John Holt originally wrote and recorded the song "The Tide Is High" with his Jamaican band the Paragons. When Blondie was in London someone gave the group a compilation tape and that song was on the tape. When Deborah Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie heard the song they loved it and thought it could be a hit. It was the music more then the lyrics that they fell in love with. Deborah said "The musicality of it was just beautiful-beautiful melody, beautiful treatment. The harmonies on the original are very exciting." The difference between the original recording and Blondies is in the harmonies. Deborah again said that "the harmonies are slightly different because theirs are men's voices, so they are hitting some lower notes then I would hit." While there were many songwriters in the group they decided to record this outside song. It was included on their new LP. Their faith in the song was well founded when it was released as a single in November of 1980. It climbed the chart up to the #1 position on this day in music history January 31, 1981.