Saga are a Canadian maximalist rock band from Oakville, Ontario, formed in 1977. Between 1978 and 1985, they released six studio albums on Polydor, most of which were issued in Canada on the Maze imprint. A pair of albums on A&M followed in the late 1980s, after which the band reverted to Polydor for another round of discs in the 1990s. A further run of titles appeared on Steamhammer in the 21st century.
Members: Jim Crichton (bass, keyboards, vocals), Ian Crichton (guitar), Michael Sadler (vocals, bass, keyboards, 1977-2007, 2011-present), Steve Negus (drums, 1977-86, 1991-2004), Peter Rochon (keyboards, 1977-79), Gregg Chadd (keyboards, 1979-80), Jim Gilmour (keyboards, vocals, 1980-86, 1991-present)
Saga formed from the ashes of early ’70s Ontarian popsters Fludd, which featured bassist Jim Crichton, drummer Steve Negus, and keyboardist Peter Rochon. Welsh-born vocalist Michael Sadler briefly sang in a latter-day incarnation of soul-rockers Truck. Enlisting Jim’s younger brother, guitarist Ian Crichton, the new five-piece became Pockets before settling on the name Saga in 1977.
Saga released their self-titled debut album on April 8, 1978, on Polydor. Each side ends with a group-written composition: “Will It Be You? (Chapter Four)” and “Tired World (Chapter Six),” the first two installments of their out-of-sequence “Chapters” series.
The balance of tracks are J. Crichton–Sadler co-writes (“The Perfectionist,” “Give ’em The Money”) with select contributions from Ian and Rochon (“Humble Stance,” “Climbing the Ladder”). Jim wrote all the lyrics apart from two Sadler-penned numbers (“How Long,” “Climbing…”). The penultimate epic “Ice Nice,” an enduring fan favorite, was written solely by J. Crichton.
Sessions occurred in the winter of 1977–78 at Phase One Studios, Toronto, and Metalworks Studios, Mississauga. The producer, Paul Gross, worked concurrently with FM (Direct to Disc) and Aerial. Saga was engineered by Alan Thorne who, ironically, worked on another 1978 album titled Direct to Disc (by Australian jazz-rockers Crossfire). Artist Rene Zamic did the alien butterfly cover with Saga visual designer Zoran Busic.
Images at Twilight
Saga released their second album, Images at Twilight, in May 1979 on Polydor and Maze.
Saga released their third album, Silent Knight, in August 1980 on Polydor and Maze.
Saga released their fourth album, Worlds Apart, in September 1981 on Polydor and Maze.
In August 1982, Saga released In Transit, a live album recorded six months earlier on their European tour.
Heads or Tales
Saga released their fifth album, Heads or Tales, in September 1983 on Portrait and Maze.
Saga released their sixth album, Behaviour, in August 1985 on Portrait and Maze.
Saga released their seventh album, Wildest Dreams, in late 1987 on Atlantic.
The Beginner’s Guide to Throwing Shapes
Saga released their eighth album, The Beginner’s Guide to Throwing Shapes, in 1989 on BMG.
- Saga (1978)
- Images at Twilight (1979)
- Silent Knight (1980)
- Worlds Apart (1981)
- Heads or Tales (1983)
- Behaviour (1985)
- Wildest Dreams (1987)
- The Beginner’s Guide to Throwing Shapes (1989)
- The Security of Illusion (1993)
- Steel Umbrellas (1994)
- Generation 13 (1995)
- Pleasure & the Pain (1997)
- Phase 1 [archival] (1998)
- Full Circle (1999)
- House of Cards (2001)
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