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The Saga appreciation thread

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Kingsnake View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 04 2016 at 02:14
Saga: you love 'em, you hate 'em, or you just don't care. Either way, they're in a league of their own.

Too progressive for pop, too pop for progressive rock.
Heavy on the guitar- and synthsolos, but also heavy on the lovesongs.
Sometimes they write intricate spacerock concepts spanning 35 years of their career.
Sometimes they write an entire progrockoperaconceptalbum rivalling The Lamb Lies Silent or Operation: Mindcrime.
Sometimes they write songs for failed tvseries or badmovies (Cobra or Johnny B. Goode).
Sometimes they flirt with glamrock, house, AOR, funk, heavy metal.
 
They can be compared to Toto, Rush and It Bites and maybe Styx and Magnum.
Newer bands like Enchant and Everon cited Saga an influence to their music.
 
They managed to stay alive, having a steady career since 1977 till now (almost 40 years and still going).
They own their own studios and produce records for others, even providing vocals, keyboards, guitars etc. for greats like Magnum, Ozzy Osbourne, Yes, etc.
 
For me personally, they only really failed with one album, being Pleasure and the Pain, wich is too incoherent (although featuring some great songs).
 
I'm curious wich progressive rock enthousiasts have the same love for Saga as I have.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cristi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2016 at 02:28
^ The Lamb Lies Silent? Never heard it...

Yes, I like Saga. Their late 80s albums are quite poppy, a bit uneven but still enjoyable from time to time.
Pleasure & the Pain is one of their weakest moments but still I've heard worse from other prog or rock greats.

The first thing I've heard from them, long time ago was a live album a friend of mine recommended (I had never heard of Saga back then) - In Transit (1982). I loved it and started looking for more albums from Saga. I have managed to listen to most of their albums.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kingsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2016 at 02:38
On In Transit the band proved to be one of the tightiest live bands. There's not a single mistake made.

The great thing about the band, is the accessablity in their songs. Their songs are full of hooks. They have more hooks in one songs, then some bands in their whole career.
But in the meantime their music is really complex and the synth/guitar-duets/battles are unmatched. I can't think of a band that can pull off what Ian Crichton and Jim Gilmour are capable off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenethlevine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2016 at 11:40
liked the idea of the band, but none of their first 4 albums really worked well for me as a complete entity, as there were too many mediocre songs IMO.  The best of those I've heard is "Silent Knight", with at least 2 fantastic songs, "Don't be Late" and "careful where you step", and several very good ones.  But even that one had a few poor tracks.  After they hit big with "Worlds Apart", I lost touch with them.  In Canada, the group FM started around the same time and were often compared.  In the early going, FM seemed to be the band most likely to, but in the end Saga achieved much greater success.  FM similarly had trouble putting together a cohesive album, although "Black Noise" comes pretty close, and I actualy prefer "City of Fear" though it is not as prog
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Son.of.Tiresias Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2016 at 05:16
Their finest hour in "Generation 13" from 1995, lowest "Pleasure and the Pain", from 1997. "Taxman" by George Harrison is nothing but awful. Oh yes, "In Transit" from 1982 is an awesome live album, really tight instrumentally and together.
Michael Sadlerīs vocals fits the music flawlessly. Ian Crichton is the only metal guitarist I can stand, actually his brilliant and the best of them all. Period.
You may see a smile on Tony Banksī face but thatīs unlikely.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve Wyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2017 at 14:01
My third favorite band (after Yes and Genesis, natch)!
 
Their 5 best albums:
1) Worlds Apart (1981)
2) Heads or Tales (1983)
3) The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes (1989)
4) Silent Knight (1980)
5) Saga (1978)
 
Special mention of their wonderful live album, In Transit (1982), must also be made. Everything they've done after Steel Umbrellas (1994) has left me ice cold. Similar to Rush, they reached a certain point where they were simply indulging a hobby. I sadly never saw them live, as they never played anywhere near California after 1983 (even though they live in the state). 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2017 at 14:15
Originally posted by Steve Wyzard Steve Wyzard wrote:

My third favorite band (after Yes and Genesis, natch)!
 
Their 5 best albums:
1) Worlds Apart (1981)
2) Heads or Tales (1983)
3) The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes (1989)
4) Silent Knight (1980)
5) Saga (1978)
 
Special mention of their wonderful live album, In Transit (1982), must also be made. Everything they've done after Steel Umbrellas (1994) has left me ice cold. Similar to Rush, they reached a certain point where they were simply indulging a hobby. I sadly never saw them live, as they never played anywhere near California after 1983 (even though they live in the state). 

I urge you to give Full Circle (1999) and 10,000 Days (2007; the last album with Sadler before he took a "break" from the band) another go. I think they rank among Saga's finest recordings.

Also, not sure if you have it, but don't miss Phase 1 (1997), which contains previously unreleased music ("Hangman"!) and alternate takes from the Images sessions!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YESESIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2017 at 16:11
I really like their Silent Knight album, to me it's strong all the way through. I got into them a little bit in the early 80's when I was hearing On the Loose a lot on the radio and loved it so I got the album it was on "Worlds Apart" and really liked it(cassette tape). But never explored them any further until recently I got Silent Knight on my mp3 player. So yeah I like them, should explore them even more. The problem is there isn't time to listen to all these bands that I want to get into lol. I've been getting into King's X(they jam out on those guitars and have a Christian message in a lot of their songs), and also IQ I keep meaning to listen to again. I wish I could just listen to all these albums at the same time lol. But Saga for sure, they seem like a band that I should get more into.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2017 at 12:40
It really sucks not having enough ears to listen to everything that you want to listen to. Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gr8dane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2017 at 04:13
Count me in.Love the first 3 albums.After that the albums became more patchy,but with a lot of great stuff yet.Of later albums I really like Trust.
Seen them several times,starting in 80 I believe.Sadler's voice is one of a kind,and so is Ian's guitar playing. All good things must come to an end,and I believe Saga is now on their farewell tour.Great great band.



Edited by gr8dane - November 04 2017 at 04:14
Shake & bake.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2017 at 05:09
Clean, elegant, concise.  Great band.

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YESESIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2017 at 11:55
Originally posted by gr8dane gr8dane wrote:

Count me in.Love the first 3 albums.After that the albums became more patchy,but with a lot of great stuff yet.Of later albums I really like Trust.
Seen them several times,starting in 80 I believe.Sadler's voice is one of a kind,and so is Ian's guitar playing. All good things must come to an end,and I believe Saga is now on their farewell tour.Great great band.



I just listened to their first two album and they're both really good! So I definitely agree with the first 3 albums comment. I'll have to check out this Trust album next.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YESESIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2017 at 11:59
Man I underestimated this band, they're becoming my latest obsession.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2017 at 13:15
Originally posted by YESESIS YESESIS wrote:

Man I underestimated this band, they're becoming my latest obsession.

Have you listened to:

Silent Knight
Full Circle
10,000 Days

?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YESESIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2017 at 15:43
Originally posted by verslibre verslibre wrote:

Originally posted by YESESIS YESESIS wrote:

Man I underestimated this band, they're becoming my latest obsession.

Have you listened to:

Silent Knight
Full Circle
10,000 Days

?


I've listened to Silent Knight(have it on my mp3 player), it's great imo strong all the way through. The other two you mention I have no clue about. I've heard their first 4 albums and that's it, used to have Worlds Apart on cassette.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2017 at 16:18
Full Circle (1999) was the their first really good album since 1983's Heads or Tales, i.e. a return to form. 

10,000 Days (2007) is regarded as one of their best later albums, and it was the last one with Michael Sadler before he left the album. (They only made one album without him before he came back for 20/20.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YESESIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2017 at 16:31
Originally posted by verslibre verslibre wrote:

Full Circle (1999) was the their first really good album since 1983's Heads or Tales, i.e. a return to form. 

10,000 Days (2007) is regarded as one of their best later albums, and it was the last one with Michael Sadler before he left the album. (They only made one album without him before he came back for 20/20.)


Oh wow, I probably should listen to this Heads or Tales deal first then. Thanks a lot for the info. I've just been listening to some songs from that Trust album that someone else mentioned, and I love it! Yep I'm officially obsessed now. I get like this with bands sometimes and right now Saga is definitely IT!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2017 at 20:30
I find Generation 13 from 1995 to be a pretty good concept album.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2017 at 14:40
Originally posted by YESESIS YESESIS wrote:

Originally posted by verslibre verslibre wrote:

Full Circle (1999) was the their first really good album since 1983's Heads or Tales, i.e. a return to form. 

10,000 Days (2007) is regarded as one of their best later albums, and it was the last one with Michael Sadler before he left the album. (They only made one album without him before he came back for 20/20.)


Oh wow, I probably should listen to this Heads or Tales deal first then. Thanks a lot for the info. I've just been listening to some songs from that Trust album that someone else mentioned, and I love it! Yep I'm officially obsessed now. I get like this with bands sometimes and right now Saga is definitely IT!

Yes, you should! Wait till you hear "The Flyer," "Cat Walk," "Scratching the Surface" and "The Writing."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YESESIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2017 at 17:00
Originally posted by verslibre verslibre wrote:

Originally posted by YESESIS YESESIS wrote:

Originally posted by verslibre verslibre wrote:

Full Circle (1999) was the their first really good album since 1983's Heads or Tales, i.e. a return to form. 

10,000 Days (2007) is regarded as one of their best later albums, and it was the last one with Michael Sadler before he left the album. (They only made one album without him before he came back for 20/20.)


Oh wow, I probably should listen to this Heads or Tales deal first then. Thanks a lot for the info. I've just been listening to some songs from that Trust album that someone else mentioned, and I love it! Yep I'm officially obsessed now. I get like this with bands sometimes and right now Saga is definitely IT!

Yes, you should! Wait till you hear "The Flyer," "Cat Walk," "Scratching the Surface" and "The Writing."


I just listened to it and it was terrific. This band is CRIMINALLY underrated!
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