Sailor was an English music-hall pop band from London that released five albums on Epic between 1974 and 1978. Rupert Holmes produced their 1975 second album Trouble, which spawned the UK hits “Glass of Champagne” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” After the departure of singer–guitarist Georg Kajanus, a revamped Sailor linked with onetime Chicago producer James William Guercio for the 1980 Caribou release Dressed for Drowning, which contains the operatic rock opus “Danger on the Titanic.”
Before Sailor, Kajanus released a 1968 folk-rock album with the multinational quintet Eclection and cut a 1972 rustic-rock album in partnership with bassist–organist Phil Pickett. Drummer Grant Serpell cut two 1968 singles in the pop-psych band Ice and played on the 1970 self-titled album by jazz-rockers Affinity. Keyboardist Henry Marsh hailed from the 1971 art-pop one-off Gringo.
After the initial fold of Sailor, Kajanus formed the synthpop trio Data and Pickett co-wrote the transatlantic No. 1 “Karma Chameleon” as an auxiliary player for Culture Club. Sailor reconvened with two early nineties albums and continued for years on the cabaret circuit.
Members: Phil Pickett (bass, piano, calliope, xylophone, Hammond organ, mandolin, autoharp, vocals), Henry Marsh (accordion, nickelodeon, guitar, piano, vocals, 1973-99, 2005-present), Grant Serpell (drums, percussion, vocals, 1973-79, 1990-2011), Georg Kajanus (lead vocals, guitar, 1973-79, 1990-95), Virginia David (lead vocals, 1980-81), Gavin David (vocals, 1980-81)
Sailor formed in 1973 when Grant Serpell and Henry March joined the musical team of Georg Kajanus and Phil Pickett, who released the 1972 folk-rock album Hi Ho Silver! on Signpost–MCA.
Sailor released their self-titled debut album in August 1974 on Epic.
Sailor is housed in a gatefold sleeve with group and member pics by photographer Brian D. Hennessey.
“Traffic Jam” “Blue Desert” “Sailor” “Blue Desert”
After Sailor’s UK chart breakthrough, Epic released Sailor in North America with the inner-pic on the front cover and the original side-by-side on the back cover with liner notes by Diane Hyatt.
In 1976, Epic re-issued Sailor in Germany and the Netherlands with a new cover.
Sailor released their second album, Trouble, in November 1975 on Epic.
Rupert Holmes produced Trouble ahead of albums by Sparks (Big Beat) and John Miles (Stranger In the City).
“The Old Nickelodeon Sound” (New Zealand-only release)
The Third Step
Sailor released their third album, The Third Step, in September 1976 on Epic.
Sailor released their fourth album, Checkpoint, in August 1977 on Epic.
“Down by the Docks”
“All I Need Is a Girl”
On March 31, 1979, Sailor released “All I Need Is a Girl,” a standalone Kajanus a-side backed with “Copacabana,” written by the other three members.
Sailor released their fifth album, Hideaway, in September 1978 on Magnet.
Dressed for Drowning
Sailor released their sixth album, Dressed for Drowning, in 1980 on Caribou.
- Sailor (1974)
- Trouble (1975)
- The Third Step (1976)
- Checkpoint (1977)
- Hideaway (1978)
- Dressed for Drowning (1980)
- Sailor (1991)
- Street Lamp (1992)
- Live in Berlin (1998)
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