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  • Heads Or Tales [CASSETTE]
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Heads Or Tales [CASSETTE]

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (17 Oct. 1990)
  • Label: Sony Music Entertain
  • ASIN: B00000EGXK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

1. Flyer
2. Cat Walk
3. Sound of Strangers
4. Writing
5. Intermission
6. Social Orphan
7. Vendetta (Still Helpless)
8. Scratching the Surface
9. Pitchman
10. Cat Walk (Unabridged)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Agma on 10 Dec. 2011
Format: Audio CD
It can't be easy being the contemporary and secondary of forerunner in the Canadian prog fields to big icon's like Rush; but if the quality of Heads or tails is anything to go by then it's an absolute crime the band didn't achieve an immediate and stratospheric fame they should have done to support them around 15 fully-filled world tours. Whilst "World's apart;" the preceding studio album from the band was an excellent and invigorating release, this album's better use of keyboards and overall song structure just about manages to eclipse the excellence of that album to grab the penultimate top spot of the Saga chronology. The mix essentially comes across as an obvious crosspoint from the bands subsequent 1980's pop exile to the preceding prog rock pomp of the late 1970's. Heads or tails inevitably shows some characteristics of both these in-varied career paths but distinctly manages to avoid suffering from any such limitations a mix of the two would otherwise possibly have.

I suppose the true standout with this album is the deliciously 1980's flavored and incredible atmosphere that is created from very enriching- super tight compositions and musicianship consistently conveyed throughout. One look at the song "Cat walk" and it will become immediately obvious of the height of form the band were riding on when this was initially recorded. "The flyer" is another inescapable Saga anthem whilst "The pitchman" and it's prog riffs entwined with some heavy use of keyboards proves to be very effective, resulting is another outstanding win for the album. "The sound of strangers" takes my memories back to the late eighties with it's ambient chorus and beautiful artistic colouring. Damn!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful album from an underrated band 8 Jan. 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Heads Or Tails (1983). Saga's fifth studio album.
Back in the late 70s and 80s, many different hardrock and progressive rock bands from Canada finally received attention from the States, each band with their own trademark sound, such as Aldo Nova, Rush, Triumph, and others. One of the more obscure bands that most people don't know much about is Saga, a progressive hardrock band with a sound that's crossed between early 80s Rush and then-popular new wave rock. This isn't a bad thing because this style fusion actually works quite well. The band is comprised of vocalist Michael Sadler, guitarist Jim Crichton, bassist Ian Crichton, keyboardist Jim Gilmour, and drummer Steve Negus, all of whom are exceptional on their individual parts, and combine together to form a great band. They found a good start with Saga(1978) and Images At Twilight(1980), and achieved success around the world with Silent Knight(1981) and Worlds Apart(1982). These two albums put Saga on the map and they showed great promise for the future. While most progressive rock bands fancied long 10-20 minute prog rock suites, Saga opted for their own unique approach: On each album, there were several songs with a different 'Chapter' designation, and as more albums came along, more Chapters were created. When put together, they create a whole massive story. This set Saga apart from most other prog bands of the day.
Then in 1983, Saga brought back producer Rupert Hine who worked with them on Worlds Apart, and released Heads Or Tails. This newer album takes a slightly heavier and more commercial approach than their previous efforts, but they still stay true to their roots. The 'Chapters' are gone now unfortunately (they will be back later in 1999), but the band manages to churn out a solid and accessible album with many catchy rockers throughout the disc. Here's the lowdown:
1) The Flyer- Excellent way to open the album, and probably the best song on here as well. Fast, energetic, and catchy. Makes for a great single. *****
2) Catwalk- Here the band slows it down with this groovy new wavish dance track. Different from anything they've done, but very good (Also included at the end of this remaster is an extended version of Catwalk). *****
3) The Sound Of Strangers- Even slower now, yet this track also rocks. The keyboards will grab your attention here. *****
4) The Writing- A mid-paced rocker which could sound like a track off of the previous album. A good change from the newer style of the other tracks. ****
5) Intermission- The title is sort of self explanatory because it's a balladish 'intermission' right smack dab in the middle of the album. Very melodic with great guitaring and background keyboards. *****
6) Social Orphan- This track picks the pace back up and delivers a solid rocker similar to 'The Flyer'. Pretty good track. ****
7) The Vendetta (Still Helpless)- Another mid-paced track. Doesn't quite stand out much, but it's still enjoyable. ***
8) Scratching The Surface- One of the album highlights, and one of my favorite songs on here. This overlooked track is a slow-paced, yet optimistic rocker which should have been a single. Excellent keyboards, vocals, and drum beat. *****
9) Pitchman- The album ends with a mid-paced prog rocker, also similar to Saga's previous albums. Quite good and underrated somewhat. *****
Overall, Heads Or Tails proves to be an outstanding followup and alone stands out among the crowd. It's one of my favorite Saga albums, and it's just too bad that this good band goes overlooked in this day-in-age of watered down modern nu-rock and boyband drivel. 5 stars overall. They did a great job with the remastering and the tracks all sound crystal clear. My only gripe is that I wish there were some liner notes inside the booklet that detail the band's history. Oh well, no big deal. My verdict: IF YOU LIKE CLASSIC ROCK WITH A BIT OF AN 80'S SOUND, BUY THIS NOW.
Other albums that sound similar to Heads Or Tails:
-'Worlds Apart' by Saga
-'Behaviour' by Saga
-'Power Windows' by Rush
-'Signals' by Rush
-'90125' by Yes
-'1984' by Russ Ballard
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Highlight of the saga 18 April 2003
By svein pedersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As the other reviewers, I must agree on the rating of the songs. They are a part of Saga`s greatest years, which is the 6 first albums ( the live-album IN TRANSIT included )About the bonus track on this new edition, so were we in Europe fortunate to get hold of this ext. version already in 1987, when the album were re-released on cd by Bon Aire - a German record company. The so called "Unabridged" version are 7:44 as the album version are 4:24, and the extension are all Ian Crichton with his fabulous skills on his guitar. This is a must have for the real Saga-fan.
But ofcourse, all of the songs are superb, and when my old cd and original vinyl albums sounding great, the remastered edition must sound even better - or is it actually possible ? You will enjoy this one !!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Impressive! 2 Nov. 1999
By Bete Noire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This 1983 release displays Saga as an incredible outfit capable of dishing out a stunning combination of progressive and new wave;great intensity,emotion and thoghtful lyrics make this album an instant classic.Warning:it can be addictive!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wow!! I found this after searching for years!! 13 Jun. 2002
By Kidamadeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
THANKS AMAZON!!!!! I have been looking for this on CD forever, and it is very difficult to find.
I have read other reviews stating that "Saga becomes headless", etc. Believe me, this is among their best. Of all the Saga recordings I have heard (which is most of them) this one ranks just below Generation 13 as their best, and just above the popular World's Apart recording.
The Saga camp appears to be evenly divided between those who like the poppier sound of World's Apart, and the more progressive sound of Generation 13. Heads or Tails, to me, is the perfect balance between the two. Excellent guitar and keyboard work propel this CD through songs like Catwalk and Flyer, while songs like The Sound Of Strangers and Scratching The Surface show the band's broadening pop songwriting. Pitchman is an incredible display of musicianship by all of the members.
My only problem with this recording is the mix itself. It sounds a little sterile and dated (80's sounding). There is just not a lot of depth to the mix.
I would recommend this to Saga fans, but first-timers may wish to look toward one of the above mentioned CDs, or a compilation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Some of the best of their 80's style... 4 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is probably the best cross of musical creativity and sonic texture that Saga had created in the 80's time frame. This is one of the last works of theirs to heavily use the analog synthesis technology of the time with a hint of the new digital sounds that were just coming out. This provided sound that was very warm, yet also bright and clear. Producer Rupert Hine (the producer used on Worlds Apart) added his magic again to create a complete package that is enjoyable from start to finish. In case you couldn't tell, I highly recommend it!
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