‘Wildest Dreams’ is not as OTT pomp and progressive as some if Saga’s earlier efforts such as ‘Silent Knight’ or ‘Worlds Apart’. Far from it.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Wildest Dreams
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Michael Sadler – keyboards, vocals * Ian Crichton – guitar, synthaxe, midi guitar * Jim Crichton – bass, keyboards, synthaxe * Curt Cress – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 Don’t Put Out The Fire * 02 Only Time Will Tell * 03 Wildest Dreams * 04 Chase The Wind * 05 We’ve Been Here Before * 06 The Way Of The World * 07 Angel * 08 Don’t Look Down
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Of all the albums within Saga’s vast discography, I feel that their 1987 effort ‘Wildest Dreams’ is much maligned. For whatever reason, it has become a millstone among fans, who after a solid nine-ten years of superb records, decided to penny pinch the band for making changes.
It seems you can never appease long time Saga fans, who are a conservative bunch. After their 1985 album ‘Behaviour’, change became the operative word for some of the band members. Keyboard wizard Jim Gilmour and drummer Steve Negus decided to leave, they moved onto a new outfit called GNP. I The remaining members picked up all the keyboard duties, and recruited Euro studio musician Curt Cress to handle all the drum and percussion work.
‘Wildest Dreams’ is not as OTT pomp and progressive as some if Saga’s earlier efforts such as ‘Silent Knight’ or ‘Worlds Apart’. Far from it. The late 80’s was all about over-produced studio excess, and bells/whistles. Even on this album, you can see the Crichton brothers were mucking around with fancy instruments such as the synthaxe. Just because Gary Moore, Lee Ritenour and a few other tech-heads had one, Saga had to go out and get two! lol!
This album is very short on track time (36 minutes), when compared to previous Saga releases. This in itself is yet another example of changes for the band, and another possible reason for fan derision.
I think the slagging is a little unfair. At eight tracks, you can rip through this album in double quick time. Tight production, tech percussion and AOR like keys and guitar dominate the opener ‘Don’t Put Out The Fire’ in the same way that Kate Moss hogs the powder room! ‘Only Time Will Tell’ is a hi-tech/poppy sounding arrangement, offering very little in variation through its discourse.
The title track ‘Wildest Dreams’ sounds like a product of the studio for sure. The production on this one is amazing. Listen to those drums! For something a little different is the exotic and breathy sounding ‘Chase The Wind’, complete with luscious harmonies on the chorus. I liked the urgency of ‘We’ve Been Here Before’, with a slight sense of drama offset by a blaze of synth parps on the chorus. Ian Crichton’s solo is very cool also.
Picking up the pace is the effervescent ‘The Way Of The World’, which is the closest to the pomptastic best. It equates similar to the bombastic Emerson Lake And Powell album the year previous. Moving down the tempo scale is the mid-paced melodia of ‘Angel’, before closing out with another hi-tech blast entitled ‘Don’t Look Down’.
I would hazard a guess and say that most Saga fans would have this album in their collection already. It may probably be the most under-played CD in the set, but I think it would be wise to go back and spend a free 30 minutes with this and re-associate yourself. As mentioned, I feel this album has received a load of negative publicity in the past, now is the time to right some wrongs. Go to it.
Only Time Will Tell
Entire Album (Select Tracks)