Saga - Chapters Live

Year of Release: 2005
Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Catalog Number: SPV 80000899 CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 82:14:00

It was kept a secret for no less than 27 years. When Saga released their debut album Saga way back in 1978, it contained two parts from what looked like a gigantic epic. Strangely enough, it only contained chapters 5 and 6, which had everyone puzzled from the biggest fan to the most curious journalist in the media. The concept was originally conceived in 1977. Saga's Jim Crichton explains: "I read an article in a magazine describing Einstein's brain had been preserved for study and was being kept at the Smithsonian Institute. In the late seventies the news was filled with talk of a nuclear war and we were about to ride through a decade of Star Wars movies. These were the ingredients which inspired the story. Without giving the whole story away, the basic idea was that extraterrestrial life had been monitoring Earth's progress and was becoming fearful of its self destruction. So they decided they would need someone on Earth to champion the changes that would have to be made to put Earth back on a stable course. Very quickly they realized the only person capable to do so was Einstein. The plan was to give him the body which we see on the first album cover allowing him to be brought back to life so he could make changes by whatever means necessary to ensure Earth's future. In chapter one, we see Einstein as an old man on the verge of madness trying desperately to make some sense out of his life as he draws on the sidewalk images of people and events that influenced the path he chose in life."

Way back in 1986 during the Misbehaviour tour, Saga performed all of the then existing chapters in their correct sequence. However back then there were only eight chapters written. Then in 1999 with the album Full Circle, the idea of the chapters popped up again, containing three parts - numbers 9, 10 and 13. Two years later two more chapters were added on the House Of Cards release (parts 11 and 15), and a further three chapters, 12, 14 and 16 closed this gigantic work in 2003 on the Marathon album. As Melody Maker once put it, Saga delivers a "futuristic synthesis of pop music and classical elements" whilst the Toronto Star described it as "inventively orchestrated epic rock music." The sound throughout this live album is not the crystal clear one you'd expect from a soundboard. Instead you get more of a true live feel, as if you're in the audience yourself. So sometimes the vocals tend to float away from you whilst other times the keyboards and guitar sound rather distant. Not everything sounds spotless, but then again this contributes to the live feel of it all. I'm not sure whether Saga could think forward in such a way, but although the music is now played in its numerical order, the balance between uptempo and ballads is nicely in control.

I guess if they edited this material well enough they could've crammed all music on one single disc, but instead you receive all 82:14 spread over two separate discs. Maybe the more commercial angle, which is delivered mainly by the drums, can still be a tad too difficult for some listeners. I have learned to live with it and have started to appreciate this kind of music as much as I could. I still think the pure analogue approach as in the seventies is the kind of way I like my prog best, yet this effort can surely please me as well. The "saga" of Saga!

Disc One: Chapter 1 Images / Chapter 2 Don't Be Late / Chapter 3 It's Time / Chapter 4 Will It Be You ? / Chapter 5 No Regrets / Chapter 6 Tired World / Chapter 7 Too Much To Lose / Chapter 8 No Stranger

Disc Two: Chapter 9 Remember When / Chapter 10 Not This Way / Chapter 11 Ashes To Ashes / Chapter 12 You Know I Know / Chapter 13 Uncle Albert's Eyes / Chapter 14 Streets Of Gold / Chapter 15 We'll Meet Again / Chapter 16 Worlds Apart

Michael Sadler - vocals
Ian Crichton - guitar
Jim Crichton - keyboards
Jim Gilmour - bass
Christian Simpson - drums

Images At Twilight (1979/1987/2002)
Silent Knight (1980/2002)
Worlds Apart (1981/2003)
In Transit (1982)
Heads Or Tails (1983)
Behavior (1985/2002)
Wildest Dreams (1987)
The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes (1989)
The Security of Illusion (1993/2003)
Defining Moments (1994)
Steel Umbrellas (1995/2002)
Gen 13 (1996)
Pleasure and The Pain (1997)
Detour - Live (1998)
Full Circle (1999)
House Of Cards (2001)
Marathon (2003)
Network (2004)
Chapters Live (2005)
Trust (2006)
Remember When: The Very Best Of Saga (2006)
Worlds Apart Revisited (2007)
10,000 Days (2007)
The Human Condition (2009)

Silhouette (DVD) (2003)
All Areas: Live In Bonn 2002 (CD/DVD) (2004)
Worlds Apart Revisited (CD/DVD) (2006/2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: October 30th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 908
Language: english


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