ARTIST: Leo Sayer
TITLE: The Very Best of Leo Sayer
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 10 UK Hits: The Show Must Go On (#2 UK), One Man Band (#6 UK, #96 US), Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance) (#4 UK, #9 US), You Make Me Feel Like Dancing (#2 UK, #1 US), When I Need You (#1 UK, #1 US), How Much Love (#10 UK, #17 US), I Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try) (#6 UK), More Than I Can Say (#2 UK, #2 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Living in a Fantasy (#23 US)
LINEUP: Leo Sayer and a whole boatload of session guys – usually the top ones in the UK and later the cream of the LA crop in the US.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Tunesmith Sayer makes his own records, and becomes famous for a few years before people get tired of him.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Oh, the memories. Every once in a while an energetic, at times manic, pop tune would come out the radio and you knew it was Leo Sayer. You saw his record covers (especially Endless Flight) and snickered. He sounded like a poor man’s Elton John and looked like a Richard Simmons clone (though we didn’t know Simmons at the time).
His tunes, which started before the disco era and ended at the tail end, are a time capsule of an era when novelty could hit the pop charts (see “Long Tall Glasses”), hilarious falsettos abounded (“You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”), and pure schmaltz made it big (“When I Need You”). The studio musicians are impeccable – the production very 70’s – Sayer’s voice is a bit…high.
Wait, schmaltz can still make it big.
Anyway, this is a time piece. Nostalgia only – these are all disposable pop tunes. Though like most pop tunes of the 70’s the bass lines rule. Focus on those.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Sayer’s first big hit as a songwriter was for Roger Daltrey (“Giving It All Away”)
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Well, there’s a 30+ tune collection. This is just 16 and I’m trimming some of it. Go wild if you want more. And if you really want to go nutso, each one of his albums are available streaming. I couldn’t do it…
GRADE: C: I’ll admit that these songs remind me of the Pleasant Meadows pool where I spent many summers as a wayward youth. I also have a flashback to Dancing Harry at the Indiana Pacer games doing his thing to “Long Tall Glasses”. I know for a fact that all this is for anyone would be memories.