Saga - Pleasure And The Pain

Year of Release: 1997
Label: Bonaire
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:52:00

Saga's latest (last?) release Pleasure and The Pain is a return to their style prior to Gen 13 - well, for the most part. Saga have been making music for twenty years now, as they make note of here on their fourteenth album. Saga employ a wide variety of different textures here, and some downright weird noises and effects. The title track is gentle acoustic number reflecting upon their career. As somber as it is, there is a sense that this is their last - an impression I hope I'm wrong about as this is album rocks, full of energy and enthusiasm.

Perhaps the quirkiest track is "Where's My Money" - all I can think of is beefed up rave music. The vocalists on this track are the audience (whether real or simulated) shouting out "Where's My Money" over a fast rave beat (I haven't counted the BPM) and siren wails. Doesn't really sound like music, does it, when put like that.

The other atypical Saga track is "Fantasically Wrong" with a wide contrast in styles - talk about time changes! Goes from a quiet, arty, atmospheric synthesizer/vocal effects passage to a rhyming rocker - back and forth between the two a couple of times.

This album also features a rerecording of "You're Not Alone" (originally featured on their 1979 release Images At Twilight) and their take on the Beatles' "Taxman" with some embellishments.

"You Were Made For Me" - think it is another soft ballad? Nope, this is actually a rather dark and sinister track - the vocals just barely above the instrumentation. The tracks that are most typical Saga are the open track "Heaven Can Wait" and "Gonna Give It To You" which is a tour de force track with swirling keys, a nice (though somewhat typical) guitar solo, and thrumming drums.

Even if this isn't progressive in the truest sense, there is enough of interest here to bear repeated listenings. Recommended.

Heaven Can Wait (6:14) / How Do You Feel? (4:06) / Welcome To The Zoo (4:29) / Where's My Money (5:17) / You're Not Alone '97 (4:18) / Taxman (3:37) / You Were Made For Me (3:46) / Gonna Give It To Ya (3:58) / Fantasically Wrong (6:09) / Pleasure And The Pain (2:18)

Michael Sadler - vocals
Ian Crichton - guitars
Jim Gilmour - keyboards and vocals
Glen Sobel - drums
Jim Crichton - bass

Images At Twilight (1979/1987/2002)
Silent Knight (1980/2002)
Worlds Apart (1981/2003)
In Transit (1982)
Heads Or Tails (1983)
Behavior (1985/2002)
Wildest Dreams (1987)
The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes (1989)
The Security of Illusion (1993/2003)
Defining Moments (1994)
Steel Umbrellas (1995/2002)
Gen 13 (1996)
Pleasure and The Pain (1997)
Detour - Live (1998)
Full Circle (1999)
House Of Cards (2001)
Marathon (2003)
Network (2004)
Chapters Live (2005)
Trust (2006)
Remember When: The Very Best Of Saga (2006)
Worlds Apart Revisited (2007)
10,000 Days (2007)
The Human Condition (2009)

Silhouette (DVD) (2003)
All Areas: Live In Bonn 2002 (CD/DVD) (2004)
Worlds Apart Revisited (CD/DVD) (2006/2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: May 1st 1998
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1520
Language: english


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