Songs You Might Not Know Were Covers Vol. 9: Sea of Love (#8)

@FourWalls (35598)
United States
September 15, 2021 11:36am CST
Ah, nothing like getting up late. That means, of course, that I stayed up late. That’s life in retirement. A quick note: I won’t be here tomorrow. I get paranoid when any of our daily members disappear (ask the ones I’ve messaged: “hey, are you okay?”), so fear not. It’s planned. Also planned is the next song on my list of songs that were hits but you might not know were cover versions. #8: Sea of Love Ah, that wacky Robert Plant. I don’t care all that much for Led Zeppelin, but I’ll definitely give Plant credit for not getting pigeonholed in his post-Zep life. Among his projects: Band of Joy, which covered a Los Lobos song, a Grammy-winning duet album with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss (which will amaze you when you see the range Plant is capable of), solo albums that weren’t all that Led Zeppy, and a one-off act called the “Honeydrippers.” They made one EP (didn’t even get a whole album out of these guys), and had one hit: “Sea of Love.” And you listen to it and think, “Wow, Robert Plant can sing like that?” Did you also know he was singing a cover? Go back to 1959, and a New Orleans bellboy named John Philip Baptiste wrote a song about a girl he was interested in. A local performer, mainly in gospel in a group called the Gateway Quartet, he recorded the song thanks to his neighbor owning a small record label. Released under the name “Phil Phillips,” the original “Sea of Love” was a huge hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard charts (or, one place higher than the Plant cover). The experience left Phillips jaded, to say the least. For all the times the song has been covered (including a UK version competing with the original, Del Shannon, and of course, Plant), he made less than $7,000 for writing the song. Unhappy with the thievery known as the recording industry, he had no desire to continue to record music to make someone else rich while he was still having to supplement his income as a bellboy. As a result, Phillips became one of the countless one-hit wonders of the early rock and roll era. At least Phillips did get some recognition. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He passed away in 2020 at the age of 94, leaving a whopping legacy of one very memorable song. Sea of Love Written by John Philip Baptiste and George Khoury Originally recorded by Phil Phillips, 1959 Famously covered by the Honeydrippers, 1984 The original version of the oft-covered song:
14 people like this
10 responses
@myklj999 (61233)
15 Sep
Wasn't the entire EP by The Honeydrippers covers?
5 people like this
@FourWalls (35598)
• United States
15 Sep
Yes it was.
4 people like this
@LindaOHio (74859)
• United States
16 Sep
Thanks for the back story on this song.
3 people like this
@CarolDM (152882)
• United States
15 Sep
Interesting trivia. And for him to live to age 94, wow.
3 people like this
@NJChicaa (102506)
• United States
15 Sep
Slope
3 people like this
@GreatMartin (20382)
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
16 Sep
85% of those names mean nothing to me--sorry, I am still in the Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald era!!!
2 people like this
@FourWalls (35598)
• United States
16 Sep
Then the first two songs were for you.
@DianneN (235165)
• United States
17 Sep
Poor Phillips. At least he left a nice legacy behind.
2 people like this
@DocAndersen (48647)
• United States
16 Sep
it is an epic song - sorry I should let people know when I am going to be gone for a day!
2 people like this
@Dena91 (15165)
• United States
16 Sep
This one I knew was a cover. He has had quite the career.
2 people like this
@RasmaSandra (45918)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
16 Sep
I love the song just forgot which version, Especially enjoyed it in the movie of the same name with Al Pacino
2 people like this
@jaiho2009 (39185)
• Philippines
17 Sep
Haven't heard of him, thanks for sharing. Will check this one on youtube later
1 person likes this