Sea of Love (song)

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"Sea of Love"
Sea of Love sheet music cover.jpg
"Sea of Love" sheet music
Song by Phil Phillips
Published 1959
Released 1959
Recorded 1959
Genre Rhythm and blues
Length 2:30
Label Mercury Records
Writer Phil Phillips, George Khoury
Composer Phil Phillips, George Khoury

"Sea of Love" is a song written by John Phillip Baptiste (aka Phil Phillips) and George Khoury. Phillips' 1959 recording of the song peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] In the UK, Marty Wilde covered the song, and Phillips' version failed to chart there. It was the only top 40 chart song for Phillips, who never recorded another hit.[2]

The song has been covered by a number of artists since then, most notably by The Honeydrippers, whose version (from the album The Honeydrippers: Volume One) reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1985[3] and No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart in 1984.[4] "Sea of Love" made the Top 40 one other time, when Del Shannon took it to No. 33 in 1981. Tom Waits gave the song a darker twist for the soundtrack to the 1989 Harold Becker film Sea of Love starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin, and Waits included it on his 2006 collection Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards.


Baptiste, who was working as a bellboy in Lake Charles, Louisiana, wrote "Sea of Love" for a love interest. He was introduced to local record producer George Khoury, who brought Baptiste into his studio to record the song. At Khoury's request, Baptiste took the stage name of Phil Phillips. The song, originally credited to Phil Phillips with The Twilights, was released on a small record label owned by Khoury, but due to its success was eventually leased to Mercury Records. Despite the song's success, Phillips claims that he has only ever received US$6,800 for recording it.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The song was the subject of the 1989 Harold Becker film Sea of Love starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin.[5] The 2007 film Juno features a cover version of the song by Cat Power in its soundtrack.[6]

The song was featured at the end of an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Future-Drama" in 2005.[7] It also can be heard in the 2008 episode "The Burns and the Bees".[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 491.
  2. ^ a b Hamilton, Andrew (undated). "Phil Phillips Biography". allmusic/Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 2008-04-13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 289.
  5. ^ Sea of Love (1989) on Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ Juno (2007) on Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ The Simpsons (TV series) - Future-Drama (2005) on Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ The Simpsons (TV series) - The Burns and the Bees (2008) on Internet Movie Database