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Saga: Behaviour (remaster)

1985's Behaviour marks the final album with the solidified line-up of Sadler/Gilmour/Crichton/Crichton/Negus before Steve Negus and Jim Gilmour left the band for a few years. A fairly strong follow-up to Heads or Tails, Behaviour boasts a few killer songs, but also hints at the more commercial and poppy direction the band would take over the next few years.

Among the winners here; "Listen to Your Heart" kicks off the CD on a high note, with crunchy guitars from Ian Crichton and a catchy chorus, and overall is somewhat of a distant cousin to their older song "Don't Be Late." "Misbehaviour" is a pop song with balls, as the hooks are contrasted with some punchy synth beds and heavy metal guitar licks, while "What Do I Know" is straight pop, well done, but missing some of the usual prog embellishments. The rampaging "Easy Way Out" is a classy, sophisticated rocker, with meaty riffs and lots of lightning synth passages from Gilmour. A similar formula is followed on the excellent "Here I Am", with Sadler's passionate vocals leading the charge on this arena rocker. Crichton's venemous guitar licks take on a Steve Lukather/Steve Morse tone on this cut, showing what a truly remarkable player he really is. The longest song on the CD is the closer "(Goodbye) Once Upon A Time", an atmospheric and moody number that is heavy on the keyboards and soothing , melodic vocals. At almost 7-minutes long, it takes the listener on a dreamy ride, at times spacey, at times bursting with hard proggy bliss, basically a real winner.

Now for the bad. Behaviour contains a few real sappy ballads, like "Take a Chance", "Promises", and "Out of the Shadows." This would unfortunately be the direction the band would take on subsequent releases, and a direction that alarmed many long-time fans. One tune though, "You and the Night", is actually a well done number, with great melodies, that surprisingly was never released as a single back in 1985. My guess is it might have put a dent in the singles charts for the band, although no way is the song representative of the Saga sound.

As a bonus on this great sounding remaster is a live recording of "Misbehaviour", which is even more rousing than the studio version.

I'll give this a solid 3 1/2 stars, as the good outweigh the bad by far.

Added: June 12th 2003
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Saga World
Hits: 4879
Language: english

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