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 July 1959
Recorded 1959
Genre Rhythm and blues
Length 2:30
Label Mercury Records
Songwriter(s) Phil Phillips, George Khoury

"Sea of Love" is a song written by Philip Baptiste (better known as 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] It became a gold record. It was the only top-40 chart song for Phillips, who never recorded another hit.[2] In the UK, Marty Wilde covered the song, his version peaked at No. 3, and Phillips' version failed to chart there.

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 Harold Becker's film of the same name in 1989, and Waits included it on his 2006 collection Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards. Cat Power covered the song in 2000 and her version was featured in the movie Juno.


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]

Phillips' original lyric "Do you remember when we met, that's the day I knew you were my pet," the word "pet" being an innocuous endearment in 1959, allowed the song to be twisted into a tale of submission by Power, Iggy Pop, and especially Waits.

In popular culture and covers[edit]

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. "Phil Phillips Biography". allmusic/Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  3. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". 1985-01-05. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  4. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 289.
  5. ^ "Sea of Love (1989)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  6. ^ "Juno (2007)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  7. ^ "The Simpsons (TV series) - Future-Drama (2005)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  8. ^ "The Simpsons (TV series) - The Burns and the Bees (2008)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  9. ^ The Kraken Rum: Black Ink on YouTube