Now that the brief 'Rob Moratti era' of Saga is over, and Michael Sadler is back in the band, what better way to put a close to the past few years of turmoil than to release a live album from the Human Condition tour, which we have here in the form of Heads or Tales Live. Ironically though, there's not a song played here from that recent CD, instead the band rip through the entire Heads or Tales album, long considered a classic by the fans.
After the richly symphonic opening instrumental, Saga rips into "Flyer" and "Cat Walk", two of their most memorable numbers. Hard rocking with crunchy guitars and loads of synthesizers, the band is on fire here, with Moratti in fine form, and even though he's no Michael Sadler, he's an excellent singer in his own right (check out his recent solo album if you don't believe that statement). It's one winner after another, as "Sound of Strangers", "Intermission", "Vendetta", and "Scratching the Surface" among others are tackled with plenty of fire and musical virtuosity as only Saga can deliver. Guitarist Ian Chricton, one of the most underrated players for decades, just rips with his prog-metal styled licks, and Jim Gilmour and bassist Jim Chrichton add in plenty of stunning synth tones and solos.
Not much else to say other than this is just an enjoyable live interpretation of the Heads or Tales album. It's just too bad they didn't expand this into a 2 CD set and include some songs from Human Condition and other Saga classics. Either way, it's a goodbye to Rob Moratti and hello once again to Michael Sadler.
3 Cat Walk
4 Sound of Strangers
7 Social Orphan
8 Vendetta, The (Still Helpless)
9 Scrachting the Surface