From the monthly archives: "November 2010"

Triumph’s performance footage from the US Festival from May 29, 1983, remixed in 5.1 Surround Sound. Special bonus footage includes 3 Audio Options (DTS, 5.1 Dolby Digital, 2.0 Dolby Digital), the music videos “Spellbound” & “Follow Your Heart” (also remixed in 5.1 Surround), “Inside the Rock and Roll Machine (a 40 minute Rockumentary highlighting the Triumph arena rock show) and a 2003 interview with Gil Moore and Mike Levine. Triumph performs live at the Us Festival which took place in California in 1983. Includes: “Allied Forces,” “Lay It on the Line,” “Never Surrender,” “Magic Power,” “World of Fantasy,” “Rock and Roll Machine,” “When the Lights Go Down,” “Fight the Good Fight,” “Spellbound” and “Follow Your Heart.”

On January 6, 1987, three men from Canada rocked out ’80s style at the Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Those three men—Rik Emmet, Gil Moore and Mike Levine—were Triumph. Running through a storm of their hit singles, the trio dazzles their mullet-adorned audience with guitar riffs, drum solos and vocal antics.

Edge of Excess is the tenth studio album by Canadian hard rock band Triumph, first Triumph album released after original guitarist and lead singer Rik Emmett left the band in 1988. Drummer Gil Moore and bassist Mike Levine, after a few years of inactivity, added guitarist Phil Xenidis to their lineup and released Edge of Excess in 1993. The song “Troublemaker” was featured in the 1992 movie Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth.

“The Sport of Kings” (TML / Universal; 1985)

Often considered one of the most disappointing Triumph records, “The Sport of Kings” was attacked because of its heavy keyboard sound and the band’s shift to a more radio-friendly song style (in the vein of the then uber-popular Foreigner and Journey).

While this newly remastered version of this CD can’t erase all of that 80s cheesiness, “The Sport of Kings” does sound more dynamic today than it did upon its initial release, even if some of the songs are truly dated (and, over 20 years later, why wouldn’t they be?). While songs like “Tears in the Rain” perhaps play better today than in 1985 (due to the exquisite remastering here), the lackluster of other songs — such as “What Rules My Heart” — becomes really apparent.

Not a bad Triumph CD if you’re a fan of 80s rock radio, but quite disappointing if you like Triumph’s harder-edged sound, “The Sport of Kings” at least benefits from the recent re-mastering. It still may not be one of the band’s best CDs, but at least some of the better tunes have been punched up a little.

Triumph: Rik Emmett – guitars, vocals; Mike Levine – bass, keyboards; Gil Moore – drums, vocals.

“Allied Forces” (MCA; 1981)

When I was 13, my uncle had a music store in Tulsa, OK and he let me pick out any cassette I wanted — a cassette, mind you. As you may guess, I chose Triumph’s “Allied Forces.” Well, some may argue with my choice but it sparked a love for music that led me to keep that cassette free of nicks and scratches until the CD came out and I guard that closely as well. I primarily picked it because of the radio favorites that you can still hear today on any classic rock station. Listening to Triumph on my MP3 player destroys the memories I had when they released this guitar-flavored favorite, so I try to preserve what I can.

Rik Emmett and Gil Moore share vocal duties on this disc. They each take turns per the tracklist but it’s Emmett who shines on such classics as “Magic Power” and “Say Goodbye.” I’ve heard Triumph called by some as “the poor man’s Rush” but I give credit to both bands equally. I’ve always felt that Triumph had a slight amount of blues stirring in them and the song “Hot Time (In This City Tonight)” confirmed that to be true.

My only complaint is the song “Ordinary Man.” It’s kind of cheesy and long but, at 2:46, the song takes a gallop and keeps your interest for a few more bars. I know that they are a progressive band but this track just drags along. One that may have slipped by you is “Petite Etude” — it has some clean classical guitar picking and it leads into the final track that allows Triumph to close out their fifth disc with an oft-requested favorite.

There is a passionate sound that Triumph tried to translate in their music; I got it, and although some 80s music has been shelved for a while; it calls to those who liked Triumph to at least revisit their mark on history.

The best cuts are “Fool For Your Love,” “Magic Power,” “Fight The Good Fight,” and “Say Goodbye.”

Triumph: Rik Emmett – vocals, guitar; Gil Moore – drums, vocals; Mike Levine – bass, keyboards.