Happy 40th: Leo Sayer, ENDLESS FLIGHT

Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Happy 40th: Leo Sayer, ENDLESS FLIGHT

40 years ago this month, Leo Sayer released the album that found him asking him how much love you needed, telling you when he needed you, and informing you in no uncertain terms that you made him feel like dancing.

Produced by Richard Perry, ENDLESS FLIGHT was Sayer’s fourth album, but it was the first album that truly marked him as an international star, going platinum in both the US and the UK. Indeed, it also provided him with two consecutive #1 hits in the US, first with “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” and then with “When I Need You.” That the former single won the Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Song is a Grammy jaw-dropper that’s right up there with Jethro Tull taking home the award for Best Heavy Metal Album, but you can’t blame that on Sayer, whose performance on an incredibly catchy disco-influenced ditty – one which he co-wrote, just for the record – is still stuck in more than a few listeners’ heads even 40 years down the road.

ENDLESS FLIGHT also features a treasure trove of studio musicians within its grooves, among them Earl Slick, Lee Ritenour, Jeff Porcaro, Ray Parker, Jr., and Bobby Keys, whose sax work can be heard prominently on “When I Need You.” In addition to the aforementioned chart-toppers, Sayer also scored a top-20 hit with “How Much Love,” which topped out at #17 on the Hot 100, but it climbed into the top 10 in the UK and all the way to #4 in Canada.

It would be another four years before Sayer found his way back into the US top 10 with “More Than I Can Say,” which would prove to be his final hit to rise that high in the States, but he’s still fondly remembered even now: with FLIGHT, he built an American fanbase whose devotion remains – wait for it – endless.