Endless Flight

Leo Sayer

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Endless Flight Review

by Joe Viglione

Richard Perry's production on Endless Flight, coupled with the tremendous song selection, makes it superior to the 1977 follow-up, Thunder in My Heart (also produced by Perry, but with not as much heart), with this project remaining big through most of that same year. The two number one hits, a catchy Vini Poncia/Leo Sayer co-write, "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," and a cover of the title track to Albert Hammond's 1976 disc, When I Need You, are essential career components that sound great years later. It's amazing how much more substantial this album is over the somewhat contrived Thunder in My Heart which followed. Opening the disc with a Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil/Leo Sayer song like "Hold on to My Love" is how to get yourself into the history books before the record is even out of the box. The Barry Mann/Leo Sayer composition "How Much Love" on side two was the third chart single, going a bit beyond the Top 20 in the U.S. With strings arranged by Gene Page, Ray Parker on guitar, and Steve Gadd on drums, Sayer had a leg up on the competition. There's a cool photo of the tall Richard Perry walking down the street with the smaller-framed Sayer, and their working relationship reached its commercial zenith here. Willie Weeks provided the bass to "When I Need You" with Jeff Porcaro on drums, David Bowie's guitarist Earl Slick on guitar, and Michael Omartian and James Newton Howard on keys (Omartian and Larry Carlton both show up on Albert Hammond recordings as well); it's perfect musicianship and perfect timing for this most artistic project by Sayer. The title track, written by Andrew Gold, is a standout, featuring Nigel Olsson on drums and Paul Buckmaster on strings, both borrowed from Elton John's camp. As this writer has stated about Albert Hammond, the same holds true for Leo Sayer; both these artists could have challenged Elton John for chart dominance had they put as much into all their albums as Hammond did with It Never Rains in Southern California and as Richard Perry and Leo Sayer put into Endless Flight. Covers of Danny O'Keefe's "Magdalena" and the Supremes' "Reflections" embellish the album chock-full of hits, a stirring title track, and superb musicianship. It's a career album with lots to offer the world.

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