Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"More Than I Can Say" by Leo Sayer

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  0349
Date:  09/27/1980
Debut:  82
Peak:  2
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Sometimes it takes a while for a song to be a hit. If the right artist, arrangement, and timing all finally come together, the tune can finally find a wide audience. This was the case with "More Than I Can Say." Originally written by two of Buddy Holly's bandmates in The Crickets, that group recorded the song soon after Holly's death in 1959. Their single flopped in the US, but did reach #42 in the UK. A couple of years later, singer Bobby Vee put his spin on the tune and got a minor chart entry when his version hit #61. Almost twenty years later, UK singer/songwriter Sayer update the song and it was the first single released from his "Living In a Fantasy" album. Sayer previously had two #1 songs in the mid-70s with "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" and "When I Need You," but he missed a third #1 when this song stayed at #2 for five weeks. It would be Sayer's last Top 10 hit.

ReduxReview:  Even though I'm not a real fan of the song, Sayer does a nice job updating this tune. It sounds fresh for the time period and if you didn't know it was a remake, you would probably never guess that it was originally a late-50s song. This is a case where the update is arguably better than the original.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  When putting material together for his album, Sayer was looking for an oldie to cover. He was watching TV when an ad came on that was selling a Bobby Vee hits compilation. A snippet of Vee's version of this song played and Sayer knew right away it was the song he wanted to record.


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