Power trio, progressive arena rock band from Canada.

"Rock and roll band, blasting heavy metal right across the land..."
From "What's Another Day of Rock 'n' Roll", Triumph

In the Beginning... Triumph - In the Beginning (TML Entertainment) 1976

1. 24 Hours a Day (4:35)
2. Be My Lover (3:17)
3. Don't Take My Life (4:45)
4. Street Fighter (3:30)
5. Street Fighter [reprise] (3:02)
6. What's Another Day of Rock 'n' Roll (4:49)
7. Easy Life (3:56)
8. Let Me Get Next to You (3:00)
9. Blinding Light Show/Moonchild (8:43)

"In the Beginning" is a repackaging of Triumph's first self-titled album. The album was originally released in 1976 and decades later was remastered and re-released with the new cover. Triumph's debut is packed full of party-hearty rock and roll. Triumph seemed to be searching for their sound on this album, yet still managed to release a very strong album that is heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin. Drummer Gil Moore's takes inspiration from John Bonham drum work throughout this album and, if I am not mistaken, there is some guitar work directly borrowed from "Stairway to Heaven" in "Don't Take My Life". The opening track "24 Hours a Day" wouldn't sound out of place on an early Boston or Journey record. Some of the riffs are fairly chomping for their time, such as "Street Fighter" with it's early speed metal riffing. The two part song gives a glimpse into what the band would sound like in the future. Actually the entire album is chock full of rowdy rock and rollers with some heavy drumming and some nice tempo changes to keep things interesting. There is nothing mellow here to speak of. The production is a little too clean and sterile, robbing the band of what could have been a much heavier romp. "In the Beginning" might be humble beginnings for Triumph, but it was a good state nonetheless.

Rock 'n' Roll Machine Triumph - Rock 'n' Roll Machine (MCA) 1977

1. "Takes Time" (3:48)
2. "Bringing It on Home" (4:38)
3. "Rocky Mountain Way " (4:08)
4. "Street Fighter" (3:29)
5. "Street Fighter (Reprise)" (3:06)
6. "24 Hours A Day" (4:28)
7. "Blinging Ligh Show/Moonchild" (8:40)
8. "Rock and Roll Machine" (6:53)

Triumph's major label debut. Actually their first two albums are a bit confusing as they were combined into this one album when they were signed by MCA, at least that is the story as I know it. (Correct me if I am wrong, please.) In anycase, "Rock 'n' Roll Machine" is a classic 70's heavy metal platter. By today's standards I suppose this is nothing more than an old rock album. However in it's time it was quite heavy. I don't pretend to admit that "Rock and Roll Machine" was groundbreaking or even outstanding, however, it is a good listen from beginning to end. "Rocky Mountain Way" is a decent Joe Walsh cover, although not much different than the original version. I much prefer Triumph's original material

Just A Game Triumph - Just a Game (MCA) 1979

   1. "Movin' On" (4:07)
   2. "Lay It on the Line" (4:02)
   3. "Young Enough to Cry" (6:03)
   4. "American Girls" (5:01)
   5. "Just a Game" (6:13)
   6. "Fantasy Serenade" [instrumental] (1:39)
   7. "Hold On" (6:04)
   8. "Suitcase Blues" (3:01)

With  "Just a Game" Triumph took a definite step up in quality from anything they had done before. They showcased quite a bit of diversity here, from the classy hard rock hit "Lay It on the Line" to the blues of "Young Enough to Cry" to the classically inspired instrumental " Fantasy Serenade". "Hold On" is a superb ballad that is does not sound like it was forced for radio play. My favorite track, however, is the title track. It’s a hard rocker with a lot of emotion and melody. Of course, "Lay It on the Line" was the big hit from this record and is one of the handful of Triumph songs that tend to still be played on rock radio thirty years later.

Progressions of Power Triumph - Progressions of Power (TML Entertainment) 1980

1. I Live for the Weekend (5:18)
2. I Can Survive (4:00)
3. In the Night (6:16)
4. Nature's Child (5:41)
5. Woman in Love (4:37)
6. Take My Heart (3:28)
7. Tear the Roof Off (4:28)
8. Fingertalkin [instrumental] (1:58)
9. Hard Road (5:22)

Progressions was somewhat of a crossroads album for this power-trio band from Canada. The band's third release retains a certain amount of that raw and gritty sound of "Rock & Roll Machine", but also contains some smooth, melodic arena rock which would become the band's calling card on future releases. Drummer Gil Moore handles lead vocals on five of the eight tracks with vocals. Emmett's high, smooth vocals are added to "In the Night", "Take My Heart" and album closer "Hard Road", which is also one of the albums best tracks. Actually, the album opens and closes on a high note. "I Live for the Weekend" is a fantastic anthem. "Take My Heart" is probably the weakest moment on the album, being the obligatory ballad that just isn't one of the band's best. "Fingertalkin" is a classical guitar instrumental, that showcases Emmett's charismatic guitar style.

"Progressions of Power" was initially released on RCA Records and peaked at #32 on the Billboard album charts in 1980. The album was later re-released in 1985 on MCA, in 1995 on TRC and then finally remastered in 2005 and released on the band's own TML Entertainment label.

Allied Forces Triumph - Allied Forces (MCA) 1981

   1. "Fool for Your Love" (4:28)
   2. "Magic Power" (4:48)
   3. "Air Raid" (1:18)
   4. "Allied Forces" (5:01)
   5. "Hot Time (in this City Tonight)" (3:20)
   6. "Fight the Good Fight" (6:20)
   7. "Ordinary Man" (7:24)
   8. "Petite Etude" [instrumental] (1:12)
   9. "Say Goodbye" (4:27)

"Allied Forces" is without a doubt Triumph’s most popular album and for good reason, it’s a great album. It’s a fairly short album, with only eight real tracks clocking in at under forty minutes long. There is also short sound effects track called "Air Raid" that acts as an introduction to the screaming heavy metal title track. "Allied Forces" may be one of the band’s fastest and heaviest songs, and on of my personal favorites from the band’s catalog. Of course "Fight the Good Fight" is the band's signature track and is still on regular rotation on classic rock stations across the globe. Rik Emmet’s vocals on this song are glass shatteringly high and still sends chills up my spine each time I hear it. "Magic Power" is another cut from this CD that became a hit for the band, and a standout track in the band’s catalog. "Petite Etude"is Emmett’s solo showcase and allowed him to flex his musical muscle and show his diverse talents. "Allied Forces" was Triumph at the top of their collective game. I can say without blinking an eye that it is one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time.

Never Surrender Triumph - Never Surrender (MCA) 1982

1. "Too Much Thinkin" (5:34)
2. "A World of Fantasy" (5:03)
3. "A Minor Prelude" (:43)
4. "All the Way" (4:22)
5. "Battle Cry" (4:57)
6. "Overture (Procession)" (1:54)
7. "Never Surrender" (6:40)
8. "When the Lights Go Down" (5:03)
9. "Writing on the Wall" (3:34)
10. "Epilogue (Resolution)" (2:41)

Triumph CDs never seem to show up in the used bins, so when I spoted this one I snagged it I was already familiar with the title track, "Never Surrender", and I knew I liked this song. However, once I got the disc home and popped it into the CD player, I just couldn't get into this one like I did some of their earlier albums. There are a few standouts cuts, as in the aformentioned title track and "A World of Fantasy" as well. Overall, however, I much prefer "Allied Forces" and "Progressions of Power" over this disc.

Thunder Seven Triumph - Thunder Seven (MCA) 1984

1. "Spellbound" (5:12)
2. "Rock Out, Roll On" (5:10)
3. "Cool Down" (4:49)
4. "Follow Your Heart" (3:32)
5. "Time Goes By" (5:57)
6. "Midsummer's Daydream" [instrumental] (1:40)
7. "Time Canon" [acapella] (1:32)
8. "Killing Time" (4:15)
9. "Stranger in a Strange Land" (5:11)
10. "Little Boy Blues" [instrumental] (3:33)

I saw Triumph on this tour in Philadelphia at the Spectrum. Before that point I was a casual Triumph fan, but after seeing them live, I suddenly just “got it”. Triumph are pure, unadulterated rock and roll. Songs like "Spellbound", "Follow Your Heart" and "Cool Down" are prime, rockin' Triumph. Unfortunately by 1984 many of the hard rock bands of the 1970’s were sounding a bit watered down, mostly due to slick production. Surprisingly, "Thunder Seven" rocks as hard as anything they had ever done, even if the album doesn't have the heavy, raw production of their early material. I'm surprised more of this album didn't find it's way to the radio. Most of what is presented here is at least as good as the acclaimed "Allied Forces" album, and better than "Never Surrender".. The album also featured two instrumentals, showing just how much diversity this band had. Rik Emmett is certainly no slacker on the guitar. "Time Canon" is an acapella number that reminds me of something Yes might have done during the Trevor Rabin years. "Stranger In A Strange Land" is Triumph experimenting with a more blues-inspired sound. All in all, "Thunder Seven" is a prime slab of Canadian hard rock.

Sport of Kings Triumph - The Sport of Kings (MCA) 1986

   1.  Tears in the Rain (3:54)
   2.  Somebody's Out There (4:05)
   3.  What Rules My Heart (3:54)
   4.  If Only (4:00)
   5.  Hooked on You (3:23)
   6.  Take a Stand (4:30)
   7.  Just One Night (3:39)
   8.  Embrujo [instrumental] (1:29)
   9.  Play with the Fire (5:18)
  10. Don't Love Anybody Else but Me (3:55)
  11. In the Middle of the Night (4:34)

Considered by many fans  to be the last great Triumph record, others consider it to be one of the band’s worst. "The Sport of Kings" is definitely radio-friendly, especially the surprisingly melodic and catchy "Somebody's Out There". With Triumph’s popularity and string of past hits, how did this song not become a hit? "Tears in the Rain" and "What Rules My Heart" are both classic Triumph rockers. I’m also partial to "Play with the Fire", one of the harder rocking songs on the album. As usual Rik Emmett’s guitar playing is excellent. As on past records, this album’s lone instrumental allows Rik to strutt his stuff. "Embrujo" is a short, dynamic guitar solo with a Spanish influence. "Hooked on You" is a straight forward blues rocker and one of the only songs where Rik Emmett & Gil Moore share lead vocals. "Just One Night" sounds like it could have been a Foreigner ballad. I tend to agree with the majority on "The Sport of Kings" that it was their last great record. While it seems to be slightly more slickly produced than some past albums, it still sounds like classic Triumph to me.

Surveillance Triumph -  Surveillance (MCA) 1987

1.   Prologue: Into The Forever (1:01)
2.   Never Say Never (3:36)
3.   Headed For Nowhere (6:07)
4.   All The King's Horses (1:47)
5.   Carry On The Flame (5:14)
6.   Let The Light (Shine On Me) (5:33)
7.   Long Time Gone (5:10)
8.   Rock You Down (3:57)
9.   Prelude: The Waking Dream [instrumental] (1:13)
10. On And On (3:49)
11. All Over Again (3:57)

Triumps's "Surveillance" is a slickly produced, radio rock album and is a departure from the heavier rock of everything up and through "Allied Forces". Whereas some band’s benefit from a slick production, I think Triumph were a better band when they had a rawer sound. The band also adds more keyboards to this album as well. However, all that is not to say that "Surveillance" is a bad album. I also preferred the rawer, harder rocking Whitesnake albums to the far more popular and slickly produced mid-80’s albums. The more commercial approach worked well for Whitesnake. It should have worked well for Triumph as well because "Surveillance" is chock full of songs ripe and ready for radio play. "Never Say Never" is almost a power-pop tune with a cool intro in the form of "Prologue: Into the Forever". Listening to this song I can only imagine how heavy it would have been had the guitars been turned up and the keyboards minimized. Still, a very cool song that could have been a hit. Though I’ve never been a huge fan of ballads, "All Over Again" is a good song and again could easily have been a hit on the level of "Is This Love" and "Honestly". The song features one of Gil Moore's best vocal performances. Once again, the approach worked for Whitesnake, but it shall forever be a mystery as to why it didn’t work for Triumph. Rik Emmett lets loose on some smokin’ guitar solos on this album and his vocals are as great as they have ever been. It’s just unfortunate that the rock and roll machine was hidden behind a layer of gloss and keyboards. Still, not a bad record.

King Biscuit In Concert Triumph-King Biscuit Flower Hour (In Concert) (King Biscuit) 1996

1. "Tear the Roof Off" (5:01)
2. "American Girls" (4:52)
3. "Lay It on the Line" (4:54)
4. "Allied Forces" (3:48)
5. "Fight the Good Fight" (5:23)
6. "Blinding Light Show/Moonchild" (12:27)
7. "Rock 'N' Roll Machine" (9:42)
8. "I Live for the Weekend" (2:19)
9. "Nature's Child" (4:12)
10. "Drum Solo" (3:44)
11. "Instrumental" (5:09)
12. "Rocky Mountain Way" (5:22)
13. "Hot Time in the City Tonight" (4:31)

Sometimes it takes just one cd to rediscover a band. I use to be a big Triumph fan, but had basically forgotten about them after I sold all my vinyl. Fortunately, some ten years later, I picked up this cd in the used bins for $3.99 and WHAM! Killer band! I need to build up my Triumph collection now. Having seen Triumph in the past, I think King Biscuit's live disc features an even better track selection than the officially released "Stages". I particularly enjoyed hearing all the guitar and drum solos once again. It brought back flashbacks of those wonderful laser light shows that Triumph had at their concerts. Great stuff. Like I said, I will be building up this collection, so this page will be growing soon.

Edge of Excess Triumph - Edge of Excess (Virgin) 1993

1. "Child Of The City" (5:04)
2. "Troublemaker" (4:06)
3. "It's Over" (4:21)
4. "Edge Of Excess" (4:44)
5. "Turn My Back On Love" (4:06)
6. "Ridin High Again" (4:55)
7. "Black Sheep" (5:25)
8. "Boy's Night Out" (5:19)
9. "Somewhere Tonight" (4:34)
10. "Love In A Minute" (4:45)

Picked this one up used and despite the fact that I had never heard it, thought I'd give it a shot. I mean, how bad could it be right? Well, I was oblivious to the fact that Rick Emmett did not play on this disc. That right there had me a bit skeptical before I even popped the disc into my CD player. To me Emmett gave Triumph their charm and charisma with his rafter rocking vocals and neo-classical guitar work. Drummer Gil Moore and bassist Mike Levine were obviously a big part of the band as well, but Triumph without Emmett is like Aerosmith without Steven Tyler, Led Zeppelin without Jimmy Page. It's just not the same band. So, while "Edge of Excess" doesn't really sound like Triumph, it's also not a bad arena rock album. "Child of the City", "Black Sheep" and "Trouble Maker" are all actually pretty solid rockers. ("Trouble Maker" was also featured in the Hellraiser III soundtrack.) So, despite missing a vital part of the formula, "Edge of Success" is actually pretty successful.

Related Collections: Rik Emmett

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