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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 37, No. 10. May 22, 1974

Silverbird: Leo Sayer (Chrysalis)

Silverbird: Leo Sayer (Chrysalis).

On the unspoken supposition that rampant paranoia stalks more in the sane ego than lunatic asylums (though the word most decent folk use is 'sensitive'), Leo Sayer is the most embarrassing saleable commodity to hit psychiatry since encounter groups.

Blushers don't shy when there's tact in the air and paranoids can rest easy in the company of mutes. But try Leo — who never heard of subtlety or delicacy — in a sensitivity session and the flimsy concept of saneness collapses.

Probably you've already heard "Silverbird" 's most scaredy-cat track, "The Show Must Go On", with that distressing falsetto verse and final guffaw into sick bliss. Already covered by Three Dog Night (and a nifty version at that), it's one of those nervous sociological abstractions: like Sidney Socialism working in Dollar City and all strung out and bushed because of it, there's Sayer in the circus screaming "I won't let the show go on" with his cohorts screeching show-business' compulsory maxim, "oh, but the show Must go on", in the wings.

If you're interested, you'll also find an alarming number called "Oh, Wot A Life" where Sayer bellows just that half-a-dozen times and finishes with two lines, repeated twice: "The next number we do is called Paranoia/it's the story of my life".

"Silverbird" might be 1974's Best LP from A Newcomer and the strangest thing about the whole deal is that brilliance doesn't come into it. Leo Sayer is simply new and fresh amid a bunch of googies. And if all this musical persecution and cris de coeur spells Put-On, it's maybe the finest ride I've been taken for."

Purchase now for guaranteed anguish.