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  • Release Date

    1 January 1984

  • Length

    9 tracks

The Seaside is the third demo album from English rock group Cardiacs. The album originally featured the second recording of what would become the band's only hit single, "Is This the Life?". It is the last of the band's releases to feature keyboard player/drummer/singer Mark Cawthra and the first to feature keyboard player William D. Drake (as well as being the only album to feature two other musicians who were briefly Cardiacs members - Graham Simmonds and Marguerite Johnson).

The album is composed of material the band had written and performed between 1980 and 1983. Initially The Seaside was only produced on cassette (as with earlier Cardiacs album releases), and was only made available through the band's fan club and at concerts. It is notable for having been the first formal release on the band's own label, the Alphabet Business Concern. Three editions of the cassette album were produced, each with a different cover - the first featuring a drawing of the “Little Man and a House” (as pictured above), the second a colour picture of bass player Jim Smith, and the third being a completely different picture in black-and-white. The three editions of the cassette album were released in 1983, 1984, and 1990, respectively. All versions are rare, with the 'Little Man and a House' cover being the rarest.

Several tracks on the cassette album were re-recorded for subsequent releases. "Is This the Life?", "A Little Man and a House" and "R.E.S." were all re-recorded and released five years later on Cardiacs' 1988 album A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window. "Nurses Whispering Verses" was eventually re-recorded a decade later for the band's 1996 album Sing to God (albeit with different lyrics).

The album captures the band in a transitional phase, with two distinct lineups of the band featured. Both featured Mark Cawthra (who moved between drums and keyboards during different recording sessions) and his voice is featured prominently on the album, occasionally sharing lead vocals with Tim Smith. Cawthra would leave the band amicably during the sessions for The Seaside in order to pursue his own projects.

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