If there ever were a good reason for updating an artist's greatest-hits compilation, Leo Sayer's At His Very Best was it. After all, the most uncool of 1970s icons had long vacated the charts, with most of his hits concentrated into a period 1974-1982, and then even he had made way for the new romantics, the jazz-funk soul boys, and the androgynous stars of the early '80s. The man with the highest falsetto voice in the charts was no longer wanted, and all he had to offer in the mid-'80s was a series of insipid cover versions like "Till You Come Back to Me" and "Unchained Melody" (yes, yet another version). He'd also released several compilations of the hits, first in 1979 when he spent three weeks at number one with The Very Best of Leo Sayer, and then during the CD era he released All the Best and The Definitive Hits Collection. Then, out of nowhere, a British DJ and producer by the name of Meck (real name Craig Dimech) remixed one of Sayer's lesser hits, "Thunder in My Heart," and took it all the way to number one in the singles chart in February 2006. Suddenly, Leo Sayer was cool again, appearing on Celebrity Big Brother -- and the generation who had forgotten the curly-haired lovable singer, apart from oldie play of his biggest hits on radio, surprisingly found him in the limelight again. What better time to update a greatest-hits collection than that? This compilation, At His Very Best, includes every one of his hit singles (except the two previously mentioned minor mid-'80s hits), from his first taste of fame dressed as a Pierrot for the song "The Show Must Go On" (covered in the States by established stars Three Dog Night); through his biggest hits "Moonlighting," "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," and the ballad "When I Need You"; to "Orchard Road," his final Top 20 hit (apart from the Meck remix). There is also a chance to hear the original version of the song "Giving It All Away," which Sayer wrote and gave to Roger Daltrey, and both versions of "Thunder in My Heart," the original 1977 and the 2006 dance remix.
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AllMusic Review by Sharon Mawer
feat: Bill Perkins