Leo Sayer - Silverbird

Leo Sayer – Silverbird


‘Silverbird’ is the debut album for Leo Sayer, it has a very strong classical vibe working within a pop context although as prog as it sounds it’s anything but.

Written by: Eric

ARTIST: Leo Sayer
ALBUM: Silverbird
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: 6307 521
YEAR: 1973
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Leo Sayer – lead vocals * Russ Ballard – guitars * Dave Wintor – bass * Dave Courtney – piano * Henry Spinetti, Mike Giles, Bob Henrit – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Innocent Bystander * 02 Goodnight Old Friend * 03 Drop Back * 04 Silverbird * 05 The Show Must Go On * 06 The Dancer * 07 Tomorrow * 08 Don’t Say Its Over * 09 Slow Motion * 10 Oh Wot A Life * 11 Why Is Everybody Going Home



A protege of David Courtney, a songwriter who’s ‘David Courtney’s First Day’ LP is a must hear for any rock fan. Leo Sayer got his first real break co-writing with Courtney Roger Daltrey‘s first UK hit ‘Giving It All Away’.

During the same time Sayer released a somewhat glam inspired single ‘Living In America’ with the group Patches that didn’t do much business, but gave him enough confidence to hit the solo road and again with Courtney’s guidance recorded his first album ‘Silverbird’ to critical acclaim.

The Songs

Best remembered for the single ‘The Show Must Go On’ which charted on both sides of the ocean, ‘Silverbird’ is a collection of songs that work as a concept about a clown named ‘Pierrot’. With most of the group Argent as his back-up band, it’s not a big surprise the album has a very strong classical vibe working within a pop context.

Although as progressive as it sounds (reportedly Leo Sayer was influenced by many of the prog bands of the day), it’s anything but over the top. Just solid songs from the opening ‘Innocent Bystander’ which could almost be ELO minus Jeff Lynne to the wordless vocals of the title track and the beautiful orchestral closer ‘Why Is Everyone Going Home’. Leo Sayer hit his stride early on and despite releasing several good albums following ‘Silverbird’, in my opinion he never achieved the same musical heights again.

In Summary

With the British press falling over each other for Leo Sayer, a support tour with Roxy Music followed and from what I’ve read was truly a bizarre show with Leo dressed as Pierrot singing, dancing and even a putting on a little mime for audiences. Not exactly the stuff rock legends are made of but the man had balls, I’ll give him that.

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