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Saga - Worlds Apart Revisited CD (album) cover

WORLDS APART REVISITED

Saga

Crossover Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In the second half of The Seventies the owner of my favorite record-shop used to play Saga LP's, almost every day! In the beginning I was not impressed by their sound because I missed the genuine Classic Prog approach like ELP, Genesis and Yes. To me Saga has always sounded as a Progressive Pop band with captivating progressive ideas. But gradually I started to appreciate the pleasant and melodic compositions, the great interplay between the fiery guitar and lush keyboards (2-3 keyboard players) and the strong and distinctive vocals. I still love the live album In Transit so when I discovered this 2-DVD recently, I decided to buy it at once.

DVD-1 contains a complete Swiss gig in 2005, the sound and lightshow are wonderful, the band plays inspired and tight and the crowd is very enthousiastic, what an exciting musical experience to witness the awesome performance by these 'music veterans'! You can enjoy great renditions form the 'classic tracks' like Give 'Em The Money (fantastic break with a strong guitar-keyboard duel), Ice Nice (captivating atmosphere with sensational duo-synthesizer play and duel), the stage favorite Humble Stance (exciting accellaration and soli on guitar and keyboards) and amazing interplay between guitar and keyboards (3!) in Don't Be Late, How Long and Careful Where You Step. Thers's a splendid appearance from the singer/bass player who also play kebyoards (his Minimoog work is great), he acts like the archetypical frontman, what an energetic and enthousiastic man! Conclusion about this 'reunion concert': awesome, at least equal to their best work during the Worlds Apart album!

DVD-2 opens with Worlds Apart Road Stories (more than 15 minutes) with the usual stories when bands are touring: blond women, beer, parties and fun about technical failures! Then the interesting Live In England 1981 (25 minutes) gig featuring the songs What's It Gonna Be (wonderful Minimoog-guitar duel and a sensitive guitar solo), Humble Stance (strong interplay between guitar and keyboards and exciting soli on guitar and synthesizers), Don't Be Late (fine dual vocals and great work on the Fender Stratocaster guitar with tremolo- arm), The Interview (biting guitar solo but a bit polished song) and Careful Where You Step (vocals with the 'vocoder', wonderful work by three keyboardists and again great interplay between guitar and keyboards, one of the 'Saga trademarks'). It's also nice to watch those vintage keyboards like the Fender Rhodes piano, the Yamaha CS synthesizer and the Minimoog, unsurpassed sounds! Next an interesting docu about the 1982/83 era with stories about the songwriting, lyrics, inspiration, electronic drums, the foundation and the breakthrough, followed by live footage of complete songs: Wind Him Up, On The Loose (beautiful lightshow), Pitchman (a very active singer and a raw guitar solo) and Catwalk. This DVD ends with a photo-gallery.

Although Saga sounds a bit as 'Light' in comparison with the Classic Prog, I can only say: "THIS IS A MUSICAL DOCUMENT, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!".

Report this review (#125586)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have to admit that when I heard that Saga was releasing a CD/DVD collection which had Worlds Apart performed in it's entirety that I was pretty excited. I recall being swept up with MTV's rotation of "On The Loose" back in the early 80's and buying the album almost immediately. It stands as one of the best albums to come from that decade for me.

The first DVD is the entire show from Switzerland in 2005 and the band is just spot on kicking off the show with "The Pitchman" from Heads Or Tales. Ian Crichton especially impresses with his 'no-nonsense' approach to just brutalizing the guitar. Still, it's hard to take your eyes off the captivating Michael Sadler with his grand gestures and soaring vocals (It still amazes me that after 30+ years he still hasn't lost anything off of that voice.) Sadler is one of the reasons why I became a Saga fan in the 80's, and why I'm still a Saga fan.

I won't go into a song by song account, but suffice it to say that the band doesn't disappoint in regards to the musicianship. Worlds Apart especially translates well live and is a definite highlight. Even drummer Brian Doerner performs the album flawlessly, if not better than Negus (Never a huge Negus fan). "On The Loose" is as powerful today as it was 25 years ago. That opening is unmistakeable. Additionally, one of my favorite Saga songs is "The Interview", so it's especially great to see this live.

It is due to disc 1, however, that prohibits me from giving it a 5 star rating. As much as I enjoy it, I would've liked to hear other songs besides the usuals ("Humble Stance" to name just a few). To be honest, I like to have heard more from Trust and Network.

The second DVD is interesting, to say the least. Especially Ian Crichton and Jim Gilmour talking about the recording of Worlds Apart in England. As always, however, it's the live footage that gets me. Seeing Sadler back in his prime and how he commanded the stage is not unlike Freddie Mercury; however, I want it known that NOBODY commands the stage like Freddie. Still a dynamic performer, but back in the day Sadler was a bit more wirey and mobile.

I wish that I could've given this 5 stars, but I like to have had songs "The Flyer" or "Don't Make A Sound" included; but, with Saga I'll take what I can get and be happy. 4.5/5!

Report this review (#126661)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink

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