Helping Punk: UK Band Sailor and their Two Top 10 Hits of 1976.
Above Photo: Sailor’s 1976 single cover for A Glass of Champagne.
Writing these articles about crappy 1970s bands is positively masochistic, and that’s certainly true of this one, about British band Sailor. Although I don’t specifically mention them in my ’70s-’80s Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!, they were part of the tsunami of musical dross in the mid-seventies that they helped drive me, and no doubt many others, into the arms of Punk.
Sailor had two songs that both got into the UK Top 10 in 1976. The first single, A Glass of Champagne, charted at Number 2 and Girls Girls Girls charted later that year at Number 7, Unfortunately their next single, called ‘One Drink Too Many’, had Brewer’s Droop and flopped completely, as did all their other releases after that.
There’s not much else to say about them, except they split up (initially) in 1978, no doubt overwhelmed by the Punk Explosion, which they of course helped to fuel by clogging the radio and (few) music TV shows in the UK with their dubious musical offerings until many people just got sick of mainstream, commercial music. And for that we have to thank them.
Although they carried on making singles, albums and playing live in different guises for many years, Sailor never again saw the popular success they’d achieved back in 1976 with their two ‘hits’.
I read the following snippet on a pro-Sailor website recently:
“Much of their best material revolved around sailors’ adventures on shore leave, especially in the ‘red-light quarter’. Dressing in sailor gear that went with the image, they might easily be dismissed as something of a novelty, but created some enduring and finely crafted pop music.”
I must have missed their enduring and finely crafted stuff, but here are You Tube links to their two top 10 hits: