|Heads or Tales|
|Produced by Rupert Hine|
|Released on 1983|
|US CHART POSITION #92|
|Find it at GEMM|
|FR 38999 cover
[high resolution photo]
I realize I’ve made fun of Kayak and Starcastle for looking like uberdorks, and I’d just like to say I’m sorry. Saga is way dorkier. Anytime you have more than three people with a mullet haircut congregating in the same place, you’re either gonna have a hockey game or a drunken fist fight (and sometimes both). However, prog and mullet just don’t go together. Progmullet. See, it sounds ridiculous. But enough about their heads, and onto their tales. (Or “tails” as the people who printed the inner record sleeve spelled it oh god why can’t they ever get anything right in Canada.) Since this is my first adventure in the land of Saga, I had no expectations. And my initial reaction was that the music was too compressed to be called prog. (Okay, my initial reaction was Are they part of some mullet cult?, but we’ve covered that already.) As I understand it, Saga moved toward progressive pop as so many keyboard-heavy prog bands have done. Thus Heads Or Tales inhabits that half-world between arena rock and new wave. There’s no question that the band has chops, but you don’t get much of an opportunity to flash them during a four-minute song. On the five-minute songs, more of an opportunity. And even Kayak (a Dutch band) had better lyrics. For example: “Like a cat clings to an icy roof, He keeps a slow pace, tight hold, anxious view” (courtesy of the immortal “Cat Walk”). I had no idea cats could cling to ice because, frankly, some ideas just aren’t worth thinking about. (Maybe if I mullet over more, hee hee.) There was a lyrical high-mindedness at work on Kayak, Asia and Kansas that isn’t working on Heads Or Tales. Musically, they’re as sharp as a knife, but it's kind of a pointless knife.
|FR 38999 back cover||FR 38999 lyric sleeve|
IAN CRICHTON -- guitar
JIM CRICHTON -- bass guitar and keyboards
JIM GILMOUR -- bass guitar and keyboards
STEVE NEGUS -- drums, percussion, electronic percussion
MICHAEL SADLER -- lead vocal and keyboards
Stephen W. Tayler -- recording engineer
Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz -- art direction and design
Larry Williams -- innersleeve photo
Stephen Durke -- front and back illustrations
return to SAGA discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US||1983||Portrait||LP/CD/CS||FR/RK 38999||lyric sleeve|
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