Remembering Leo Sayer’s huge 1977 hit 0



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It may have been almost 40 years ago now but the lyrics and tune of “When I Need You” still stick in our head today. Perhaps one of Leo Sayer’s most recognisable hits, the song soared to the top of the charts today in 1977.

Although the song was originally performed by Albert Hammond for his album “When I Need You” in 1976, Leo Sayer’s version was a massive hit. It was a number one around the world for over three weeks.

Interestingly, the melody of the chorus of “When I Need You” is identical to the part of the Leonard Cohen song “Famous Blue Raincoat“. You can also hear this melody in Elton John’s “Little Jeannie” in the lyrics: “Stepped into my life from a bad dream / Making the life that I had seem / Suddenly shiny and new”.

In 1996, Rod Stewart recorded a cover, and two years later, so did Celine Dion. 

Do you remember these lyrics?

When I need love
I hold out my hands and I touch love
I never knew there was so much love
Keeping me warm night and day

When I need you
I just close my eyes
And you’re right here by my side
Keeping me warm night and day
I just hold out my hands
I just hold out my hand
And I’m with you darlin’
Yes, I’m with you darlin’
All I wanna give you
It’s only a heartbeat away

Tell us, what is your memory of this song?


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