In the 1970s
The group's leader, Georg Kajanus, had previously written "Flying Machine" for Cliff Richard in 1971, although it was Richard's first British single that failed to reach the Top 30. Sailor was formed out of the earlier incarnation of singer-songwriter duo, 'Kajanus Pickett', after Phil Pickett and Kajanus met in 1970 at E H Morris, a music publisher where Pickett briefly worked. They later recorded the album Hi Ho Silver
for Signpost Records. Sailor first came together in 1973 with the addition of musicians Henry Marsh (ex-Gringo) and Grant Serpell (ex-Affinity).The groups' work included Kajanus' invention, the Nickelodeon, made of pianos, synthesisers, and glockenspiels that allowed the four piece band to reproduce on stage the acoustic arrangements that they had done in the recording studio.The group's first UK single was "Traffic Jam" from their first album, Sailor
. "Glass of Champagne", issued late the following year from the Trouble
album, reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart. The follow-up, "Girls Girls Girls", also made the Top 10, but of their subsequent singles, only "One Drink Too Many" registered in the UK Top 40.Sailor's original line-up split up in 1978, although Pickett and Marsh released more material as Sailor with Gavin and Virginia David in 1980, with an album of Pickett compositions called Dressed for Drowning
, produced by James William Guercio at his Caribou studio in Colorado (Epic/Caribou).
In 1989, Sailor reformed to release a new album after a ten year silence with two new singles, "The Secretary" and "La Cumbia". The band started touring again in 1993, and performed on many television programmes in Europe. In 1995, Kajanus departed the band again to pursue other projects.The arrival of Peter Lincoln saw Sailor issue their first live album, Live In Berlin
. Original member Marsh left in 1999, and was replaced by Anthony England. In May 2001, England left the band to be replaced by Rob Alderton, and the new line-up recorded their first DVD in November 2002. In 2004, Sailor were voted the 45th most successful pop band of the last 40 years in Germany. A biography of Sailor by James McCarraher entitled A Glass Of Champagne - The Official Sailor Story
was published in June 2004. In July 2005, Alderton left, and Marsh returned to the line-up.In February 2006 Buried Treasure
was released, a double album of previously recorded material. By September, Lincoln left Sailor to join Sweet. Afterwards, Marsh's classically trained son, Oliver, joined the band as their new guitarist and lead singer. He was replaced in 2009 by Nick Parvin but re-joined in May 2011 along with his brother Thomas who joined as drummer, replacing Grant.