"Sea of Time" - The sole writing credit is George Martin; surely Harrison deserves coauthorship? | The songs | Fab forum

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"Sea of Time" - The sole writing credit is George Martin; surely Harrison deserves coauthorship?
13 April 2014
12.44pm
stuartgardner
Savannah, Ga.
The Jacaranda
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20 February 2014
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So much of "Within You Without You" is in this orchestral track from Martin's Yellow Submarine score that I'm surprised to learn it's credited to Martin alone. 

This site's page for the track at http://www.beatlesbible.com/so…..a-of-time/ says, "Sea Of Time was notable among Martin’s Yellow Submarine compositions for its use of Indian instrumentation. It opens with a tambura drone, and a winding melody similar to that of George Harrison's Within You Without You," which strikes me as an understatement.

I don't know why I'm taking the time to post about this; the score has never been of interest to me, but having just heard the piece for the first time in years I fully expected to see  it credited in part to Harrison, and had to register my surprise.

 

 

I have 7.004 billion brothers and sisters.
13 April 2014
12.54pm
meanmistermustard
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I think George Martin figured out and wrote all the orchestral work for the song whilst George wrote the lyrics. 

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
13 April 2014
1.41pm
Ron Nasty
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I have to disagree with your inference, mmm. You seem to be suggesting that while GH wrote the lyrics, the music was written by GM. Were that the case, the legitimate question here would be, Why doesn't GM get a composer credit on Within You, Without You?

The music was written by GH, with the song being written on a pedal harmonium at Klaus Voorman's house in Hampstead. Even when it came to Martin's orchestral score for the song, Harrison was heavily involved with Martin scoring it based on suggestions made by him.

I would suggest that Martin got the sole composer credit on Sea of Time purely because The Beatles were never precious about songwriting credits. There are many examples of others than the named composer(s) being involved in the writing of songs. Donovan's contributions to Yellow Submarine spring to mind, or John's contribution to Harrison's Piggies.

Maybe it was just as simple as GH saw Sea of Time as being inspired by Within You, Without You rather than a straightforward reworking of his work. Whatever, the reason it isn't co-credited is simple in the end, GH didn't ask for it to be. He heard it and didn't feel the need to say, "Er… Mr Martin… sorry, but… erm… isn't that my work you're claiming as yours?"

GH was happy to see SoT as a Martin composition, and so the composer credit went to Martin.

Welcome, Stuart. Should you wish to introduce yourself to the forum you can do so here.

The following people thank Ron Nasty for this post:

IveJustSeenAFaceo, stuartgardner
"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
13 April 2014
5.21pm
stuartgardner
Savannah, Ga.
The Jacaranda
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20 February 2014
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Many thanks for your replies, fellows, and for shedding light on this minor issue, Ron.  I'm sure you're right.

And thanks for suggesting I introduce myself; I will.  

I have 7.004 billion brothers and sisters.
13 April 2014
6.53pm
meanmistermustard
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Helpful if i dont post half-written comments when walking the football, doing stuff in itunes and keeping an eye on another forum but i didnt mean that George M wrote all the music. But hey-ho, whats done and dusted will only get dusty again and need another dusting.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
14 April 2014
10.13am
Joe
Pepperland
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31 March 2008
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I don't think it's all that similar, and stand by what I wrote in the SoT article. It uses Indian instruments, but that doesn't mean Harrison deserved a co-writing credit. The melody is certainly reminiscent of WYWY, but the only bit which is very similar is a "We were talking…" motif (four notes) about one minute in.

You may as well argue that Sea Of Monsters should have a Martin/Bach credit, or It's All Too Much should be credited to Harrison/Feldman/Goldstein/Gottehrer because of the line he nicked from Sorrow. There's referencing other songs with a nod and a wink, which happens all the time, then there's more extensive heavy lifting, whether intentional or not.

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