SAGA – Heads Or Tales LIVE! (2011)

SAGA - Heads Or Tales LIVE! (2011)

The original mix of progressive rock, pop and classic rock got SAGA worldwide fame gaining throughout the years.

With their 5th studio album ‘Heads Or Tales’, originally released in 1983, the band became one of the big names of Classic Rock. The singles ‘The Flyer’ and ‘Scratching The Surface’ did good on the US Billboard charts.

The is also Saga’s highest charter in other parts of the world – and a linchpin to the band’s continued popularity in Europe.

During the 2010 ‘Heads Or Tales Tour’, SAGA performed the whole album together with new vocalist Rob Moratti live on stage.

The shows were recorded and now released on CD, documenting one of the best renditions of the historical album. A great live collection with an exorbitant great sound – you will agree when listen – masterfully mixed by guru Pat Regan.

Set list mainstays in the 28 years since Heads Or Tales’ release, “The Flyer,” “Cat Walk,” “Scratching The Surface” and “The Pitchman” are all included in the original running order.

Hearing this material sung by someone other than original singer Michael Sadler is initially unusual, but Rob Moratti delivers an awesome committed performance.

His pure, powerful, agile tenor tone is perfectly suited to the material here. Rob is one of the best (if not THE Best) vocalist in the scene nowadays.

These canadians are among the few legendary bands still active that didn’t lose the grip, in fact, they sound better than ever.

The quality of this recording is just perfect, and the performances, outstanding.

Their live versions are rendered with the spark and thunder of Brian Doerner (ex-Helix), the band’s drummer since 2006 (whose first official act in Saga was to anchor ‘Trust’, the band’s exceptional return to form during that year).

The precision and meticulous interplay of veteran members Jim Gilmour (keys) and Ian Crichton (guitar), fan that ignition into full burn.

Just listen the energetic version of “The Flyer”, a song written almost 30 years ago, updated into a melodic rock sounding gem.

On the terrific “Cat Walk” Ian Crichton’s guitar solo is technically perfect, what a great musician this man is.

The way Moratti performs “The Sound Of Strangers” gives the song a modern, commercial approach, while on the soft “Intermission” his pipes offers to the listener a real delicatessen.

Then, one of favorite songs of all time, “Social Orphan”, is performed brilliantly. Fantastic AOR gem with tons of synths, Ian Crichton is on fire playing awesome guitar chops and Moratti shining all over. Killer Killer Killer!

And “The Pitchman”… this song is the precursor and the fundational stone of which later become Prog-Metal. This live version is simply devastating. The interplay between the monster keyboards and the out-of-this-world guitars is terrific. HUGE is the word to describe this diamond version.

“Heads Or Tales: Live” is one of the best Live albums that I heard (and I’ve heard many, trust me).

The perfect performances, the incredible sound, and of course the killer songs, makes this recording a milestone in classic rock history.

Ian Crichton demonstrates clearly why he is (criminally underrated) one of the best in the business, Jim Gilmour offers his arsenal of delightful keyboards with taste, Brian Doerner is like a metronome machine and Rob Moratti… once again proves he’s not only a studio beast, on stage the man sings his heart out as well.

A Must Have. Period.

Buy or Die!

01 – Intro (Live)

02 – The Flyer (Live)

03 – Cat Walk (Live)

04 – The Sound Of Strangers (Live)

05 – The Writing (Live)

06 – Intermission (Live)

07 – Social Orphan (Live)

08 – The Vendetta (Still Helpless) (Live)

09 – Scratching The Surface (Live)

10 – The Pitchman (Live)

Rob Moratti – Lead Vocals

Ian Crichton – Guitars

Jim Gilmour – Keyboards, Vocals

Jim Crichton – Bass, Keyboards

Brian Doerner – Drums, Vocals


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