It’s Monday. Why don’t you come with me (my love) to the sea?
Eh, it’s still not quite warm enough for that. How about we just learn something about a song instead?
Yeah, that works.
In 1981, Robert Plant was establishing an identity for him beyond his contributions to Led Zeppelin. His desire was to form a band with a Rhythm and Blues basis. He did this by forming a band with former bandmate Jimmy Page, Page’s former Yardbirds bandmate Jeff Beck, along with a group of friends and established studio musicians. That project/labor of love was The Honeydrippers, and they only released one album before disbanding.
More on that later, but first…
Lake Charles, Louisiana bellboy Philip Baptiste wrote a song for a love interest. A name change to Phil Phillips, not to mention a record producer named George Khoury, paved the way for a Top 40 hit.
It was, however, Phillips’ only hit, and he was only paid $6800, never receiving royalties despite its success. Phillips went on to marry, have seven children, and work as a DJ and songwriter.
Over the years, “Sea of Love” has seen coverage by other artists such as Del Shannon and Tom Waits, who recorded a more haunting version for the 1989 Al Pacino film Sea of Love. I first heard this song in the early 90s when it was featured during the conception scene/opening credits of Look Who’s Talking Too. I’ve always associated it with the memorable moment of sperm reaching its destination.
And if that didn’t weird you out enough, some of what you’ll see in today’s music video will probably do the trick.
Anyway, let’s move forward to a different year, and one of those cover versions.
Robert Plants’ Honeydrippers released their first sort-of album, an EP called The Honeydrippers: Volume 1. This was a prelude to eventually releasing an album. Because they’d been together for three years, maybe they really needed to eventually, am I right?
Their version of “Sea of Love” has crooner written all over it, giving a totally different sound to Robert Plant. The music video tells the story of boy-meets girl, Robert Plant sings to a camera, and a guy in black Banana Hammock and mustache perform for the camera. The video would be lovely if it weren’t for those awkward moments, but as songs (and covers) go, it is lovely.
Perhaps you’ll agree when you click play.
The Reality of Such a Beautiful Song
Is it me, or does Robert Plant look disinterested in being there? There’s alot of videos that don’t make sense from the 80s (well, ever, actually), but this one has that feel when it deviates from the main story.
To Robert Plant’s horror, this song was getting more airplay than the song he intended to be the bigger hit, “Rockin’ at Midnight,” was not getting the airplay “Sea of Love” was getting. “Sea of Love” was merely a B-side and not meant to be The Single. But it was, and well, that pretty much was the end of The Honeydrippers.
The Honeydrippers: Volume 1 was their only effort, and a full album by the group never materialized. Plant performed a charity show called “The Return of the Honeydrippers” for a friend undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, but the group was definitely a thing of a very short past. Plant is still performing today with his current group, Sensational Space Shifters.
At least this didn’t ruin his image and career, but “Sea of Love” really is a nice song.
Actually, scratch that. At least this didn’t ruin his image.
He looked like he at least had a sense of humor about appearing on this show. We’ll give him our love, and some credit.
Whether your Music Monday takes you to the sea, or somewhere else (you know, like work and reality), have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!