Song: The Flyer
Where I heard it: my album collection
Saga is a Canadian band celebrating 30 years together this year with a just-released album, “10,000 Days.” They had their biggest success in Europe, particularly Germany, but did score in the United States with several well-received albums in the early 1980s.
The singles “Wind Him Up” and “On the Loose” from 1981’s “World’s Apart” album featured the band’s trademark sounds, including the intricate guitar/keyboard collaborations between brothers Ian and Jim Crichton and the soaring vocals of Michael Sadler. (Ian Crichton also recorded with the 80s band Asia.) Saga has been compared to bands such as Rush and The Fixx but didn’t have the commercial success of either of those groups. Like both of those bands, Saga’s songs featured thoughtful lyrics about more than just unrequited love.
“Heads or Tales” (1983) is my favorite Saga album; it was followed in 1985 by the excellent “Behaviour.” In addition, 1982’s “In Transit” is a phenomenal live album. Subsequent records, beginning with 1987’s “Wildest Dreams,” weren’t as popular in the U. S. or Canada. The band hasn’t done a full-length American tour in 20 years, but has toured consistently in Germany and, strangely enough, is also wildly popular in Puerto Rico. A guitar/keyboard duet from the song “Humble Stance” was featured on radio ads for a stereo equipment store there in the late 70s; Saga has had a loyal fan base there ever since.
“10,000 Days” was just released a couple of weeks ago. I honestly didn’t know Saga was still touring and recording, but it looks like the end is near…Sadler, the lead singer, has announced that this album is his last with the band and that he’ll no longer tour with Saga; he says on his website he wants to stay home with his family and pursue other interests.
In fact, the band is searching for a replacement for Sadler…you can visit Saga’s official website here and find out how to post a You Tube video of yourself singing to either “Wind Him Up” or “On the Loose.”
Here’s the video for “The Flyer,” a song which captures the essence of the Saga sound…