SAGA – Marathon [Remastered reissue 2021] HQ

SAGA - Marathon [Remastered reissue 2021] HQ full

Over 40 years have passed since Canadian melodic prog-rock band SAGA released their self-titled debut album. Since then, they have been an exceptional musical phenomenon and toured the globe various times — all the while selling over 10 million albums worldwide.
Their sonic trademarks – synthesizer harmonies, keyboard-guitar riffs, melodic arrangements, and the charismatic vocals of frontman Michael Sadler – have made Saga an influential rock act of the modern era.
In 2021, earMUSIC is celebrating the band’s four-decade legacy launching a reissue series exquisitely remastered and these “must own” releases will be welcome additions to the musical libraries of the Saga faithful.
Marathon” was the third in a trio of interconnected Saga albums that begun with ‘Full Circle’ and continued with ‘House Of Cards’, and all of the band’s trademarks are here: the distinctive vocals of Michael Sadler, the characteristic “pompous” guitar and keyboard sound, the usual clean production, and the archetypal catchy melodies.

These three albums all harked back to the band’s earliest days and all featured (an updated version of) the paradigmatic insect on the sleeve. The latter is here portrayed as a kind of modern-day comic book superhero which suits the band’s image perfectly.
These three albums also featured chapters 9 through 16 of “the chapters” song cycle (that was originally started with the band’s debut album in 1978 and continued on the next three albums to then be laid to rest for nearly 20 years before it was resurrected on the ‘Full Circle’ album).

Every Saga fan probably needed to hear here the 16th and final chapter in the Saga that begun all the way back in 1978. Interestingly the final chapter is named after one of the band’s most well-known classic albums – Worlds Apart.
The song is a worthy album closer as well as a worthy closing song of the long song cycle, but like the album as a whole, it sounds a bit like more of the same. In 2005 a live album was released featuring all 16 chapters (old and new) in their numerical order.

Michael Sadler sounds assertive here, his vocal style harkens back to ‘World’s Apart / Heads Or Tales’ era, although a tad more aggressive. Ian Crichton on guitar is at the top of his game, and Steve Negus has never been more impressive on the drum kit.
The big highlight is the 2nd track “How Are You?” and track #7 “Return To Forever” where Saga show off their chops.

This whole “Marathon” album is solid and a great new chapter in Saga history. A great hybrid of prog, intelligent pop, and melodic rock. Recommended for Saga fans and ’80s music in this style – keyboards-a-plenty too.
Highly Recommended


01 – Marathon
02 – How Are You?
03 – Breathing Lessons
04 – Hands Up
05 – Streets of Gold (Chapter 14)
06 – Blind Side of the Heart
07 – Return to Forever
08 – Too Deep
09 – You Know I Know (Chapter 12)
10 – Rise and Shine
11 – Worlds Apart (Chapter 16)

Michael Sadler: Lead Vocals & Keyboards
Ian Crichton: Guitar & Background Vocals
Jim Gilmour: Lead Keyboards & Vocals
Steve Negus: Drums & Percussion
Jim Crichton: Bass & Keyboards


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2 Responses

  1. Rudio says:

    I totally agree: ‘…these “must own” releases will be welcome additions…’
    Thanks 🙂

  2. melodified says:

    One of my favorite Saga albums..Thank you.

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