"I have most of the original records these songs are culled from, and fortunately most of them are still available if you look around. Check out Sage's new label as well... Certainly the older albums are classics, but the new ones are just as good and you'll hear how the music has progressed over the years, maturing and getting better all the time. The Wipers never gave a toss about being trendy or sounding like what's popular at a given time. Their music holds up after all these years, unlike so much of the stuff that fills used vinyl and cd bins all over the world. They have a sound that I can't completely describe here. Some of the songs are blazing with distortion and speed, but through the noise you can hear every single tone and note in the chords being played. On others the band lays way back and takes you on a wistful and sad journey, with the guitar cleanly laying down timeless melodies. The spare instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums is sometimes filled out with piano or percussion, but no matter what, the guitar is ever present and his tone is incomparable. The closest thing I can think of is Hendrix's sound, but somehow Sage is more constrained and subtle than he was and never plays anything "wanky" if you know what I mean. It's not guitar playing for guitar playing's sake, every note counts toward making the song a whole statement. The bass and drums lay down some of the most driving, tight rhythyms I've ever heard from a rock band. The different drummers and bass players on these recordings deserve special praise for creating such a huge, hypnotic sound.Okay, so this band rocks, and there are lots of other bands out there who do the same, but one thing I didn't mention above is that Greg Sage is also a fantastic singer. No need to hide the vocals under a mix of loud guitars because the guy has a beautiful voice that rings clear and true, always on pitch, full of expression without being overwrought, and able to convey the real emotion behind the songs.Incidentally, if you get the chance to hear their live recordings you'll be stunned to find out that they sound almost exactly the same as they do on record. No studio trickery involved in these recordings, just masterful playing."
A recent discovery
almiro | Clifton, New Jersey United States | 12/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I consider myself rather knowledgeable about music, the music of Greg Sage was a very recent discovery. All the songs on this collection prove worthy of many playbacks. Actually, I find it quite baffling that this band did not get more recognition, for it certainly deserved much critical praise. This is guitar driven music that definitely influenced bands such as Nirvana. I highly recommend this album. I only wish that I knew of them sooner."
firstname.lastname@example.org | vienna, austria | 10/20/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i've seen greg sage 1996 in salzburg. one of the real heroes of independent rock history playing his songs in front of a 50-people audience. it was absurd. he is the father of a generation of bands who are said to be revolutionary for rock music. in fact greg sage was!!!"
Four stars, but only because of omissions.
Mr. Mark S. Hoffmann | Chicago, IL | 12/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you must only have a snapshot of this incredible band, then a "best of" will do. Criminally, most of their crucial songs didn't even make the cut. Tragically under-represented is the MIND-BLOWING "Over the Edge" album, as well as the "Youth of America" EP. That's not to mention that "Is This Real" ain't even included (rights weren't held by Restless). All bitching aside, this is a taste of one of THE BEST bands of the late 70's and 80's (yah, yah, I know Sage is still around). FIND AND BUY ALL REISSUES. THEY ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON "GIFT OF LIFE" RECORDS."