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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Saga - 1979 Images At Twilight
Saga - 1979 Images At Twilight

ALBUM: Images At Twilight
LABEL: Maze (Canada), Polydor (Germany)
SERIAL: ML-8002, 2391 437
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1987, Bonaire, 258 158 * 1994, Polydor, 821 934-2 * 2002, Steamhammer (SPV), SPV 076-7428A CD-E


LINEUP: Michael Sadler - keyboards, vocals * Jim Crichton - synthesizer, bass, guitar (bass), moog synthesizer * Ian Crichton - guitar * Steve Negus - percussion, drums * Jim Gilmour - keyboards, vocals * Greg Chadd - keyboards, vocals, moog synthesizer

TRACK LISTING: 01 It's Time (Chapter Three) * 02 See Them Smile * 03 Slow Motion * 04 You're Not Alone * 05 Take It Or Leave It * 06 Images (Chapter One) * 07 Hot To Cold * 08 Mouse In A Maze


Here in lies the second consolidation LP from Canadian legends Saga. Their early history can be read on our debut album review. Gone from the 1978 debut is keyboardist Peter Rochon; to be replaced here for just the one album by Greg Chadd. Saga continue the musical/lyrical adventure of their 'Chapters' songbook, though they have mixed the chapters up on subsequent albums so that things do not follow a sequential order. For those that didn't know, it was based on the exploits of a young Albert Eintein (oh dear, I can just about see a TV series in the making.. SyFy Channel.. are you reading this?). Admittedly, Saga were still finding their feet musically. I'm pretty certain they knew what they wanted to play, but they also needed to be mindful of what the audiences wanted to hear and what the record label needed to sell records. Fair point, and a compromise inevitably occurred. Keyboard heavy is one of the first observations when looking at 'Images Of Twilight'. Three keyboardists could make for an ivory overload but the interesting guitar and drum parts from Ian Crichton and Steve Negus help break things up. The use of vocoder also gives things a change-up moment when called upon. Thankfully Saga don't bog themselves down with the earlier and outdated mode of 70's prog which really was a ivory wankfest under a different guise. A more modern, crisp and fast-moving sound results in shorter songs and a melodic crossover to a radio styled format ideal for listeners of AOR and symphonic rock.

The Songs
The familiar strains of Saga's timeless sound strikes early with 'It's Time (Chapter Three)'. For those of you who remember the material on their next album 'Silent Knight', this sounds very much like an offshoot, giving us an inkling as to what would come the following year. So too the stabbing synths and rolling rhythms on 'See Them Smile'. The vocoder on the chorus adds to the modern styling. Lots of synth filtering is applied to 'Slow Motion', the song itself is quite lean mostly, Ian Crichton's guitar is held back in reserve, though he gets the chance to noodle away on the next track 'You're Not Alone', which undulates with extended synth passages, the song itself could be a jazz fusion workout within a melodic prog crossover context. 'Take It Or Leave It' reverts to a simplistic approach, whereas 'Images (Chapter One) is the 'epic' track on the album, a symphonic affair at just over six and a half minutes, lush and ambient, with Steve Negus not required to a great deal it must be said. 'Hot To Cold' is a stark and clinical arrangement, change-up moments abound, but not too contrasting. Finishing up with the entertaining 'Mouse In A Maze', Saga trip the light fantastic, securing their unique style that would be theirs alone for years to come.

In Summary
Interestingly, some of the tracks on this LP found their way onto SPV/Steamhammer's 2003 CD 'Phase One', which were unreleased versions of material left un-used from recording sessions at Paul Gross's Phase One Studios. namely 'You're Not Alone', 'Hot To Cold' and 'Mouse In A Maze'. From this album onward, Saga would move into the big leagues, culminating in 1981's 'Worlds Apart' album which would see 'On The Loose' make it into the single charts. The band continue to this day, and after a brief sojourn away from the band, Michael Sadler is back in tow, with a new album being readied for 2012. Can't wait!

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#1 | Nick C on March 07 2012 11:21:44
This is where it all started for me with Saga, I picked the album up as a Canadian import and still have it...dead thick cardboard inner sleeve too. I managed to catch them at Manchester Uni on the Silent Knight tour a year or so later. That was the one and only time I got to see them, although they have been over a few times.
#2 | swazi on March 16 2012 19:02:01
A classic release for sure! This one belongs into every CD collection.
#3 | Jez on December 30 2012 12:40:49
Another strong release,and only album number 2. Short, sharp and straight to the point with only 8 tracks and 37 minutes. Highlights for me - 'Mouse In A Maze', 'Images A Twilight' and the classic 'You're Not Alone'.
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