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Saga Behaviour album cover
3.05 | 163 ratings | 14 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Listen to Your Heart performed (3:56)
2. Take a Chance (3:54)
3. What Do I Know (3:40)
4. Misbehaviour (4:04)
5. Nine Lives of Miss MIDI (1:17)
6. You and the Night (5:16)
7. Out of the Shadows (4:48)
8. Easy Way Out (3:59)
9. Promises (4:12)
10. Here I Am (3:34)
11. (Goodbye) Once Upont a Time (6:38)

Total Time: 45:18

Bonus Multimedia track on 2002 reissue:
Video. Misbehaviour (Live)

Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Sadler / lead vocals, keyboards
- Ian Crichton / guitar
- Jim Gilmour / keyboards
- Jim Crichton / bass, keyboards
- Steve Negus / drums, percussion, electronic drums

- Sharon Benson / vocals (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Studio Convertino

LP Maze Records ‎- ML 8010 (1985, Canada)

CD Bel Aire ‎- SAGCD-7 (1985, Europe)
CD Steamhammer ‎- SPV 076-7436A CD-E (2002, Germany) Remastered (?) with a bonus Video

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SAGA Behaviour ratings distribution

(163 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

SAGA Behaviour reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is my favourite saga album. Saga reaches here the peak of their career (this is IMO their last good album). Although not in the same vein as their earlier efforts, this opus deals nonetheless with very good stuff, keyboard-oriented and melodic. Michael Sadler has a very pleasant voice and Steve Negus plays briliantly both electronic and acoustic percussion. For those who like 'Power windows' or 'Hold your fire' by Rush, this album is highly recommended. Enjoy it!!
Review by Fishy
3 stars Saga issued this album in 1985. When compared to earlier efforts, there's a change in direction. Let's face it, Behaviour is a perfect mid eighties pop album with some influences from new wave. The band is famous for making progressive rock accessible. The sound of this album is accessible but it can't be described as "progressive". The production is totally different from previous albums, very smooth, this is most noticeable when listening to the keyboardsounds, no more space sounds, no more fantastic album cover as well, lyrics about romance (boy meets girl). Only the closing track "One upon a time" seems to have some excitable moments. But not all is bad, the songs have great melodies and there's the brilliant guitarist Ian Crichton who shines on this album as he does on any other Saga record.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a logical follow-up of Saga's previous album "Heads of Tail". Through this album Saga has committed the style of compositions they make and the music direction they would like to take. The key to Saga's music is the combined keyboard and guitar work that produces unique sound. Ian Crichton is a talented guitar player who, I believe, never show off his talent through long guitar solo, rather he played it in harmony with the beats and keyboard work. He knows really well how to create guitar sounds that do not produce distorted sounds that impact the vocal line.

One thing peculiar about Saga, for me personally, is the beats each song has which to my ears has created something unique that other bands have ever emulated. It sounds to me that the beats do not fall into predetermined bars that usually govern the music.

Back to this album, it's a good album even though it's not essential.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Saga's Behaviour is a transitional album in their career's, why, because this album is more pop orientated with prog leanings, typical for mid '80's, and kinda far from even the previous one Heads or tail, not to mention the early one who were the best and very strong releases and very prog. Still a good album, but not a single piece shines here, it must be taken as a whole, all are on the same level. The pop orientation is clear on every track, well not really bad, but not special either. I considered this album weaker than anything Saga released before this one and even more unintristing than the most controversial album of them from the'80's The begginers guide to throuing shapes from 1989 Well this album is as a whole typical Saga music but is less enjoyble than other albums who appeal more to me like Heads or tails, Worlds apart or Full circle for ex. So 2.5 rounded to 3, good but nothing special about.
Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Having read some of the previous reviews, I have to agree that this album seems to establish where the group wants to head with their music. One question though, after my interview with Ian, is how much the pressure from their record label pushed the band towards a more commercial radio-friendly sound, and how much was natural progression.

When Behaviour came out, Heads or Tales was still getting much play on my record player, and one of my friends still played In Transit & Worlds Apart quite frequently as we had both just got into the band in the last year.

So when this one came out, I heard the single "What Do I Know", and thought that Saga had managed to keep the magic of their previous two releases and added some radio appeal without losing their prog edge.

So I come to this review of two minds. First, with Genesis putting out angular white soul, with the Cars perfecting and giving the ultimate polish to their perfect pop, and even Queen hardly rocking hard anymore, Saga really should have hit big with this album. This music was tailor made for many a radio programming style - MOR, Adult Contemporary, Modern Rock, AOR even. But "What Do I Know" didn't manage to get the album up the charts, nor even match the previous two releases' success. Second, as good as it was for what it was ... it wasn't what I liked about Saga, nor was it music that I generally listened to. So the cassette that I bought was traded back pretty quick for something else.

So for this review, I picked up a used LP copy at Spin-It, and uploaded it to my PC. I'm listening to it as I write. So is my wife. She quite likes it. And despite my misgivings, I can see why. This is excellent adult rock. There are very few prog aspects apart from some of the playing. But the compositions themselves are examples of how a mature band can strive for a more mainstream & commercial sound without sounding stilted, unnatural or forced, or worse bland. And too many 80s giants fell into that trap (Styx anyone?)

So I won't hold you longer. If you like What Do I Know. If you enjoy adult rock. If you like intelligent pop with a modern sheen, then this is an album that will please you.

If you're looking for the Neo before Neo sound that I loved about Saga, their prog stylings on such albums as the debut, Worlds Apart and especially Heads or Tales, then Behaviour is one album to pass on. Still worth a listen for the curious. More than one fellow PA collab holds this one in good regard. Just don't expect Heads Or Tales PT II

Unfortunately. A 2 for competence.

Review by progrules
3 stars There was a tough task ahead of Saga to come up with a fine follow up for one of their greatest albums ever, Heads or Tales. Apparently the challenge was a bit too much asked. Finally also Saga (like many other progbands such as IQ, GENESIS and YES) capitulated for the more poppy style almost all those chose to play forced by the inevitable flow you probably have to conform to at a certain point. Well, ok, also Heads or Tales (from 1983) had already some pop influences but this successor, Behaviour, even more so. To reach a dramatic rock bottom with Wildest Dreams ultimately.

Listen to your Heart isn't really a bad song to be honest. Sadler does a great job here and the ambient start of the song is quite captivating. 3,5*.

Take a Chance is a very catchy rocker with both poppy leanings as some progressive elements. Brings back sweet memories ... 3,5*

What do I know ? is a bit more ballad-like with great support vocals by Sharon Benson. Also here there's still good old Saga to be detected. Another classy song I can only admit but not outstanding. Ian Crighton shines at times as well on his guitar. 3,75*

Misbehaviour is more up tempo and again pretty accessible, touching the pop boundaries. Slightly less my personal fav but still good enough for 3,25*.

Nine Lives of Miss Midi is a short ambient key dominated instrumental. Just nice. 3*.

You and the Night is a very fine ballad again causing a great atmosphere caused by Gilmour's keyboardplay. Another one that is soooo Saga. Wonderful. 3,75*.

Out of the Shadows is the first song of the B-side of my beloved vinyl. And somehow it's no coincidence that this is the B-side. First four songs sound just a bit less inspired and less interesting compostionwise. I will gather them here for they all end up in the same score which is somewhere between 3 and 3,25 stars.

But they did save the best for last obviously. (Goodbye) Once upon a Time is one of the better songs in their career even and for sure the best song on the album. This mini-epic (for Saga standards) is very well built up and has a great atmosphere. 4*.

It all ends up in a score somewhere in the middle of a 3 and 4 star rating. So it's a tough choice once again. I've given many Saga albums four stars because the band is very special to me but somehow this one is a little bit less. But it's still (almost) very good all things considered. But I will leave it at three this time.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars (Goodbye Prog) once upon a time...

The Prog-quotient on the previous couple of Saga albums was low, and it had gradually decreased ever since the self-titled debut from 1978, but on Behaviour it was for the first time reduced to zero. Whatever remnants of progressive Rock that could be found on Worlds Apart and Head Or Tales is wholly eradicated here. This is Pop-Rock pure and simple, complete with smooth and slick, radio-friendly production, syrupy love songs, utterly banal and predictable lyrics and even some occasional cheesy female backing vocals. The solos and instrumental breaks that could still be found on the previous album are kept to an absolute minimum here and the focus is instead on the vocals. This is especially unfortunate as they have absolutely nothing interesting to say here. The lyrics are as uninspired and predictable as the music and consist mostly of old clichés. The tempo is generally much slower than we are used to from Saga and they have completely forgotten how to Rock here. These songs are all smooth, mid-tempo Synth-Rock or dull Pop ballads. The excesses that characterize the typical Saga sound are not to be found on this album.

There is nothing that stands out here, in either direction; there is nothing that grips me or interest me but also nothings that is truly awful. Behaviour is not a horrible album as such, it is just an utterly flat, dull and monotonic recording that has also happens to have nothing whatsoever to do with progressive Rock.

One of Saga's poorest efforts

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
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.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Saga peaked commercially with this album who also spawned a minor hit in the song What Do I Know. I have not been listening to this album for at least two decades and I have not been listening to Saga since my last review of one of their albums many months ago. Saga was the band that intro ... (read more)

Report this review (#305600) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I must recognize that I love Saga and sometimes costs to me to recognize their errors. But there is no doubt that with this album they lowered to much the strip. That like trio seems to me album far better... I´m talking about "The Beginner´s Guide...". But the first five albums in studio ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#41162) | Posted by ADRIANGALES | Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars My first album from SAGA. It is different from their earlier style, but very strong. First time they sing about women. Very melodic, more pop oriented, less keyboard, but very strong guitars and drums. Wanna get revitalized? Then listen to "Out of the shadows", "Easy way out", "Here I am" and "On ... (read more)

Report this review (#39095) | Posted by | Sunday, July 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Excellent Pop-Rock Prog effort. It's possible that many SAGA fans don't like the style of this record but here we've got many of their best songs ever and classics like 'Take A Chance' 'Misbehaviour', 'Here I Am' and '(Goodbye) Once Upon A Time' probably the best points of the album. Also the ... (read more)

Report this review (#17535) | Posted by porcupine_boy | Sunday, March 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I remember listening to this album in 1986 on CD.I still have a copy to this day...Remember this is a full digital recording...One of several pop/rock CD's issued that year... I remember reading a review of the album comparing it to work from the alan parson's proj./I listen regularly ... (read more)

Report this review (#17534) | Posted by | Monday, January 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The last great SAGA album(for a while). The first "concept" album by SAGA as all the songs deal with the theme of love. A BRILLIANT album, the best keyboard & guitar work melt together with the lyrical twists of the experience of dealing with love. ... (read more)

Report this review (#17530) | Posted by | Thursday, December 11, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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