Forty years of Saga! At the beginning of their anniversary year, the Canadian Neoproggers announced their dissolution with their move to pop. This led to long faces, especially in Germany, where the band had celebrated their greatest successes. At the end of their current tour eclipsed asks singer Michael Sadler and keyboarder Jim Gilmour what it means for them to have opened the last chapter in their band's career.
Their first public appearance took place on 13 June 1977 in Cambridge, in front of about forty spectators, when they were still called Pockets. But the foundation stone was already laid with many of the later hits. Inspired by the work on the mysterious chapters conceived by bassist Jim Crichton, they got the name Saga while recording their debut album (1980). The rest is history. Together with formations like Marillion and IQ Saga started to play successfully against current trends like Punk, New Wave and Synthipop. A whole Moog arsenal (played by up to three band members), Ian Crichton on the smooth sounding guitar, and a Michael Sadler with great voice and stage presence formed the sound nucleus. Extremely dynamic prog without too long tracks, but with a certain pop and rock appeal. Saga reached their zenith with the records "Worlds Apart" (1981), "Heads Or Tales" (1983) and "Behaviours" (1985). After that, changes in instrumentation and style (two albums in trunk instrumentation; experiments like the concept work "Generation 13") shaped the group. With new chapters Saga began to stabilize again. Sadler retired in 2007 and was replaced by Rob Moratti, returning in 2011 for two more successful albums.
eclipsed: It almost seemed as if Saga would go on forever. What are the reasons you're splitting up right now?
Michael Sadler: Hey, we just want to stop as a tour band, that doesn't mean we stop with the music completely.
eclipsed: Ah yes, that sounds a little different already.
Sadler: Let me put it this way: This is the last chapter. But we don't rule out making new music - in whatever line-up - only there are no concrete plans for another Saga album. And live? Unless someone makes us an offer we can't refuse. A million dollars for five minutes, who knows? (both laugh)
Who would have expected this further development? While Lonely Kamel were still quite unspectacular, albeit uncompromising Wummer Rock on their debut three years ago, "Shit City" now leaves a much more lasting impression. The nine new tracks unite different moods, which fascinate you from the very beginning.
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.