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SAGA

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Saga picture
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!

Saga official website

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Buy SAGA Music


Best Of-Now And Then-The CollectionBest Of-Now And Then-The Collection
EARMUSIC 2017
Audio CD$5.87
$5.86 (used)
SagacitySagacity
Import
EARMUSIC 2017
Audio CD$5.62
$5.61 (used)
5 Original Albums5 Original Albums
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$20.39
$20.96 (used)
Full CircleFull Circle
Import
True North Records 2000
Audio CD$11.97
$14.58 (used)
Heads or TalesHeads or Tales
Import
Imports 1994
Audio CD$7.10
$7.09 (used)
Silent KnightSilent Knight
Import
Imports 1994
Audio CD$7.30
$7.39 (used)
Live In HamburgLive In Hamburg
Import
EARMUSIC 2017
Audio CD$6.98
$6.99 (used)
The Beginner's Guide To Throwing Shapes (2015 Edition)The Beginner's Guide To Throwing Shapes (2015 Edition)
Extra tracks
EARMUSIC 2017
Audio CD$5.99
$22.15 (used)
20/2020/20
Import
EARMUSIC 2017
Audio CD$5.62
$5.61 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Quincy Jones Soul Saga (Song Of The Buffal... UK 7" record promo USD $21.58 Buy It Now
MENDELSSOHN-A Midsummer Nights Dream-12" LP Vinyl Record 33rpm-SAGA-FID2059-1964 USD $6.75 Buy It Now
OKLAHOMA-Rogers & Hammerstein-Ann Gordon-ERO 8103 SAGA-12" LP Vinyl Record-1966 USD $4.05 Buy It Now
lucky thompson - s/t....1961 saga l.p USD $2.03 [0 bids]
The Merry Companions - Hilliard Ensemble Vinyl LP SAGA 5477 USD $6.76 Buy It Now
P. DIDDY & THE BAD BOY FAMILY MADE IN BULGARIA CASSETTE The Saga Continues new USD $12.66 Buy It Now
Charlie Parker ?- Vol. 5 - Bird And Diz LP 1st 1968 UK Saga Eros ERO 8035 Jazz USD $17.99 Buy It Now
Saga - Worlds Apart LP - 'On The Loose' 80's Hard Rock Prog Shrink NM No Regrets USD $9.99 [0 bids]
In Transit/Silent Knight - Saga (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.03 Buy It Now
Jean Sibelius Helsinki Okko Kamu Symphonie Nr. 3 En Saga 2530 426 Vinyl LP Album USD $27.00 [0 bids]
Saga-Spin It Again CD Digipak NEW USD $8.63 Buy It Now
Saga-Sagacity CD NEW USD $8.63 Buy It Now
MARK JOHN MCENCROE: SYMPHONIC SUITES NOS. 1 & 2 - A MEDIEVAL SAGA NEW CD USD $20.42 Buy It Now
CHARLIE PARKER BE BOP VOL 3 LP. Saga 1973 Kenny Dorham Al Haig Miles USD $10.82 [0 bids]
Saga Series 20Th Anniversary Original Soun SQEX-10145/65 Box Set JAPAN 2009 USD $286.30 Buy It Now
GRAENER - THE FLUTE OF SAN-SOUCI - SIBELIUS - EN SAGA - TOSCANINI - N.B.C SYMPH USD $4.05 [0 bids]
GORO OHMI Guin Saga: Graffiti COCC-72210 CD JAPAN 2005 OBI USD $68.19 Buy It Now
The Twilight Saga 4 - Breaking Dawn CD (The Score) Instrumental Soundtrack (Rare USD $2.64 [0 bids]
Liszt Sonata / Beethoven "Appassionata", Berman, piano **Saga 5430 stereo USD $5.00 Buy It Now
Poeta Magica - Saga [New CD] USD $16.18 Buy It Now
RUPERT DAVIES Good Ol' Days LP VINYL UK Saga 1968 13 Track Stereo Pressing USD $21.97 Buy It Now
MODERNES Swingin' Easy LP VINYL UK Saga 1961 16 Track (Xic4010) USD $21.97 Buy It Now
COUNTRYMEN Going Places LP VINYL UK Saga 1969 12 Track (Eros8096) Sleeve Has USD $9.19 Buy It Now
EDDIE CONDON On Stage LP VINYL French Saga 1973 8 Track (Saga6916) USD $4.25 Buy It Now
RICO FERNANDEZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA A Taste Of Latin LP VINYL UK Saga 1969 11 USD $6.75 Buy It Now
BECHET BILK AND BARBER With Donegan LP VINYL UK Saga 1969 12 Track Stereo USD $4.25 Buy It Now
EDDIE CONDON On Stage LP VINYL UK Saga 1973 8 Track But Has Small Pen Mark On USD $4.25 Buy It Now
FRANCIS BAY ORCHESTRA Hits Of Basie And Ellington LP VINYL UK Saga 1966 10 USD $4.25 Buy It Now
ERIC DELANEY At The London Palladium LP VINYL UK Saga 1968 13 Track But Sleeve USD $4.25 Buy It Now
COUNTRYMEN On Tour LP VINYL UK Saga 12 Track Sleeve And Vinyl Have Light Wear USD $4.25 Buy It Now
ROB GORDON AND HIS BAND Irish Coffee LP VINYL UK Saga 1969 10 Track (Stfid2163) USD $4.25 Buy It Now
LATIN BIG BAND Latin Heat LP VINYL UK Saga 1964 10 Track But Sleeve Is Dirty In USD $4.25 Buy It Now
GREAT SWING JAM SESSIONS VOLUME 1 Various Artists LP VINYL UK Saga 1973 5 Track USD $4.25 Buy It Now
DUBIOUS BROTHERS Foresight Saga LP VINYL UK Glutton For Punishment 1988 10 USD $92.99 Buy It Now
XID5260 JOHN SHIRLEY QUIRK A Recital Of English Songs LP VINYL UK Saga 1966 9 USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANET BAKER An Anthology Of English Song LP VINYL UK Saga 1963 17 Track Stereo USD $4.25 Buy It Now
HEIN AND OSS Songs Of The World LP VINYL US Saga 1968 16 Track Mono Issue USD $4.25 Buy It Now
TRIOS LOS GRANADOS Paraguayan Festival LP VINYL UK Saga 1968 12 Track Mono USD $6.75 Buy It Now
THE BOYS motown FINAL ALBUM cd SAGA CONTINUES doin it wit tha b TONIGHT hakeem USD $9.99 Buy It Now
JIM AND BRIDGET COUGHLAN Rose Of Tralee LP VINYL UK Saga 1965 9 Track. Original USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JAZZ GREATS Various LP VINYL UK Saga 9 Track Stereo In A Flipback Sleeve USD $6.75 Buy It Now
FRANK STAFFORD TRIO Variations LP VINYL UK Saga 1970 13 Track (Eros8139) USD $4.25 Buy It Now
XID5206 JOHN IRELAND In Memoriam LP VINYL UK Saga 1962 4 Tracks/Sonatas Some USD $6.75 Buy It Now
RAY CHARLES S/T LP VINYL UK Saga 1967 10 Track Stereo (Stfid2103) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
SAGA5411 PAUL ANGERER AND VIENNA VOLKSOPER ORCHESTRA Dances Of Old Vienna LP USD $6.75 Buy It Now
2535459 SIBELIUS Symphony No.3 En Saga LP VINYL German Deutsche Grammophon 1973 USD $6.75 Buy It Now
HAIR (STAGE SHOW) American Tribal Love-Rock Musical LP VINYL UK Saga 1979 11 USD $6.75 Buy It Now
ALEX CAMPBELL Live LP VINYL UK Saga 1968 13 Track Sleeve Has Sticker Residue USD $6.75 Buy It Now
HEIN AND OSS Songs Of The World LP VINYL UK Saga 1968 16 Track Stereo (Fid2110) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
SAGA5409 JILL GOMEZ A Recital Of Spanish Songs LP VINYL UK Issue Pressed In USD $6.75 Buy It Now
FID2054 WALDEMAR DOHLING Bach Harpsichord Recital LP VINYL UK Saga 5 Track USD $6.75 Buy It Now
SAGA5388 JILL GOMEZ A Recital Of French Songs LP VINYL UK Issue Pressed In USD $6.75 Buy It Now
FID2138 VERDI La Forza Del Destino LP VINYL UK Saga 1968 9 Track Stereo In USD $6.75 Buy It Now
Bix Beiderbecke. Davenport Blues. CD, 2005, Import. Saga Jazz. Mint ! USD $10.00 Buy It Now
SAGA Canadian 7", WHAT'S IT GONNA BE~COMPROMISE hard rock USD $7.20 Buy It Now
BOYS (MOTOWN) Saga Continues 12" VINYL US Motown 1992 5 Track Radio R And B USD $6.75 Buy It Now
SAGA: NOW & THEN THE COLLECTION 1978-INFINITY 2 CD SET BEST OF PROG ROCK USD $9.99 Buy It Now
SAGA OF DAN K MOORE 1964 - RARE 45 - GOVERNOR OF NC USD $19.99 Buy It Now
SQUEEZE No Place Like Home 7" VINYL UK A&M 1985 B/W The Fortnight Saga (Am277) USD $4.25 Buy It Now
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5, En Saga USD $6.06 Buy It Now
MALCOLM PRICE His Songs And His Guitars LP VINYL UK Saga 1969 14 Track But Has USD $6.75 Buy It Now
RED NICHOLS AND HIS FIVE PENNIES S/T LP VINYL UK Saga 1966 11 Track (Eros8018) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
HUGH E.PORTER AND HIS GOSPEL SINGERS Spirituals LP VINYL UK Saga 1967 12 Track USD $6.75 Buy It Now
PAT DODD At The Local LP VINYL UK Saga 1967 7 Track Stereo (Eros8022) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
PRECIOUS CLARENCE TURNER Boogie Woogie Explosions LP VINYL UK Saga 1967 12 USD $9.19 Buy It Now
STXID5298 NICANOR ZABALETA Artistry Of LP VINYL UK Saga 11 Track Stereo USD $9.19 Buy It Now
MENDELSSOHN String Quartets LP VINYL UK Saga 1962 8 Track Stereo Issue In USD $9.19 Buy It Now
STXID5127 MOZART Horn Quintet/Oboe Quartet/Flute Quartet LP VINYL UK Saga 1962 USD $17.71 Buy It Now
COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA Count Basie LP VINYL UK Saga 1969 12 Track Stereo USD $12.03 Buy It Now
XID5211 JOHN SHIRLEY QUIRK Songs Of Travel LP VINYL UK Saga 1963 15 Track USD $6.75 Buy It Now
ERO8003 KALMAN Gypsy Princess LP VINYL UK Saga 1966 12 Track USD $9.19 Buy It Now
DUKE ELLINGTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA 1946 LP VINYL UK Saga 1966 11 Track (Soc1031) USD $10.61 Buy It Now
MALCOLM PRICE His Songs And His Guitars LP VINYL UK Saga 1969 14 Track Stereo USD $9.19 Buy It Now
ALEX CAMPBELL And His Friends LP VINYL UK Saga 1967 15 Track Featuring Sandy USD $13.45 Buy It Now
MUSIC MAN S/T LP VINYL UK Saga 1965 10 Track (Soc1005) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
SWINGING SAGA Various LP VINYL UK Saga 1968 16 Track Featuring Herbie And The USD $17.71 Buy It Now
CREE (FOLK GROUP) Golden Hits Of Peter Paul And Mary LP VINYL UK Saga 1967 14 USD $12.03 Buy It Now
DAVE TRAVIS Sings Hank Williams LP VINYL UK Saga 1968 14 Track Stereo (Eros8026) USD $10.61 Buy It Now
ERNST KUGLER AND HIS SOUND ORCHESTRA Big Band Skyline LP VINYL UK Saga 1969 14 USD $10.61 Buy It Now
BILLIE HOLIDAY Lady Day LP VINYL UK Saga 1966 10 Track (Ero8014) USD $12.03 Buy It Now
TAVERNERS Seldom Sober LP VINYL UK Saga 1970 12 Track (Eros8146) USD $12.03 Buy It Now
DUKE ELLINGTON Volume 2 LP VINYL UK Saga 1974 12 Track Immortal Sessions USD $10.61 Buy It Now
TWELVE BUCCANEERS Sea Shanties LP VINYL UK Saga 1967 19 Track Stereo/Mono USD $19.13 Buy It Now
CHARLIE PARKER Ornithology LP VINYL UK Saga 10 Track In Front Laminated Sleeve USD $14.87 Buy It Now
THESE TENDER VIRTUES Continuing Saga LP VINYL UK Ttv 1985 7 Track (Ttv2) USD $14.87 Buy It Now
TWILIGHT SAGA, "NEW MOON" OST, 2xLP, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Muse, Bella Edward USD $16.99 Buy It Now
Antes by La Saga de Sayhueque (CD, DBN) ARGENTINA PROMO USD $12.50 Buy It Now
New lasah BLACK WOLVES SAGA Anesthesia 2 CD Japan 4580337480578 Free Shipping USD $58.00 Buy It Now
SAGA (ROCK GROUP) Wind Him Up 7" VINYL UK Portrait 1981 (Prta3053) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
QUINCY JONES Soul Saga 7" VINYL UK A&M 1974 B/W Body Heat (Ams7124) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
QUINCY JONES Soul Saga 7" VINYL UK A&M 1974 Promo B/W Body Heat (Ams7124) USD $4.25 Buy It Now
Saga - Heads Or Tales - PRT 25740 - prog - VG+ USD $9.46 Buy It Now
SAGA (ROCK GROUP) Security Of Ilusion CD German Polydor 1993 11 Track. Number USD $6.75 Buy It Now
BEACH BOYS California Saga/Califronia 7" VINYL UK Brother 1973 B/W Sail On USD $5.67 Buy It Now
WENDY PETERS Morning Dew 7" VINYL UK Saga 1968 Promo B/w I Don't Understand USD $34.75 Buy It Now
BEACH BOYS California Saga/California 7" VINYL UK Brother 1973 Four Prong Label USD $6.75 Buy It Now
Saga . Worlds Apart . Fludd . Canadian artist . 1981 Maze LP USD $15.44 Buy It Now
SAGA Heads Or Tails LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG+ 1983 Portrait FR 38999 USD $8.99 Buy It Now
DEZ MONA SAGA MUSIC CD *RARE* AS NEW DIGIPAK L1 USD $60.96 Buy It Now
DEZ MONA SAGA MUSIC CD (2010) *RARE* AS NEW DIGIPAK L1 USD $60.96 Buy It Now

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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)

3.65 | 178 ratings
Saga
1978
3.14 | 178 ratings
Images At Twilight
1979
3.64 | 185 ratings
Silent Knight
1980
3.64 | 214 ratings
Worlds Apart
1981
3.54 | 159 ratings
Heads Or Tales
1983
3.11 | 115 ratings
Behaviour
1985
2.33 | 86 ratings
Wildest Dreams
1987
3.06 | 80 ratings
The Beginners Guide To Throwing Shapes
1989
3.57 | 104 ratings
The Security Of Illusion
1993
2.10 | 78 ratings
Steel Umbrellas
1994
3.93 | 128 ratings
Generation 13
1995
2.26 | 67 ratings
Pleasure & The Pain
1997
3.45 | 106 ratings
Full Circle
1999
3.53 | 110 ratings
House Of Cards
2001
3.29 | 90 ratings
Marathon
2003
3.47 | 88 ratings
Network
2004
3.80 | 151 ratings
Trust
2006
3.61 | 102 ratings
10.000 Days
2007
3.52 | 88 ratings
The Human Condition
2009
3.31 | 80 ratings
20/20
2012
3.31 | 66 ratings
Sagacity
2014

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

3.68 | 81 ratings
In Transit
1982
4.07 | 32 ratings
Detours
1999
3.75 | 33 ratings
The Chapters Live
2005
3.47 | 22 ratings
Worlds Apart Revisited (CD)
2007
2.67 | 21 ratings
Contact Live in Munich
2009
3.09 | 15 ratings
Heads Or Tales Live
2011
5.00 | 4 ratings
Spin It Again! Live in Munich
2013
4.08 | 4 ratings
Live in Hamburg
2016

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

3.54 | 13 ratings
Silhouette
2003
3.98 | 11 ratings
All Areas: Live in Bonn 2002
2004
4.43 | 25 ratings
Worlds Apart Revisited
2007
3.56 | 12 ratings
Contact - Live In Munich (DVD)
2009
4.25 | 4 ratings
Spin it again! - Live in Munich
2013

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
Saga
1985
3.00 | 2 ratings
Time's Up
1986
3.05 | 12 ratings
The Works
1991
2.00 | 1 ratings
Wind Him Up: Best
1992
4.29 | 12 ratings
All The Best 1978 - 1993
1993
1.77 | 9 ratings
The Very Best Of Saga
1994
3.23 | 11 ratings
Defining Moments (Volume 1)
1994
3.00 | 4 ratings
Saga Softworks
1995
1.00 | 1 ratings
Wildest Dreams
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wildest Dreams
1995
2.67 | 6 ratings
How Do I Look
1997
2.60 | 5 ratings
Remember When
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Collection
2013
3.92 | 3 ratings
Best Of Saga. Now & Then - The Collection: 1978 - Infinity
2015

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
How Long?
1978
2.00 | 1 ratings
Slow Motion
1980
3.00 | 1 ratings
On the Loose
1981
3.00 | 1 ratings
Time's Up
1981
3.00 | 1 ratings
Wind Him Up
1981
3.00 | 1 ratings
Synposis
1981
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Flyer
1983
2.00 | 1 ratings
Scratching the Surface (remixed version)
1983
2.00 | 1 ratings
Scratchin' the Surface
1983
2.00 | 1 ratings
Take a Chance
1985
2.00 | 1 ratings
What Do I Know?
1985
2.00 | 1 ratings
Only Time Will Tell
1987
2.00 | 1 ratings
Angel
1988
3.00 | 1 ratings
Gotta Love It
1991
2.00 | 1 ratings
(You Were) Never Alone
1994
3.50 | 2 ratings
On the Loose
1995
3.15 | 18 ratings
Phase One
1997
3.50 | 6 ratings
Home
1999
3.40 | 5 ratings
Money Talks
2001
4.36 | 13 ratings
It's Your Life
2006

SAGA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Trust by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.80 | 151 ratings

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Trust
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

4 stars 2006's 'Trust' was my introduction to Saga, coming across the album cheap, and having heard of the band before, I thought it'd be worth checking them out.

I'm glad I did.

From the opening moments of the first song, I knew this band were something slightly different. Best described as some kind of hybrid between progressive rock and AOR (adult-oriented rock... oldies stuff), Saga have a very interesting sound, which relies heavily upon the synergy between guitarist Ian Crichton and keyboardist Jim Gilmour. Both men complimenting each other perfectly to create something which is better than the sum total of its parts.

The album is well-produced, with a clear sound that gives everyone ample space to shine. Vocalist Michael Sadler's warm voice cuts through perfectly without sounding strained or out of its element. His is a voice perfectly suited to this style of music. And a thumping bass gives the music plenty of groove.

'Trust' was released after a string of albums that failed to please critics, and while they didn't really stray from anything they'd done before, something clicked with this record that started to give the band their second wind, almost 30 years into their career! Songs like 'That's As Far As I'll Go', 'Back to the Shadows', 'It's Your Life', 'Ice in the Rain' and 'Footsteps in the Hall' all go to show that Saga aren't ready to be counted out yet.

 Best Of Saga. Now & Then - The Collection: 1978 - Infinity by SAGA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
3.92 | 3 ratings

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Best Of Saga. Now & Then - The Collection: 1978 - Infinity
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars This is a rather good compilation, spanning the entire career of Saga, taking one track from each album (omitting The Works and Phase One).

By doing this a lot of hitsingles are not present (Heads or Tales, Worlds Apart and Behaviour spawned several hitsingles). Instead of this hit-single-formula, this collection tend to choose the more intricate and progressive tracks. That's why songs like Giant, Heaven Can Wait, On the Air and Book of Lies are included.

By doing so, this is compilation to appeal to new fans. Every aspect of the band is highlighted; the pop/aor side of the band, the neoprog side of the band and the heavy prog-side of the band.

This is absolutely a recommended album for anyone who wants to discover this band. People who already have all the studio-albums will find nothing new and should instead focus on the numerous live-releases of the band.

 Time's Up by SAGA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1986
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Time's Up
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Kingsnake

3 stars This is the first ever compilation album of Saga.

It was released in 1986 and marks the end of the first period of the band. This album focuses more on the singles the band put out, and adds two longer progtracks (Too Much to Loose and Help Me Out).

It's a nice compilation, but it offers nothing new. The albumcover is fun and fits the band perfectly. But the best compilation is The Works, wich offers non-album tracks and is longer in duration and focuses on more than just the hitsingles.

I can only recommend it to Saga-fans because of the album cover and to complete the discography, and if (by chance) anyone should find this record on vinyl (for cheap) it's absolutely worth the buy, because it's the only Saga-compilation put out on vinyl.

 Live in Hamburg by SAGA album cover Live, 2016
4.08 | 4 ratings

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Live in Hamburg
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars In the course of 2015 and 2016, Saga and Earmusic were planning to re-release all their albums from 1989 up till now. Remastered and with bonustracks. These bonustracks were all livetracks from this concert at Hamburg.

The re-release-wave suddenly halted in march this year and was apparently abandoned. But to keep fans satisfied, the livetracks of the Hamburg concert (recorded in 2015) got this proper release.

The band is on fire, and drummer Mike Thorn really keeps the pace going. The band sounds young and refreshing, hitting song after song without unnecessary silence and banter between the songs. Michael Sadler hasn't lost a single bit of his vocal power and hits all the notes without a problem. Ian is (as ever) all over the place, but that's a Saga-trademark.

We get some real treats here: for the first time a lot of songs get an official live-release. Goodbye Once Upon a Time, Someone Should, Hot to Cold, Time to Go and Wildest Dreams were never before released (officially) on a live record. The new song On My Way and I'll Be also found their way into the set.

The rest of the songs are tried and true, and it's good to see that band doesn't play the acoustic set anymore. Those days are long gone. The closest thing to a ballad is Scratching the Surface (starting on piano) but eventually builds into a progrock epic going for at least 9 minutes (very nice).

The only really wrong thing is the 2,5 minutes of clapping and cheering at the end of Careful Where You Step, but hey, that's what the skip button is for.

It's good to hear Saga still rocking out.

 Silent Knight by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.64 | 185 ratings

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Silent Knight
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Saga's best cover art for their best album

After the enjoyable but a bit flat "Images At Twilight", "Silent Knight" sees the return of two of SAGA's ingredients missing from their second effort: catchy melodies and superb instrumental sections. This third studio opus also marks the arrival of classically trained keyboardist Jim Gilmour, more creative in his interventions than its predecessor Greg Chadd. For his first appearance in the band, he already participates at the composition of half of the record.

Like the cover art, "Silent Knight" is maybe SAGA's most futuristic offering. The music represents a transition between the 70's and 80's decades: efficient pop/rock, with progressive touches and more and more new-wave elements. The disco beats are definitely gone this time.

"Don't Be Late" is a classic from the Canadians. A great song with a mastered progression and powerful keyboard and guitar soli. The gorgeous instrumental section will give you goosebumps! Probably my favorite from SAGA. The fast retro-futuristic "What's It Gonna Be" alternates melancholic and punchy moments, with a beautiful instrumental finale. On the contrary, the soapy "Time to Go" makes a large use of very cheesy synthesizers. The only genuine weak track of the album. Back to life with "Compromise", a nice and catchy tune with a strong new-wave flavour.

Don't rely on the calm, spacey opening of "Too Much to Lose", this very good sci-fi / fantasy piece features heroic passages as well as a few changes. The joyful "Help Me Out" possesses a rocking melody and a cool keyboards interlude. Then comes "Someone Should" and its trippy electronic sequence. A bit uneven, this song is part of SAGA's material which certainly foreshadows the neo-prog genre. The record concludes with its second best track, "Careful Where You Step". Mesmerizing retro-futuristic overture, nice melody, great progression and a powerful epic finale. What else could you ask for?

With "Silent Knight", SAGA proves again there was surprisingly creativity and refreshing ideas in progressive world in 1980. Not as complex or sophisticated as the symphonic prog bands of the 70's, the music of the Canadians is a perfect balance between catchy melodies, radio-friendly pop, hard rock guitars, new-wave synthesizers and glorious instrumental sections. This rich and colorful opus was quite unique at the time and probably still is. Once again, the compositions must have been a major influence for the neo-prog genre.

SAGA's best album, the one to start with if you don't know the band. Highly recommended for fans of TOTO or STYX!

 Images At Twilight by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.14 | 178 ratings

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Images At Twilight
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Images lacking a bit of color

Stuck between the creative eponymous album and "Silent Knight", "Images At Twilight" is often considered as SAGA's weakest effort from their 'golden' 1978-1981 era. The musical ingredients haven't changed though. So why this general impression? Because the compositions are less inspired, the melodies less catchy and the instrumental sections not as surprising and breathtaking as on the debut opus. Another reason may be the replacement of keyboardist Peter Rochon by Greg Chadd, whose interventions are less creative and spacey. However, despite all these remarks, "Images At Twilight" is not a bad record, remember this is still SAGA...

Beginning with an energetic disco/new-wave opening in the style of the predecessor, "It's Time!" features enjoyable melody and a cool guitar solo. Nonetheless, this song sounds a bit cheesy at times and is overall uneven. Although the usage of vocoder displays a futuristic impression, "See Them Smile" is more conventional, rather flat and repetitive. Surprising for SAGA when you know their self-titled disc. With its childish synthesizer, the odd "Slow Motion" is quite soapy. On the contrary, "You're Not Alone" is the best track of the album. A changing disco/rock song with a powerful melody!

The second side is more homogeneous in terms of quality. After the average "Take It Or Leave It", "Images" possesses a beautiful piano overture. A dreamy and a little epic ballad. In the vein of TOTO, the energetic and punchy disco/rock "Hot To Cold" foreshadows the later neo-progressive bands of the 80's. The record finishes on a darker tone with the nice "Mouse In A Maze" and its aggressive guitar riffs. It rocks!

As you understand, "Images At Twilight" is less innovative and progressive than its predecessor. The surprise factor is less present and the instrumentals sections, less dazzling. This second effort is indeed the band's weakest from their early years. Nonetheless, this album has its moments, contains songs well worth listening and was also an inspiration for neo-prog. Not essential, but if you enjoy SAGA's first offering or TOTO, give it a listen.

Fortunately, the inspiration and ideas will soon come back for the Canadians...

 Saga by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.65 | 178 ratings

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Saga
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The saga begins...

During the late seventies, while progressive rock was declining due to the punk revolution, North America was becoming a prolific hive of refreshing horizons for prog, especially Canada with RUSH and SAGA. Often considered as a major influence on 80's neo-prog, the music of Crichton and co. was on par with the animal on the cover art back then: rather difficult to categorize. Judge by ourself: a mixture of punchy FM pop/rock and disco/new-wave, with catchy melodies, spacey synthesizers and powerful instrumental sections. The balance between the guitars and the keyboards (mainly the Moog for this debut) is perfect. Although the songs have overall a normal duration, they feature many changes and surprises. Not really complex, but more direct and efficient.

Influenced by SUPERTRAMP, SAGA's style can sometimes be compared to TOTO's for their lively synthesizers and rich guitar accompaniments. However, the Canadians incorporate more progressive elements and make a larger use of the new available electronic technologies. Like their four first studio releases, this self-titled opus contains two special songs, named 'chapters'.

From the very first seconds, you know you're in for something atypical. "How Long?" opens with a disco/new-wave synthesizer sequence and a beat ' la HUMAN LEAGUE! The track itself alternates rocking and softer passages. Quite dated, but fun and finally enjoyable. A bit in the vein of SUPERTRAMP, "Humble Stance" has also a cool long trippy keyboard interlude. On the contrary, the odd "Climbing The Ladder" is a little dissonant and not very coherent. Then comes "Will It Be You?", the best and most progressive composition of the record. Beginning with an enchanting introduction, these changing 7 minutes contain heavy, powerful and heroic sections. Its energy and punchiness maybe influenced PENDRAGON for their first opus "The Jewel".

The second side is pleasant but slightly less inspired. Driven by synthesizers, the nice "The Perfectionist" also foreshadows 80's neo-prog. "Give 'em The Money" resembles SUPERTRAMP again, however with harder passages and a cool trippy electronic interlude. This song has its moments but sounds overall a bit uneven. The most interesting part of the ballad "Ice Nice" is its ending section, featuring a cool keyboard little jazzy solo and a rocking finale. The progressive "Tired World" is the other 'chapter', quite epic and spacey.

Despite a few weaker moments and dated keyboards sounds, this first effort from Crichton and co. is really promising and original. Like their fellow countrymen RUSH, SAGA are part of the missing link between 70's symphonic progressive and 80's neo-prog. They certainly contributed to the emergence this sub-genre, nonetheless rather more in the style of PENDRAGON and PALLAS's debut albums than the usual GENESIS-influenced bands such as MARLLION or IQ.

At first sight, this mixture of catchy melodies, powerful sections and electronic technologies can be considered as a risky stance. However, during the late seventies, numerous new genres were hatching. Therefore, proposing a recipe never heard before was not illogical at the time.

Unique, SAGA were also different from the other North American progressive bands (RUSH, KANSAS, STYX...). Their eponymous studio album is one of their most varied and offers a wide palette of atmospheres and many changes. Even after a few listens, the surprise factor remains, you cannot expect what will come next. The instrumental sections are simply great! And surprising the listener is quite impacting...

Hard rocking, electronic, progressive, melodic, catchy, epic, atypical are one of the adjectives that could describe the music of SAGA. This 1978 self-titled is already promising, colorful and one of the band's best offerings. Highly recommended!

 Full Circle by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.45 | 106 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.

 Heads Or Tales Live by SAGA album cover Live, 2011
3.09 | 15 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.

 Sagacity by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.31 | 66 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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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