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Saga (Portugal): A forgotten obscurity from 1976

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yam yam View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 01 2013 at 16:11
Forgotten? Well they were suggested by Prog Reviewer Kotro back in February 2008, with the feeling that the band might have already been rejected: http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=46057.
 
Well, I can't check that out any more, having stepped down from my role as a collaborator on here, but Proggnosis have these guys: http://www.proggnosis.com/ARTIST_DETAIL.aspx?AID=2893, and there are numerous other references on the web describing the album as prog.
 
"Saga", despite being one of the original Portuguese groups of the 70s, had a very short existence, having just recorded one disc, (the less commercial style of the group will be justified.) One of the most acclaimed albums of 1976 (with themes sometimes sung, sometimes narrated) centered around the creation of the world and its near destruction by the Second World War, with particular focus exclusively on the first atomic bombs.
 
The album was originlly released on vinyl by Movieplay in 1976, but reissued by a South Korean label on CD in 2002:
Label: M2U Records, South Korea ‎– M2U-1008
Format: CD Reissue, Limited Edition (1000 copies) 2002
 
1. 6° Dia (5:51)
2. Filius Domini, Filius Hominis (2:19)
3. Hiroxima (2:37)
4. Cantiga de Imigo (3:52)
5. Invasão (3:55)
6. Guerra (5:53)
7. Carta (1:11)
8. N ° 20 º Aniversario da Morte ne Poeta (3:26)
9. Aprendiz de Feiticeiro (4:39)
10. Dunas (4:15)
 
Total Time: 37.58
 
Line-up
 
José Luis Tinico / piano, synthesizer & acoustic guitar
Zé Da Ponte / bass, guitar & vocals
Fernando Fallé / drums
Vasco Henriques / moog & flute
Rão Kyaos / sax tenor & sax soprano
Fernando Girão / percussion & vocals
Dulce Neves / vocals
José Themudo / vocals
Carlos Rodrigues / vocals
José Fardhila / vocals
Clara / vocals
 
More detailed info regarding who contributed what to which track, and the vinyl track listing here: http://www.discogs.com/Saga-Homo-Sapiens/release/1890984
 
This review was written by a guy called Nuno on a music blogspot in December 2007:
 
For me, one of the most cruel things in Progressive Rock history is the fact this album has never got its deserved attention and credit outside Portuguese boundaries!!Originally released in 1976, only recently it got a reissue in CD format, thanks to Southern Korean label M2U. And this release was narrowed down to 1000 copies, which makes it still a rare asset to get, though the original vinyl is almost impossible to find.The reason for my referring to this as a gruesome injustice is the fact that, in my most sincere and modest opinion, this is one of the absolute best Symphonic Progressive albums coming out in the 70’s. In Portuguese terms only Tantra was able to compete in terms of originality and quality. Homo Sapiens was the result of a one-shot project named Saga, brainchild of multi-instrumentalist José Luis Tinoco, who plays Piano, Synthesizer, keyboards and 6 and 12 string guitars. He is accompanied here by other great musicians such as Fernando Girão (Percussion and Vocals), Rão Kyao (Sax Tenor and Alto Sax) and Zé da Ponte (Bass and 6 and 12 string guitars).The vocals are introduced as solo singing, choruses and spoken parts, and they are simply amazing throughout the whole experience. In fact, the singing is theatrical and some of the male vocals rank amongst the best I ever heard in Prog Rock bands. But the spoken parts are even better, for they show an eloquence and emotion that I rarely have heard anywhere else. To all this, the lyrical quality not only helps a lot but it highly betters the result, for it comprehends one of the best things in this album. It is indeed a poetic and opinionative statement of huge proportions and rare cruel sensitivity, relating human history and behavior through an ever present Warlike vision. Therefore it is very dark, raw and strongly violent, but very poetic and rich. Despite the music is truly great, the lyrical side of the album is a monster that rivals with the best albums of all time when it comes to this particular asset.The only set back for the numerous possible interested progheads is the fact all is written and sung/spoken in Portuguese….so you’ll just have to trust my word on this one.
Musically wise, the album mixes typical Portuguese (Folk, Pop and Intervention Music) tendencies with some Canterburian (very, very subtle) lines and a gigantic Symphonic sense that many times approaches the Italian Sympho School. The result is, obviously, quite unique and original, making this album a real gem and a one-in-a-kind project. The fact some Pop leanings are derivative of the awful easy listening pop of the 70's, reminding of those European Song Festival Contests, is well disguised within the symphonic lines, which makes them perfectly listenable and enjoyable.The use of several kinds of keys (from Piano to Moog), 12 string guitars, flute, rich percussion and Sax, intelligently scattered throughout the whole experience, does enrich the music to never before seen levels in Portuguese Rock, and the different backgrounds of the musicians involved in the making of this album (from jazz to Pop to Folk) has matured the final result in something that, when mixed with the omnipresent symphonic basis, should ultimately be the wet dream of most 70’s prog lovers.
This album, though very much unknown and rarely referred in sites and forums, easily rivals with the best Italian and Anglo-Saxon symphonic masterpieces of the70’s, and I just hope this review will contribute to a wider exposure of the album and a deserved search for it, by those who identify their tastes with what is written above. This is a must-have for all 70’s symphonic prog fans, and an obligatory asset to collectors. It is easily one of my all time fav albums of the genre!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
Cool


Edited by yam yam - July 01 2013 at 16:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seventhsojourn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2013 at 17:02
All I can find in the CZ at the moment is a very brief mention in an old (locked) Crossover Team thread, with Psych/Space mooted as a possibility - nothing else from the several team threads I've checked so far. Hopefully Kotro might remember the details.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yam yam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2013 at 17:16
Thanks Chris. Thumbs Up
 
Yes, I'm sure Kotro will be along in due course to add further input! Tongue
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seventhsojourn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2013 at 04:09
Another difficult case. Concept album released during Portugal's move from dictatorship to democracy. That review talks about Symph / Folk / Canterbuy elements, then there is the discussion in Crossover with mentions of Psych. I don't really see this as Eclectic Prog here though. I'm hearing a good bit of jazz-funk, folk, narration with electronics, a lot of mainstream stuff and some kitschy prog rock. Not sure if this would fit in JR/F, but it's probably not going to sit neatly anywhere.
 
This isn't a fudge, but I think Crossover is probably its best chance. We would of course need to clarify if it was officially rejected in 2008, or simply not followed-up on at that time. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marty McFly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2013 at 03:29
It's my personal opinion, that we can give them chance again, as I've read the relevant posts in old Crossover thread and it sounds to me that they were more or less forgotten and overlooked. It happens and so new evaluation would be in order without needing all 5 men votes (just the usual 3)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ProgShine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2013 at 05:47
Definitelly should be here. I have the Korean Re-edition in mini LP sleeve and it's one of my favorite albums.

But it would not fit in Symphonic? I think it should. Well... Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marty McFly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2013 at 06:07
That depends on Symphonic team. As you already know the music, you can ask them in their team thread and if they don't want it, head to our team thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marty McFly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2013 at 13:18
As from what I am hearing on their 1976 album, my vote is YES for Crossover. If Symphonic wants them, they can have them though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 12 2013 at 11:05
added to crossover
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