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High Tide

Heavy Prog

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High Tide Open Season album cover
3.19 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews | 38% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

SIDE A (19:07)
1. Open Season (Hill, 2000) (2:23)
2. Unearthed (Hill, 1970) (4:19)
3. Static in the attic (Hill, 1970) (2:23)
4. The ballad of Norris Mill (Hill, 1970) (2:08)
5. The great universal confidence trick (Hill, 1970) (7:54)
SIDE B (15:56)
6. Icarus Phoenix (Hill, 1971) (2:53)
7. Unhinged (Hill, 1971) (4:27)
8. All of one race (Hill, 1971) (3:07)
9. Resonance (Hill, 1974) (5:29)
SIDE C (23:51)
10. Turn yourself down (Hill, Pavli, Tomlin, Theaker, 1990 (23:51)
SIDE D (17:54)
11. Light your torch (Hill, 1976) (5:13)
12. Steady in E (Hill, 1976) (4:00)
13. Garage Gods (Hill, House, Theaker, 1990) (6:29)
14. Spindle (Pavli, 2000) (4:12)

Total time: 76:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony Hill / guitar
- Simon House / violin
- Pete Pavli / bass
- Roger Hadden / drums

- Drachen Theaker, Android Funnel & Dave Tomlin

Releases information

2LP/CD Black Widow-BWR050 (2000)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to dave78dave78 for the last updates
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Open SeasonOpen Season
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HIGH TIDE Open Season ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HIGH TIDE Open Season reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!

Of all posthumous High Tide releases , this is the only one to give you dates of recording and it does shed some light on the other records released on the SPM label. But we had to wait some 8 years for the Black Widow label to give us what SPM was not able (or willing?!?) to give us.

To my knowledge all tracks were unreleased also until this record. Outside of the two tracks recorded in '00 ( and they have awful recording quality) and another from 90 , all recordings here are from the 70's.

The tracks from 70 have the original line-up (as drummer Hadden was to leave the band for health reasons) and are of good interest especially if you love the debut album (the artwork of this release is obviously a wink at the debut artwork). Of equal intertest are the tracks dating of 71 with Hadden replaced by Drachen Theaker and violinist Simon House (future Third Ear Band) with Android Funnel on guitar (both new members were Arthur Brown collabs) .

The 74 tracks are to have included Dave Tomlin (ex-Third Ear Band) on violin to replace Android. I suspect that the tracks from 90 are also from this period especially the 23min+ monster track Turn Yourself Down which reminds us that High Tide were first and foremost an improv band. The tracks from 74, 76 and 90 are the best quality sound but remain poor by comparison to say, Pink Floyd! The two 76 tracks are also noteworthy , but without Tomlin. However the main attraction are Turn Yourself Down and Garage Gods with delightful improv with Pavli on keys , and Tomiln and House on violins! Maybe the best High Tide tracks ouside the first two historical albums and Ancient Gates!

A very interesting release shedding a bit of light (mostly due to the track listing and credits) but without any text/liner notes. This is too bad as Mellow record had given itself plenty of space for it , but chose to print an impressive poster ( as is possible with the Cd format albeit superb art) of the Flying Dutchman! Although I give a good rating , this album is reserved for fans only, but it does bring light to this band's history!

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A good compilation with deceptive cover art

This compilation, released in 2000, is a nice collection of unreleased and new material from the masters of heavy prog, High Tide. While some of the tracks appear on their later albums, this one is mostly full of rarities which automatically makes this attractive to High Tide fans and people who like their prog with a distorted guitar. One wonders why they made the cover art so close to their debut album (although perhaps it was to make the package look like the debut for poor suckers who aren't too familiar with the band.... something I'm guilty of!) especially since none of the material comes from that album. The art very much suits the title of the disc though, with the four horsemen ravaging some people in what would appear to be open hunting season. The rest of the booklet is quite attractively put together, the inner liner notes folding out to reveal band pictures and marques with the other side being a large, full color painting of what appears to be the Flying Dutchman on a stormy night. Very cool indeed. I may have never heard to Black Widow Records before, but they did a good job here.

Ah, right, the music. What we have here a long list of tunes with a very mixed bag of track times, all consistently enjoyable and all very heavy. The recording dates on the songs range form 1970 to 2000 with a bunch that fall somewhere in between, but they all feel at home on the compilation (not like putting Firth Of Fifth next to Invisible Touch on a Genesis compilation, for example). The quality of the recordings ranges from good to ''meh'', but it never becomes bad. One can easily get over the songs that aren't quite as well recorded since there are others that sound very nice. The distorted feel also gives into the heavy feeling of the record, but at times can seem messy.

In terms of style, this is a mostly instrumental album wrought with heavy, distorted guitars and fast pacing. Only a couple of the songs have lyrics and thats quite alright because the vocals are not top notch, but where they appear they're made good use of and as such don't detract.

The shorter songs on the album are all hard rocking tunes that simply blister and the longer ones take a bit longer to develop the idea. The biggest standout on the record, as could be expected, is the behemoth track Turn Yourself Down which clocks in at a massive 23:51-minutes in length. Chilling violins and the previously mentioned heavy guitars make for quite an atmosphere on this one, making us wonder how it never hit the grooves of one of their studio albums.

All in all a good compilation that fans will enjoy and newcomers will appreciate. Not at all essential, this one is going to get 3 phoenixes out of 5. Recommended for fans of the band, fans of heavy prog and fans of good hard rock instrumentals.

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