earMusic [Release date 03.07.15]
A two CD best of released as a taster for the upcoming Saga re-issues due in the autumn. An interesting way to select the songs as it features one song from each of the band’s 21 studio albums to date. Sadly no bonus songs or unreleased songs for the fans, they are promised on the re-issues.
Saga have never enjoyed the same success as fellow Canadians Rush and Triumph, although they have always enjoyed a good following in Europe (they are massive in Germany and their last two albums charted in the top 20 albums chart) and to a lesser extent the UK.
What sets Saga apart are the highly melodic vocals of Michael Sadler and the band’s knack of mixing prog/rock with a pop sensibility. Even early on in their career they had pop rock songs like ‘On The Loose’ and by the mid-80′s they were the kings of hi-tech, synth led AOR/melodic rock with albums like 1985′s ‘Behaviour’ and 1987′s ‘Wildest Dreams’.
The band had one album without Michael Sadler, 2009′s ‘The Human Condition’ which featured Departure’s Rob Moratti on vocals. ‘Step Inside’ is the song choice from that album. The best of is right up to date with ‘I’ll Be’ off the band’s latest album to date, ‘Sagacity’ released in 2014.
Fans will doubtless spend many a happy hour debating on the song choices as one of the band’s hits, ‘The Flyer’ (okay it reached no.79 in the US) is absent and personally I’d have picked a few more quirky songs form the band’s back catalogue.
One of the best prog/rock/pop/melodic bands out there and often overlooked by music fans, something which hopefully this best of will go some way to rectify. ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)
Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
BRIAN ROBERTSON – Diamonds And Dirt (2011)
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