Wednesday, July 28, 2010

70s Music Artist watch: Leo Sayer

Mr Gerald Sayer came into the world back in 1948, and he became a huge part of the music from the 70’s , with his ability to sing pop songs and ballads, and to dress up and entertain, and entertain he did.

Leo started his song writing career by having a co written hit for Roger Daltry from The WHO called "Giving It All Away". Gerald  later became Leo Sayer.

His first single success was "The Show Must Go On", and reached No. 2 in the UK in 1974, and saw Leo Sayer dressed as a clown, and in a lot of ways it did resemble the clown from McDonalds. As a teenager, I thought it was some sort of clever advertisement for the McDonald company, he even appeared on TV and was not recognisable at all, in-fact it could have been any one in the outfit.

The single came from the album "Silverbird", and Leo appeared on "The Old Grey Whistle Test”, a late night live TV show, dressed for the first time as the Pierrot clown, this in itself launched him, and for a while he supported Roxy Music on tour, and those costumes were put together by his wife Janice. Well done Janice.

Being an ex choir boy gave him good training for his upcoming pop career, and also at one time he lived on a river boat, as money was very tight. no way could he know he was going to be huge in the music of the 70s.

He met David Courtney after answering an advert in a Brighton newspaper, who went on to co write "The Show Must Go On", his manager was also Adam Faith a huge singing star from the 1960s. Adam was a very successful business man too, and died in 2003.

Some of the Lyrics

Baby although I chose this lonely life
It seems it's strangling me now
AII the wild men with big cigars and gigantic cars
They're all laughing at me now.
Oh! I've been used oo-hoo
I've been taken for a fool - oh what a fool
I broke all the rules
oh yeah
But I won't let the show go on.
Baby there's an enormous crowd of people
And they're all after my blood
I wish maybe they'd tear down the walls
Of this theatre and let me out - let me out.
Oh! I've been so blind
oh yeah
I've wasted tine
But I won't let the show go on.
Incidentally this record did chart in the US, but was sang by the group Three Dog Night.

The second hit was a very good follow up single called "One Man Band", again a hit in 1974, the song, and Leo, called Leo after Leo the Lion, had another huge hit on his hands

His 1970s hits continued in 1974 with "Long Tall Glasses (I know I can dance)"

Leo wrote this record, because of his feelings to having huge hits in the USA, and the concerts, and breaking into America big time.

The hits then rolled in during the 1970s including the disco hit "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing".
 He also had the acclaimed "Thunder In My Heart", which charted again in the 2000s.
But probably his biggest hit from those that followed was "When I Need You" from 1977, written by Albert Hammond, who had a hit with "It Never Rains in Southern California" himself in the early 1970s, along with Carol Bayer Sager who charted too with by writing" Nobody Does It Better.", for Carley Simon for the Bond film theme. That was one of MANY hits she wrote for other people.

"When I Need You", gave Leo his first number one record in the UK, and has been covered by so many people, but Leo’s version remains the one I most prefer.

Some of the lyrics

When I need you
I just close my eyes and I'm with you
And all that I so wanna give you
It's only a heartbeat away
When I need love
I hold out my hands and I touch love
I never knew there was so much love
Keeping me warm night and day
Miles and miles of empty space in between us
The telephone can't take the place of your smile
But you know I won't be travelin' forever
It's cold out but hold out and do I like I do

Leo travelled the world for years with his wife, they appeared on so many TV shows, including Johnny Carson Show, The Muppet show, he also had his own Friday Night BBC TV series , he was a hit all over the world. Leo Sayer music was being heard worldwide, and as a teenager in the UK , I never really knew how global Leo Sayer really was.

His 1970s hits continued, and also presented the 1978 British Pop and Rock awards programme in 1978, he was at the top of his game, and continued to have hits and success throughout the 1980s too.
1970s single hits
One Man Band
Long Tall Glasses (I can dance)
Grammy Award winner from that year
When I Need You
How Much Love
Easy To Love
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Raining In My Heart
This was an old Buddy Holly hit.
When the money runs out.


  1. Years ago there was a man who sang "I know I can dance" on a talk show. He dressed as a clown and did a great job singing the song, and he was a sensational dancer. There was a time when I could find a video of the skit. If anyone knows where this can be found please let me know. In the performance on TV he danced and did the splits on stage and sang "you know I can dance."

  2. You are talking about the SHOW MUST GO ON...the video is in this article


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