I recently (a few months ago) heard a song on the radio that I'd heard a hundred or more times before, but on this occasion I REALLY listened to it. The song was "On the Loose" by the band SAGA. I had dismissed the song as pop-rock so many times before because the keyboards are mixed forward, which is very Euro-pop, and being American, we usually listen for guitars to be up in the mix. This time however, I found myself really getting into it because when I listened to the complex rhythms it became clear that it was so much like the music that my band HEDDA is influenced by; i.e. heavy, intricate rhythms, smooth run-based segues, intelligent lyrics, great vocals and astounding musicianship - a fantastic combination of solid song-writing and progessiveness. Being a big fan of ASIA and QUEEN, I could hear similarities in SAGA's music that appealed to me. I bought the album "Worlds Apart" the next day. I listened to it several times in a row.
A few interesting facts became apparent after hearing the album "Worlds Apart" stimulated doing a little research on the band.
- "On the Loose" was released in 1981 on SAGA's 4th album, "Worlds Apart". I didn't even know that they had more than one album, but as it turns out, they were a one hit wonder (2 hits actually) only in the United States, but SAGA became huge overseas.
- SAGA has released 20 studio albums and 5 live albums over the last 30 years - I now own ten of them and have become a huge fan of SAGA.
- SAGA had the same lead vocalist (Michael Sadler) for all but the last album, The Human Condition, released in in 2009. As an aside, The new singer, Rob Moratti, is also the lead vocalist in the band Final Frontier and has a very pleasing voice. The new album combines traditional SAGA with a harder edge.
Please, do yourself a favor if you like great musicianship and great songwriting; listen to SAGA. They cover the spectrum of rock and progressive rock; one moment they sound like The Cars, the next they sound like Dream Theater (before there was a Dream Theater!) and the next it's Queen or Bowie or Kansas. Honestly, I am hard to impress, and I am VERY impressed with SAGA.
Listen to the interplay and weaving of the instruments in these songs:
"On the Loose" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2glFe0sY_y4
"Step Inside" from The Human Condition 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSkxP...eature=related
"Trust" mid-career SAGA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzcYzoRNfMI
"10,000 Days" My 5 year old twin daughters' fave from SAGA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV9R1icvlzE Forgive the sound here, this is a live performance and NOT a professional recording - the album version is AWESOME. 10,000 days is a bit over 27 years and that is how many years the band had been together when they recorded it.
This band should not be overlooked!