Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, January 31st

On this day in 1981: Blondie went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘The Tide Is High’, the group’s third U.S. #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would spend one week in the top spot.

“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 #1 hit.

“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, giving Blondie their third #1 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and their fifth in the U.K. (where it became Blondie’s last British #1 for 18 years, until “Maria” in February 1999). The track also reached #1 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.

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1981:

1 3 THE TIDE IS HIGH –•– Blondie (Chrysalis)-12 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 1 (Just Like) STARTING OVER –•– John Lennon (Geffen)-14 (1)
3 12 CELEBRATION –•– Kool and the Gang (De-Lite)-15 (3)
4 8 I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT –•– Eddie Rabbitt (Elektra)-13 (4)
5 6 EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD –•– Air Supply (Arista)-15 (5)
6 7 PASSION –•– Rod Stewart (Warner Brothers)-11 (6)
7 2 LOVE ON THE ROCKS –•– Neil Diamond (Capitol)-14 (2)
8 18 9 TO 5 –•– Dolly Parton (RCA)-10 (8)
9 9 IT’S MY TURN –•– Diana Ross (Motown)-15 (9)
10 11 I MADE IT THROUGH THE RAIN –•– Barry Manilow (Arista)-11 (10)

11 16 GIVING IT UP FOR YOUR LOVE Delbert McClinton (Capitol/MSS)-9 (11)
12 14 HEY NINETEEN –•– Steely Dan (MCA)-10 (12)
13 4 GUILTY –•– Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb (Columbia)-14 (3)
14 19 SAME OLD LANG SYNE –•– Dan Fogelberg (Epic / Full Moon)-8 (14)
15 15 TIME IS TIME –•– Andy Gibb (RSO)-11 (15)
16 17 MISS SUN –•– Boz Scaggs (with Lisa Dal Bello) (Columbia)-10 (16)
17 27 WOMAN –•– John Lennon (Geffen)-3 (17)
18 21 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL –•– Abba (Atlantic)-11 (18)
19 23 KEEP ON LOVING YOU –•– REO Speedwagon (Epic)-10 (19)
20 22 TOGETHER –•– Tierra (Boardwalk)-13 (20)

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