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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Saga - 1978 Saga
Saga - 1978 Saga

LABEL: Polydor (Maze)
SERIAL: 2424 175
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 1994, Polydor, 825 477-2


LINEUP: Michael Sadler - vocals, percussion, keyboards * Ian Crichton - guitars, vocals * Jim Crichton - bass, vocals * Peter Rochon - keyboards, moog, vocals * Steve Negus - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 How Long * 02 Humble Stance * 03 Climbing The Ladder * 04 Will It Be You (Chapter Four) * 05 The Perfectionist * 06 Give 'Em The Money * 07 Ice Nice * 08 Tired World (Chapter Six)


Long considered a fan fave here at G-DAZE, we wind the clock back to their origins to discover the secret that has endeared this band for so long. Michael Sadler and Jim Crichton were the two catalysts of Saga, forming the band in 1977. The membership of the band was sourced from different local Toronto bands including Fludd, Fullerton Dam, and were originally named as Pockets before settling on a far more simplistic name that would hold them in good stead for the next thirty years. Saga's first gig was unusual because the band refused to play any covers - instead pursuing their intent of playing totally original music. The unorthodox approach paid off, as the band were picked up by Polydor Records, who helped initiate the release of this their debut album one year later in 1978.

The Songs
The trademark synth sequencing of Saga can be found on their very track 'How Long'. The style would become recognisable on the next three studio albums at least, before altering their sound during the mid 80's. On this album you will hear the original version of 'Humble Stance', a song that has proven to be one of the most popular tunes by the band, and one that is regularly found on their live set-lists. 'Climbing The Ladder' features some nice keyboard work amid the stop/start arrangement, and highlights the progressive influences that they would stamp on their music for years later. 'Will It Be You (Chapter Four)' is a hard driving affair, which has a similar impact in places as did Pink Floyd's 'Meddle'. 'The Perfectionist' is one of the albums best moments, it floats effortlessly in places, light and airy, though it is interspersed with denser darker and heavier moments in other places. 'Give 'Em The Money' has a sound that is reminiscent of what you will find on their 'Silent Night' LP. It's quite dramatic and brazen mostly, with Ian Crichton providing the counter-punch with his trademark guitar bursts. 'Ice Nice' returns to their progressive roots, driven mainly by a piano line, with Negus' drums entering the fray toward the end of the song. The synth solo on this one takes you for a spirally ride through the cosmos.. enjoy! The closer 'Tired World (Chapter Six)' is punctuated by Wurlitzer sounding keys, and a plethora of tempo and arrangement changes.. an art this band would perfect on later albums. All in all.. this is truly great stuff.

In Summary
The album would go on to do very well as a first up effort. Germany's love affair with Saga was instigated at a very early stage, with Record Importers bringing in over 30,000 copies of the album into Europe. This prompted Polydor to extend the band's contract to ensure that their records would be released locally in Europe - a move that did wonders for their popularity and fan base, particularly in Germany and The Netherlands, a point not lost on the band who have made a concerted effort of touring those countries on a regular basis ever since. The band went on to release 'Images At Twilight' the following year with a new keyboardist in tow - Greg Chadd, who replaced Peter Rochon. Read more about Saga on the album reviews (tag) below.

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#1 | Nick C on June 14 2008 03:18:18
Great album.....I went to see them in 1980?? Just prior to Silent Knight coming out over here, at the time I only had Images and the 12' pre album release single Careful Where You Step. I hadn't heard the 1st album at all and thought they were singing 'In The Morning' instead of 'Give Em the Money'...haha what an idiot. Not one single duffer of a track on this little beauty though!
#2 | DEMONAOR on June 14 2008 09:44:50
Yep great albummusic
#3 | Jez on June 14 2008 15:40:09
One of the very first vinyl albums I bought wayback when, and still a releases I play on a regular basis, albie in shiny digital form. Still love this album with a passion along with the next 3 'classic' saga releases
#4 | richardb on June 15 2008 14:08:22
A timeless classic a great introduction to Saga's unique brand of pomp/prog. My fave cuts are 'Climbing the ladder', 'Ice nice' and 'Tired World' Though that said, there aren't any low points on the album.

Richard B
#5 | sabace on August 03 2008 15:50:43
my fave lp is BEHAVIOUR a criminally overlooked lp!
#6 | Eric on May 14 2010 01:00:54
Saga made thier first run in the U.S. supporting Triumph in 1978 through Texas and the Midwest. Funny thing was- I never saw a Saga album in stores on a domestic label or at any time back then and import copies of 'Worlds Apart' didn't show up in stores until 1982. I wonder what thier Biz plan was back then...??
#7 | swazi on April 16 2018 22:49:21
I went to see them play live in 2007 on their 30th anniversary and Michael Sadler's apparent farewell tour. What a fantastic band and incredible experience! in love
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