Members of Saga have been heard saying that founding singer Michael Sadler's decision to retire had not been known to the band when writing for its 2007 album, 10,000 Days, had been under way. It may be so, but Saga had been, strangely, on recapitulation mode for quite a while already -- among other looking-back projects was the nearly career-encompassing The Chapters Live. Worlds Apart Revisited is to be filed in that same let's-reaffirm-our-legacy-and-take-a-final-bow category. For this special concert, both recorded and filmed, the group went back to what remains its best-known album (whether it is its best or not is up for debate), the 1981 LP Worlds Apart. Sadler and company relearned the whole album to perform it as a single 40-minute work. Of course, some of that album's songs, like "Wind Him Up" and "On the Loose," had been staples of the band's live set for 25 years, but tracks like "Framed" and "Time's Up" had been left behind long ago. The group tears through the whole album with renewed energy and loads of obvious fun, preserving its somewhat outdated quality along the way (very '80s-sounding keyboards and electronic drums included). The Worlds Apart sequence has been strategically put in the middle of the two-CD set, which means that the first disc ends on the last song on the original LP's A-side, and disc two kicks off with side B. Before and after the main course, the group serves up a cross section of its career, from the very early song "Ice Nice" up to "Keep It Reel" off the then-current release Network. The performances are honest and well controlled, but not as "definitive" as one could have hoped for, especially in light of several more live releases from this band. Also, the sound quality is rather subpar for what was (or pretends to be) a rather big production. In other words, Worlds Apart Revisited is fun for the fan, but hardly an essential entry in Saga's discography.
AllMusic Review by François Couture
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2