Ear Music/Edel [Release date 30.09.13] 2-CD
Also available on DVD and Blu-Ray this was recorded on the band’s 2012 tour which marked the return of original vocalist Michael Sadler and the live debut of new drummer Mike Thorne. Saga have always had a large and loyal following in Germany so it makes sense to record their live album at one of the stops on their German dates.
It’s a varied set list and it features three songs from their most recent album 2011’s ‘20/20’ including ‘Spin It Again’ and ‘Six Feet Under’, two of the highlights from a very strong album. Ian Crichton’s guitar playing is always a delight to listen to and the band have a good rapport with the audience, often speaking in German with the fans.
The band’s purple patch commercially from the early 1980’s is covered by the live staples of ‘Scratching The Surface’ and ‘The Flyer’ from the ‘Heads Or Tales’ album (the album that got me into this band) and ‘On The Loose’ and ‘Wind Him Up’ from ‘Worlds Apart’. There are a few fan favourites too including a sterling version of ‘The Cross’ from ‘Generation 13’ and ‘Careful Where You Step’, the latter a real keys to the fore song.
For fans this a must have and if you are new to the band this serves as a good live best of to highlight the various musical sides of Saga’s work. One of the few bands to successfully appeal to both lovers of melodic rock and prog rock and quite why this band are not more well-known is always a mystery to me!
Review by Jason Ritchie
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Power Plays w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
BLOCK BUSTER Losing Gravity (Frontiers)
WATCH ME BREATHE Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It (The Label Group/INGrooves)
FIRES OF FREYA Take A Bow (indie)
BLACK STAR RIDERS Underneath The Afterglow (Nuclear Blast)
STOMPIN’ HEAT Shiny Curly Red Hair (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 THE DEFIANTS Zokusho (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CORELEONI II (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TONY McLOUGHLIN True Native (Fuego)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
BAD COMPANY Company Of Strangers (1995)
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