Sunday, December 4, 2016

SAGA-Wildest Dreams (1987)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: December 4, 2016

I'm still flying in dreamland—on the wings of "Summer Rain" and "Electric Dreams" and all other good musical things—and now I'm keeping the 80's music dreams alive with "Wildest Dreams", the eighth studio album (if my count is accurate) by the Canadian pop/rock troupe that calls itself SAGA. And coincidentally enough, it seems this band had foreseen that they would become a legend, having released an ongoing 'saga' of albums dating back to the late 70's all the way up to as recently as 2014. While I was well aware of their 2012 album "20/20" and 1993 compilation "All The Best" already being in my library, I had absolutely no idea that "Wildest Dreams" had also been among them until I looked earlier this evening and saw it among the 'S' entries, which is now where my music organizing has shifted since the bit of a 'saga' I recently had going on here with all of those 'R' artists. I'd treated my ears to that "All The Best" compilation just a few months ago, so their easy-listening pop/rock sound was relatively still fresh in my mind; listening to this CD again reinforced many of the things I love about that sound, particularly their catchy hooks and their simplistic yet curious way with words. "Don't Put Out The Fire" perfectly highlights the 80's rock era, a song about the songwriter's plea to keep that burning passion going. Something in the way the lead singer takes a cooled-down approach to delivering the final words as the music fades away leaves a lasting touch. In hardly no time at all is when the first of my favorites is served up: "Only Time Will Tell". A rather sad tune—the words talking about a man who keeps waking up to something new and unsure if he and his lover will still be together—with the ear-pleasing, bouncy musical arrangement and the chorus that starts with the soaring 'whoa-oh-oh' at start of chorus and after the 'I keep waking up to something new' ensuring that you stay tuned all the way through. "Chase The Wind": another fine offering and one that is almost like a musical metaphor of how we sometimes feel in the offline world: the desire to sneak away, living a life of my own and only wanting to chase my dreams. Surely, the lyrics to this song are what had struck me when I first played it for myself years ago; looks like lightning has struck twice! Then there's Track #7's "Angel". Do we have here yet another 'angel' song to add to the countless others that is heavenly on the ears? .Absolutely! From the moment the chilled and stilled, haunting ambiance opens up the song, I'm in complete adoration, then even more so once the music evolves into the powerful rock ballad with the beautifully mellow words of 'fall angel fall, fall for me' melting into my senses. Then speaking of senses and such, one song that plays with them a lot is the concluding cut, "Don't Look Down". If there was a wild moment to be had on this particular 1987 'saga', it would have to be the long, introductory movement where a quirky, carnival-themed musical arrangement creates a bit of a circus atmosphere before the main pop/rock beat takes over. That, plus the band's punctuated delivery of ' don't look down ' in the chorus are the two best parts about this song, although other listeners may discover other ear-pleasing things beneath the wings, here and elsewhere:

1. Don't Put Out The Fire
2. Only Time Will Tell
3. Wildest Dreams
4. Chase The Wind
5. We've Been Here Before
6. The Way Of The World
7. Angel
8. Don't Look Down

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