Sea Shanties (High Tide album)

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Sea Shanties
Sea Shanties.jpg
Studio album by
Recorded2 June - 8 July 1969
Olympic Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, psychedelic rock, heavy metal [1]
Label Liberty
Producer Denny Gerrard
High Tide chronology
Sea Shanties
High Tide

Sea Shanties is the debut album of rock band High Tide. It was one of the first albums to use violin as a rock instrument. The cover artwork was drawn by Paul Whitehead.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

High Tide was a band formed in 1969 by Tony Hill, Simon House, Peter Pavli and Roger Hadden (drums).

Paul Whitehead British painter and graphic artist

Paul Whitehead is a British painter and graphic artist known for his surrealistic album covers for artists on the Charisma Records label in the 1970s, such as Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator.



Denny Gerrard (of Warm Sounds) produced Sea Shanties in return for High Tide acting as the backing band on his solo album Sinister Morning. The recording sessions for the two albums overlapped, with Sinister Morning being finished in late June 1969, [2] and Sea Shanties being started on the 2nd of that month. [3]

Warm Sounds was an English musical duo, consisting of Denver Gerrard and Barry Younghusband. They are considered a one hit wonder for their hit single, "Birds and Bees", from 1967. The group existed from 1967 to 1968 before disbanding.


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Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [4]

Though it met with a scathing review in Melody Maker , [5] reviews in the underground press were universally positive, and sales were just enough to convince Liberty to give the green light to a second album. [3]

<i>Melody Maker</i> historical British weekly pop/rock music newspaper  (1926-2000)

Melody Maker was a British weekly music magazine, one of the world's earliest music weeklies, and—according to its publisher IPC Media—the earliest. It was founded in 1926, largely as a magazine for dance band musicians, by Leicester-born composer, publisher Lawrence Wright; the first editor was Edgar Jackson. In 2000 it was merged into "long-standing rival" New Musical Express.

The Allmusic retrospective review by Wilson Neate stated "On Sea Shanties, there's nothing fey and flowery in Hill's bleak lyrics or his doomy Jim Morrison-like delivery, and psychedelia's melodic whimsy is supplanted by a physicality more in line with the visceral heft of metal progenitors...High Tide weren't a power trio, though, and it was the interplay of Hill's guitar with Simon House's violin that created the band's unique signature. Showing that rock violin needn't be a marginal adornment, House whips up an aggressive edge that rivals the guitar... High Tide had the muscularity of a no-nonsense proto-metal band, but they also ventured into prog territory with changing time signatures and tempos, soft-hard dynamics, multi-part arrangements, and even some ornate faux-Baroque interludes... Far from the collection of nautical ditties its name suggests, Sea Shanties is an overlooked gem encapsulating the shifting musical currents in late-'60s British rock." [4]

Jim Morrison American singer, lead vocalist of the Doors

James Douglas Morrison was an American singer, songwriter and poet, who served as the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors. Due to his poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, wild personality, performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock history. Since his death, his fame has endured as one of popular culture's most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture.

Track listing

All tracks written by Tony Hill except where noted.

  1. "Futilist's Lament" – 5:17
  2. "Death Warmed Up" – 9:08
  3. "Pushed, But Not Forgotten" – 4:43
  4. "Walking Down Their Outlook" – 4:58
  5. "Missing Out" – 9:38
  6. "Nowhere" (Roger Hadden, Simon House) – 5:54

Bonus tracks on 2006 remastered edition

  1. "The Great Universal Protection Racket" – 11:24
  2. "Dilemma" – 5:14
  3. "Death Warmed Up" (demo) – 7:35
  4. "Pushed, But Not Forgotten" (demo) – 4:01
  5. "Time Gauges" – 6:24


Simon House British musician

Simon House is a composer and classically trained violinist and keyboard player, perhaps best known for his work with space rock band Hawkwind. His arrival in 1974 introduced a new element to the band's style. He was the first conspicuously trained musician to join, and the sound that emerged on Hall of the Mountain Grill was a previously unheard, lush chaos which sounded a little like Black Sabbath meets The Moody Blues.

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  2. (1970). In Sinister Morning [sleeve notes].
  3. 1 2 Powell, Mark (2006). "High Tide - Sea Shanties". In Sea Shanties (pp.8-10) [CD booklet]. London: Eclectic Entertainment Ltd.
  4. 1 2 Neate, W. Allmusic Review accessed February 2, 2011
  5. Shaw, Adrian. (2000) "Tony Hill interview". Perfect Sound Forever magazine.