Friday, 20 December 2019

Leo Sayer - Kings Avenue (1978)

Gerard Hugh Sayer was born in 1948 in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, the middle child of three children.  He attended Blessed Robert Southwell in Goring-by-Sea, before studying commercial art and graphic design at West Sussex College of Art and Design in Worthing, Sussex. He was initially discovered by musician David Courtney, who then co-managed and co-produced him with former pop singer turned manager, Adam Faith, and began his music career co-writing songs with Courtney, including 'Giving It All Away', which gave Roger Daltrey of The Who his first solo hit in 1973. In the same year he began his own 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. His debut single 'Why Is Everybody Going Home' failed to chart, but he achieved national prominence in the UK with his second single, the music hall styled 'The Show Must Go On', which he performed on British television wearing a pierrot costume and makeup. The single went to #2 in the UK chart, as did his debut album 'Silverbird', co-written with David Courtney, who co-produced it with Adam Faith. 
Subsequent singles were all major hits in the UK, with 'One Man Band', 'Long Tall Glasses', and 'Moonlighting' establishing him as a major star. His albums in this period were also consistently successful in the UK, scoring five consecutive Top 10 placings on the UK album chart between 1973 and 1977. The peak of his career came in 1977, when he achieved two consecutive number one hits in the United States, first with the disco-styled 'You Make Me Feel Like Dancing', followed by the romantic ballad 'When I Need You', which reached number one in both the UK and the US, but I'm afraid that's when Sayer and me parted company, as they were just too overtly commercial for me. I still love his early work, though, and so this album of early singles, demo's, out-takes and rare A and B-sides from 1970 to 1978 tidies up the songs that I may have missed in his best period. His very first single was as part of the band Patches, who were also managed by David Courtney, and  'Let It Be' is one of three songs that Sayer recorded for the Beatles tribute album 'All This And World War II', and which was released as a single under his own name. 'Kings Avenue' is an early version of 'Get The Girl', which later appeared as the b-side to his 1977 single 'Thunder In My Heart', and I've corrected the issue with every copy that I found online, where the first 10 seconds or so were at a lower volume than the rest of the recording.  

Track listing

01 Living In America (as Patches 1970)
02 The Hour Is Love (b-side of 'Living In America')
03 Quicksand (b-side of 'Why Is Everybody Going Home' 1973)
04 Reasons (out-take 1973)
05 Praise The Land (session recording 1974)
06 Let It Be (single 1975)
07 Standing In The Rain (demo recording 1975)
08 Tears Of A Clown (session recording 1976)
09 Milky White Way (session recording 1976)
10 Kings Avenue (aka 'Get The Girl') (out-take 1977)
11 Tell Me Just One More Time (session recording 1977)
12 I've Been Lonely For So Long (session recording 1978)
13 New Orleans (session recording 1978)

Enjoy / Enjoy

1 comment:

  1. Not so keen on the vaudeville of "Milky Way" and "New Orleans", but other than that this is a surprisingly solid and at times even (mildly) rocking collection. Wouldn't have checked out Mr. When I Need You without this, so thanks for broadening my horizon a bit.