Leo Sayer is a British born singer-songwriter musician and entertainer whose singing career has spanned four decades….who is now an Australian citizen and resident. Sayer launched his career in the United Kingdom in the early 1970’s….and became a top singles and album act on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1970’s. His first seven hit singles in the United Kingdom all reached the Top 10….which was a feat first registered by his first manager, Adam Faith. His songs have been sung by other notable artists, including Cliff Richard’s “Dreaming”.
When Sayer began his music career…he was co-writing songs with David Courtney….including such popular cuts as “Giving It All Away”….which gave Roger Daltrey of The Who his first solo hit in 1973….and shortly thereafter, he began his career as a recording artist under the management of Adam Faith….who signed Sayer to the Chrysalis label in the United Kingdom and Warner Bros. Records in the United States….when his debut single “Why Is Everybody Going Home” failed to chart….but he did achieve national prominence in the United Kingdom with his second single….when he released the music hall styled song “The Show Must Go On”….which Sayer performed on British television wearing a pierrot costume and makeup….as this single went to # 2 on the chart in the UK….as did his debut album Silverbird….which was co-written with David Courtney….who also co-produced the album with Adam Faith…..which rock group Three Dog Night covered on the group’s last Hot 100 top 10 record….as it reached # 4 on 25 May 1974. His subsequent singles were all major hits in the United Kingdom….as “One Man Band” went to # 6 in 1974….and “Long Tall Glasses” (UK # 4, 1974) became his first Top 10 hit in the United States by reaching # 9…..plus, “Moonlighting” went to # 2 in the United Kingdom in 1975….then in 1976….Sayer recorded three Beatles songs….“I Am the Walrus“….“Let It Be“….and “The Long and Winding Road” for the Beatles themed concept film All This and World War II. Leo Sayer’s albums during this period were also consistently successful in the United Kingdom….as he scored five consecutive Top 10 placings on the United Kingdom album chart between 1973 and 1977.
He also garnered success as an album artist in the United States, beginning with his second LP Just A Boy(1974), which reached #16. His fourth album Endless Flight (1976) consolidated his international popularity, reaching #4 in the United Kingdom and #10 in the United States; it also charted strongly in other countries including Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and was certified as a platinum album, in both the United Kingdom and the United States, and double-platinum in Canada.
The peak of his career came in 1977….when he achieved two consecutive # 1 hits in the United States…. first with the disco styled “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”….which was a Grammy Award winner for the year’s best Rhythm and Blues Song….followed by the romantic ballad, “When I Need You” (1977)….which reached number one in both the United Kingdom and United States….written by Albert Hammond and Carole Bayer Sager….it was Sayer’s first # 1 single in the UK after three # 2 hits….as it was also the first of two chart toppers in the United Kingdom in a row for producer Richard Perry. While touring Memphis, in August 1977, his knee faltered and he was taken to the hospital by a security guard who also worked for Elvis Presley….after which a couple of days later he and Presley made arrangements to meet….but on the day they had scheduled for Sayer to visit Presley at Graceland, Presley died.
In 1979, the compilation album The Very Best of Leo Sayer became Sayer’s first United Kingdom # 1 LP and his seventh consecutive United Kingdom Top 20 album….wherein despite his popularity in the United States….it failed to chart there. Sayer also guest starred in the second episode of the third season of The Muppet Show, and performed “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”….“The Show Must Go On”….and “When I Need You”.
In this video herewith, Leo Sayer performs another of his array of popular hits….You Make Me Feel Like Dancing…..which is a rare video recording of him performing this song live on Saturday Night Live….as it gives our music section here at ImaSportsphile another “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.