Baking a Catastrophe

My friend Andy asked me to put together some new music for our web series “Barry and the Setbacks”.

I’m not sure if he’ll want to use this or not, but it was fun making it.

As always, enjoy!  Or don’t!

 

Syngables

Ouch.  That title.  “Syngables”?  Is that really necessary? Yes, I am afraid it is.

This happens to me.  Okay.  I’ll hear a phrase that matches a certain syllable pattern, and I’ll immediately lapse into a song phrase that matches the pattern.  This probably happens more times than I can remember, but the one I lapse into more than anything else is the chorus of “Girlfriend in a Coma”.

For my “Girlfriend In  A Coma” trigger to be flipped, the words will usually have to be a standalone phrase.  If you’re talking to me and you unwittingly utter a two-syllable word, followed two one-syllable words and another two-syllable word, I *probably* won’t start singing.

Anyways, once triggered, I’ll immediately start singing “Girlfriend in a Coma” but with the different words.  I’m sure this is endearing.

The other day, I unexpectedly had another “Syngable” moment .  I saw  a sign for a “Multi-Family Yard Sale” and without warning, a synapse fired and I sang the words to the tune of  “Sacrificial Bonfire”.  (I’m talking about the part where they say “Sacrificial bonfire [Multi-family yard sale]!  Must burn…” )

I later realized that to make this phrase fit, the word “family” had to be sung as two syllables, not three.  Whoa, is that how I say “family”?  Aw, hell.  I think I do.

Well, if it fits the chorus to an XTC song from the 1980’s, I guess it’s worth it.

LoveSong: SamuraiFrog and Rainy Days and Mondays

Hi, it’s another entry in the LoveSong book.

 

The lover:

SamuraiFrog is one of my favorite bloggers.  He writes all sorts of things (pop culture, political, personal, etc.), and his empathy and intelligence shine through in everything he does. Among other neat things he’s done, he’s the guy behind the very funny Godzilla Haiku.

 

The loved: The Carpenters, “Rainy Days and Mondays” (1971)


 

SAMURAI FROG:

So I decided that my song is “Rainy Days and Mondays” by The Carpenters.

When I was a kid, my mom had a Carpenters record, a hits collection, and even then I remember thinking that it was pretty bland. Which is weird, considering most of her music sounded like that, and most of it–Cat Stevens, Roger Whittaker–I’ve loved since then. It was just something about the clean vocals and the pretty music that sounded… plain.. Boring. As I grew up, I became aware that except for the tragedy of Karen Carpenter’s death, people generally seemed to think of their music as a joke. I dismissed it as more of “mom’s music” and just sort of moved on.

But then, as a teenager, I got really into Paul Williams.

I love and adore Paul Williams. I feel like growing up with The Muppet Movie I had no other choice. In those formative years–The Muppet Movie came out when I was 3–an appreciation for Paul Williams and his music was written into my DNA. Few songwriters make me feel like Paul Williams does. And when I started openly listening to him at work or at school, inevitably someone would hear “Rainy Days and Mondays” and ask “Are you listening to Carpenters demos or something?” I had actually forgotten the Carpenters performed that song, as well as a few others. The only Carpenters song I even remembered by the time I was 18 was “Close to You,” which just seemed like the epitome of square music. (Says the guy who was still joyously listening to Roger Whittaker’s “Folk Songs of Our Time” album, and still would be if the goddamn thing was on CD.) Listening to the Carpenters just seemed so… cheesy.

But I took that record back out one afternoon and queued it up to “Rainy Days and Mondays” and instead of something plain and square, I heard one of the prettiest songs ever recorded.

That sad, Toots Thielmans-esque harmonica and Karen Carpenter’s voice right in the opening cut straight through the BS and right into my system. If you haven’t heard it in a long time, just sit and listen for a few minutes to Karen Carpenter’s voice. Something I notice about her voice now: it’s incredible. Usually the production of a song enhances its emotional content, but in Karen’s case, it feels like her voice enhances the emotional content of the production. There’s someone who has isolated a lot of her vocal tracks on YouTube, and you can hear how about 75% of the emotions in Carpenters songs is really right there in Karen’s voice. It’s powerful and on occasion (as in this song) moving. Right here, I’m going to make a comparison that seems maybe out of left field, but Karen Carpenter reminds me of Frank Sinatra. They’re both two of the few singers who can make anything sound sincere. They find the core feeling of a song and bring it out of the song with just their voices. Everything going on around their voices almost doesn’t matter.

Listen to the slight break in her voice the first time she sings “I always wind up here with you.” You can almost hear a self-deprecating grin and some kind of sly, flirty quality. Nothing against Paul Williams (I like his voice, too), but she’s really the perfect singer for this song, because she’s able to bring out the emotions already there and not really linger on them or squeeze them for all they’re worth. It’s not overdone at all. And what Karen Carpenter is able to do with this song is to make it sound like “Rainy Days and Mondays” don’t really get her down at all. Of course they don’t: she gets to wind up here with you, and god damn it, it’s nice to know somebody loves her. It’s the rare song that sounds like it’s going to be depressing but actually makes you feel good. And for a guy with diagnosed Mood Disorder, that’s kind of a big deal.

And this song helped make me not at all concerned that I liked square music. Because square music is really just emotions being conveyed in a way that’s not “cool.” And I’m perfectly okay with that.

*******************

LoveSong – Tim Russell and Hot Girls In Love

Hi, and welcome to another installment of LoveSong, where someone loves a song that many people don’t, and that’s okay!

The lover:

Tim Russell is a writer, DJ, and musician living in Springfield, IL.  He is the co-host of the weekly radio program The Alleged Show, broadcast every Wednesday afternoon on WQNA.  He is the author of two books, The Tea Leaves The Pianist and The Metaphysics of Stupidity, both available for purchase on Amazon.

 

The loved: Loverboy, “Hot Girls In Love” (1983)


 

TIM RUSSELL:

Probably when most people think of the Canadian rock group Loverboy (that is, if they do), they recall the band’s 1981 hit song “Working for the Weekend”. It was used in an episode of 30 Rock and in the movie Zoolander, and it’s a staple of classic rock radio now. Back in the 80s, though, at the height of their popularity Loverboy had a few other successes on the charts both North and South of the border–“Turn Me Loose”, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, “When It’s Over”, and from their 1985 4x platinum album Keep It Up, “Hot Girls in Love”. For reasons I will try to explain here it’s the latter song that comes to my mind when I think of the band, which (admittedly) isn’t often.

For one thing, I happen to love “Hot Girls in Love”. I like a few of their other hits, too (“Working for the Weekend” and “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, in particular), but it’s “Hot Girls in Love” that stands out for me as an example of everything that was good and enjoyable about the group’s sound.

Musically speaking, for me the song simply rocks. The flanger on the drum roll at the beginning. The 80s-style, hard-hitting quarter notes on the hi-hat and ride cymbal. The organ during the second verse. The vocals that are over the top. The hand claps. The echoes on the vocals during the bridge. And, what a guitar lead! It all makes me very happy. It makes me laugh, and not entirely in an ironic way. Yes, to me it’s also at once very cheesy sounding, especially by the standards I have today that involve appreciating bands like Radiohead and The Flaming Lips. But, I don’t on the rare occasion play a Loverboy song on my radio show or at home for the deep qualities of its lyrics or the complexity or variety in its sound. My enjoyment of the band’s music is a thoroughly silly love, rather. It’s similar to the way we love joking around. It’s light-hearted and fun, and that can be a very good thing.

Lyrically, of course, “Hot Girls in Love” leaves a lot to be desired if one is looking for anything profound or poetic. Moreover, there is the question (in my mind) of the missing apostrophe in the title, where “girls” should probably be “girl’s”. Let’s read the first verse and a chorus, and you’ll see what I mean:

She’s so young at heart
She likes the pleasure of his company
She cuts the inside groove
With her silver spoon

She likes her tapes on 10

And it’s the same as her anatomy

She’s on a rainbow cruise
All the way to my room
She’s turnin’ on the heat

She’s got the magic touch

She’s turnin’ on the heat

And it’s a little too much

She’s turnin’ on the heat
And it’s a hundred above, yeah
Hot girls in love

I’m in love

It goes on like that. Forgetting for a moment (and even maybe at once enjoying the heck out of) the nuttiness of these lyrics, notice that the 3rd person singular (“she” and “her”) perspective on the woman-as-subject changes suddenly in the final moment to 3rd person plural (“girls”). Who, then, are these girls, and where the heck did they come from in the song? Shouldn’t the title and refrain read “girl’s”, abbreviating “girl is”? Obviously, it would make a lot more sense of the lyrics. Regardless, I suspect that it was either the band’s guitarist Paul Dean and/or the song’s producer Bruce Fairbairn (both of whom are the attributed writers) who decided in the final moment, either intentionally or subconsciously, to omit the apostrophe and make it “girls”–plural–so as to make the title hotter and vaguely lesbian. Hence, grammatically speaking, the song has that going for it, too.

So, what’s not to love? Hot girl’s/girls are in it, after all!

SPLOTCHY:

“Hot Girls In Love” is a song I never really knew the lyrics to (I knew the “it’s a hundred above line”, though), and it’s neat and/or weird seeing them printed.

This line struck me in particular:
She likes her tapes on 10

I’m wondering, what does the fact that she has/likes tapes mean about her? I did a little research and saw the album Keep It Up (of which “Hot Girls In Love” was the lead track) was released on November 8, 1983. According to Wikipedia, on March 2, 1983, compact discs and compact disc players were released in North America.

So, she COULD have liked compact discs. But would that be off-putting? The song itself might have even been written prior to the release of the compact disc, of course. However, if CDs had been released and Loverboy was fully aware of them at the time of the composition of this song, I’m thinking they still could have consciously used tapes instead. Perhaps because she likes tapes means she’s not some fuddy-duddy vinyl record lover, but she’s not some geeky audiophile, either. Thoughts?

And it’s the same as her anatomy could be one of the clunkiest lines in rock and roll lyrical history, I think. She’s on a rainbow cruise is refreshingly full of whimsy for such a cock-rock kind of song.

Are these all the lyrics? I am wondering if there are multiple verses that are talking about a different girl per verse, which might explain the whole confusing pluralized “girls”.

TIM RUSSELL:

I don’t think the writing team of Dean/Fairbairn thought very much about the lyrics they were composing. Hence, “tapes on 10”. Rainbow cruise, and the anatomy line are hilarious and so much fun. I love them!

I just included the first verse and chorus in my analysis. There are more verses and choruses (and a bridge), of course. And no, I think there is only one “girl” talked about in the song. He’s in love with her, and she’s in love. Etc.

I do believe that the pluralization to “girls” was either an oversight or intentional to make the song more marketable. Or both!

**************************

Many thanks to Tim for sharing his outpouring of love for Loverboy!

bachBust! bachBust! bachBust! bachBussssssssssst!

Tim is visiting me this weekend. Earlier this afternoon, we both had guitars and poor senses of judgment.

We recorded this half-assed song in one take.  We wrote it while we recorded it!  Lightning in a bottle!

We spent more time arguing about what our stupid new bandname was going to be.  He got me a bust of Johann Sebastian Bach some years ago for a present, so of course we are now known as bachBust (PLEASE NOTE THE IRREGULAR CAPITALIZATION).

Bust of Bach

bachBust!

We’re gonna buy a tablet computer
We’re gonna buy stereo equipment
We’re gonna buy nuclear weapons
[assorted hooting ‘n hollering]

 

Enjoy!  Or don’t! Probably don’t!

The Oak Ridge Boys Low Voice Quiz

Alright, Smartypantses!

Which one of the following Oak Ridge Boys has the incredibly-low “Oom-bapa oom-bapa oom-bapa maow maow” voice?  Make  your choice, then find out if you are correct in the video below.

The Oak Ridge Boys

The Oak Ridge Boys

 

 

GOOD LUCK.

LoveSong – Eli Braden and The Crunge

So, there’s a relatively new feature at The AV Club called HateSong, where people (often musicians, but not always) pick one song to soak in their dripping bile and contempt.  The songs range from classic Christmas tunes to recent-ish hits, from hard rock to sacred cows.  Many of these hate songs are usually beloved by at least some segment of the population.

I like the feature just fine.  Some people give long, entertaining arguments, while others are just boringly pissy for a few paragraphs about a piece of music they don’t like.

The overall tone of the feature is (surprise, surprise) negative.

I thought it might be nice to invert the feature, and ask people to talk about a song they love that might not be popular with a lot of folks — take the hate for a song, and replace it with love, I suppose.

And so, we come to the first installment of LoveSong!

 

The lover: 

Eli Braden is a writer, musician, and comedian living in Los Angeles, California.  He is a frequent contributor to The Howard Stern Show. He has written for Jimmy Kimmel Live, Upload With Shaquille O’Neal, and Fashion Police With Joan Rivers. He frequently posts jokes to Twitter at @elibraden.  His most recent album, Elevator in the Brain Hotel, is available on iTunes.

 

The loved: Led Zeppelin, “The Crunge” (1973)


 

ELI BRADEN:

I was never a Led Zeppelin fan growing up. I was caught up in the new wave and post-new wave world of The Smiths, The Cure and Depeche Mode, and “classic rock” of any kind (other than my always-beloved Beatles) was useless dinosaur dung in my book.

That of course changed in my late teens, when I started smoking pot.

I don’t remember how or why I acquired it, but ‘Houses of the Holy’ was the first Zep album I got into – and to this day I maintain it’s their best (other than the execrable ‘D’yer Mak’er’, which despite an exceptionally clever title is my least favorite song in LZ’s catalog).

‘The Crunge’ is the oddest song on an already odd album, and it actually stands out as possibly the oddest song in Led Zeppelin’s entire oeuvre. It is, essentially, The World’s Greatest Rock Band at the height of their powers taking a psychedelic stab at writing a James Brown funk jam (and if THAT description doesn’t make you want to listen, I don’t know what will!). And – on top of it all – IT ROCKS – incomprehensible time-signature changes and all!

What else? Um, how about big, beef-n-cheesy 1970s synthesizer lead lines (totally incongruous!) courtesy of Mr. John Paul Jones?  And beneath that, John Bonham and Jimmy Page sounding like they’re playing 2 completely different songs … HOW DOES IT WORK? I dunno, but I guess somehow it does!

Best of all is the ending. Echoing James Brown’s tradition of calling out mid-song when the band should go to the bridge section, Robert Plant attempts a similar trick. However, the bridge never comes, despite Plant’s pleas. Suddenly, the band seemingly falls apart, and the last thing we hear is someone (presumably a recording engineer) saying sternly “WHERE IS THAT CONFOUNDED BRIDGE??” I friggin’ love it.

SPLOTCHY:

I was checking out the Wikipedia page for this song, and it would appear that John Paul Jones is quite fond of “The Crunge” while he strongly dislikes “D’yer Mak’er”, so you are in full alignment with Mr. Jones!   I brought up this song for you because I myself have always kind of had a problem with the song, and not necessarily because it’s universally disparaged.  (I’m a little embarrassed to say I always liked “D’yer Mak’er”, though I could see why one could hate it). But, I’m curious — did you have buddies who would disparage “The Crunge” — someone listening to HotH with you who said, “turn that crap off!”?  What’s been your experience with fellow Zeppelin fans?  Are most you have met for/against/neutral regarding it?

ELI BRADEN:

In my experience, most people kind of look at ‘The Crunge’ as, at best, a time-wasting joke, or, at worst, a blemish in Led Zep’s catalog.  For years I LOVED the song and thought it was awesome and funky and cool and had no idea most fans had some kind of negative association with the track!

**************************

Many thanks to Eli for offering his love for a somewhat-unloved Zeppelin song!

What Song Is It You Want Me To Analyze?

FREE BIRD

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now,
‘Cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see.
But, if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldn’t be the same.
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
And this bird you can not change.
Oh… oh… oh… oh… oh…
And the bird you cannot change.
And this bird you cannot change.
Lord knows I can’t change.

Bye, bye, baby it’s been a sweet love.
Yea, yea
Though this feeling I can’t change.
But please don’t take it so badly,
‘Cause the lord knows I’m to blame.
But, if I stayed here with you girl,
Things just couldn’t be the same.
Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
And this bird you can not change.
Oh… oh… oh… oh… oh…
And this bird you cannot change.
And this bird you cannot change.
Lord knows, I can’t change.
Lord help me, I can’t change.
Lord I can’t change,
Won’t you fly high free bird yea.

I’m going to start off saying I misheard these lyrics up until today.  Well, it’s a little odder than that. Sometimes I’ll hear lyrics a certain way, and even when confronted with the actual lyrics, I’ll still use my lyrics.  Time will pass and I will eventually forget they are my lyrics, and think they are the actual song lyrics again.  I think that is the case with “Free Bird”.

I always thought a line in the song was “And this bird you cannot chain“.  This post actually arose from my misunderstanding.  I thought to myself, why not “cage”?  I mean, you don’t chain a bird.  Maybe you can chain Prometheus to a rock and have an eagle eat his liver, but you don’t chain down the eagle.

Okay, so it’s not chain.  But can you really change a bird?  How would you change a bird?  That makes less sense than chaining a bird.

Before the events of this song, the protagonist was settled, at least in some manner, into a relationship with the girl he is addressing.  But he has to go!  He realizes there’s lots of places he wants to see!  Did he understand this was a desire within himself from the beginning?  If so, he should not have started to get into a relationship serious enough that it needs to be addressed in a song.

There’s another possibility, of course.  Perhaps he was content in this relationship, and then realized something about himself he was previously unaware of.  What was once okay for him was no longer okay.  He thought he knew what he wanted in life, but his frame of reference shifted to reveal something deeper and more fulfilling to him.  In other words, he CHANGED.  The free bird who cannot be changed had changed.

So, either the narrator is a duplicitous creep who hoodwinked a perfectly-nice girl into a relationship he had no intention of honoring, or he’s a stupid liar that changed his outlook on life while at the same time insisting that he can’t be “changed”.

Is there a subtext I’m missing?  Is the protagonist saying he can’t be changed by external forces, that change only arises from within?  That’s possible, but I don’t know that he has that level of introspection.

Look at the first two lines of the song, for example.  That’s something a self-involved teenager would say.  He’s the one doing the leaving, hurting his girl in the process, and the first thing that pops into his head to say is that hey, after I ditch you, you won’t forget about me, right?  What a DICK.

Why has this song made such a mark on our culture?  Is it the two-guitar solo at the end?  Is it the idea of America being a frontier, of a place of freedom to be/do what you want, that any song or product with the word “free” has virulent appeal?

I don’t know.

I hope that girl found someone nicer, though.

You Might Think That New Order Never Uses Song Titles In Their Lyrics, But You Would Be Wrong

I have a hard time remembering which New Order song is which.  Which is the one that goes “I used to think the day would never come / Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah the morning sun”?

How does “Bizarre Love Triangle” go?

Hmmm. Well, I know how that song “Situation” goes.  Oh wait, that’s by Yaz.  Yaz, you are very considerate in your  song-naming conventions!

So, you see what I mean?  Many of New Order’s songs have titles that are never mentioned in the song itself.

I was so sure they never used song titles in their lyrics (having heard AT LEAST 20 of their songs, how could I be wrong?!!), I challenged people on Twitter.

Shortly after my challenge, several people told me about some New Order songs with titles in the lyrics.  Here are a few of them.

 

State Of The Nation (1986) suggested by @noiseAnnoys83

Title mentioned at 1m24s.

“I saw his face and shook my head
Can you see where we can’t be
We’re losing our blood in the sea
‘Cause it’s the state of the nation  <———-
That’s holding our salvation”

 

Touched By The Hand Of God (1987) – suggested by @Wearentnormal

Title mentioned at 2m06s.

“And now I’m down here all alone with every feeling that I own you can’t take that away
And with every breath we take and the illusions we create will come to you someday

Will come to you someday
And I was touched by the hand of god <——–
Never knew it but I killed someone”

 

World In Motion (1990) suggested by @AnthonyDuffy

Title mentioned at 1m.

“Express yourself
You can’t be wrong
When something’s good
It’s never gone
Love’s got the world in motion  <———
And I know what we can do”

 

Regret (1993) – suggested by @Wearentnormal

Title mentioned at 0m54s.

“Maybe I’ve forgotten the name and the address
Of everyone I’ve ever known
It’s nothing I regret <———–
Save it for another day
It’s the school exam and the kids have run away”

 

Crystal (2001)  – suggested by @ChicoFC

Title mentioned at 0m57s.

“We’re like crystal <——- !!!
We break easy
I’m a poor man, if you leave me
I’m applauded, then forgotten
It was summer, now it’s autumn”

 

Here To Stay (2002)   – suggested by @ChicoFC

Title mentioned at 2m55s.

“Like a bright light on the horizon
Shining so bright, He’ll get you flying
He’ll get you flying, He’ll get you flying
He’ll get you flying, flying, flying

We’re here to stay <———
We’re here to stay
We’re here to stay”

 

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list.  I just finished going through four paper boxes of baseball and football cards tonight.  I am not the guy to come up with a comprehensive list.  I am the guy who is going to have pizza in about 20 minutes and watch some Battlestar Galactica.

By the way, @Wearentnormal says that “basically everything from Waiting for the Sirens Call” has the song title mentioned in lyrics.

Good Hunting!

You Make Me Feel Like Analyzing Dancing

I don’t know why, but I am fascinated by the dancing of Leo Sayer.  First of all, I have loved the song “You Make Feel Like Dancing” for a lonnnng time.  Some might not like it, and that’s fine.  Hell, I’m a little tired of it at this point after viewing all the videos below.

I watched a couple videos, and was struck by the actual awkward-yet-exuberant dancing of Leo Sayer.  It was jerky, odd, sweet, all of those.  Anyways, that’s the reason behind this post.

 

Countdown, an Australian music show (1976)

This video starts out with an impressive giant “LEO” backdrop.  But then Leo does this silly pantomime of bewilderedly hearing his backup singers.  It deflates the grandeur of the moment.  And besides, it’s not your backup singers, Leo!  It’s a tape you are lip-synching to!

He starts with a little strut down a lit walkway, which is kind of nice. Then he does more pantomime.  He checks his watch when he sings “quarter to 4 in the morning”.  He’s checking his watch!  He hugs himself when he says “hold me tight”.  Pantomiming, the most ancient form of dance.

He’s pretty full into the dancing. He commits to it.  You’ll find that in most of the videos, around the 2 minute mark, there’s just backup singers singing, and Leo doesn’t have anything to do BUT dance.  This is when he usually pulls out the stops.

 

The Midnight Special (1976)

Introduced by none other than Lou Rawls!  Mr. Rawls seems somewhat confused by the identity of the artist, giving the very awkward lead-in, “the one and only Leo… Sayer?”

But the music kicks in!  And this time it’s live, with a large backup band!  And there is a white vest involved!

Sayer is a little more reserved here during the first half, rooted to a single spot, mostly because it appears that space is limited on the stage.  He does a less demonstrative checking of his watch, but his holding himself tight is a little stronger than the previous video.

Around 2 minutes in, things kick into high gear.  He grabs the mic and shows it who’s boss.  Leo Sayer is who the boss is!  However, the dance break shortly thereafter is somewhat subdued.

The song ends with Sayer doing a mimed freeze-frame which is worth checking out.  Well, I checked it out, at least. You have something better to do?

 

The Captain & Tennille Show

Captain & Tennille present “one of the really great musical artists of our time”.

This is a lip-synched rendition.

There are backup dancers in this, on pedestals uneven with Mr. Sayer.  It’s difficult to tell, but it appears Leo Sayer is rather short, and the backup singers are rather tall. My feeling is that the pedestals were included to maybe obscure this fact?  Well, either way it makes the whole thing a little more visually interesting.

The focus is predominantly on the dancers, and as a result, Leo seems to be not working as hard. Except for a seemingly improvised pop-up he briefly does on one of the dancer’s pedestals, he’s pretty sedate.

 

TopPop (1976)

Leo seems a little unsure of himself here.  He seems to be thinking, “What the hell am I doing here?”  Maybe it’s due to all those menacing phallic props pointing at him.

He’s dressed quite conservatively, in a white button-up shirt and a navy blue blazer.  Perhaps this is another reason why he seems a little subdued.

He does do some pantomime — he “snaps” his fingers when he sings “snap your fingers”.  He checks his watch again at 3:45am.  He holds himself tight.  Also, he does this weird finger flutter when he is “shaking on a string, you know”.  I have no idea what the hell that’s supposed to mean.

He starts loosening up around 2 minutes, doing this kind of monkey-like, goofy drumming with his microphone. It’s inspired, in a way.

 

Top of the Pops (1976)

Okay, you think he’s going to be still for this one.  It’s a medium close-up of him singing straight into the camera, magnificent hair backlit, accompanied by two more Leos Sayer (that’s the proper pluralization, I believe) singing to each other in profile.

But HOLD ON.  1m20s in things start getting dance-funky.  There WILL be dancing.

He skips checking his watch, but holds himself tight.  It’s so odd, looking at all these videos.  He’s got dance tools in his toolbox, but one never knows if a tool will be utilized.

 

Supersonic (1977)

THIS ONE HAS BALLOONS!

They are dropped shortly after the song begins.  Hey, who doesn’t love balloons?  An asshole, that’s who.

He seems to be enjoying himself.  He’s lip-synching, but so what. There’s a live audience, which he seems to bring some genuine happiness into his dancing.

And did I mention there are balloons?!

 

Music Video

Ouch.  Sleeveless white t-shirt!  That piece of fashion looked good on Freddie Mercury and no one else.

Now dig this… He doesn’t do the pantomime to checking his watch, but right after delivering that line, he appears to be CHEWING GUM.  Is this pantomime chewing gum, or real chewing gum?  I hope it’s not real.

The video stays pretty tight on him, so he doesn’t really get too crazy or animated in his dancing here.

 

Musica de los 70s (2004)

This is a live version, and Leo Sayer is much older.  He’s not spry as his 70’s self, but he looks great and seems to be enjoying himself.

He does some pantomime that I haven’t seen before. When he says “you’ve got a cute way of talking” he talks with his hand.  Shortly after, he pretends to have a dog on a leash.

Oh!  He does a different finger thing for the “shaking on a string” line!  He does a circular motion with his index finger.  You know, if you were to insensitively gesticulate that someone was crazy in the head.  But he’s not doing it to indicate someone his crazy — he’s winding or unwinding some form of string.  I think.