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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Saga - 1987 Wildest Dreams
Saga - 1987 Wildest Dreams

ALBUM: Wildest Dreams
LABEL: Portrait
SERIAL: 7-81794-2
YEAR: 1987


LINEUP: Michael Sadler - keyboards, vocals * Ian Crichton - guitar, synthaxe, midi guitar * Jim Crichton - bass, keyboards, synthaxe * Curt Cress - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Put Out The Fire * 02 Only Time Will Tell * 03 Wildest Dreams * 04 Chase The Wind * 05 We've Been Here Before * 06 The Way Of The World * 07 Angel * 08 Don't Look Down


Of all the albums within Saga's vast discography, I feel that their 1987 effort 'Wildest Dreams' is much maligned. For whatever reason, it has become a millstone among fans, who after a solid nine-ten years of superb records, decided to penny pinch the band for making changes. It seems you can never appease long time Saga fans, who are as conservative as the typical West Australian male (I have discovered since living in this vast State). After their 1985 album 'Behaviour', change became the operative word for some of the band members. Keyboard wizard Jim Gilmour and drummer Steve Negus decided to leave, they moved onto a new outfit called GNP. The remaining members picked up all the keyboard duties, and recruited Euro studio musician Curt Cress to handle all the drum and percussion work. 'Wildest Dreams' is not as OTT pomp and progressive as 'Silent Knight' or 'Worlds Apart'. Far from it. The late 80's was all about over-produced studio excess, and bells/whistles. Even on this album, you can see the Crichton brothers were mucking around with fancy instruments such as the synthaxe. Just because Gary Moore and a few other tech-heads had one, Saga had to go out and get two! lol! This album is very short on track time (36 minutes), when compared to previous Saga releases. This in itself is yet another example of changes for the band, and another possible reason for fan derision.

The Songs
I think the slagging is a little unfair. At eight tracks, you can rip through this album in double quick time. Tight production, tech percussion and AOR like keys and guitar dominate the opener 'Don't Put Out The Fire' in the same way that Kate Moss hogs the powder room! 'Only Time Will Tell' is a hi-tech/poppy sounding arrangement, offering very little in variation through its discourse. The title track 'Wildest Dreams' sounds like a product of the studio for sure. The production on this one is amazing. Listen to those drums! For something a little different is the exotic and breathy sounding 'Chase The Wind', complete with luscious harmonies on the chorus. I liked the urgency of 'We've Been Here Before', with a slight sense of drama offset by a blaze of synth parps on the chorus. Ian Crichton's solo is very cool also. Picking up the pace is the effervescent 'The Way Of The World', which is the closest to the pomptastic best. It equates similar to the bombastic Emerson Lake And Powell album the year previous. Moving down the tempo scale is the mid-paced melodia of 'Angel', before closing out with another hi-tech blast entitled 'Don't Look Down'.

In Summary
I would hazard a guess and say that most Saga fans would have this album in their collection already. It may probably be the most under-played CD in the set, but I think it would be wise to go back and spend a free 30 minutes with this (take it with you on the way to the supermarket), and re-associate yourself. As mentioned, I feel this album has received a load of negative publicity in the past, now is the time to right some wrongs. Go to it..

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#1 | Jez on January 13 2009 20:50:07
Probably my least favourite Saga release. Gone are Jim Gilmour and Steve Negus from the line up, one of the main problems with this i think. To me it doesn't have that magic Saga touch the previous albums had, The songs are good in general but there is just that little something missing for me. Ian Crichton is still a God though, and anything with him playing on is still well worthy of listening too.
#2 | melodiapositiva on December 06 2017 18:49:15
Wildest dreams is also my least favourite Saga release of the 80īs ,but i prefer this than "pleasure and the pain " or even their last 3 or 4 albums ,that for me sound very samey.
I like the songs but i feel that this is a very "cold"record ,i think the production doesnīt help at all.The next album is much better .
#3 | Nick C on December 06 2017 22:30:55
Funny - I always liked this album, it is a departure from their sound but I thought it was an improvement on Behaviour, when that one was released I wasn't keen on it at all (although I do like it now) and was on the point of losing interest in the band, but Wildest Dreams pulled me back. Still an album I play a lot.
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