Saga - The Chapters review


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Band: Saga
Album: The Chapters
Release date: November 2005

Disc I
01. Images (Chapter 1)
02. Don't Be Late (Chapter 2)
03. It's Time (Chapter 3)
04. Will It Be You? (Chapter 4)
05. No Regrets (Chapter 5)
06. Tired World (Chapter 6)
07. Too Much to Lose (Chapter 7)
08. No Stranger (Chapter 8)

Disc II
01. Remember When? (Chapter 9)
02. Not This Way (Chapter 10)
03. Ashes To Ashes (Chapter 11)
04. You Know I Know (Chapter 12)
05. Uncle Albert's Eyes (Chapter 13)
06. Streets of Gold (Chapter 14)
07. We'll Meet Again (Chapter 15)
08. Worlds Apart (Chapter 16)

The Chapters is the third live album of six released by Saga in their career. This amazingly performed album compiles live recordings of The Chapters, which were originally released over eight studio albums starting in 1978. The studio versions were originally released over a 28 year period in a mixed-up order to create a conceptual puzzle. The story was inspired by the Cold War, and the preservation of Albert Einstein's brain, which was kept by Thomas S. Harvey, M.D. Also other themes are included such as science fiction, aliens, or the resurrection of the dead through technology.

The Chapters starts full of emotion with "Images", that is actually the first chapter of this "musical theatre" built by Saga. This live album is divided in two CDs with different tones and musical styles, in my opinion. The first CD contains the so popular and so well designed "Don't Be Late (Chapter 2)" made famous throughout the world. When I listen to the album I just feel so bluesy and nostalgic. Although a progressive band, Saga has the rare ability to mix progressive rock with "soft rock" which is so difficult. For me the first half of the album is more progressive, filled with energy. The first eight songs of the chapters are more rock oriented, driving us to a feeling of emotional opening and enlightenment. The voice of Michael Sadler is as usual...amazing. The riffs and solos of Ian makes any rock fan happy and combine with the great ability of his brother Jim mixed with great drum and keyboard parts. The big moments of this CD are the second and sixth tracks; they are so well performed and maybe the top live performances this band made of both songs.

The second CD is much more emotionally oriented to a more soft rock style. The band's performance stays in a peak just like the first CD. If you love Saga you gotta love this 2nd half of the album. When I remember "Remember When (Chapter 9)" or "Not This Way (Chapter 10") I just feel the emotion behind the story. Sadler is at his best. The top performer in this half is definitely Jim Gilmour showing how great he is. The main feature of the 2nd half is the story behind all the concept, if you can recognize it, definitely you'll love it.

In conclusion, this is a great live album. I'm almost a big fan of Saga and after listening to this almost live masterpiece I just want to hear it more often. Saga has the ability to make you want to rock but also to bring the most nostalgia out of everyone. They are one of the best storytellers I know. Just thinking of their ability to build such a great storyline and transform it into music makes every fan love this band and album even more.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8

Written by AndMetalForAll | 04.12.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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