Saga. Rock band. It was formed in the mid-1970s in Toronto as Pockets and took the name Saga for its first LP, released under its own Maze label (ML-8001) in 1978. Members were Michael Sadler (keyboards, vocals), Pierre Rochon (keyboards), Ian Crichton (guitar), Jim Crichton (bass), and Steve Negus (drums). Rochon was replaced by Greg Chadd for Images at Twilight (ML-8002/Poly 2424-202), issued in 1979, and Chadd thereafter by Jim Gilmour.
Saga's synthesizer-dominated, progressive rock had its immediate and enduring popularity in Europe. The band first toured in Germany in 1980, and had also appeared in several other European countries, as well as in the USA, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, by late 1982. In keeping with its name, Saga's performances approached 'epic scale,' making dramatic use of the latest in lighting, sound and computer technology.
Saga's Canadian acceptance lagged behind its international success, although its LPs Silent Knight (1980, ML-8003), World's Apart (1981, ML-8004) and Heads or Tales (1983, ML-8006) sold more than 50,000 copies domestically and the in-concert recording In Transit (1982, ML-8005) more than 100,000. International sales of World's Apart, its most successful LP, reportedly exceeded one million.
Of Saga's singles, 'Wind Him Up' was a Canadian hit in 1982, and 'On the Loose' was popular in the USA in 1983. Other Saga titles of note include 'Scratching the Surface' and, from Behavior (1985, ML-8010), 'What Do I Know?' Sadler and the Crichton brothers continued with other musicians after 1985. An eighth album, Wildest Dreams (Bonaire AMD-1100), was issued in 1987, and a ninth, The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes (Bonaire 210367), had a European release in 1989. Saga, which received the 1981 Juno Award as most promising new group, continued in 1990 to perform in Europe.