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'
, 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.
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 16
.rich 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, 2006Show all reviews by BrianRatingsBrian: 8/10
Members: No members have rated this album yet.
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