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Saga

Over the course of a career that's spanned five decades, Saga have established themselves as one of Canada's most successful progressive rock bands, and have found a loyal, international audience for their ambitious music. Saga was formed in Oakville, Ontario by bassist and keyboard player Jim Crichton, and singer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Michael Sadler; Crichton had been a latter-day member of Toronto rockers Fludd and when he struck up a friendship with Sadler, they began writing songs. Crichton recruited fellow Fludd alumni Steve Negus (drums) and Peter Rochon (keyboards), as well as his brother, Ian Crichton (lead guitar), and the first lineup of Saga was complete, with the new band making their live debut in June 1977. From the outset, Saga was committed to playing original material their own way, and with close to 30 songs already in their repertoire, Saga went into the studio to record an album six months after their first show. The self-financed project was picked up for release by the Canadian branch of Polygram Records, and Saga's self-titled debut was released in June 1978; the album also featured two songs in what would become known as "The Chapters," a non-sequential song cycle which formed a futuristic narrative spread out over several albums. The album sold well in Canada and did surprisingly well in Germany as an import item, and Polygram signed the band to an international deal. For Saga's second album, 1979's Images at Twilight (which spawned a minor hit single in Canada, "It's Time"), Greg Chadd replaced Peter Rochon, and on 1980's Silent Knight, Chadd was out and Jim Gilmour became the band's new keyboard player. Silent Knight sold well in Canada, and Saga's next effort, 1981's Worlds Apart, would be their international breakthrough; produced by Rupert Hine, the album featured a major hit single in "On the Loose" ("Wind Him Up" also reached the Top 40), and earned platinum sales awards in Canada and the United States; the tour that followed produced a live album, 1982's In Transit. 1983's Heads or Tales also sold well, if not as well as its predecessor, and featured another successful single, "The Flyer," while 1985's Behaviour included the hit "What Do I Know." However, Behaviour was Saga's last album with Hine as producer, and their next effort, 1987's Wildest Dreams, found Gilmour out of the band and Steve Negus replaced by session drummer Curt Cress. Gilmour and Negus formed the Gilmour-Negus Project, and Saga went on hiatus following 1989's The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes, which was a commercial disappointment. In 1993, Saga returned with their classic lineup -- Sadler, the Crichton Brothers, Gilmour, and Negus -- for a new album, The Security of Illusion. The album marked a return to the more purely progressive style of Saga's early work, and while it didn't fare well on the Canadian or American sales charts, it sold well in Germany, Sweden, and Scandinavia, where the group had developed a passionate following, and from this point onward, Saga would focus most of their touring and promotional efforts on these markets as well as their native Canada. In 1994, Saga wrote and recorded musical scores for a short-lived American television series, Cobra; this music would become the basis of the 1994 album Steel Umbrellas. 1995's Generation 13 was that prog rock staple, a concept album, and in 1997, as the band celebrated their 20th anniversary, they released two discs -- a new studio set, Pleasure and the Pain, and an archival release, Phase 1, which collected demo recordings of the songs from Images at Twilight. In 2001, the band scored an unexpected hit single in Canada with "Money Talks," an acoustic-flavored tune from the album House of Cards. In 2003, Steve Negus left Saga, and Christian Simpson became the band's new drummer, making his recorded debut on the 2004 album Network. Simpson only lasted two years with Saga, and in 2005, Brian Doerner, formerly of Helix, took over behind the drums. More surprising for many fans was the announcement by Michael Sadler that he would leave Saga at the end of 2007, citing the stress of traveling and a desire to spend more time with his family. Rob Moratti, ex-Final Frontier, was tapped to become Saga's new singer, and he appeared on their 2009 album The Human Condition. In 2011, Saga announced that Michael Sadler had rejoined the lineup, with major tours of Europe and Scandinavia in the works. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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Comments

My favourite band since 1980.. from Puerto Rico!
Look at him running, so far to go...
A HUGE influence on me musically as a guitarist. Incredibly underrated in America, which is why they rarely play here anymore. They are in my top 5 bands of all time, along with YES, MARILLION, GENESIS, ASIA. Wish I would have seen them live. Love Ian Crichton's muted staccato approach on his leads and fills. My top 5 guitarist of all time as well.
Saw Saga with Headpins and Quiet Riot in Roanoke, Va. in 1983. Been a fan ever since. Musicians par excellence.
they just played Puerto Rico and besides the line-up change they still can rock
Good band
Heard 'Don't Be Late' on July 3rd 1982 while driving from northern to southern Cali to see Columbia land @ Edwards AFB. Great band! One of my favorites since!
Love this band. Got acquainted with Worlds Apart around '82, but still haven't had the opportunity to see them live. Picked up most of their vinyl, though.
I have been a SAGA's fan since 1980. It is considered the best progressive rock band in my native Puerto Rico. So far, they had played in the island 11 times - from 1979 to 2007. In fact, the 2007 concert was the last one with Michael Sadler after his first retirement. SAGA, we miss you in Puerto Rico...
Saga was huge in Europe. That's where I discovered them. Their first three albums were the best in my opinion: SAGA, Images At Twilight and Silent Knight.
I remember hearing Saga's On the loose, and maybe seeing the music video, way back in the early 80s and I loved it, but I could never find the album/casset t e anywhere. I think I eventually picked up the cassette in an airport somewhere, and played the crap out of that cassette. I can't believe I just now thought to add them to my rotation on Pandora! :-)
On the Loose is the greatest, most intricate two-chord song ever. Mr. Deming, you need to use your return/enter key on occasion.
GREAT!!!!BAN D ! ! ! ! !
mrazmeritsa
Totally under-rated band. Love everything they ever made.
johnhull22
I saw Sage when it was the warm up band (it should have been the lead band) for Billy Squier. They were awesome. Whenever I have a new radio put in my cars, I always use the Worlds Apart CD as my first test music.
On the loose just rocks. Wish I could hear more. Will look into itunes for them. Great stuff
I remember they opened up for Quiet riot in my home town of Fort Wayne Indiana... around 1983 or so.....QR was the rage on the radio but SAGA had better equipment and showed those QR tools whats up LOL
still the best progressive band no matter what. above and beyond
I'm envious of anyone who has seen Saga.. haven't had the pleasure yet..
just flat out one of the best enough said
saw them 8 times
I SAW THESE GUYS BACK IN 1985 AT A BAR IN ROCHESTER NEW YORK. AWESOME BAND!
bentonandcar s o n
Unquestionab l y one of the greatest progressive –or any other variety – rock bands in history. The depth and quality of the music they have produced over five decades is breathtaking . Their creativity and willingness to expand the boundaries of musical storytelling is matched only by Rush – their only serious competition, although the respective bands have their own unique sound and character. The entire library should be available here.
saga are the going back to Puerto Rico play a concert on this year or the next year or in miami too.
Only five CDs-worth, only three of which are original studio recordings? They really ought to get the rest of their catalog on here. They're all available on Amazon MP3...
brian8024
Another Canadian great.
drjbj
Saga has been a big influence on me. I have collected most of their work but probably my favorite was their concept album, Generation 13.
miguel_berri o s 2
Its my favorite band
Excellent on their instruments. M a k e s me think maybe all of them were studio musicians at one time like toto.
racing4mula1
Saw Fludd in Quebec City in early 70's, never forgot that band.
There is nothing bad about Saga!
falch6
Saga is one of my favorite bands from my 80's experience. I really appreciate their unique style! Its a shame that Worlds Apart is the only album that had any sucess in the US! They have so many great ones beside that one!
acaron46
great to hear michael sadler is back in the band
One album is missing, one released after Heads or Tails, I bought it in 1985. It was titled "Behaviour" The band's music style changed considerably , the progressive sound was striped down in order to produce Pop oriented songs, instead it produced dull lifeless compositions .
Pandora says similar artists are Rush, Asia, Yes, The Fixx, and Nightranger. I can deal with Rush and Yes. But The Fixx and Night Ranger?!#!@? ! ! ! ? ? ?
vfrpilo2025
I came into Saga with "Behaviour". I've gone backwards to older releases and forward with newer releases since. Personal favorite is "Generation 13" as a great album to just have playing over and over. While I miss Sadler's vocals now, it hasn't made me like the band any less. Just great music for so many decades.
jrhomebrewer
Rush, Saga, Triumph, Asia, Yes - The Best
jackf0
This is one of my favorite bands. While "Don't be Late" was a good video tune I would have to go with Tired World from the first album(Yes I bought it new on vinyl in '78) as my personal choice for best overall song. I love songs with two or three movements almost like classical and the guitar solos never fail to grab me.
tgoedde4
Still love these guys. And they have a newish cd, 10,000 Days, with a new singer that is every bit as good as their old stuff.
Never heard a Saga tune I didn't like! Have 6 albums all great!
rodso64
"Don't Be Late" was perhaps the very first song from MTV that I ever fell in love with, back in the early EARLY days. These guys have never topped it. This is a band to show to people who think that prog rock songs are too long.
Great Arena Music with articulation and feel. Counter point and Musicality that is opera, theater and power not to mention using all the tools available. They will always be one of my favorite influenses. Great Melodies. The full package.
The bio is wrong on one point. Full Circle was originally released in 1999, THEN House of Cards came out in 2001. Marathon was then released in '03. Somebody's archival clock is way off....
the best progrsive rock band
Saw them in 1983 in Baton Rouge, La. It was Girlschool/ Saga / Quiet Riot...Stran g e mix..Girlsch o o l sucked....SA G A was Awesome!!!!! and Quiet Riot rocked as expected. But I have been a Saga fan ever since!!
amazing!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
went to concert in Heidelberg in 2006 first time WOW then a free show in toronto in 2007 and picture taken with the original members WOW WOW WOW
Saw Saga in concert in Heidelberg, West Germany back in 1983. They were promoting their Worlds Apart LP in a venue, slightly larger than a high school gymnasium. I've been a fan ever since. There was more music than could be contained that night.
They were a huge influence on many prog. rocker...

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