top of page
  • Rob

NOW PLAYING: 'NORTHERN SONGS' BY LEO SAYER...

One of my best mates wanted to buy me something different for Christmas and stumbled across this.  What we have here is poodle-permed, 70s pocket rocket Leo Sayer paying tribute to The Beatles by covering 19 of their biggest hits.


So, what prompted this project?  A pandemic, apparently.  Hunkered away in his studio in Australia, Sayer arranged, performed and produced the album while the world was locked down.


I’ll give him his due; he hasn’t done like-for-like covers; he has tried to create something new.  Are his interpretations any good, though?  Some of them, yeah.  Look, none of his covers come near the originals, but who can beat The Fab Four at their own game?


There are good (‘Can’t Buy Me Love’), bad (‘Yesterday’) and weird (‘Norwegian Wood’), along with a lot that fall somewhere between all three depending on your taste.


What is apparent is that Sayer is a musical magpie, taking bits from other artists.  A fan of David Bowie?  Give ‘Across The Universe’ a go.  Is Pink Floyd your thing?  Check out ‘Magical Mystery Tour’.  How about some 80s Prince?  Try ‘Revolution’.  I can hear influences in each of those songs.


Sometimes, though, the influence isn’t so subtle. His version of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ is the original song sung over the bass line from Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’.  Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me!


Elsewhere, I can hear Bono doing his ‘Lemon’ voice at the end of ‘Strawberry Fields’; there is a whiff of Elton John here, a touch of ELO there and even a smattering of Simply Red if you listen hard enough.


The album ends with a grimy dance mix of ‘Eleanor Rigby’, which is very different from the rest of the album and is pretty good.


Fancy a copy?  Amazon UK currently has it for just £14 if you are quick.


Tracks To Try: ‘Eleanor Rigby’, ‘Revolution’, ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, ‘Across The Universe’, ‘Girl’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Nowhere Man’.

Comments


bottom of page