Phase 1

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The longer a veteran rock band sticks around, the greater the chance of a few "odds and ends" managing to get left in the vault. Around Saga's 25th anniversary of their original formation, the lads from the Great White North dusted off some demo tapes recorded in 1978 for their next studio album, 1979's Images at Twilight, and released them as the limited-edition Phase 1 in 1997. The eight-track set features songs that slipped through the cracks as well as a few that did make the cut and were re-recorded for Images at Twilight -- which set the stage perfectly for what many consider Saga's greatest album (and commercial breakthrough), 1981's Worlds Apart. As a result, fans will find early versions of such renowned tracks as "You're Not Alone" and "Mouse in a Maze" as well as several oddities -- including the synth-led ditty "Old Man" -- that musically would have sounded perfect as a soundtrack for a hockey highlight video. While newcomers should just stick with the official Images at Twilight release, hardcore Saga heads may get a thrill out of hunting down a copy of Phase 1. [An import edition was also released.]

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