The band’s founders were bass keyboard player Jim Crichton, vocalist and lead songwriter Michael Sadler (Michael Sadler), guitarist Ian Crichton, keyboard player Peter Rochon and drummer Steve Negus. from the leading musicians of the Fludd group. The band changed their name to Saga after the conceptual cycle of the “chapters” (“Chapters”) started by them in their first four albums. Later, in 1999, the group again returned to this concept in the next three albums. “Chapters” were often performed at the concerts of the group during extended tours around Canada, the USA and some European countries, and later they were all alive in order and included in the double live album “The Chapters Live” of 2005.
The debut album, which was called the same as the quintet, “Saga”, appeared in June 1978 and immediately brought them the first glory (composition “Humble Stance”). At the same time, keyboard player Peter Rochon left the team, and was replaced by Greg Chadd. The next two albums also took leading positions in the European, Canadian and American charts. The hit “It’s Time” from the album “Images at Twilight” (1979) reached the top ten in Canada immediately after its release and made the band quite popular in their homeland during a joint tour #sagaontour supported #seatleafs with another Canadian band Rush. The hit song “Careful Where You Step” from the album “Silent Knight” (1980) became hit in the USA and Canada. In between the recordings of these albums, the keyboard player changed: Jim “Daryl” Gilmour came to replace Chedda.
The next and most popular album, Worlds Apart (1981), which was produced by Rupert Hine, became gold, which caused the band to appear on MTV. The song-hymn “On the Loose” hit the Top 40 of the USA and Canada, and the leader of the album was the song “Wind Him Up” – the video for this track attracted the attention of viewers in 1982-1983.
It was at this time, in 1982, that Saga became the first Canadian rock band that managed to perform on the other side of the Iron Curtain in front of 10,000 fans during the opening of a new sports arena in Budapest. The recordings of this concert formed the basis of the “live” album “In Transit” (1982). Another similar performance of the group took place in September 1983 in the territory of the former GDR.
Further success in 1983 brought the album “Heads or Tales” (No. 1 in the German charts, was among the top five in other European countries). From singles stood out the composition “Scratching the Surface” with lead vocal by Jim Gilmore. Also noted was the composition “The Flyer”. In 1985, the band released the album “Behavior”, which was met with cool criticism, although the compositions “What Do I Know?”, “Take a Chance”, and “Misbehaviour” were also noted as successful.
In 1986, Steve Negus and Jim Gilmour left the quintet, setting up their own project, the Gilmour-Negus Project (GNP). Meanwhile, Saga continued to work with the Crichton brothers, inviting various musicians to perform at times.