Cherry Red Records have released, yet again, another box set. The set in question, The Complete Liberty Recordings, is a three disc set devoted to the career of progressive/psychedelic rock band High Tide. This set does not disappoint: it has the original band’s lone two albums and a few bonuses, giving listeners the ultimate High Tide experience.
A Little History
High Tide were a rock band formed in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England. The band consisted of guitarist/singer Tony Hill, bassist Peter Pavil, drummer Roger Hadden and violinist/keyboardist Simon House. In an effort to sign more underground artists, Liberty Records took their chances on High Tide. Before the second album could be released, Hadden was hospitalized after having a mental breakdown. The band were unable to continue without Hadden, therefore ending the band in 1970.
High Tide only released two albums in their time together. The albums, Sea Shanties and High Tide, are both good albums. Released in 1969, Sea Shanties is a splendid album. Musically, the band were very unique with their meshing of psychedelic and progressive rock. Tony Hill rips and roars with his mighty guitar riffs while Simon House spices things up his violin work. Even with six songs, the band has a little bit of everything to offer. For straight up rockers, you have “Futilist’s Lament.” Want your share of near ten minute epics? “Death Warmed Up” and “Missing Out” have you covered. Of the two albums in this set, Sea Shanties is easily the best of the two.
The band’s self-titled album is no slouch either. The issue, however, with this one is that there’s only three very long songs on here. With that, it’s hard to pick any highlights. Musically, the second album isn’t as guitar heavy as the debut. Even then, High Tide is still a decent album. If anything, the second album can be best described as musically psychedelic but with the structure of a progressive rock album.
The bonus disc in this set offers bonus tracks from previous reissues of the High Tide albums. Songs vary from alternate takes to unreleased songs.
As a whole, The Complete Liberty Recordings is a fine release from Cherry Red. It’s good to see these albums back in print and given the care that Cherry Red put into their releases. If you’re new to the music of High Tide, this is the set to get.
Overall Rating: 7/10
I'm a writer/journalist with a passion for music and pop culture. Having graduated from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA in 2014, I've been looking for a platform in which I can share my passions. Since 2009, I've been posting to my own blog- The Walrus' Music Blog- via Blogger. I'm also the author of two self-published books, "The Camp: Stories from the Summer" and "The College: Stories from King's." Together, the two books cover the story of my life from 2004 to 2014. I've been lucky enough to interview several of my favorite musicians over the years and go to concerts from time to time. I'm also very devoted to the CBS reality TV show Survivor, which I started watching in 2002 when its fourth season started. I currently live in New Jersey.