||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2010)|
Leo Sayer in 2009
|Birth name||Gerard Hugh Sayer|
21 May 1948 |
Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, England
|Genres||Pop, rock, pop rock, soft rock, disco|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, harmonica|
|Labels||Chrysalis (United Kingdom)
Warner Bros. and Rhino (United States)
|Associated acts||Roger Daltrey|
Leo Sayer (born Gerard Hugh Sayer on 21 May 1948) is an Australian-based British singer-songwriter musician, and entertainer whose singing career has spanned four decades. Sayer was a top singles and album act on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1970s. His first seven hit singles in the United Kingdom all reached the Top 10 – a feat first registered by his one-time manager, Adam Faith.
Sayer was born on 21 May 1948 to an Irish mother and English father in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, England. He was initially discovered by musician David Courtney, who then co-managed him with the singer turned manager, Adam Faith.
In January 1967, while 18-year old Sayer was working as a hall porter at the King's Hotel in Hove, he assisted in the rescue of guests from a fire that damaged the first floor of the hotel. He was rescued by builders working on a block of flats beside the hotel.
That same year, Sayer began his career as a recording artist. At the time of his initial chart breakthrough in the UK, with his second single "The Show Must Go On", he wore a pierrot style costume and make-up and the song went quickly to number two. He had several subsequent single hits including, "One Man Band" (1974), "Long Tall Glasses" (1974) and "Moonlighting" (1975). In 1976, Sayer recorded three Beatles songs, "I Am the Walrus", "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road" for the film, All This and World War II.
In 1977, he had a US number one with "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" (a Grammy Award winner for the year's best Rhythm and Blues Song), as well as the romantic ballad, "When I Need You" (1977), which reached number one in both the UK and US. Written by Albert Hammond and Carole Bayer Sager, it was Sayer's first UK chart-topper (after three number two hits) and his second successive US number one. It was also the first of two UK chart-toppers in a row for producer Richard Perry.
Sayer also made cover versions of Bobby Vee's Sonny Curtis/Jerry Allison composition, "More Than I Can Say" (his fourth UK number 2 hit and US number 2), and Buddy Holly's "Raining in My Heart" (1979) and "Orchard Road" in 1983. In the US, three of his singles - "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" (1977), "When I Need You" (1977) and "More Than I Can Say" (1980) - were certified gold.
Sayer provided songs for the soundtrack of the French-Belgian animated film, Le Chainon manquant in 1980. In 1981 he was the voice of Dan the forest ranger in The Raccoons on Ice, the second of four specials serving as a predecessor to the Canadian animated series The Raccoons. He also sang several songs for the special, all of which were included on the 1983 album Lake Freeze.
On 12 February 2006, he made a surprise return to number one in the UK Singles Chart, with Meck's remix of "Thunder In My Heart". It was his first appearance in the UK Top 10 for almost 24 years, and his second UK chart-topper, almost three decades after his first. Leo Sayer: At His Very Best, a career-spanning compilation album, was released in the UK on 6 March 2006. It featured the Meck single, alongside "When I Need You" and "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing". In 2008, Sayer released a new album in Australia, Don't Wait Until Tomorrow. This album, produced by Garth Porter (from the Australian pop band Sherbet), and released by Universal Music Australia, featured selections from his catalog in an entirely new setting, re-arranged with strings and acoustic and jazz instrumentation.
Sayer has appeared in various TV shows including The Muppet Show (1978's Episode 3.02 on which he sang "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing", "The Show Must Go On", and "When I Need You"); The Wiggles 2008 DVD, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, which featured Sayer's hit of the same name; Celebrity Big Brother UK in 2007; and the Australian television comedy, Stupid, Stupid Man. In the episode "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses" of the television series The Simpsons, a character mentions Sayer as being another singer he likes, after Elvis Presley.
Sayer married his wife Janice in 1973 and they remained married until their divorce in 1985. He then had a relationship with Italian-born Donatella Piccinetti, with whom he moved to live in Australia, but they split in 2007.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|1974||Just a Boy||4||-||-||35||-||16||
|1977||Thunder in My Heart||8||-||14||11||19||37||
|1979||The Very Best of Leo Sayer||1||-||14||1||5||-|
|1980||Living in a Fantasy||15||29||9||-||15||36||
|1983||Have You Ever Been in Love||15||-||-||-||-||-||
|1993||All the Best||26||-||-||-||-||-|
|1999||The Definitive Hits Collection||35||-||-||-||-||-|
|1999||Live in London||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2004||Endless Journey - The Essential Leo Sayer||52||-||-||-||-||-|
|2005||Voice In My Head||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2006||Leo Sayer: At His Very Best||30||-||-||-||-||-|
|2008||Don't Wait Until Tomorrow *||-||-||-||-||-||-|
- * - Australia release only
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|1973||"Why Is Everybody Going Home"||-||-||-|
|"The Show Must Go On"||2||-||-|
|1974||"One Man Band"||6||96||-|
|"Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)"||4||9||-|
|1976||"You Make Me Feel Like Dancing"||2||1||1|
|1977||"When I Need You"||1||1||1|
|"How Much Love"||10||17||8|
|"Thunder in My Heart"||22||38||23|
|"Easy To Love"||-||36||-|
|"There Isn't Anything"||-||-||-|
|1978||"Dancing The Night Away"||-||-||-|
|"I Can't Stop Loving You (Though I Try)"||6||-||-||
|"Raining in My Heart"||21||47||-|
|1979||"When the Money Runs Out"||-||-||-|
|1980||"More Than I Can Say"||2||2||3|
|"Once in a While"||-||-||-|
|"Shake the Hand"||-||-||-|
|"Takin' the Brakes Off"||-||-||-|
|1981||"Living in a Fantasy"||-||23||14|
|1982||"Have You Ever Been in Love"||10||-||-|
|"Heart (Stop Beating in Time)"||22||-||-|
|"Till You Come Back to Me"||51||-||-|
|1984||"Sea Of Heartbreak"||-||-||-|
|1990||"Cool Touch" (Germany)||-||-||-|
|1992||"I Will Fight for You" (Germany)||-||-||-|
|1993||"When I Need You" (re-issue)||65||-||-|
|1998||"You Make Me Feel Like Dancing"
(Groove Generation featuring Leo Sayer)
|2006||"Thunder in My Heart Again"
(Meck featuring Leo Sayer) (Hit position #16 in Australia)
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Leo Sayer: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- Rice, Jo. The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits, first ed., Guinness Superlatives Ltd, Middlesex, UK, p.181. ISBN 0-85112-250-7
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 483. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Bedford Hotel, King's Road: Fire at the hotel". Mybrightonandhove.org. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- Roberts, David (2001). British Hit Singles (14th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 46. ISBN 0-85156-156-X.
- "Eric Woolfson's FREUDIANA - The Musical". Retrieved 29 May 2008.
- "At His Very Best - Leo Sayer - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- "Seventies singer Leo Sayer becomes an Australian citizen". The Daily Telegraph (London). 26 January 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- "Leo Sayer: Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- "Discografie Leo Sayer". DutchCharts.nl. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Discography Leo Sayer". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Steffen Hung. "Discography Leo Sayer". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- "Discography Leo Sayer". SwedishCharts.com. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Lero Sayer : Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 27 September 2011. Note: User needs to enter "Leo Sayer" in the "Search" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Go" button. Select "More info" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
- "Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 27 September 2011. Note: User must define 'Artist' search parameter as "Leo Sayer".
- "Certified Awards Search". Music Canada. Retrieved on 27 September 2011. Note: User needs to enter "Leo Sayer" in the "Search" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Go" button. Select "More info" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
- "Certified Awards Search". Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved on 11 October 2011.
- Lwin, Nanda. Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide (2000). ISBN 1-896594-13-1
- Lister, David, Pop ballads bite back in lyrical fashion, The Independent (London), 28 May 1994