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Shocking Songs From 1977: Leo Sayer’s ‘When I Need You’.

Shocking Songs From 1977: Leo Sayer’s ‘When I Need You’.

Seventies Hair Product Icon, Leo Sayer.

As detailed in my Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!, by 1977 the amount of musical crap clogging up the British charts was causing many right-thinking people serious problems (although paradoxically, I have a lot to thank this drivel for, as it eventually drove me into the welcoming arms of Punk).

bombed out punk memoir peter alan lloyd punk and new wave bands1980s liverpool bands erics club 1980s liverpool recession leo sayer when I need you the worst records of 1977 (2).

 As mentioned in the book, one of a trio of chart villains that ultimately did for me was Leo Sayer and his dreadful “When I Need You”, which was a worldwide hit for Sayer and got to Number One in the British charts in February 1977.

Leo Sayer reclines on a piano. Believe me, I preferred him lying on it to playing it.

Leo Sayer reclines on a piano. Believe me, I preferred him lying on it to playing it.

I hated it then and I hate it now, although it became slightly more interesting when I was doing music research for Bombed Out!,when I discovered the songwriters of Sayer’s hit had ripped off a melody from a song by Leonard Cohen, called “Famous Blue Raincoat.”

The single cover for Sayer's "When I Need You".

The single cover for Sayer’s “When I Need You”.

Cohen’s management actually sued Sayer’s songwriters over it and won.

Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php

You can hear the ripped-off melody at 1.15 – 1.33 in the You Tube link to Leonard Cohen’s excellent track below.

Leo Sayer – When I Need You (1976)

And here’s the Leonard Cohen track, ‘Famous Blue Raincoats’ – listen to it at 1.15 – 1.33 to hear the melody.

Famous Blue Raincoat – Leonard Cohen

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 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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