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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.

Progression of Power 3/5 Stars (banophernalia.com)

1: I Live For the Weekend 2: I Can Survive 3: In the Night 4: Nature’s Child 5: Woman in Love 6: Take My Heart 7: Tear the Roof Off 8: Fingertalkin’ 9: Hard Road

When I think of Progressions of Power I always think of it as coming before Just a Game. I can’t put my finger on it but it felt like a step backward. To use an example from that other power trio. You’d never guess that Caress of Steel followed Fly by Night.

Gil’s songs were prominent on this one, and although I’ll freely admit to being more partial to Rik’s voice, I will say that Gil is a hell of a rock singer, and he really gets to to go to town on a number of the songs. “I Live for the Weekend”, “I Can Survive” and “Nature’s Child” are a lot of fun. Although the only song I have vague memories of hearing on the radio is “I Can Survive” – but radio has never been the best barometer of good for me.

Of the Rik songs, they were kind of hit and miss. I know the 70′s were rife with insipid ballads, and few get any worse than “Take My Heart” – a song so sucky I don’t think even the late Dan Fogelberg would touch it with a barge pole. Then there’s the instrumental piece – another flemenco infused piece – that shows off Rik’s deft touch. The album closed with “Hard Rock” which is Rik’s best song on the album, and one other the better songs on the album.

I’m not trying to rag on an album that is pushing 30 – it’s a decent rock album, and for the most still rocks. I’ve not gone out an purchased any of the remasters – I just can’t justify buying them again – but I’d be willing to bet that they sound even better than the copy I have.

Triumph: Progressions of Power (remaster)

Following up Triumph’s marginally successful Just a Game came the sweaty monster Progressions of Power, a forceful beast that is long on Gil Moore testosterone-fueled heavy rockers, short on Rik Emmett fronted melodic tunes. This album usually is given a mid-level vote of approval from most Triumph fans; it has some very good tunes, but overall lacks the catchy songwriting and depth that most Triumph albums had.

If you dig the heavy, boogie/metal thumpers sung by Moore, then there’s a chance that Progressions of Power might realy float your boat. One of the bands best “get up and shout” rockers is the blistering “I Live For the Weekend”, which kicks things off in rampaging fashion, almost like Foghat on steroids, complete with beefy power chords, Emmett’s slashing guitar solos, and Moore’s powerful shouts. Many tracks fall into a similar pattern, like “Tear the Roof Off”, the anthemic “I Can Survive”, and the grinding hard rock of “Natures Child”. Problem is most of the album is all Gil Moore, and his voice, while perfectly suited for heavy rockers, tends to be a little one-dimensional. Emmett on the other hand, has a more melodic voice, that works better on the more progressive and textured tunes, which there are couple of here. We do get the engaging “Hard Road”, complete with crushing power chords, keyboards, and multi-layered vocal harmonies, as well as the powerful “In the Night”, an emotional piece featuring loads of acoustic and electric guitars, Levine’s plaintive keyboard washes, and Emmett’s gripping vocal delivery. The other tune sung by Emmett, “Take My Heart”, is a little pop love ballad ditty, that really doesn’t fit in here at all. Of course, you have the obligatory guitar instrumental, “Finger Talkin” (curiously misspelled on the back of the CD!), another wonderful piece of fretwork wonder from Emmett.

So, Progressions of Power still ranks as a very good Triumph record, and this remaster sounds great and has all the lyrics included in the booklet. However, stacked up against albums like Just a Game, Allied Forces, Thunder Seven, or Never Surrender, it falls a little short. Still, for some headbanging & bluesy fun that goes great with a night of hell raising and beer drinking, this would be a good choice.

Track Listing:

1. I Live for the Weekend
2. I Can Survive
3. In the Night
4. Nature’s Child
5. Woman in Love
6. Take My Heart
7. Tear the Roof Off
8. Finger Talkin’ (Instrumental)
9. Hard Road

Thunder Seven Review:

My first Triumph record and beside Allied Forces the best they ever did (except Edge of Excess which is a fine piece of work).

I’m more a fan of the rough drum sound Gil used on Progression of Power and Allied Forces . Imagine that sound on Thunder Seven … Never were the lead vocals more intense – at least I can’t remember – from both Rik and Gil. It’s a shame Triumph’s not playing live anymore.