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Sailor: Greatest Hits

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Album Review

Drawn from the first four of five albums the band cut for Epic during the mid- to late '70s, Greatest Hits is a dynamic selection, highlighted by the two hits Sailor scored during 1975-1976 but in no way dominated by them. Indeed, the signature sound that the group perfected for "Glass of Champagne" and "Girls Girls Girls" is swiftly revealed as just one of several at its disposal. From smoky dockside cabaret ("One Drink Too Many") to nostalgically tear-drenched music hall memories ("Josephine Baker"), Sailor melded catchy melody to vibrant production, then layered heavenly harmonies over all, a trick comparable to either the Beach Boys or 10cc — and at its most memorable, the ecologically prescient "Traffic Jam" (from the group's debut), both at once. Neither was there any slackening of quality as the band aged. The two selections from its fourth album, the dramatically surf-whipped "Romance" and the street-smart "Put Your Mouth Where the Money Is," are as vibrant as any of their predecessors — and that despite the band's fame and acclaim being firmly in the past by that time. Indeed, the very release of Greatest Hits appeared to place a full stop at the end of Sailor's U.K. career, although the group itself would remain a force elsewhere in Europe until well into the 1980s. There has never been a straight CD release of Greatest Hits. However, 1990's Girls Girls Girls: The Very Best of Sailor serves up 13 of the original collection's 14 tracks, then adds three more. [Sony's 1996 reissue featured seven bonus tracks.]


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '90s, '00s

Unlike in the States, music hall had a much longer life span in the U.K., kept alive at summer season seaside shows, its influence percolating out as far as punk -- think Ian Dury & the Blockheads, and even into Two Tone via Madness. Sailor represented the best of this tradition, from their sailor caps to their bell bottom trousers, their port of call stage set, and their sing-along songs. Their eponymous debut album disembarked in 1974, with their "Glass of Champagne" single rocketing to number...
Full bio
Sailor: Greatest Hits, Sailor
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  • £7.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop, Britpop
  • Released: 1978

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