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Saga - 1981 Worlds Apart



ARTIST: Saga
ALBUM: Worlds Apart
LABEL: Polydor (Germany), Maze (Canada), Portrait (USA)
SERIAL: 2374 179, ML-8004, FR 38246
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 1987, Bonaire (Germany), 258 161 * 1994, Polydor, 821 479-2

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Michael Sadler - vocals, keyboards, bass * Ian Crichton - guitars * Jim Crichton - bass, keyboards * Jim Gilmour - keyboards * Steve Negus - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 On The Loose * 02 Wind Him Up * 03 Amnesia * 04 Framed * 05 Time's Up * 06 The Interview * 07 No Regrets (Chapter V) * 08 Conversations * 09 No Stranger (Chapter VIII)

WEBLINKS: www.saga-world.com


Background
Canadian band Saga struck a beautiful chime-like nerve with me upon the release of their 1980 critically acclaimed album 'Silent Knight'. With that album, pomp and progressive rock combined magically, an album the band have never been quite able to recapture. They went close though, with the follow-up 'Worlds Apart'. The major difference being the commercial angle applied to the material, obviously their new label-owners Portrait (they were previously with Polydor/Maze) saw some potential with Saga to make it into the Billboard charts. The other notable success coming out of Canada at the time was Loverboy. Though their style of music was pitched at a slightly younger audience, it gave other Canadian acts a leg-up to pitch their material in a similar commercial approach. T'was a pity then that few Canucks took advantage of this opportunity, even with the likes of Wrabit and Harlequin floating about the scene, they were never truly able to break through.


The Songs
Of course, 'Worlds Apart' is best known as the album which contains their best known hit 'On The Loose', still played on North American radio today. The pomp bombast wrapped up in a commercial package that few bands could ever do. However, the album does contain other significant contributions to the Saga 'Best Of' series: namely the excellent pomp that is 'Wind Him Up' (inclusive of sound effects) and the dramatic surges contained within the track 'Framed' 'I've been framed again.. now you're to blame..'. There are some introspective moments too: 'Times Up' and 'No Regrets' being two examples of this. The album though contains hi-tech pieces that give all hi-fidelity freaks an aural treat. Listen to the punchy combination of 'Amnesia' and 'The Interview', sure to test the boundary of your speakers. Not to be outdone, the parting shot that is 'No Stranger' is one of my favourite all-time Saga tracks. Dramatic intro, stabbing pianos, cutting guitars and the ever-present Steve Negus weaving his drumstick magic all over the place.


In Summary
From this point on in their career, I feel Saga sort of lost their way musically. Sure, albums like 'Heads Or Tales' and to a lesser extent 'Behavior' displayed similar intent, but the spontaneity and pomp charm was lost in favour of a leaner sound.. think along the lines of Rush from their 'Signals' album onward. Still, 'Worlds Apart' is a grand listen twenty plus years later, and still great that the band, through all its personnel upheaval over the years are an ongoing concern. Let's be thankful that Saga never sold out in the eighties the way that Phil Collins and Genesis did..


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Comments
#1 | Jez on January 27 2007 12:27:41
Brilliant in one word and along with 'Silent Knight' my favourite Saga release. This one has everything you could wish for, great guitar from Ian Crichton, a superb vocal from Michael Sadler, intricate keys from the maestro himself Jim Gilmour. Songwise aswell probably the most complete Saga release-'On The Loose','Wind Him Up', The ultra commercial 'Amnesia' and the superb 'Framed' - listen to the guitar in this one and tell me Crichton aint a guitar god. Indespensible.
#2 | gdazegod on February 10 2007 09:32:17
Must do some more Saga reviews.. We are severely lacking here.. Shock
#3 | DEMONAOR on July 08 2008 18:02:04
Great Agunsgunsgunsgunsgunsgunslbum
#4 | reyno-roxx on July 25 2008 16:08:01
An excellent album, rivalling Journey's 'Escape' for top honours in the 1981 releases stakes.
I'm a huge fan of the subsequent 'In Transit' live album too.
#5 | TheMurf on November 26 2010 21:15:22
Anyone ever notice that this album cover is almost an exact copy of Prism's "See Forever Eyes" album which came out in 1978. You don't see this cover too much anymore, most World's Apart album covers these days are the Old man reading an old map against a foggy background.
The Murf
#6 | gdazegod on November 26 2010 21:38:05
This is the original cover, and the one I remember the most. The newer one (the old guy and the map) just doesn't do it for me. Fantastic album though.. I am no stranger.
#7 | trillion1999 on October 15 2011 20:56:03
In my view they could do no wrong before Wildest Dreams though I love Odd Man Out from The Beginners Guide To Throwing Shapes.I was surprised how much I liked The Human Condition and the voice of Rob Moratti.This album reviewed here contains perhaps if held at gun-point my most loved Saga-track No Regrets.The lyrics His Yesterday Held So Much Promise His Today Only Misbelief I want for my epitaph.in love
 
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