Saga - Remember When (The Very Best Of Saga)
Cleverly conceived and packaged, this double disc set cherry picks the band's classic material from their live SPV albums 'Detours' and 'Chapters Live', and marries this to the best of their four studio albums on the same label.
Naturally, the emphasis is on the tracks from those four SPV releases, 'Marathon', 'Full Circle', 'House Of Cards' and 'Network', but the peppering of classic tracks through the two discs in no way undermines the newer material. In fact it serves to emphasise the consistency of Saga's songwriting and presentation down through the years.

There is always more to Saga than meets the eye. A large part of the reason they have such a loyal following is simply the fact that the band have never underestimated the intelligence of their audience.
Their lyrics are alternatively splendidly enigmatic or crystal clear perceptive but never dull or banal.
They confront big social issues just as often as they slice away at the vagaries of human relationships, yet such weighty matters are never allowed to get in the way of the band's aim to entertain, and occasionally to inspire.

Musically, Saga is a precision engineered machine with a heart and a soul. Songs are often immensely dramatic and frequently beautifully moving. The band's complex, layered melodies sometimes take weeks to sink their hooks and at first, the band's swirling synth crescendos, cut glass guitar arpeggios and staccato riffs can be difficult to absorb, but sometimes a little hard work can be good for you. There's always a satisfying payoff.

You'll see from the sidebar that virtually all the tracks are here that you would expect: the audience interaction on 'Don't Be Late' and 'Wind Him Up' give these songs a new lease of life, and along with 'Humble Stance' and 'Ice Nice' might well have you seeking out 'Detours' (one of the best live albums in the melodic rock / prog arena in recent years).

There are twenty six tracks in total across the two discs including Chapters 2, 9, 15 and pickings indeed. Every one is someone's favourite. And my own favourite Saga moments are there too:- 'God Knows' - a deeply disturbing commentary on notoriety and fame, and the cost that sometimes must be paid; the art rock of the redemptive 'Worlds Apart', and 'Always There's monstrous pop hook.

Trouble is of course, if you're a fan you'll already have all this stuff in a previous incarnation. If you haven't, 'Remember When' will be a genuine, bona fide treat. Go on, you deserve it.

Written by Brian
Friday, June 23, 2006
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Review by Brian

Released by
SPV / Steamhammer - 2006

Wind Him Up
Don't make a Sound
The Flyer
The One
Humble Stance
Uncle Albert's Eyes
Don't Be late
We'll Meet Again
Time Bomb
On The Air

On The Loose
Remember When
God Knows
Worlds Apart
Always There
How Long
The Runaway
Outside Looking In
The Perfectionist
If I Were You
Ice Nice
Rise And Shine
Scratching The Surface

Supplied by Target

Progressive hard rock

Related links
Visit the band page

Saga - Official Website

Other articles
Marathon - (Michael)

Network - (Hashman)

Live at Skanderborg festival, August 12th 2005 - (Michael)

Chapters Live - (Hashman)

A night with Saga at BB King´s - July 15th 2006 - (Paul)

The Human Condition - (Brian)

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