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

Blondie version

"The Tide Is High"
Single by Blondie
from the album The Best of Blondie and Autoamerican
B-side "Suzy & Jeffrey"
Released October 1980 (UK)
March 1981 (US)
Format 7"
Genre Reggae
Length 4:39 (Album Version)
3:55 (Edit)
Label Chrysalis Records
Certification Gold (US)
Blondie singles chronology
"The Tide Is High"
Music sample
The Tide Is High

"The Tide Is High" was covered by US New Wave band Blondie in 1980, in a reggae/ska style that included horns and strings. It was released as a single, and appeared on the band's fifth album, Autoamerican. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and was popular outside the USA, reaching number one on the UK singles chart, number four in Australia, and number fifteen in the former West Germany.[1] It was the last UK number one single for the band until "Maria" in 1999. The B-side of "The Tide is High" was "Suzie and Jeffrey", which appeared as a bonus track on the original 1980 cassette edition of the album Autoamerican and was also included on EMI-Capitol's re-issue of Autoamerican in 2001.

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).

In November 1980, the song was played on radio stations across the state of Alabama in anticipation of a football game between University of Alabama, whose nickname is the Crimson Tide, and the University of Notre Dame.

In 1981, Swedish singer Siw Inger recorded a German language version of the song. Although the lyrics are not a direct translation, the vocal and instrumental arrangements are virtually identical.

In 1984, Nigerian singer Onyeka Onwenu covered the song for the album In the Morning Light. A year later, parts of this song were taken and used as a sample for Bryan Adams' "Reggae Christmas".



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


Chart Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1 Gold
U.S. Billboard AC Singles 3 Gold
UK Singles Chart 1 Gold[2]
New Zealand Singles Chart 1 Gold
Irish Singles Chart 2  
Dutch Top 40 4  
Netherlands Singles Chart 5  
Swiss Singles Chart 5  
Austrian Singles Chart 6  
Norwegian Singles Chart 7  
Swedish Singles Chart[3] 19  

Billie Piper version

In 2000, "The Tide Is High" was covered by singer-turned-actress Billie Piper for her second album, Walk of Life. It was due for release in early 2001. However, according to Piper's autobiography, Growing Pains, she told Virgin Records (her record label), not to bother releasing "The Tide Is High" as a single because she was worn out and didn't want to sing anymore after appearing in court against a woman named Juliet Peters who had given Piper, her friends and her family numerous death threats.

Atomic Kitten version

"The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)"
Single by Atomic Kitten
from the album Feels So Good, The Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack and Atomic Kitten
Released August 26, 2002
Format CD
Genre Teen pop, bubblegum pop
Length 3:26
Label Virgin Records
Certification Platinum (RIANZ)
Atomic Kitten singles chronology
"It's OK!"
"The Tide Is High"
"The Last Goodbye"/"Be with You"

This time, the song was remade with keyboards to make it more pop-oriented. Their version of the song also added a new bridge, hence the subtitle "Get the Feeling". The song reached number one in the UK in September, 2002. The full song was played during the opening credits of The Lizzie McGuire Movie (the album version was used in the movie, however, the version on the soundtrack had slightly different lyrics), and was used for a TV commercial for Japanese beer company, Asahi Breweries. There are two versions of the single.


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

Groove Brothers Radio Edit was also made. The mix clocks in at (3:20)


Chart Peak
UK Singles Chart 1 Gold[4]
Irish Singles Chart[5] 1  
New Zealand Singles Chart[6] 1  
Dutch Top 40 [7] 2  
Austrian Singles Chart[8] 3  
German Singles Chart[9] 3  
Australian Singles Chart[10] 4 Platinum[11]
Swiss Singles Chart [12] 4  
Swedish Singles Chart[13] 5  
Danish Singles Chart [14] 10  
Norwegian Singles Chart[15] 11  
Portuguses Singles Chart [16] 14  
French Singles Chart[17] 42  

Kardinal Offishall version

"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)
October 14, 2008 (iTunes)
Format Digital download, CD single, 12" single, 7" single
Recorded 2008
Genre Canadian hip hop, Dancehall
Length 3:47
Label Kon Live/Geffen/Black Jays
Writer(s) J. Harrow, D. Chin-Quee, J. Holt
Producer Supa Dups
Kardinal Offishall singles chronology
"Set It Off"
"Numba 1 (Tide Is High)"
Keri Hilson chronology
"Return the Favor"
"Numba 1 (Tide Is High)"
"Turnin' Me On"

"Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" is the latest version of "The Tide Is High", 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 his fourth album Not 4 Sale. It was released on iTunes on October 14, 2008.[18]

Aside from the album version, which features Rihanna, there are three other versions of "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)". The second is the original version, featuring Nicole Scherzinger. The third version features Rihanna and Nicole Scherzinger. The fourth version is the official single and features Keri Hilson. There is also a mash-up version which features Rihanna, Nicole Scherzinger and Keri Hilson.

The music video premiered on October 24 at Yahoo! Music.[19] The video is directed by Gil Green, and Akon makes a cameo appearance.[20] The song "Nina" is featured at the end of the video.


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"



Chart Peak
Canadian Hot 100[22] 38
Canadian Hot Digital Singles[23] 1 32
German Black Charts[24] 1 1
Turkey Top 20 Chart[25] 5
UK R&B Chart 29
UK Singles Chart[26] 84

Rihanna and Nicole Scherzinger versions1

Other covers

  • In 1978, the song was covered by Gregory Isaacs.
  • In 1980, the song was covered by Top of the Poppers.
  • In 1981, a German version, "Die Zeit ist reif," was covered by Siw Inger.
  • In 1995, the song was covered by Sinitta.
  • In 1996, the song was covered by Papa Dee.
  • In 1996, a Spanish version, "La numero uno", was covered by Nydia Rojas.
  • In 2001, the song was covered by Seeed.
  • In 2006, the song was covered by The Selecter.


Country Peak
Papa Dee cover
Finnish Singles Chart [27] 20
Swedish Singles Chart[28] 44
Preceded by
"Woman in Love" by Barbra Streisand
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Blondie version)
15 November 1980 - 22 November 1980
Succeeded by
"Super Trouper" by ABBA
Preceded by
"(Just Like) Starting Over" by John Lennon
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Blondie version)
January 31, 1981
Succeeded by
"Celebration" by Kool & the Gang
Preceded by
"Shaddap Your Face" by Joe Dolce
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart number-one single (Blondie version)
February 13, 1981 - February 20, 1981
Succeeded by
"Woman" by John Lennon
Preceded by
"You're Too Late" by Fantasy
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (with "Rapture")
February 28, 1981 - March 21, 1981
Succeeded by
"Breaking and Entering" / "Easy Money" by Dee Dee Sharp-Gamble
Preceded by
"Like a Prayer" by MadHouse
Irish Singles Chart number-one single (Atomic Kitten version)
August 31, 2002 - September 21, 2002
Succeeded by
"Complicated (Avril Lavigne song)" by Avril Lavigne
Preceded by
"Tha Crossroads" by Blazin' Squad
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Atomic Kitten version)
September 1, 2002 - September 21, 2002
Succeeded by
"Just Like a Pill" by Pink
Preceded by
"Complicated (Avril Lavigne song)" by Avril Lavigne
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart number-one single (Atomic Kitten version)
October 20, 2002 - November 10, 2002
Succeeded by
"The Ketchup Song (Asereje)" by Las Ketchup


  1. ^ Collins, Roger. "Blondie". Iomusic News. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  2. ^ Certification "Tide Is High" (Blondie) Accessed: October 29, 2006
  3. ^ "Tide Is High" (Blondie) page Accessed: October 28, 2006
  4. ^ Certification "Tide Is High" (Atomic Kitten) Accessed: October 29, 2006
  5. ^ Irish charts 31 August 2001 Accessed: November 2, 2006
  6. ^ "Tide Is High" (Atomic Kitten) page Accessed: October 29, 2006
  7. ^ Chart week 38, 2002 Accessed: November 2, 2006
  8. ^ "Tide Is High" (Atomic Kitten) page. Accessed: October 28, 2006
  9. ^ German charts 12 October 2002 Accessed: November 2, 2006
  10. ^ Australian chart 20 October 2002 Accessed: November 2, 2006
  11. ^ Certifications 2002 Accessed: October 29, 2006
  12. ^ Swiss chart Accessed: July 21, 2008
  13. ^ "Tide Is High" (Atomic Kitten) page Accessed: October 29, 2006
  14. ^ Danish chart 14 September 2002 Accessed: November 2, 2006
  15. ^ "Tide Is High" (Atomic Kitten) page Accessed: October 29, 2006
  16. ^ Portuguese chart 30 October 2002 Accessed: November 2, 2006
  17. ^ "Tide Is High" (Atomic Kitten) page Accessed: October 29, 2006
  18. ^ Kardinal Offishall interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' February 2009 Accessed on October 5, 2009.
  19. ^ Kardinal Offishall Numba 1 (Tide Is High) Music Video on Yahoo! Music. Yahoo. Accessed on October 24, 2008.
  20. ^ Making of "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" featuring Keri Hilson. MySpaceTV. Accessed on October 21, 2008.
  21. ^ a b Kardinal Offishall Exclusive Interview Champ Magazine. Accessed on November 27, 2008.
  22. ^ "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" (Kardinal Offishall) page. Accessed: November 4, 2008.
  23. ^ "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" (Kardinal Offishall) page. Accessed: October 5, 2008.
  24. ^ "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" (Kardinal Offishall) page. Accessed: October 5, 2008.
  25. ^ Turkey Top 20 Chart Retrieved on 2009-02-16
  26. ^ UK Singles Chart Retrieved on 2009-02-14
  27. ^ "Tide Is High" (Papa Dee) page. Accessed: October 29, 2006
  28. ^ "Tide Is High" (Papa Dee) page. Accessed: October 29, 2006

External links


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