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Saga - Behaviour CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.05 | 163 ratings

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2 stars After the successes of 'Worlds Apart' and 'Heads or Tails', Saga got a taste of fame and Michael Sadler wanted more popularity. 'Behaviour' is their 6th album released in 1985, and a big departure from the Progressive Rock sound they had before this album. This was their major move to the Pop/Rock sound, and because of the popularity of their single from this album, 'What Do I Know', this album sold quite well. But it would be the last one that would sell well in the US and most other countries. The new Pop sound turned their old fans against them and their new fans would not stay faithful. But by the time Saga realized that they couldn't rely on the Power Pop fan base to support them, the damage had already been done as Steve Negus (Drummer) and Jim Gilmour (Keyboardist) had been told there was no place for them on the band anymore, mainly because of their resistance to take the band in the Pop direction.

The music still has Sadler's distinctive vocals, but it obviously has a more pop oriented feel, with a lot more typical sounding keyboards and guitars. The sound is an obvious 80's rock sound, but not in a new wave sense as a heavy rock/pop sense. Because of this shift, the music is pretty typical sounding with not a lot of the excitement and ingenuity of their previous progressive rock sound. Now, when you listen to it, it sounds quite dated and can be easily traced to the 80's Power Pop that was also followed by Jefferson Starship, Asia, Alan Parsons and so many others. You keep thinking that they will break out into one of their awesome instrumental breaks or slip into a tricky meter or two, but it never happens.

Most of the songs are quite upbeat, but quite typical of the sound of the day. There are a few ballads that help break away from the same-ness of the sound, namely 'You and the Night' and portions of '(Goodbye) Once Upon a Time', but they are also quite standard ballads that don't really save the album at all. It is also hard to find any real emotion anywhere in this album.

Saga would eventually return to the Progressive Rock sound from time to time, but it hasn't been easy for them to get back their original fan base. They could never chart again except for in Germany and Switzerland, but even there the never regained their popularity. But they still press on, and there is something to be said about that. But as for this album, it's best to stay away from it unless you love the power pop of the 80s.

TCat | 2/5 |


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