394) The Searchers — “Sea of Heartbreak”
Country star Don Gibson’s original recording of Paul Hampton and Hal David’s classic song was a bona fide hit in the summer of ’61 — #2 on the country chart, #21 overall in the U.S. and #14 in the UK. But it was unbearably schmaltzy. There have been at least 91 cover versions (https://secondhandsongs.com/work/61919/versions#nav-entity). Of those that I have heard, the Searchers’ version is by far the best. It is off what many consider the band’s finest album — ’64’s It’s the Searchers. Richie Unterberger says:
Perhaps the best studio album by a band that is really best represented by greatest-hit collections. . . . features some of their best LP cuts, on which they applied their famed harmonies to American material that was both strong and obscure. The best of these covers [include] the folkish “Sea of Heartbreak[.]”https://www.allmusic.com/album/its-the-searchers-mw0000464251
“The lights in the harbor don’t shine for me. I’m like a lost ship way out on the sea. Sea of heartbreak. Lost love and loneliness. Memories of your caress. So divine I wish you were mine. Again my dear, I’m on this sea of tears. Sea of heartbreak. How did I lose you? Oh, where did I fail? Why did you leave me always to sail? . . . Oh, what I’d give to sail back to shore. Back to your arms once more. Come to my rescue. Come here to me. Take me and keep me away from the sea. Sea of heartbreak. . . .”
Here is Don Gibson’s original version:
And here are the Everly Brothers from ’67:
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