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The Cruel Sea

by

The Dakotas



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This surf-influenced instrumental was written by Dakotas guitarist Mike Maxfield and became a hit after the act they backed, Billy J Kramer, began racking up entries in the UK charts.
Maxfield spoke to Mojo magazine December 2009 about the inspirations for this song: "Most guitarists were influenced by Hank Marvin. I was determined to be different. I became aware of American guitarist Wes Montgomery and his octave style of playing, and evolved my way of playing in octaves. I went to see a film The Cruel Sea, liked the title and the sound rough seas made."
American instrumental legends The Ventures covered this on the B-side of 'Walk-Don't Run '64.' "I was delighted," Maxfield told Mojo, "'Walk-Don't Run '64' zoomed up the US charts so I phoned my publisher, Dick James, for a royalty advance, which I spent in London bars, enjoying the company of mini-skirted debutantes!"
The song was produced by Beatles' producer George Martin. It was Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who originally suggested The Dakotas to Billy J. Kramer as his backing band.
This was to be the only hit for The Dakotas, but they continued to back Billy J. Kramer for several more chart entries, including early 1964's UK chart-topper "Little Children."
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