Saga is a Progressive rock quintet, formed in Oakville Ontario Canada. Bassist-keyboardist Jim Crichton and Welsh-born vocalist Michael Sadler have been the principal songwriters for Saga. Ian Crichton is the band's guitarist. Apart from his work with Saga, he has recorded several solo albums as well as sessions with Asia. The band's keyboardist, Jim "Daryl" Gilmour, replaced Greg Chadd in 1980 (Chadd replaced original member Peter Rochon after the first album). After the 2003 Marathon tour, Steve Negus announced his retirement as Saga's original drummer. Christian Simpson, a Canadian-American, replaced Negus for 2004's Network album, until sidelined by a neurological condition that affected his drumming. In late 2005, former Helix member Brian Doerner became Saga's third drummer in as many years. In 2007, lead singer Michael Sadler announced his retirement, and after a long talent search, the band members announced their new singer, Rob Moratti, formerly of Final Frontiers. Rob is equipped with a voice that will appeal to Saga's fan base. His presence and range fit perfectly with Saga's classic sound.
Originally known as The Pockets, Saga formed in 1977 from the nucleus of popular Canadian rock band Fludd. In June 1978, they released their self-titled debut album. A modest success in Canada, it would eventually sell over 30,000 copies in Germany as an import. Their 1979 follow-up album Images at Twilight gave them their first hit in Canada with the lead single It's Time peaking at #84 in the Canadian Charts. A third album Silent Knight followed in 1980.
In 1981, the band's 4th album Worlds Apart was released. The lead single Wind Him Up, a song about a compulsive gambler, finally broke them into the Top 40, peaking at #22 on the Canadian Charts in January of 1982. A second single On the Loose also fared well, and in December of 1982, proved to be their breakthrough in America where it peaked at #26 on the Billboard Charts. Wind Him Up became the second single in America, and peaked at #64 on Billboard in April of 1983.
A 5th album Heads or Tales was released in late 1983 and became another success. The lead single The Flyer fared well in Canada and also became their final U.S. hit, peaking at #79 on Billboard in November of 1983. A follow-up single Scratching the Surface was popular in Canada, peaking at #45 in April of 1984.
Their 6th album Behaviour was released in 1985, and launched hits in Canada with Listen to Your Heart and What Do I Know.
In 1986, Steve Negus and Jim Gilmour left Saga amicably, recording one album as the Gilmour-Negus Project (GNP). Meanwhile, Saga continued with Michael Sadler and the Crichton brothers augmented by session musicians.
Their 1987 release Wildest Dreams enjoyed better distribution under new label, Atlantic Records, but it failed to match expectations in America. The lead single Only Time Will Tell became a popular Chart favourite in Canada
For 1989's The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes, Saga refocused on their earlier European popularity which marked a return to their earlier Progressive style. In 1993, Steve Negus and Jim Gilmour returned to Saga. The band's next album, The Security of Illusion, was well received by Saga fans in Canada and Europe. The 1994 followup, Steel Umbrellas, was considered uneven when compared to their previous release, perhaps due the material originally being produced for the short-lived television series Cobra. However, despite lackluster album sales, Saga's 1993 and 1994 tours helped maintain some of the band's early popularity their reputation as live performers was not lost among the band's long time fans.
In 1995, Jim Crichton composed and produced the majority of Saga's next album, the conceptual Generation 13. Inspired by a popular political treatise by the same name, the story follows main character Jeremy's troubled search for his real father. The concept is somewhat reminiscent of the storyline in The Who's Quadrophenia. The album's heavier compositions have a sound similar to fellow Canadians, Prog legends Rush and even early Kansas. Michael Sadler's vocal performances on the more softer tracks were another album highlight. Saga's next release, Pleasure and the Pain was released on the eve of their 20th anniversary tour in 1997. The album failed to maintain the interest created by the previous release. On the same anniversary tour the album Phase 1 was released. Phase 1 was an album containing demo songs from the 1979 album Images at Twilight - some of them were songs found not good enough for the album, some of them were different version songs. The album quickly sold out and a second issue was printed. The album was hard to get and it soon became a most wanted item for Saga collectors and fans.
Their 1998 tour was captured on the next album, Detours, a double-live album released worldwide. Saga's next three albums, 1999's Full Circle, 2001's House of Cards and Marathon released in 2003 have been all been popular with the band's longtime and loyal fanbase. House of Cards, in particular enjoyed renewed interest. Its acoustic-flavored single, Money Talks received Top 5 video airplay in Canada. All three albums included new chapters, representing a return to the progressive rock of the band's early days. Saga released a new studio album, Network, in the fall of 2004. Their next album, Trust, was released in 2006, featuring Brian Doerner as their new drummer. Doerner made his debut on a live Canadian television Broadcast in late 2005.
Even though Jim Crichton and Michael Sadler both lived in Los Angeles, they had not committed Saga to any full-length American tours since 1986. However, in late 2005, Michael Sadler announced a limited tour on the West Coast to promote his solo album, Clear. The trek featured Ian Crichton as touring guitarist. Saga also played one show in New York City during their summer 2006 tour in support of Trust.
The group just finished recording their new album entitled The Human Condition to be released in April featuring Rob Moratti on vocals.