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SAGA

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Saga biography
SAGA... one of the most famous Canadian Hard Progresssive with excellent albums including all elements which made the band's reputation: a taste for symphonism and melodies and real talent for efficient riffs.

From 1978 to 1980, SAGA produced a number of quintessentially "progressive" rock albums. These first albums emerged neo-progressive style bands like IQ, PENDRAGON and PALLAS. In the early's 80's they further perfected their style and seemed a bit as viable as their Canadian compatriots RUSH. Until 1989, suddenly SAGA re-emerged with arguably their strongest album to date: "The Beginner's Guide To Throwing Shapes". They went totally haywire in 1995, releasing "Generation 13" to be a real concept album.

Throughout the years, they created their own particular and unique brand of music. Well, they're still around and they are still making great music but unfortunately radio stations no longer play intelligent, riveting, songs anymore. So, if you're into groups like KANSAS, ASIA, RUSH, STYX, or YES, a new dimension of music awaits you... SAGA!

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Pleasure & The PainPleasure & The Pain
Extra tracks · Import
Earmusic 2016
Audio CD$9.30
$11.90 (used)
Worlds ApartWorlds Apart
Sony 1990
Audio CD$97.99
$10.50 (used)
Images at TwilightImages at Twilight
Import
Imports 2001
Audio CD$6.84
$4.68 (used)
SagacitySagacity
Eagle Records 2014
Audio CD$8.97
$5.69 (used)
Steel UmbrellasSteel Umbrellas
Extra tracks
Earmusic 2015
Audio CD$8.99
$6.99 (used)
Very Best ofVery Best of
Import
Polygram Int'l 2003
Audio CD$3.70
$2.70 (used)
Silent KnightSilent Knight
Import
Imports 1994
Audio CD$7.61
$6.81 (used)
The Security of IllusionThe Security of Illusion
Remastered
Steamhammer Us 2003
Audio CD$19.94
$14.99 (used)
Security of IllusionSecurity of Illusion
Extra tracks · Import
earMusic 2015
Audio CD$9.30
$11.82 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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2h 22m
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SAGA * ON THE LOOSE & FRAMED * 45 RPM USD $5.75 Buy It Now 3h 43m
CHARLIE PARKER - Volume 6: Bongo Bop [Vinyl LP, 1973] USA Import SAGA 6911 *EXC* USD $10.11 Buy It Now 3h 44m
BOYS Saga Continues 12" 5 Track Radio R And B Remix B/w Down Home Fist Fry, Ins USD $9.11 Buy It Now 3h 45m
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Def Leppard Rock Saga- The Chris Tetley Interviews 1989 USD $5.00 [0 bids]
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PERFECTLY ORDINARY PEOPLE You Gotta Get Up 12" 3 Track Never Ending Saga Mix In USD $5.92 Buy It Now 4h 23m
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LP Lot of 3 Annie Haslam In Wonderland Jan Akkerman Tabernakel Saga Worlds Apart USD $14.00 Buy It Now 4h 56m
M8L8TH - MOLOTH - Black Marsh Saga NEW DIGI CD (lim. to 1000) TEMNOZOR NEZHEGOL USD $18.00 Buy It Now 4h 59m
SQUEEZE No Place Like Home 12" 3 Track B/w Last Time Forever And Fortnight Saga USD $5.27 Buy It Now 5h 9m
SAGA Worlds Apart, vinyl LP, 1982, VG, On The Loose USD $3.99 Buy It Now 5h 23m
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SAGA Security Of Ilusion CD 11 Track. Number Written On Rear Of Front Insert G USD $7.23 Buy It Now 5h 30m
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Iced Earth- The Dark Saga -CD- Centure Media - 1996 -original CD release USD $7.00 Buy It Now 8h 49m
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ROGER The Saga Continues... LP Warner Bros. W1-23975 US 1984 VG+ Promo USD $12.78 Buy It Now 9h 39m
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VERDI Nabucco Nicola Rossi-Lemeni Vinyl LP SAGA XID5173 USD $10.41 Buy It Now 17h 41m
Mravinsky conducts Shostakovich Symphony No 10 Leningrad PO SAGA 9017 CD USD $5.07 [0 bids]
18h 12m
COLIN WILKIE AND SHIRLEY HART sea shanties 1967 UK SAGA STEREO LP USD $11.59 Buy It Now 18h 13m
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18h 32m
R105 SEGOVIA DOHLING GUITAR BACH WOOD HANDEL SAGA STEREO FDY 2085 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 18h 41m
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J. Sibelius - Finlandia/En Saga/Karelia Ste/ (1993) - Used - Audio Compact USD $2.51 Buy It Now 21h 40m
D - Vampire Saga (1st Press Type B) - Japan CD + DVD Visual Kei Syndrome Asagi USD $42.99 Buy It Now 21h 41m
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@ CD SAGA - BEHAVIOUR / AOR PROG - BONAIRE RECORDS 1985 ORG USD $19.99 Buy It Now 21h 53m
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BEETHOVEN SYMPHONY NO. 3 BOSTON PHILHARMONIC ERICH RIDJE ~ SAGA VINYL LP EX/EX USD $8.68 Buy It Now 21h 59m
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Saga: Behaviour LP Vinyl 1985 USD $5.78 [0 bids]
22h 40m
, Sibelius: Violin Concerto / En Saga / Serenade for Violin Audio CD USD $10.19 Buy It Now 22h 46m
Various Artists The Twilight Saga: Breaking Da USD $20.70 Buy It Now 22h 54m


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SAGA shows & tickets


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SAGA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SAGA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.62 | 161 ratings
Saga
1978
3.14 | 164 ratings
Images At Twilight
1980
3.61 | 169 ratings
Silent Knight
1980
3.63 | 194 ratings
Worlds Apart
1981
3.53 | 146 ratings
Heads Or Tales
1983
3.12 | 106 ratings
Behaviour
1985
2.31 | 76 ratings
Wildest Dreams
1987
3.05 | 73 ratings
The Beginners Guide To Throwing Shapes
1989
3.55 | 95 ratings
The Security Of Illusion
1993
2.08 | 72 ratings
Steel Umbrellas
1994
3.93 | 115 ratings
Generation 13
1995
2.26 | 66 ratings
The Pleasure & The Pain
1997
3.45 | 99 ratings
Full Circle
1999
3.53 | 101 ratings
House Of Cards
2001
3.30 | 88 ratings
Marathon
2003
3.46 | 83 ratings
Network
2004
3.81 | 140 ratings
Trust
2006
3.61 | 95 ratings
10.000 Days
2007
3.54 | 85 ratings
The Human Condition
2009
3.29 | 74 ratings
20/20
2012
3.38 | 60 ratings
Sagacity
2014

SAGA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.69 | 78 ratings
In Transit
1982
4.09 | 31 ratings
Detours
1999
3.75 | 31 ratings
The Chapters Live
2005
3.44 | 21 ratings
Worlds Apart Revisited (CD)
2007
2.63 | 21 ratings
Contact Live in Munich
2009
3.05 | 13 ratings
Heads Or Tales Live
2011

SAGA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.40 | 10 ratings
Silhouette
2003
4.00 | 10 ratings
All Areas: Live in Bonn 2002
2004
4.44 | 21 ratings
Worlds Apart Revisited
2007
3.56 | 12 ratings
Contact - Live In Munich (DVD)
2009
4.00 | 4 ratings
Spin it again! - Live in Munich
2013

SAGA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 12 ratings
The Works
1991
4.29 | 12 ratings
All The Best 1978 - 1993
1993
1.77 | 9 ratings
The Very Best Of Saga
1994
3.21 | 10 ratings
Defining Moments (Volume 1)
1994
3.00 | 4 ratings
Saga Softworks
1995
2.67 | 6 ratings
How Do I Look
1997
2.60 | 5 ratings
Remember When
2006

SAGA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 18 ratings
Phase One
1997
3.20 | 5 ratings
Home
1999
3.00 | 4 ratings
Money Talks
2001
4.17 | 14 ratings
It's Your Life
2006

SAGA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Full Circle by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.45 | 99 ratings

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Full Circle
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Full Circle. Indeed. You don't need to understand the significance of the title or artwork to appreciate this album, but the background history is important. Saga emerged in the late seventies with a style of music that fused the coming synthesizer-driven pop sound with hard rock guitars and a flair for progressive instrumental sections. Add to that songs of science fiction and intrigue and you have what made the first four albums Saga classics.

As the band found success in the early eighties, they struggled to keep their unique style all the while keeping up with the changing face of popular music and being guided by a management whose choices and advice were not always in the band's best interest. Key members left and somehow Saga struggled on. When the classic line-up re-grouped in the nineties it seemed all was well in the world again. But the nineties were uneven. They released an album that received much praise, did a soundtrack album that even the band disliked, did a concept narrative that is quite a fine piece of work, and followed that up with one of their least popular albums. What did they learn from all this? That it was time to go back to the beginning. Come around full circle. Start again making music like they used to.

An important element of the first four albums was the Chapters series: eight songs released two to an album and in random order that together created a jigsaw puzzle of a story about an alien race and Albert Einstein's brain. The first three album covers featured this alien race and we see here now that the aliens are back, this one emerging from its old skin all fresh and new, a symbol of the band's take on itself. And yes, with "Full Circle" a new series of Chapters begins. In that way, Saga had come full circle. How about the music, though?

The first couple of tunes don't really indicate that they have returned to their classic form. "Remember When (Chapter 9)" references some of their older song lyrics but that special progressive pop/rock music doesn't turn up on this track, even though the classic Saga sound does. "The One" is a solid but simple hard rock song with a great riff. A good stadium fist-pumper for sure, but it's not a classic prog song in any sense. "Follow Me" takes the pace down a bit an there's a chorus of children. If nothing else, the band is showing that they are not going to stick to any one formula for this album.

The band truly come full circle (i.e. return to their classic approach) by "Uncle Albert's Eyes (Chapter 13)" for which they stretch out a little more and give us one of their guitar / keyboard duels. This is looking promising. But will they keep it up?

From here on in, the album really shows us a variety of colours. The more proggy type sections appear on "Don't Say Goodbye", "Not This Way (Chapter 10)" and "A Night to Remember", meaning that the music is allowed to get ahead of the song at times. Saga's songs actually follow a standard pop format but it's where they work their instrumental sections that the band put themselves ahead of any standard pop rock act. However, true to their classic form, they still fit in some more typical pop and rock pieces like the acoustic-led "Home", a very powerful piece with pleasant acoustic guitar, and another hard rock number with "Time Bomb", featuring another great heavy riff.

The final track "Goodbye" uses only keyboards for atmosphere and Ian Crichton's wailing volume-control guitar notes over which Michael Sadler lays out the lyrics. It's a haunting piece, almost eerie when the vocals start, but also passionate. A surprise ending for this album, if you will.

I've had this album in my collection for nearly two years or so and I've always thought it was an enjoyable piece of work. Listening to it with a prog rating in mind, I was tempted at first to give two stars simply because I felt the prog quotient wasn't high enough. I have rated other albums I really like with two stars when I felt there was not much on there to represent prog. This is after all a site for progressive music and not Rate Your Music or Amazon. Hey, I give it four stars as a rock album! So, yeah, two stars at first but then as I listened carefully trough the other day I really felt it was too good to just get two stars. Though nothing like a prog classic, this album has variety, some well-exercised creativity, and some terrific musicianship, most notably Mr. Crichton's guitar playing which is always a pleasure to hear. And the Chapters series is back, and prog loves a good sci-fi story.

From my point of view, Saga wouldn't get around to doing a really good (crossover) progressive rock album until "Trust", but "Full Circle" is still worth listening to as a pop/rock album with progressive tendencies. Certainly a good album for newbies to hear. Welcome back, Saga.

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 Heads Or Tales Live by SAGA album cover Live, 2011
3.05 | 13 ratings

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Heads Or Tales Live
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Losimba

1 stars This is the worst and most superfluous album Saga have ever published. While I really liked the original version of Heads Or Tales (4 stars), quite the opposite is true for this live version. And it all comes down to one factor: Rob Moratti. I don't want to say he's a bad singer, he might actually be really good when he sings songs he wrote himself or that were written especially for him, but he simply doesn't fit into The Flyer, Cat Walk or, worst of all, Intermission, normally my third favourite Saga song.

There are some albums that deserve only 1 star, but even this is too much for Heads Or Tales Live. Zero point zero stars. I'm Helpless.

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 Sagacity by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.38 | 60 ratings

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Sagacity
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by wilmon91

2 stars A new album by Saga is an exciting thing for me as a very big Saga fan. I don't expect something comparable to their early albums, but they always bring something of their own.

The album is never boring and has a constant entertainment value, which makes it a nice listen. But many tracks are based on a meager amount of ideas and feels underdeveloped. I would wish for more depth and daringness to have more serious intent.

The need for a "modern" appeal on the one hand, and the responsibility to give fans an album that feels like Saga , may be priorities that undermine the potential to evolve beyond what they're used to doing. There used to be songs part of the "chapters"-series, and the last chapters can be found in 2003's "Marathon". Continuing the chapters series would have been silly. But those songs had different expectations, being part of a concept, and as a consequence having a larger song structure. That said, my favourite album from the 2000's is Network (first album with out chapters). "The Human Condition" (2009) brought a new vocalist, and marked a new period for Saga, with a more compressed sound, and it worked pretty nice for that album. Now with the second album since Sadler returned on vocals , they are continuing in the mindset of doing energetic technical compact and carefree rock music. My feeling is that Saga's approach of doing something "not too serious" and "just for fun" prevents them from advancing into interesting realms of sound and expressions. There is flexibility and variation, but is always accessible and outreaching, upholding the same energy level. Of course , Saga has always had an urgent energy and directness, but in earlier days the music had a grander romantic scale, with larger sound, and today it's a more compact hard rock sound with digital synth sounds, although there is still variation. I'm searching for more of that conceptuality which the chapters brought. An intent that goes deeper than surface-deep.

Original harmonic content

Harmonies is a s neglected thing today, ignored, treated as unimportant, or non-existant. "Pop" music of today have repeating chord sequences with one unchanging mood. Emphasis is on production, and the only element allowed for variation is vocals. Classical music in contrast, naturally use a lot of chords in the composing process, through harmonization. Knowledge and awareness of harmonies is rare. But that's one of the qualities of Saga. They are harmonically oriented , being flexible and often changing key between the parts in the songs. That way you always get a certain amount of harmonic content with Saga.

Sound Compared to the previous "20/20"

The new drummer Mike Thorne joined Saga's tour for "20/20" 2012 and is featured on this album. The drum sound is better and more varied than the previous album. Less compression makes it more natural, although the hi-hat is still loud with a sharp filtrated sound, which I'm not a fan of.

"The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes" (1989) was produced in a way were the sounds were "thickened" which made it more punchy. "Beginner's Guide.." is the album that I think mostly resembles Sagacity with the same effects on vocals and guitars. Guitars have a lot of other interesting sounds on this album though. I am not a fan of the "Beginner's Guide.." album. It was dryer and more compact than previous more open and natural sounding albums. The thickened sounds diminishes personal expression and feels like a way to compensate for weaknesses. Vocals in general are very often alternating between two characteristics, for were one melody is sung in a rhytm by a combined vocal parts, alternated by a solo vocal phrase. Rather than having a single vocal performance, you have small phrases often treated with vocal effects. This can be nice sometimes, but used too much it loses human expression and emotion. Thorne's drumming style seems inspired by the previous drummer, Brian Doerner. Double pedal are used in drum fills, which I really don't like, and there is almost NO use of tom-toms. And tends to be pretty stiff with only one dynamic level - full force. Steve Negus is needed.

The previous album was completely over compressed , now it's not nearly as compressed, which makes for a more enjoyable experience. The songs are in moderate to lower tempo, not as over-the-top energetic as in the previous album. And even musically it is more dynamic with soft and heavier parts.

Composition-wise and musically however, it's significantly inferior to 20/20. The songs are on the shorter side, many of them underdeveloped, based on one or two themes.

1. Let it slide

A heavy album opener with a distorted guitar riff playing 16th notes in continous series of five notes polyrythmically, and drums playing a half-time groove. The bass groove stands out, played in very low register and goes throughout the song. It doesn't have much more than that busy guitar riff, going over the same bass note, so it's very concentrated to one thing.

2. Vital signs

Intro part with pre-programmed synth. Vocals are added, and the chorus brings in drums and guitars in a familiar chord sequence. But the main vocal melody , except for the alternating phrases by Sadler, is somewhat a failure, because it's a simple phrase sung mechanically by multiple voices octavated but lack clarity and sound more like barking. The middle section have an unexciting indian/oriental tonality. Weakest song on the album.

3. It doesn't matter (who you are)

A song in the style of "Time's Up" (World's Apart), with the same feeling and bass rhythm. The drums are a little stiff with force behind every stroke. Jim Gilmour on vocals, simplistic and rhytmically mechanic singing melody. It's not a winner with me.

* 4. Go with the flow *

Steel strung guitar in 7/8 groove with singing in a very light mood. Odd time signatures can cause an unintentional folk feeling sometimes, and this is a side effect here. But I really like the sound of that guitar. Then hell breaks loose with double pedals and distorted guitar. This is the most elaborated and well crafted song on the album, with many parts, and everything works together. There's a lot happening and it grows with more listens. I don't love it, but it's the best song on the album along with song 8.

5. Press 9

An odd ballad with a bit of a humouristic ironic vibe, without drums and only synthpads, steelstrung guitar and Gilmour singing a repeated vocal phrase. It sounds like several voices in unison. The expression becomes a bit rough and impersonal. The song changes key into an instrumental part with a nice electric guitar solo. But as a whole, it's not great..

6. Wake up

Starts with a modern digital electronic synth sound which give me bad vibes. The verse is maybe best part of the album. Drums play a groove with 16th note hi-hat, and the guitar is strumming nice chords with an 80's post-punk reminiscent sound, very cool. The vocals go very well together. Too bad the chorus wasn't very exciting, with bass and vocals in unison playing a catchy simple melody. The song doesn't develop enough for me.

7. Don't forget to breathe

Straight rock-beat in moderate tempo with a main guitar riff. This riff section is the main part, it doesn't have a chorus. Vocals (Gilmour) sings along with the riff, and alternately Michael Sadler fills in with a 50's style vocal sound with fast delay. The bridge section is in 6/4 but with straight feeling, and reminds me of the verse in "Footsteps In The Hall" (Trust), with similar chords and melody . Added to this is a guitar solo. The song seems a bit meager, as if some part would be needed to complete it.

* 8. The further you go *

Nice intro with cool guitar figure in some indian or middle eastern tonality ( "Remember when" from Full circle also use this tonality, and "As I Am" from "Beginner's Guide" ). It changes character and goes into triplet-form, quite similarly to the previous song, but with waltz-feeling initially. Gilmours sings in canon, with a peculiar expression, which I'm doubtful towards. The instrumental part is very nice with the guitar and a cool bell sound on the synth. Lots of potential but has very disparate parts. But it's the best song along with song 4.

9. On my way

Synthpad-intro . This song is a sort of feel-good arena rock anthem. The verse is nice, with simple drums on top of 8th-note driven bass. The "on my way"-chorus is so "feelgood" that it can't be taken fully serious. But it's not unserious, it's just a celebratory anthem style. I kind of like it, in a way.

10. No two sides

Good groove and nice drumming here. Sparing moody sections that seems to build up to something. The intro returns later creating anticipation, but then it ends.

11. Luck

Very cool main groove. But the verse makes me mad...it is completely bland. And it's not cool when vocals are added to the main riff . It ends shortly.

12. I'll be

Very nice intro section with acoustic guitars (three guitar parts) in triplet feeling. It's pretty separate to the rest of the song. The full band comes in suddenly with the triplet groove. Vocals are in sound much in the style of the "Beginner's Guide.." album. The song feels "strained", the drumming is stiff and forced. But there is a very nice chord evolvement leading up to the chorus, which changes into another key. That's a nice harmonic progression.

The good thing about the album is that it's never boring, it is nice to listen to, and there are many good bits and pieces. I don't give high ratings generally, so take my rating with a pinch of salt.

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 Silent Knight  by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.61 | 169 ratings

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Silent Knight
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars My first ever Saga purchase was "Trust" and the second "Silent Knight". Though the two albums are separated by two and a half decades, I noticed some similarities in style. This, I decided, was a compliment to "Trust", which I felt had turned up the prog factor a couple of notches from their previous album "Network", my most recent Saga purchase at the time of this writing.

"Silent Knight" is Saga's third album and the last one with producer, Paul Gross. What the band introduced on their debut is prevalent here too, namely serious pop rock songs with a good dose of instrumental segments showing off the skills of guitarist Ian Crichton and new keyboard player Jim Gilmour, who I feel gets featured much more than Crichton on this album. The sound is decidedly of the times and there's no mistaking that synthesizer and those drums along with that approach to music composition and production. If you can get past that almost embarrassing 1980 pop sound though, there's some pretty decent stuff on this album.

Take the opener, "Don't Be Late (Chapter Two)" with its subtle yet hurried keyboard notes and Michael Sadler's vocals suppressed almost to a hush and backed with a strained whisper. The music reaches a couple of powerful moments before dropping back to the gentle but quick pace we began with. Once the song proper concludes, a grand instrumental section begins with bold keyboards playing an almost classical melody and guitars dittoing that before the keyboards take over for a climactic finish. New sounds but with some inspiration from the classic days of progressive rock.

Another track to be ready for is #3, "Time to Go". Again we get a strong classically influenced melody and take note that there's a harpsichord (or at least a very good facsimile), piano, and two different keyboard sounds, one resembling horns. The bass and drums only serve as rhythm here and the guitar a secondary instrument. This is musically a rather impressive creation given the year. It's songs like this that seem to define the concept of neo- prog if that concept is to create more cohesive and concise pop rock songs but still feature moments of advanced composition and playing.

"Too Much to Lose (Chapter Seven)" "Help Me Out" and "Careful Where You Step" continue on this road by including some exciting synthesizer and guitar work with a 1980 pop rock flavour. Other songs sound more pop oriented though just about all of them leave room for a showcase of playing ability and some dramatic flourishes and abruptly appearing surprises, like a cascade of piano notes falling from the cessation of a barrage of bombastic rock or a sudden muted staccato of guitar notes after a sweeping keyboard melody.

Simply skipping through the first 30 seconds of each song will probably leave you cold unless you habour a deep love for the sound of pop in this period. Memories of pop videos from the early 80's threaten to dissolve my feeling of being cool with my music playing when many of the songs begin. However, after the first three minutes the songs tend to have spent their lyrical messages and the last two minutes are usually for something more bold and evocative.

I recognize that even in 1980 there were artists striving to create more complex music than what Saga ever did. But I'm going to give this album 4 stars for keeping the prog factor up higher than what was offered on many of Saga's later albums.

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 Sagacity by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.38 | 60 ratings

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Sagacity
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by stewe

3 stars After quite weak 20-20 which marked return of Michael Sadler, I hadn't big expectations for Sagacity and Saga in total. However, this album means a return to form. Best album since 2006's Trust (which is in my opinion also the strongest Saga album). Sadler's voice is still in great shape, as well as all veteran musicians are. Nice fresh melodic hooks, riffs, instrumental teamwork, a bit raw-ish production also reminding me of Trust. I am really impressed with agility, creativity, passion and endurance of individual members who are nearly 40 years together since debut. Hats off. I can't help myself to compare them with current Yes incarnation, which to my ears already lost (especially with their latest effort) all signs of energy and vitality they used to have. Saga's music on the contrary shows no sings of aging. Even in prog standards it is very solid album, 3,5 stars really.

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 Sagacity by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.38 | 60 ratings

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Sagacity
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars I continue my travel through the world of new music and this times it's Saga that undergoes my investigation. I may be a fool but I have never heard anything from Saga, so this twentyfirst record by the band will be the first I hear from them. They made their first record 1978 so I begin in the end apparently.

Well I liked what I heard so perhaps I should listen to more by Saga. A lot didn't sound so special, a little bit to cold and like eighties rock. It is a lot of music on the record and they are in a relatively special style. The cover shows some fantasy features, with giant insects there. The musicians are Michael Sadler who sings, the guitarist Ian Crichton, the bassist and keyboardist Jim Crichton, the keyboardist and the vocalist Jim Gilmour and the drummer Mike Thorne.

Within the fifty minutes of music, there are twelve songs of which five are more than just good, six songs I consider good and two not as good as the others. I prefer those songs that are more acoustic that electric or those that use arranged vocal cooperations. "Press 9" is such a funny track which instruments aren't overwhelming but the vocal arrangements and the lyrics are cool(8/10). The closing track "I'll be" is more of a catchy final but it's symphonic and good(8/10). "Go with the flow" is also very harmonic just as the well made "Vital signs"(7/10) and the cheesy "Luck"(7/10). The start of the record with especially the two first songs surprises me with a style of singing and playing I haven't heard: both hard and joyfull at the same time.

"Sagacity" is mostly a very pleasant record to hear and I am sure this isn't the last Saga album I hear. I will give this three solid stars! Best tracks: 5 and 12.

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 Sagacity by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.38 | 60 ratings

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Sagacity
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by 10string

4 stars (I've been a Saga fan since their 2nd LP , I was at their legendary gig in San Juan that appears in the jacket of Worlds Apart- I have the original LPs of their first 6 releases and various CDs, even Network on DVD Surround-GREAT MIX btw)

yes, Saga , reinvented themselves again... Very strong material here and , although , extremely compressed, excellent production. No, you won't find a lot of Saga's "trademark" gtr/synths 32 note harmonies here, but the lyrics are very strong (funny, cynical...) Lyrically they have left heir "storytelling" phase quite a while ago and now they are just "normal" lyrics.

Mind you, I have the LP version, 2 LP's at 45 RPM, which give it an incredible sound! This is the FIRST NEW Saga LP I bought since..."In transit"..CDs are something else... The first time I actually can HEAR the BASS clearly on a Saga LP. Ian is VERY present on this mix and Jim is a great counterpoint, maybe on a not too distant 2nd place.

The LP is VERY nice, great photos, with lyrics on the jackets (except that they screwed up the illustration on the 2nd Lp's jacket , it's upside down)-not a very CLEAN pressing but definitely worth it...

I was also surprised that 20/20 got such a bad rep being another strong contender, but that's another story.

BUY THIS!!!

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 Sagacity by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.38 | 60 ratings

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Sagacity
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars Wow. The endscore on this site is terrible.

Don't be fooled though, because this actually a very strong album. Saga reinvented themselves . The synths sound very fresh and modern and new drummer Mike Thorne does an excellent job.

Ian Crichton plays a lot of great riffs and solo's, and also adds a lot of fusion-like acoustic guitar. The bassguitar is really groovy, almost funky.

The vocalparts are mostly by Michael Sadler but Jin Gilmour has a more vocalparts than usual.

As for the songs: there are more short songs than usual, The longer songs have extended soloing and have some great suprises.

On some songs Saga sound more like Yes than they ever did, but there are some 80's New Wave influences aswell.

Also there's some humor in the song Press 9.

This album is really exciting, fresh, modern and has an especially good-sounding production. It's not only a great album for Saga-enthousiasts but I would really recommend it to every serious music-lover.

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 Heads Or Tales Live by SAGA album cover Live, 2011
3.05 | 13 ratings

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Heads Or Tales Live
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars As you might know that I am actually not a big fan of Saga ...but I occasionally spin the CD as I have some of their albums. It's quite funny to me that I love the band from their live album "In Transit" that I consider as one of the best live album in rock history especially with songs like Humble Stance that really explode my adrenalin. Based on the experience with the live album I then started purchasing their studio album CDs and like some of them. I also loved their live album titled as Detours. ANd now I have this Heads and Tales Live album released in 2011 and it performed the Heads and Tales album originally released in 1983 in its entirety. It's another funny thing again as I write this review I have never heard the original version. It's quite awkward isn't it? Never mind ....the reason I am wrting is not to compare with the original studio album as I really like this live version even though basically i don't quite like the songs performed.

And the next question is why am I writing this review? Simple, I am blown away by the live vibes and anergy demonstrated by the band in this live record: it's fantastic. Well .. I am not familiar with each individual song but as I play the music I am really tuned into it deeply. I love the voice quality of Rob Moratti. I think he sings wonderfully in this album as he can perform consistently from start to end of the album. Second, I love the guitar work performed during the performance - they are all stunning really! And ...it's rocking as well! Third, I love the keyboard work as well.

It starts off nicely with an ambient live vibe through what is titled as Intro (1:43) which sets the overall tone of the performance; it continues nicely to the opening track The Flyer (4:03) with full energy vocal-wise and music-wise. As the music moves I enjoy all the transition pieces with guitar as well as keyboard - and ...yeah ...the stunning guitar solo which is quite unique. Cat Walk (4:21) starts nicely with repetitive keyboard sound accompanied by heavy guitar work accentuated with keyboard ...oh it's so rocking man! The Sound Of Strangers (3:55) enters in with another style of riffs with sort of blues-influenced rhythm section. And again the combined guitar and keyboard work sounds wonderfully to accompany vocal. The music flows nicely from track to track The Writing (4:06), Intermission (6:14) and into the straight rocker Social Orphan (3:27). All sound really nice to my ears and also the remaining tracks The Vendetta (Still Helpless) (1:56), Scratching The Surface (5:17) and it concludes with The Pitchman (7:03). Only at the last track that there is a very nice solo combining guitar and keyboard that sounds very unique.

This is the kind of excellent live performance with little improvisation as I do not hear any long guitar or keyboard solo except those embedded in each track which I believe it is similar or the same with its original studio version. Highly recommended as the it's relatively flawless. It's a very dynamic show and I hope I was there during the concert. Keep on proggin' ....!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Images At Twilight by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.14 | 164 ratings

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Images At Twilight
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

2 stars *Meh*

Saga is a proud survivor of a dying genre: the pop-prog. Many attempted from Rush, Kayak, Styx, Kansas, Triumph, Asia and Supertramp. They all succeeded in many levels, nonetheless the exploit of drawing girls to their shows. They also disapointed many hard rock fans looking for more crunch and aggressivity.

I have to admit that Saga is more for the softie: pompous singing, catchy choruses and plastic keyboards. You absolutely cannot commit a crime listening to this, nor making love for that matter. It has that 'Hold Your Fire' by Rush feel that leaves a 'meh' feeling afterwards.

Despite the lack of badassery, Saga is confirming their ability to play tight and dynamic light prog. I personnally prefer the next album, but this one has at least 2 fantastic numbers: Images and Mouse in a Maze. Those two songs are heavy staples of Saga's dark side, and this is the side I prefer. When Saga is sad, they have an impressive power of melancholia that I find attractive.

A tad disappointing, I wanted something darker but the art cover is a-ma-zing.

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