Got The Fever

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Leo Sayer

Call this pick, for lack of a better term, one of my many, many ‘guilty pleasures’. Or, call it one of my flights of fancy, diggin’ into the carotid artery of an artist that others might not venture into - the pulsing montage of what an artist truly has to offer. Heck, even call it misguided.

Whatever – I’ve always dismissed even those closest to me when it comes to skinning and placing into view the naked, exciting marrow of what an artist has to offer. Not out of an elitist view (God knows I can get precipitously off the target), but rather that I prefer to see the artist as a complete offering, and not as an AM single. You all know that I’ve written about my compulsion to go beyond the chart placing as a means to judging an artist more than a few times before.

I offer Leo Sayer. One of the rarities among artists who made it big-top for a short slice of time on both his solid songwriting abilities, his ability to clutch and launch himself onto a piece of the top charts, and even his interpretation of someone else’s material, all allowing an entry into the vaunted Casey Kasem Top 40. The two following will focus on his collaboration and variation of an original.

Endless Flight
To me, this has similarities, hard to ignore, that rivaled Elton John at his “Yellow Brick Road” peak. Gilded strings, echoing, hallowed vocals and a damn good musical fornication experience as we listen. A musical high, a breathless trajectory enveloping us within its rich, warm score. Written by Andrew Gold.

Look around you
And tell me what you see
Are you afraid or is it me?
I hope we make it
I hope we don't fall in the sea

And it's gonna be an endless flight
Until we reach the ground tonight
Yes it's gonna be an endless flight I know
Like a flyin' bird in the night
The wind is strong but I hope I'm right
An' this is the end of this endless flight

The Show Must Go On
Lifted almost note for note, Three Dog Night had a smash with this Leo Sayer (and David Alexander Courtney) composed nugget. There are times that I feel that I am not able to decide which version I like better. Though the TDN version contains much warmer, and certainly more lush backing vocals, I am drawn back to Leo’s version for the banjo and the raw one-man feel show of the composition. I picture him on stage with the banjo, baggy pants, ‘banjo’ knees, face paint and floppy shoes, calliope backing. A contradictory front hiding just how lonely and monotonous his life in a circus is.

Baby, I wish you'd help me escape
Help me get away
Leave me outside my address
Far away from this masquerade

'Cause I've been blind Oh, so blind
I wasted time Wasted, wasted, all too much time
Walkin' on the wire, high wire
But I must let the show go..
I must let the show go..
I must let the show go..
I must let the show go on

Listen to them both. Passively bask in their glow. Be joyful for the originality and diversity. Be thankful for the Leo Sayer you may not have known.

Leo Sayer: Endless Flight
Leo Sayer: The Show Must Go On
From: The Very Best of ...


  • I loved Leo's Show Must Go On and liked much of his early material. I remember many years ago being in a record shop at the end of the Kings Road in Chelsea listening to the latest batch of soul/funk/jazz imports when who should walk in but Mr Sayer. We stood there for 15 minutes or so and swapped opinions on the records playing. I seem to remember he had come on his bicycle because he hadn't passed his driving test (or did I dream that!).

    By Blogger Darcy, at 7:00 PM  

  • Darcy, it's great to hear from you again. Miss your blog - maybe you'd guest here at some point this summer?

    Love those brushes with the music folk - I wrote about it in my Split Enz entry. Bantering with them always made them seem more real to me and not as lofty as one might think.

    By Blogger wzjn, at 11:14 PM  

  • Like Darcy above, I have a soft spot for the very crazy mr. sayer's "Show Must Go On".

    It's a sinister skeleton in my closet.

    By Blogger ib, at 5:51 AM  

  • wzjn: I'm flattered by the offer of a guest slot, and by your recent "shout out" for Feel It, thank you. If you don't mind I will pass on the guesting for the moment - summer, if it finally starts in the UK, needs to be enjoyed and that makes it hard sometimes to keep up with my own posts. Later in the year would be a possibility though.

    I admit that Got The Fever dropped off my radar for a while, although I link it in my blog it seemed to have disappeared from my bookmarks which drive my surfing habits - so many blogs, so little time. But I'm back as a regular here now.

    By Blogger Darcy, at 6:49 PM  

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