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Cardiacs The Seaside album cover
4.18 | 124 ratings | 10 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Jibber and Twitch (4:48)
2. Gena Lolla Brigida (3:12)
3. Hello Mr. Sparrow (4:30)
4. It's a Lovely Day (3:23)
5. A Wooden Fish on Wheels (3:22)
6. Nurses Whispering Verses (6:31) *
7. Is This the Life? (5:15) *
8. A Little Man and a House (4:23) *
9. Hope Day (6:36)
10. Dinner Time (5:02) *
11. Ice a Spot and a Dot on the Dog (3:33)
12. R.E.S. (5:25)
13. To Go Off and Things (2:14)

Total Time 58:14

* Not on the subsequent CD, LP and Cassette "flowerpot cover" reissues

Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Smith / guitar, vocals, co-producer
- William D. Drake / keyboards (5,11,13)
- Sarah Smith / tenor saxophone, clarinet, keyboards
- Jim Smith / bass, vocals
- Dominic Luckman / drums
- Tim Quy / marimba, percussion

- Graham Simmonds / guitar, vocals, co-producer
- Mark Cawthra / keyboards & vocals, drums (5,11,13)
- Marguerite Johnston / alto saxophone
- Tim Hills / trombone
- Lanze Lorrens / trumpet, backing vocals
- Mike Peters / trumpet
- Nick Pell / trumpet
- Wendy Collins / backing vocals

Releases information

MC Alphabet ‎- ALPH 0001 (1983, UK) Only available at gigs; 13 tracks

LP Alphabet ‎- ALPHLP 013 (1984, UK) Only 9 tracks and new cover art (flowerpot)

CD Alphabet ‎- ALPH CD 013 (1990, UK) Only 9 tracks and new cover art (flowerpot)
CD Alphabet ‎- ALPH CD 001 (2015, UK) Remastered full 13-tracks reissue with original cover art

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CARDIACS The Seaside ratings distribution

(124 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

CARDIACS The Seaside reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It was exactly a year ago that I discovered a band called Cardiacs and after purchasing the A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window they skyrocketed into a position among my top ten all-time favorite bands. I really want to thank Trouserpress for recommending me to look up Cardiacs on iTunes, since it was there that I finally was able to get most of their hard to find back-catalog.

The Seaside was originally released back in 1984 and distributed by cassette only to be re-released in 1990 with a couple of omissions in the track-listing due to the loss of some original master tapes. Luckily most of these omissions resurfaced on later albums like A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window and Sing To God, so this loss is strictly effecting the completionists out there. Besides, judging from the rough version of R.E.S. presented here, these songs did benefit from a polished treatment.

The album kicks off with the superb Jibber And Twitch which reminded me immediately of why I loved Cardiacs so much! There is just so much of everything mishmashed into this music that I can surely understand why the band received the RIO/Avant-Prog labeling even though they sound nothing like most other bands in this sub-category. Gena Lollabridgida starts off with an indie pop-sounding intro that originally didn't really impress me but did manage to grow on me with time. Hello Mr.Sparrow is where Cardiacs sound closest to their masterful performance on A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window, while tracks like It's A Lovely Day and A Wooden Fish On Wheels help to spread that greatness evenly around the surface of this album.

Hope Day is the longest composition of the album giving the band a chance to jump all around the place until they finally take things down a notch... two minutes into their performance! Ice A Spot And A Dot On The Dog sounds like something that would have worked well on Sing To God with its strong focus on the guitar sound, while To Go Off And Things concludes the album on another upbeat high note that made me want to reset the album right after it was over!

There's really no denying that Cardiacs is a very unique band that has had undeservingly little attention from the general audience and The Seaside certainly highlights these unique qualities quite well. The only downsides to this album is that it lacks the coherency that the band achieved with their later releases and that the omission of a few tracks makes it quite short. Other than that, I really don't see why anyone would overlook this excellent piece of music now that it's finally available on iTunes!

***** star songs: Jibber And Twitch (4:34) Hello Mr.Sparrow (4:35) Ice A Spot And A Dot On The Dog (3:34)

**** star songs: Gena Lollabridgida (3:12) It's A Lovely Day (3:25) A Wooden Fish On Wheels (3:24) Hope Day (6:25) R.E.S. (5:26) To Go Off And Things (2:13)

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars Forget the preceding poor quality tape release (Toy World) by the Cardiacs - this is where things really kick off...

For 1984 this is completely out of place with regards to everything that was developing around them at that time. They were a band so completely out of synch with the mainstream that they were never going to be welcomed by anyone with open arms.

An uplifting and VERY unusual album with crazy stop start high speed madness all over the place, which is basically their trademark. A good intro point for those who haven't heard them before. This is easier to take and a fair bit more playful than their future releases which are a lot more intense and extreme. In fact this is probably the Cardiacs 'Pop' album if such a thing were possible.

I really can't think of any comparisons other than parts of Gentle Giant and certain parts of 'ska' band 'Madness'.

At the forefront as always are the enigmatic and wonky vocals of singer songwriter Tim Smith. The fact that he sings with his own dialect and accent makes this all the more authentic. He does sound completely mental though...

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I'm not ashamed to confess that I liked the punk and I still buy bands like the Offspring, as well as in the 80s I didn't dislike the DEVO. I have discovered the CARDIACS only recently, even if I have found that I already knew some of their songs without knowing who was the artist, and the first impression that I had was of a post-punk or post-modern band in the vein of DEVO, specially with songs like "It's A Lovely Day" and "A Wooden Fish On Wheels" on which they really seem the DEVO, specially thanks to Tim Smith's vocals.

I have also to say that the opener "Jibber And Twitch" sounds Avant enough to justify why this band is on PA and the yellow guys are not.

Another remark is about the funny "Gena Lollabridgida", an Italian movie-star of the 60s whose name is wrongly written but it may be a way to avoid lawsuits. The actress is "Gina Lollobrigida". The spelling is almost right instead.

Said so, I haven't payed much attention to the lyrics, but the music is fun, sometimes crazy, very often uptime and energetic. The imprinting of the 80s is evident as well as the punk/new wave origins, but they are on the right side of the fence. Their music is fun and sometimes easy, but never trivial and very far from the boring 80s stuff, like the DEVO were.

The difference? there's a lot prog in "Hope Day", as probably you won't find in any DEVO's song (apart maybe "Too Much Paranoias").

Another band that songs like the mentioned Gena Lollabridgida and "Ice Spot And A Dot On The Dog" can remind is TALKING HEADS. Probably a reason is in Tim's voice that can also sound similar to DAVID BYRNE.

I have missed this band and this album in 1984 when it was released. It could have made me change my opinion about the poorness of these years.

I know that the Cardiacs have become more avantgarde during the years. This is a post- modern post-punk album, and I like it for this.

An excellent addition to my personal collection that includes "Are We Not Men?", I hope it's the same for yours.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars THE SEASIDE is the third release by the CARDIACS and like the previous two it was initially only released on cassette and only available at the band's concerts and through the fan club. The CD release which came out in 1995 was an abridged version. The original cassette tracks of "Nurses Whispering Verses," "Is This The Life?," "A Little Man And A House" and "Dinner Time" were not included because the master tape containing them had been damaged or lost. On another note "Is This The Life?," "A Little Man And A House" and "R.E.S." were re-recorded and included on the following album. "Nurses Whispering Verses" was also re-recorded and found a home on "Sing To God."

This is really where the interesting period with the CARDIACS begins where all the ska punk meets all those progressive layerings to make something unparalleled in the musical world. It has been called post punk, progressive punk, zolo and even pronk. Yes, they remind me a bit of Devo meets Madness with maybe some Zappa and countless other influences thrown in for good mix but I think anyone who has heard their music will admit that NOBODY sounds like the CARDIACS except they themselves.

This album takes what was started on their previous albums and adds, refines, perfects and intensifies. The album hosts no more than 12 musicians including sax, alto sax, two keyboardists, marimba, trumpets and trombone in addition to the standard rock ones. Despite this album being somewhat of a transitional one between two different lineups it manages to emerge as a very strong album and the first to be released on their own label. Not quite as good as their following but not too far off.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The last of the early Cardiacs tapes albums finds their classic sound really coming together. It's all here - the post-punk anarchy, the progressive creativity, and the off-the-wall carnival atmosphere which is the Cardiacs' special secret ingredient.

It should be noted that four songs - Nurses Whispering Verses, Is This The Life?, A Little Man And A House, and Dinner Time - are absent from many rereleases of the tape. On the one hand, this isn't quite the loss you might think, because all of those pieces were rerecorded for later albums - Nurses Whispering Verses is on Sing to God with different lyrics, whilst the other three appear on A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window. That said, the renditions here are sufficiently different to be interesting, so my advice to fans would be to hold out either for one of the rare original cassette releases or take the much more sensible approach of picking up the 2015 CD reissue, which finds the missing tracks restored at last.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is the album The Cardiacs went off the grid. A record that features their trademark avant-grade and a far better combination of silliness with eccentricity. This album features the classic R.E.S. a song so memorable with its over-the-top chorus and a brilliant instrumental breakdown where the b ... (read more)

Report this review (#2590918) | Posted by Ian McGregor | Tuesday, August 31, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars - Review #31 - A slightly more obscure (than usual) Cardiacs release, The Seaside was the first CD by the Cardiacs, featuring their classic avant-garde style combined with some sweet and heavy punk. Best songs from this album are Jibber And Twitch, Hello Mr. Sparrow, A Wooden Fish On Wheels and H ... (read more)

Report this review (#2578443) | Posted by King Brimstone | Monday, July 12, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Last Cardiacs cassette. Well, I'm someone who loves this band with all my heart and to be honest I can't help but give it five stars as well. Very few bands were so inventive since their beginnings. The Seaside features a good amount of tracks that would be used in the following album, such as R ... (read more)

Report this review (#2577948) | Posted by Gorgut Muncher | Saturday, July 10, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A slightly more unknown Cardiacs album, in fact it's the last cassette by them. I think it's awesome. This is where their sound really came together and you were finally capable of identifying them. It features Tim's Smith punk inspiration and avant-garde plagues this album. Very enjoyable from begi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2528782) | Posted by Isaac Peretz | Saturday, March 27, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is my personal favourite Cardiacs Album. Also a good great starting point for anyone new to the band. Tim Smith and company are at their whimsical best here with compositions blending together intricate time signatures and Zappa-esque jazz noises with punk, ska and even circus music. Who ... (read more)

Report this review (#56826) | Posted by Greyhound | Friday, November 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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