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FULL CIRCLE

Saga

Crossover Prog


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Saga Full Circle album cover
3.46 | 81 ratings | 10 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Remember When (Chapter 9) (5:20)
2. The One (4:21)
3. Follow Me (5:07)
4. Uncle Albert's Eyes (Chapter 13) (5:22)
5. Home (5:06)
6. Don't Say Goodbye (5:33)
7. Time Bomb (4:05)
8. Not This Way (Chapter 10) (5:04)
9. Night To Remember (5:44)
10. Goodbye (3:59)

Total Time: 49:43

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Sadler / vocals
- Jim Crichton / bass, bass keyboards
- Ian Crichton / guitars
- Jim Gilmour / keyboards, vocals
- Steve Negus / drums

Releases information

SPV 085-21462

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SAGA Full Circle ratings distribution


3.46
(81 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
14%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (33%)
33%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

SAGA Full Circle reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have always followed the career of SAGA and have always carried a soft spot for these guys over the years. "Full Circle" marks another great album form these Canadian lads offering creative songs, powerful delivery and that special unique charm, characteristic of SAGA. I actually find this album very reminiscent of the atmospheres and moods captured of "Generation 13". Musically SAGA draw some parallels to RUSH and MARILLION while never losing their own characteristics and personalities. For those who love classic SAGA will need to hunt this album down as it contains many great melodies and tunes. One of my all time favourite SAGA tracks "Time Bomb" is on this album blending just the right mix of prog rock and symphonic rock. The final 10 mins of this album is simply breathtaking with perhaps SAGA's most emotional conclusion yet... final track "Goodbye" is just simply stunning with Michael Sadler's emotive rendition. Sound reproduction is quite spectacular as well with great wide speaker fulfillment and separation. "Full Circle" is a real charmer and for this music lover a great album. Welcome back SAGA!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#17469) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars SAGA has always proved themselves as a solid band in terms of music composition and performance. When this album was released, I was engaged with friends who regularly broadcast classic rock and progressive rock music at local FM radio station and "Night To Remember" from "Full Circle" album was one of regular play lists. One thing for sure that SAGA has made is the music characteristics that are unique to them only. It's very obvious that their music blends the guitar and keyboard sounds which have unique characteristics with vocal style. So whenever a new song is played even without knowing the band, people would know that this is the music of Saga because it's very unique. This "Full Circle" album is by no exception.

The album kicks off with "Remember When" (Chapter 9) (5:20) in an upbeat tempo rock style with good guitar solo. It flows nicely to another good track "The One" (4:21). On third track "Follow Me" (5:07) the music turns into mellow style with acoustic guitar and keyboard serve as rhythm section. Learning from these three opening tracks, it's obvious that the composition is good. Even though from the first three tracks there are nothing that really "melodic" but the band has successfully wrapped the music through good arrangements. The fourth track "Uncle Albert's Eyes (Chapter 13)" (5:22) has a better melody especially through keyboard work as well as vocal. "Night To Remember" (5:44) is probably the best track from this album. It starts with soft guitar riffs followed with rhythm section - a combination of guitar riffs and keyboard - followed nicely with good vocal line. The tempo is not as upbeat as "Humble Stance" but it's okay. The music riffs in the middle of the track is really good. The guitar and keyboard solo are also stunning.

Overall, "Full Circle" is another good album by Saga. There is nothing as really an outstanding track (s) coming out from this album. I do not find any catchy melodies or memorable music interludes but still this is a good album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#133869) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 20, 2007

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Somehow I could never get a grip on the three releases around the millenium change by my beloved Saga. Starting with this Full Circle followed by House of Cards and ending with Marathon I will try to express my feeling about these three that sound a bit flat and common to me.

The opener Remember When is a good example of my statement. I simply don't know what to think of this one. It's ok, but it doesn't grab me in any way. Next track The One makes more impact on me but I can't really embrace this one either. Follow Me is more of a funny track in typical Saga fashion but also here I'm not quite grabbed by the throat I have to say. And in fact the entire album works on me like this.

It leads to an uninspired review I fear. Most Saga albums (and they made many as we know) have a certain impact on me, whether it's a positive (mostly) or negative (rarely) one. But Full Circle leaves me unmoved really. I mean, it's not even bad or poor but it's a bit palish and flat like I said. Still good music, so typical three stars.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#158879) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 18, 2008

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Saga at it best for sure in the '90's, everybody can see that in this record from 1999 named Full circle. A good and expected return of this famous canadian band, after the almost mediocre Pain and pleasure. This album brings everything who is best in Saga's music. Well writen tracks, great interplays between guitar and keys, great vocal parts, all is well done here. Every musician shines and is clear that is a great album by many listners. Full circle is among the best Saga albums, the atmosphere of the early recordings is here on all pieces. Some pieces that I enjoy very much are:Remember When, Uncle Albert's Eyes (one of the best pieces Saga ever composed, at least in the '90's), Don't Say Goodbye, Time Bomb and the smooth and very subtile Not This Way. So a great album with a lot to offer, that prog music combined so well with pop elements that make them famous in the early '80's are present here. 4 stars for sure, recommended.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#189061) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 13, 2008

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Let's go back to the start?

After leaving behind their roots in 1982 with the release of their first non-Chapters album with Heads Or Tails, Saga have finally returned to finish the? saga? some 17 years later! This may come as a shock to many, but after a very bumpy couple of decades the band has taken their classic sound on this album and revamped it. The cover image of the band's old mascot shedding it's skin to reveal a much more sleek and sturdy warrior could not be more true ? and the band will also use this mascot on the cover of all of their Chapters albums from here on in. But trust me, the old Saga sound combined with a more modern production and tone is actually something that they could have gotten away with right off the bat.

Ironically, the band sounds a lot more 'unique' in this era then they did in the past ? bringing them into a second classic era, a second wind that not many bands get in their career. Not to be a pain, but have a look at the ratings on Saga's albums and you'll notice that they spike around the early 80s and the late 90s, early 00s. Pretty cool - And deservingly so, since they've finally figured out how to kick some major ass.

Full Circle is not the kind of album that will sit well with you the first time you hear it. Since it's a much more midpaced and yet somehow heavier record than a lot of earlier Saga, fans of the band may feel a little left out by the new sound. No worries, give it a second chance and it will instantly catch on with you. This version of Saga is a machine, a band who knows how to deal out a solid output without many (if any) glaring weak points. Take for instance the blistering opener, Remember When which reprises Don't Be Late (Chapter 2) from their third album, Silent Knight. This upbeat rocker makes the best of the band's style and adds splashes of synths to give texture to the overall composition, Sadler and Crighton leading the charge as always. Things pick up even more with The One, Crighton's crunching riff punching a hole in the back of your skull if you're not ready for it.

Then we get to the good stuff, Saga has always been best known in the progressive community for their ''Chapters'' songs, and here's the first ones in some 17 years for the boys. Uncle Albert's Eyes (Chapter 13) is one of the most emotional songs ever put to tape by the band, the midpaced, eerie song finally explodes into motion and goes from good to f***ing 11 when a dueling keyboard/guitar solo that is faster than most anything Saga has ever played before kicks into gear. Not This Way (Chapter 10) is a good and worthwhile ballad that's nothing to write home about, especially not after Chapter 13, but it still makes a nice, emotional addition anyways, especially in context of the album itself.

The rest of the album is full of other standouts as well. Home is a rather uplifting song highlighted by Sadler's vocals while Time Bomb is brought to life by more of those crunching riffs from Crighton. Don't Say Goodbye is a whimsical sounding song thanks to the backing vocals at the chorus, complimented by the sad Goodbye that finally ends the album. A Night To Remember is the last chunky song on the album, another heavy and eerie song that's not at all typical of Saga, but still amazing none the less. Perhaps the only song that doesn't work on the album is the third track, Follow Me, which starts out promisingly enough with a subtle riff that sounds like something that could have been off of Rush's Snake & Arrows album but then goes into a slower section. Sadler does some nice parts, but it's the children's chorus during the song that is really erking. Somehow it just doesn't fit on the album, especially on the heavies thing that Saga has done up to this point! Following up something like The One with something that sounds like it could be drifting out of a kindergarten at lunch time? a little bit too harsh of contrast.

Still, the album is remarkable overall, and a very strong release for the band. People have compared this era of Saga to the Canadian equivalent of Neo-Progressive and I'd say they're not far off. If you fancy yourself as interested in that kind of sound, or you're a fan of the early Saga catalog then this is definitely recommended to you. Overall, this is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection and deserves 4 stars accordingly. Not a lot of bands can pull of going full circle, but Saga certainly did.

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#221259) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 15, 2009

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars New chapters in the original Saga

Finally, Saga came full circle and returned to their roots with the very appropriately titled Full Circle album in 1999. This album is indeed a fitting follow-up to Saga's very early albums and the musical content found here is in many respects an updated version of the kind of music they made back in the late 70's and early 80's. It was not only musically, but also visually that Saga returned to their roots here. The cover art harks back to the fantasy-tinged sleeve pictures of the band's three first albums and even the mysterious insect that was found on the 1978 debut album makes its initial reappearance here after more than 20 years in its "cocoon". Despite the fact that most Saga albums don't even feature this character on the sleeve, it is hard to think about Saga now without thinking of this insect "mascot" of theirs. It has become almost as much part of the band's image as Eddie has for Iron Maiden.

Another thing from the old days that Saga resurrected on this album was the "chapters" idea. For those of you that might not remember, Saga's first four albums all included songs that were subtitled 'Chapter #'. After eight chapters spread over these four original albums, the gimmick was abandoned. Here, after nearly 20 years, chapters 9, 10 and 13 were introduced on this album which proves that they already at this point intended to make at least another two (the 11th and 12th chapter) on their next album(s). As it turned out we would eventually be treated with a further eight chapters over the course of several albums in the new millennium and in 2005 a live album was released featuring all 16 chapters (old and new) in their numerical order.

Full Circle was in many ways a new beginning for Saga and the start of their most consistent period ever. The first 20 years or so of their career as a recording band was a "shaky" period with the quality of their output varying widely between excellent and poor and also varying sometimes in style. The previous album, The Pain & The Pleasure was, for example, a very weak one. With the present album they were sending out the following message: "please forgive us for those weak albums we made and remember the good ones!". Full Circle is by no means as good as, or as progressive as, the conceptual masterpiece Generation 13, but it was the first in a long series of good Saga albums that continues to the present day (I'm writing this in 2011).

In conclusion, Full Circle was a very welcome return to what the band was all about in their early days. Recommended!

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#240362) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 20, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I was interested in Saga's early albums, and still believe ,that they were one of bands, who build the basis to neo-prog. After they changed their direction and I just forgot about them for years.

So, return back to form? Yeas and no at the same time. Yes - they are playing similar music they started with. No - that music is uninspired. Shortly, they know how to play, but don't have to much to say.

All other comments are just nuances. Voice is recogniseable, music competent, they even use some heavy guitars in few places. So, everything sounds quite nice. But after you will finish to listen this album, you will never remember too much. Competent music, good sound, nothing is wrong. But - professionalism without soul.

Generaly higher than average album for Saga fans, but far from their early works. All in all 3,5.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#243750) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 09, 2009

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3 stars Far away from masterpiece, even from "excellent addition", Saga's "Full Circle" is a inconsistent mixture of harder and softer songs, mostly in 4-5 minutes range. If You are new to Saga, and like the insectoid creature on front cover, be cautious, neither music nor lyric has nothing to do with ... (read more)

Report this review (#82077) | Posted by cedo | Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Full Circle" is truely a great resurrection to strength after the disappointment "Pleasure & The Pain" (the perfect title would be "The Pain")! This album is symphonic prog at it's best and got some of the best songs I ever heard from this band. For example there are "The One" with it's heavy ... (read more)

Report this review (#17471) | Posted by | Monday, March 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars No doubt, a great return studio album. Starting with "Remember When" recreating the classic sound of the band and bringing back to the continuing saga after an 8 years interruption since the last chapter in Worlds Apart, and this song, in my opinion, is one of the masterpieces of the band. You ... (read more)

Report this review (#17473) | Posted by porcupine_boy | Wednesday, December 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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