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Heads or Tales (Live)

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Album Review

Throughout the history of rock music, there are countless times that veteran bands have attempted to soldier on after the loss of their longtime lead singer. In some cases, it worked well (AC/DC after Bon Scott's death); in others, it fell flat (Genesis after Phil Collins' departure). If you were to judge this by the duration of a substitute singer's tenure, then the union between melodic prog rockers Saga and Rob Moratti falls under the latter category, as the replacement for longtime Saga frontman Michael Sadler only lasted for a single forgettable album, 2009's The Human Condition. But as evidenced by the 2011 live album Heads or Tales: Live (which, as its title states, is a track-by-track reproduction of their 1983 release, Heads or Tales), Moratti had no problem replicating Sadler's soaring vocals, cases in point being the faithful renditions of such Saga classics as "The Flyer," "Cat Walk," and "Scratching the Surface." But with the omission of any recent Human Condition-era material, the group's choice to have Moratti's first live album with the band be a reproduction of an old album is a bit of a head scratcher. And to add insult to injury, a few months prior to the release of Heads or Tales: Live, it was announced that none other than Mr. Sadler was back in the band — which makes the Moratti-sung Heads or Tales: Live come off as a missed opportunity.

Customer Reviews

Nice look into my past

I bought the original LP when I was 17 and it still holds a special place in my heart as one of those albums that acted as a soundtrack to my life at that perticular time and I always love to revisit it now and then. Even the new artwork calls back to that place in my youth and gives me a warm feeling of nostalgia. The new singer is OK I suppose but to hear these songs live gives me reason to listen and enjoy as if I am finding an old ,faded photograph and I feel good inside and celebrate. Cheers !!

It's Okay

I was lucky enough to see Saga on their U.S. tour supporting this album back in the 80's. This new release is musically great - the band is tight and each song has moments of perfection that are rare for live performances. I struggle with the singer on this recording, though. Perhaps I'm too accustomed to the original album, but Moratti just doesn't sound quite right. When I heard that they were going to release this album, I had hopes that it would be Sadler after re-joining the band. Moratti was great on "The Human Condition," but I don't think he captures the emotional expression that Sadler did when I first heard these song played live.

Also - why is "The Vendetta" only 1:56 long?

Ian Rocks!

I bought this on the review from ClassicRockrevisted and am not disappointed. Ian is a very underrated guitarist. Wicked guitar licks throughout. I can only hope Saga plays this in concert with Sadler in the coming years and finally does a US tour. Cat Walk and Intermission are awesome!!! Buy it for 10 bucks and you will be happy.


Formed: 1977 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Over the course of a career that's spanned five decades, Saga have established themselves as one of Canada's most successful progressive rock bands, and have found a loyal, international audience for their ambitious music. Saga was formed in Oakville, Ontario by bassist and keyboard player Jim Crichton, and singer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Michael Sadler; Crichton had been a latter-day member of Toronto rockers Fludd and when he struck up a friendship with Sadler, they began writing songs....
Full Bio
Heads or Tales (Live), Saga
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Customer Ratings