Single by Julian Lennon from the album Help Yourself
B-side "Rebel King" (Edit) (7" only)
"Rebel King", "Creo Que Voy A LLorar" (Saltwater) (12" only)
"Rebel King", "Creo Que Voy A LLorar" (Saltwater), "Mother Mary" (CD only)
Released 5 August 1991 (1991-08-05)
Format 7", 12", CD single
Genre Soft rock
Label Atlantic (US)
Charisma Records (UK)
Writer(s) Julian Lennon, Mark Spiro, Leslie Spiro,
Producer Bob Ezrin
Saltwater" is a 1991 song performed by English singer, songwriter, and musician Julian Lennon. It was written by Mark Spiro, Leslie Spiro and Julian Lennon. Originally released on the album Help Yourself, it topped the Australian singles charts for four weeks and reached number 6 in the UK.
Unlike most of Lennon's previous songs, "Saltwater" combines subtle melodies with gentle vocals to bring forward the issues of environmental conservation and world poverty.
The lyrics juxtapose the many marvels and feats of human civilization with the death of the natural world, constantly emphasising the passing of time[original research?] - 'Time is not a friend, 'cos friends we're out of time'
The recording features a lead guitar solo in the style of George Harrison. Julian Lennon originally wrote a guitar solo for the song. At the suggestion of his producer Bob Ezrin, he then contacted George Harrison to play the solo instead. George was busy at the time consoling Eric Clapton whose son had recently died.
He recorded a couple of riffs and sent them back to Julian. Guitar player Steve Hunter then played the actual solo on the song, combining elements of both Lennon's and Harrison's solos. In the liner notes for the Help Yourself album George Harrison is given special thanks.
An instrumental version (Guitar Duet) of this song was recorded by Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel on their album The Day Finger Pickers Took Over the World.
The song can be heard in its entirety during the 1991 Christmas Day special of Only Fools and Horses, Miami Twice.
Anni-Frid Lyngstad from ABBA performed the song at the open-air gala concert "Artister for Miljo", and included her cover as a b-side on her single "Änglamark".